Panax Ginseng

Panax Ginseng

Summary

Panax ginseng is a nootropic of many names and mysteries. Native to traditional Chinese medicine, it is also called Korean ginseng, true ginseng, and Asian ginseng (though some vary the processing method). The plant has been a natural source of cognitive enhancement for thousands of years and modern science has finally started to validate the claims.

The panax ginseng plant is commonly used as a powerful cognition booster, which helps features like reaction time and accuracy [1]. Many of the cognitive benefits of panax ginseng are related to reducing mental fatigue. By reducing or alleviating the fatigue, mental performance increases.

The other major benefit of panax ginseng is mood and wellbeing. Users report feeling less anxiety, depression, and studies show an increase in wellbeing and happiness [2]. Because panax ginseng is so widely used (for both the brain and body), there are hundreds of studies on the topic. This has translated into many studies on panax ginseng safety and confirmation of efficacy.

Also Known As

True Ginseng, Ginseng, Panax, Mountain Ginseng, Wild Ginseng

Editors’ Thoughts on Panax Ginseng

Korean ginseng, true ginseng, red panax ginseng – whatever you want to call it, has less of a “feeling” than most other nootropics I have used. The evidence around panax ginseng is pretty convincing as a whole, but the only use I would see is for mood and general wellbeing.

It is subtle, but I could definitely feel the benefits. For someone who is just getting started, this and bacopa monnieri are probably great beginner nootropics to use together. They have a lot of evidence, they’re safe, and they have a track record of success.

Mansal Denton, Nootropedia Editor

panax

History of Panax Ginseng

Ginseng is native to Asia and has been cultivated for use in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. Throughout the cultivation, Chinese scholars and early scientists experimented and found many uses for panax ginseng and methods of creating cognitive and physical enhancement.

Similar to the process of tea, over time the Chinese learned how to use the same plant and process it in different ways. For example, Korean red ginseng is the same plant as panax ginseng, but is processed slightly different. The Korean red ginseng was steamed and dried while panax ginseng had a slightly different process [3].

These slight variations in the ginseng plant created wide changes in their interactions with the human brain. The Chinese living and using ginseng thousands of years ago were no dummies. They produced and innovated on the production methods of ginseng for many centuries and their legacy we can benefit from today.

Benefits of Panax Ginseng

While there are many touted benefits of panax ginseng, a few of them are specifically for cognitive abilities and the brain. Specifically, general “Cognition” is a panax ginseng benefit that is characterized by a host of features. One study showed that 400 mg of panax ginseng extract could improve arithmetic (math) skills [4].

Reducing fatigue is another great benefit of panax ginseng, which is one of the primary sources of improved cognition. By reducing fatigue, the ginseng is able to support reaction time and accuracy for mental performance. One study showed immediate word recall was improved after a dose of 400 mg of panax ginseng [5].

The final panax ginseng benefit is for relaxation. This translates into better sleep quality (at least the first night in a new location) [6], which is useful for frequent travelers. The relaxation also helps to support subjective well-being and happiness in people who are both healthy and diseased. Panax ginseng (unlike many other natural nootropics) supports acute stress rather than chronic problems (which adaptogens support) [7].

How Does Panax Ginseng Work?

Like other herbal or plant-based nootropic compounds, panax ginseng works by providing a psychoactive ingredient. In this case, “ginsenosides” of which there are many types with differing effects on the brain. In fact, there are over 100 ginsenosides in existence [8] and many of them influence brain function.

One example is anti-fatigue, which is one of panax ginseng’s primary benefits. Ginseng is able to reduce fatigue because of the polysaccharide content that is within the plant itself [9]. For cognition and happiness, there are other factors that involve these ginsenosides.

Side Effects of Panax Ginseng

The side effects of panax ginseng are relatively mild. Anecdotal reports and studies both reference gastrointestinal problems that, while rare, do exist among people that take this nootropic. Luckily, the ginseng nootropic is so popular it has dozens of studies that are analyzed for safety and toxicology information. One found very low incidence of negative side effects of panax ginseng [10].

The only complaint amongst users is the incidence of gastrointestinal distress, which includes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps. Often the Korean red ginseng is the culprit for these specific ailments. Even in studies that use high ranges of ginseng (such as 2 grams or 4.5 grams), there is little issue of toxicity [11].

Panax Ginseng Dosage

Even though panax ginseng is well-tolerated at dose up to 2 or even 4.5 grams, the normal dose is less than that. Traditional suggestions record doses of 2 – 400 mg daily for general “preventative” medicine purposes. The dose of 400 mg is used in many studies and is probably the best starting point if you are beginning with nootropics (or panax ginseng specifically).

There is evidence of higher dosing, but almost all studies and data refer to libido enhancement and erectile health issues rather than cognition / brain health.

How and Where to Buy Panax Ginseng

Panax ginseng is widely available and affordable both online and in local brick and mortar stores. Unlike some Ayurvedic medicine, panax ginseng for sale usually does not have heavy metals so there is less to worry about in that regard.

However, there are many kinds of panax ginseng and many ways to consume it. It is important you buy ginseng online, which has information about the vendor so you can research beforehand. You can also purchase ginseng with information regarding the psychoactive ingredients, the percentages, and other data that helps you to have a precise and informed decision.

Because there is so much variation in the panax ginseng extract, it is often imperative to be clear on what exactly you are buying and what dosage you will need as a result. If you end up buying a product that is very powerful and then take a dosage recommendation from some other product, it could lead to worse gastrointestinal problems.

This is why we recommend Nootropics Depot panax ginseng if you are searching for a reliable option.

Selected Community Experiences

From my experience, Panax ginseng helps you like coffee does on a day to day basis rather than longterm. It is arguable whether drinking coffee or tea everyday will solidify certain neural networks in the brain. I think same sort of thing applies to ginseng as well. However, I am positively sure it does have an effect on your immune system in the longterm, as I started taking it, I wasn’t as sensitive to feeling susceptible to colds and viruses as before. One thing it helps is it physically gives you a certain kind of clarity and edge, kind of what I imagine ancient Chinese soldiers and martial artists would seek.” [12] – throwsofaraway123456

References (Click to Expand)
  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22537640
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20737519
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22474520
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20737519
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12020739
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19294962
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8721940
  8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9034759
  9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15466162
  10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8488188
  11. http://sciencelinks.jp/j-east/article/200407/000020040704A0181471.php
  12. https://www.reddit.com/r/Nootropics/comments/3uyomi/so_does_panax_ginseng_help_with_short_term_memory/
Other Scientific Resources (Click to Expand)
  1. http://www.academicjournals.org/jmpr/PDF/pdf2010/4Mar/Lee%20et%20al.pdf
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11748372
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19601793
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22403544
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6655550
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17538869
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12570775
  8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15005097
  9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1501490
  10. https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/cpb1958/22/10/22_10_2407/_article
  11. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10660083
  12. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22962612
  13. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16342327
  14. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22183124
  15. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22684214
  16. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22750577
  17. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12591261
  18. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19252321
  19. http://www.dbpia.co.kr/Journal/ArticleDetail/1543937
  20. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17135044
  21. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21959181
  22. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22871218
  23. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11080895
  24. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14705875
  25. http://abc.herbalgram.org/site/DocServer/Ginseng_Evaluation_Program.pdf?docID=241
  26. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12941165
  27. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16042154
  28. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11824558
  29. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20546398
  30. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22471373
  31. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21538628
  32. http://koreascience.or.kr/article/ArticleFullRecord.jsp?cn=JAKO200411922932598

Author

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  • Mallory Roane

    What is the difference between panax ginseng and the other kinds? Is korean the same?