Last updated on April 19th, 2018
Panax Ginseng is the most researched of the ginseng group, and is the most interesting with respect to its health benefits, of which there are many.
It’s another example of an adaptogen; those compounds which help us deal with stress, anxiety and many other symptoms of the wear and tear that life inflicts on our bodies and minds.
Particularly exciting is the research going into Panax ginseng’s anti-cancer properties. It has demonstrated notable strength in preventing ovarian, colorectal and pancreatic cancer.
That said, it’s looking good for all sorts of cancer prevention. Daily ingestion of its Ginsenosides halved the risk of ovarian, pancreatic and colorectal cancer in one study.
If the above statement isn’t enough to make you go out in search of the “True Ginseng” or the “Mountain Ginseng” (both aliases), then you’ll be pleased to know that supplementing it can do a whole lot more for you than that, according to the scientific data.
Panax Ginseng for Preventing Cancer
Where other adaptogens like Ashwagandha and Rhodiola are more suited to reducing the effects of stress, anxiety, mental and physical fatigue, Panax appears to excel at reducing the risk of contracting various cancers.
In the intro we linked out to an observational study, the conclusions of which state that this ingredient can halve the risk of three well known cancers: pancreatic, ovarian and colorectal.
However an additional study tells us that it’s likely Panax ginseng can have a preventative effect on cancer overall.
Panax Ginseng for Improved Cognitive Function
There has been a few studies looking at panax’s varying effects on cognition, but they are few in number so there needs to be more comprehensive research conducted for more absolute conclusions.
Calmness and well-being was increased in one study with healthy people.
Another study involving Alzheimer’s sufferers showed its promise for reduction of cognitive decline, and therefore as a possible therapeutic treatment of associated diseases and disorders.
Panax Ginseng for Other Benefits
Again we see studies numbering in the low single digits that demonstrate other potential benefits of Panax ginseng and some of those data are taken from the same study as one another.
Other potential positive health effects associated with this supplement are as follows:
- Reduced Muscle Damage
- Reduced Inflammation
- Increased Blood Flow
- Improved Cardio Vascular health (due to better endothelial function)
- Improved Cholesterol balance (i.e. higher HDL and lower LDL count)
- Improved Blood Glucose Regulation for diabetics
- Reduced Symptoms of Menopause
- Heightened Libido
- Improvement in Erectile Dysfunction
- Higher Antioxidant Enzyme activity
How To Use Panax Ginseng
It’s often found in multi-ingredient supplements and may even appear in some pre-workout powders due to the muscle damage alleviation, anti-inflammation and increased blood flow effects.
You should look for an extract with around 3% Ginsenosides content for optimum effect.
Timing doesn’t appear to make much difference to the average user but if you are looking to use it for its benefits to muscle damage then you should use it as a pre-workout.
Panax is mostly used as a general preventative measure against cancer, inflammation, cognitive decline and cardio vascular deterioration. Women experiencing the symptoms of menopause should benefit also.Panax Ginseng halved the risk of several types of cancer in some studies. Also known as Mountain Ginseng, it can be stacked with other adaptogens for additive benefits.Click To Tweet
Panax Ginseng Dosage
An extract of 2% to 3% Ginsenosides is a good place to start.
A daily dose of 400mg a day should have most positive impact, but it might be effective as part of a multi-ingredient stack from around 40mg per day.
Used alongside Ashwagandha and Rhodiola Rosea there will be a synergistic effect and is possibly the best adaptogen stack there is.
Panax Ginseng Side Effects
There is no harm caused by Panax ginseng at doses higher than the recommended effective doses above, so there is nothing to worry about in terms of toxicity.
Some people in studies complained of stomach upsets such as nausea, vomiting and cramping.
Pregnant women should avoid Panax ginseng as it can affect the baby, according to tests. This has not been proven or disproven for oral ingestion but it’s better to avoid it and be completely safe.
If you a male pre-disposed to gynecomastia (growth of breast tissue due to estrogenic effects) then don’t take Panax ginseng as one subject of one study reported that effect. The effect stopped when the ginseng was stopped.
Panax Ginseng Conclusion
It hasn’t quite got the same status as its fellow adaptogens but there is something to be said for halving the risk of cancer, even if that comes from only a couple of studies so far.
We wouldn’t worry about the gynecomastia issue too much as it appears to go away if you stop taking it anyway, and only one person reported an issue out of everyone who’s been studied.
Pregnant women should definitely avoid it, and should only take doctor approved pre-natal vitamins.
By and large, Panax is another solid supplement to add to the pile, but seems particularly useful to people who are at higher risk of contracting cancer.
If there is a hereditary cancer link in your family then you can do much worse than knocking back a panax pill on a daily basis.