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Panax ginseng is the prototypical “ginseng” herb. Typically when people refer to ginseng they are referring to panax ginseng (often in the form of Korean red ginseng, Chinese ginseng, and Asian ginseng, which are all panax but simply processed in different ways). Among the many different forms, panax ginseng appears to be the most effective, especially for mood elevation1 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21660771. There are other types of ginseng such as American and Siberian ginseng but for the purposes of simplicity I won’t be covering those, primarily because they as well-studied as panax ginseng.
Panax ginseng an adaptogen, a class of compounds which offer stress support, raise energy levels, and stabilize mood . Like other adaptogens, ginseng is fairly well-rounded substance that can benefit people in different ways.
One study in particular study used 200mg doses for 4 weeks and showed improvements in mental health and social functioning2www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11895046. However, after 8 weeks it appeared to become ineffective, suggesting that it may be best to cycle it in 4 week periods.
Among adaptogens, ginseng shows the most promise for improving wellbeing and promoting relaxation5www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/87219406www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/107615383www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15982990.
In mice, one study found ginseng to have potent mood and behavioral related benefits. These benefits includes a decreased amount of aggressiveness and increased amount of socializing7www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20673793.
Ginseng has nootropic qualities as well – it appears to improve cognition3www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/159829904www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16401645, and confer neuroprotection and memory improvements8www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/84881889 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10571242.
Lastly, ginseng also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, among other prophylactic qualities10www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2169995311www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2280531312www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21598413.
Overall, ginseng has numerous benefits, and is a rather unique adaptogen that seems to effect everyone a little bit differently. I have personally found it to make me more at ease in social situations and also provide me a noticeable boost to my energy levels.
Where to Purchase Panax Ginseng[Vendor Info]
Panax Ginseng Dosage Information
Ginseng is typically taken at doses between 200mg and 400mg once or twice a day. The best form of ginseng to take appears to be Korean Red Ginseng due to how it is processed and handled. Panax Ginseng does not need to be taken with meals.
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