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How Ginseng Works - Sexual Function

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Ginseng has been traditionally used to treat sexual impotency and increase virility. The US National Plant Data Center states that "in China, it (American ginseng) is a panacea for sexual impotency". The University of Maryland Medical Center reported that a study of 46 men found an increase in sperm count as well as motility.

Sexual function


Ginseng was used by both the ancient Chinese and Native Americans as an aphrodisiac, and it is widely used for this purpose today. An Italian review stated that American ginseng has aphrodisiac and adaptogenic properties that enhances physical performance (including sexual), promotes vitality and increases resistance to stress and aging. The author stated that the adaptogenic properties of ginseng are believed to affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, resulting in elevated plasma corticotrophin and corticosteroid levels.

Sexual dysfunction:

Animal studies in the USA support the use of American ginseng in the treatment of sexual dysfunction. There is evidence that ginsenosides can facilitate penile erection by directly inducing vasodilation and relaxation of the corpus cavernosum. This appeared to be moderated by nitric oxide release from endothelial cells and perivascular nerves.

A US researcher found that American ginseng also affects the central nervous system and has been shown to alter the activity of hypothalamic catecholamines involved in the facilitation of copulatory behaviour and hormone secretion in mice. Pre-treatment with American ginseng reduced the period between successive mountings and also successive ejaculations. She postulated that the effects of ginseng may not be due to hormonal secretion, but a result of the direct effect on nervous and gonadal tissues.

When Chinese researchers performed very unpleasant things on mice, their mounting behaviour and plasma testosterone were adversely affected. Injecting them with ginsenoside Rb1 prevented this problem.

Female fertility, menopause & menstrual problems:

American ginseng was used in traditional Native American medicine to increase female fertility and treat menstrual problems. The Cherokees referred to ginseng as "The Plant of Life" and used it to help relieve female problems such as menstrual cramps and excessive bleeding.

American ginseng is reported to have estrogenic properties that may be useful in treating menopause symptoms, but without the potential side effects of estrogenic drugs (such as cancer, stroke, and thromboembolism).

The US dietary and Supplement Information Bureau states that ginseng is commonly used to treat menopausal symptoms. It cites a study involving 384 postmenopausal women which compared the use of ginseng to a placebo for relief of menopause related symptoms. Benefit was seen for depression and general well-being and health. No advantage was seen for hot flashes and physical changes that occur to the vagina and surrounding area (however another study reported improvement in vaginal lubrication in menopausal women).

Please note:
Any scientific information has been assembled by Simply Ginseng from reputable peer-reviewed scientific journals. We have tried to ensure it is clear, balanced and without bias. This information should not be construed as claims for any of our products. Always consult your health care professional.Use only as directed. Always read the label.
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