Ginseng is the root of plants in the Panax genus. Although Ginseng is thought to be of Asian origin, typically known by the Korean or Chinese Ginseng plant, there are also species originating from the North American continent, such as American Ginseng. The active ingredients of the roots are Ginsenosides and Gintonin.
The name is derived from the Chinese Jin-sim, which could be translated as human root, person root or human plant root. Ginseng has a long history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), notably as a tonic for vitality, especially used by older men who would use it on a daily basis. It’s also known to have been used to improve sexual performance and cure certain sexual dysfunctions, as such giving it a reputation as an aphrodisiac and fertility Herb.
There are various forms and types of Ginseng, such as Mountain or Wild Ginseng and Cultivated Ginseng, apart from Asian Ginseng (Korean, Japanese and Chinese) and American Ginseng, and differences in the way of processing which produces Fresh Ginseng, White Ginseng or Red Ginseng. Depending on the type or species, other, stronger or weaker effects may be expected. Asian Ginseng is typically thought to be more stimulating than American Ginseng.
As for the health benefits, it’s thought that Ginseng has positive effects on the cardiovascular, immune, and neuronal system, but also stimulates libido, enhanced sexual performance and sexual satisfaction, both for men and women, which then of course also benefits fertility. For men it’s said that it cures or improves Erectile Dysfunction (ED), having positive results for penile rigidity and the duration of an erection.
Another interesting observation is that there have been studies of Ginseng in relation to so-called sperm count, giving initial evidence that Ginseng may have positive effects on Spermatogenesis (the production or development of mature spermatozoa). Additionally, it’s thought that Ginseng helps to preserve ejaculated sperm.
Ginseng may be taken cut, sliced or cooked in food or beverages, such as in tonics, side dishes, herbal drinks, teas, alcoholic drinks, and soups. It’s also commercially available as powder, liquid extracts, pills and capsules.