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Originally published August 18 2013

Ginseng proven to prolong life in men: Here is the research

by PF Louis

(NaturalNews) Back in the 1960s and 1970s, ginseng was all the rage for energy and stamina, preventing illness, and increasing libido. Somehow it faded from western natural health awareness and consumer interest.

But the history of ginseng's ability to instill energy, stamina, libido enhancement, and longevity goes back four to five thousand years ago in Chinese medicine. Now, a new wave of ginseng research interest may reinvigorate ginseng public awareness.

Ginseng is often labeled Panax ginseng in trials and tests, but all that indicates is the botanical genus Panax of which ginseng is a species. And the genus Panax belongs to the plant family Araliaceae.

According to most botanists, Siberian ginseng is in the same family, but not of the same Panax genus. But herbalist Chris Gussa considers it a less expensive, complete adaptogenic ginseng (conforming to one's needs) and a great, natural athletic performance enhancer that many professional runners in track use. [1]

If you review any of the studies completely, most research uses Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer, named after botanist/explorer C.A. Meyer.

A few research samplings

A long term large epidemiological Korean study (statistical survey) published in a 2009 Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine was set up to determine if there was an association with ginseng intake and mortality or longevity.

This Korean study started in 1985 with 6282 subjects aged 55 and over. Among them were male and female ginseng users and non-users. The study was completed at the end of 2003, and all the statistical measures for this type of study were used to rule out irrelevant variables.

The result showed a significant reduction in all cause mortality (death from all sources) among males, but not females. However, females who used ginseng enjoyed a significant reduction in cancer specific mortality. [2]

A Chinese study using mice was set up to determine the effects of Panax ginseng polysaccharide (PGP) on energy metabolism and mitochondrial protection. Both those mechanisms, especially mitochondrial protection, promote anti-aging or longevity.

This study was published in 2009 in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine.

The trial showed that PGP inhibited mitochondrial injury and swelling in a dose concentration-dependent manner, thus enhancing production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and adenosine monophosphate (AMP), all vital for cellular metabolic energy.

Panax ginseng polysacharide (PGP) also inhibited the formation of malondialdehyde (MDA), a compound produced from oxidative stress, in the study's mice brains. This property seems to offer an age related dementia deterrent. [3]

Another study, which was more of a review and report, from Boston University was published in Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2009 (quite the year for ginseng studies).

They reported that although there is evidence of ginseng's ability to increase insulin production, decrease pancreas beta-cell death and reduce blood glucose in diabetic type 2 patients, not fully understanding the mechanics of how this happens precludes the standardization for practical medical applications for treating diabetes.

The Boston group discusses the need for further research to better determine the mechanics of ginseng's effects on hyperglycemia to determine practical applications for diabetics.

Opinion: The exact wording of this report suggests there may be an effort to figure out how to synthesize a compound that mimics ginseng's properties to patent it as a pharmaceutical. That's what medical research is often about. [4]

Generally, most herbalists recommend taking ginseng for two to three weeks with non-dose intervals of a week. While some Chinese medicine doctors recommend taking ginseng daily without a break, others suggest never going beyond three months with a steady daily intake.

And of course, there are a few negative contraindication cautions and positive synergistic applications one should know about. Mr. Ginseng explains much in source [5].

More ginseng studies are available here (

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