Ginseng is a perennial herb that has two varieties, the Asiatic ginseng and the American ginseng. Both of these species are cultivated for the root where the medicinal value is greater compared to its leaves. The Asian ginseng has been used by the Chinese as a drug plant for over thousands of years because of its curative powers for impotence.
Based on research, medicinal power of ginseng seems to be excellent because it has a holistic effect on every system of the body. Its influence on libido has gained much attention over the years paralleled with mushrooming researches focusing on sexual dysfunction cures and boosting libido. Research on natural ingredients like ginseng and gingko has opened the market for herbal or natural products as alternative medicines.
The principle of libido enhancement is based on increasing blood flow to the sensitive organs like the genitals. Like other substances that heighten sexual drives, ginseng helps in the release of nitric oxide in areas such as the penile tissues. A good blood flow to this organ facilitates the ability to initiate an erection and sustain it for superior sexual performance. In women, blood flow to the clitoris, makes this erectile tissue sensitive, enhancing sexual desire and quality of orgasms.
STUDIES ON Panax Ginseng SUGGEST:
Psychologically, physically, and hormonally adapt to stress and fatigue
One well done 2002 double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study done in Korea looked at 45 men with moderate to severe erectile dysfunction. It took only 8 weeks for improvement in the scores on erectile performance, sexual satisfaction and other key measure for those men using Ginseng.  A similar study five years later on 60 men with erectile dysfunction found significant improvement in just 12 weeks in the areas of “rigidity, penetration and maintenance of erection” when patients were treated with three times daily routines of 1000 mg of Ginseng. 
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Ginseng likely does this through several pathways with the most direct being stimulation of nitric oxide production.  Of course, nitric oxide is the magic chemical that relaxes your penile arteries and allows blood to flow in. Any increase in nitric oxide will likely improve erectile dysfunction and put a smile on your and your partner’s face.
What are the odds that Ginseng can improve your erectile dysfunction? One older study showed that 60% of men were satisfied with sex and firm erections with Ginseng as opposed to 30% without.  This is almost two thirds of the participants that were helped by Gingeng! The study authors summarized by saying that “in the group receiving ginseng, changes in early detumescence and erectile parameters such as penile rigidity and girth, libido and patient satisfactions were significantly higher than that of other groups”. In other words, improvements were so strong that the actual thickness of the erect penis and the “hardness factor” were actually improved.
According to the research, Red Ginseng is better at alleviating psychological rather than physical fatigue. However, based on these results, the herb’s physical and hormonal benefits also look pretty good.
You see, Panax Ginseng significantly increased the locomotor activity of stressed rats but did not have any significant benefits on the rats who were basically just chilling. Why is that? Well, my theory is that Panax Ginseng can help the body adapt to incoming stress or fatigue. Without some sort of stress, however, there’s simply no reason to take it (apart from its other benefits, of course).
Optimize the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis
I’ll be showing you multiple studies here so pay attention.
First up is a 1996 research on the effects of Panax Ginseng on male fertility. Here, they used 2 experimental groups consisting of patients with sperm issues and a 3rd group acting as control. According to the results of the study, Panax Ginseng was able to:
- increase number of sperm
- improve sperm motility
- increase total and free testosterone, DHT, FSH and LH levels (*take note of these hormones)
- decrease prolactin (**take note of this one, too)
All of these results are linked to the function of the HPG axis. In men, the HPG axis is basically a system of endocrine glands that manage the production of testosterone and sperm. In particular, *LH and FSH travel the blood stream and respectively trigger testosterone synthesis and sperm production once they reach the testes. On the other hand, **prolactin is what inhibits the release of LH and FSH which, in effect, disrupts the flow of the entire HPG axis.
That being said, it can be concluded that maybe Panax Ginseng has its hands all over the HPG axis. I’m saying maybe because, frankly, the research is old and outdated and I just want newer evidence.
Does Ginseng increase testosterone?
Ginseng can help with cAMP levels, which, according to one study, boosted hormone, LH and DHT levels in men with low sperm counts.  However, one study show that testosterone (and growth hormone) levels are not significantly raised by Ginseng, thus eliminating the possibility that Ginseng helps with erectile dysfunction through a hormonal route.  I have never read of any bodybuilder, for example, using Ginseng to boost testosterone.
What about DHT?
You didn’t think I’d forget about this, did you? Well, I didn’t but I purposely saved it for last because this one’s complicated. From the above results, you see Panax Ginseng increasing the levels of DHT. For young and developing men, this might be a good thing since DHT is actually a more potent androgen than testosterone. For older men, however, DHT plays a major factor in the development of benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) and balding.
This is where the tricky part comes in. According to another study, Panax Ginseng inhibits 5-alpha-reductase – the enzyme responsible for converting T to DHT. Theoretically, what this study suggests is that the herb lowers DHT instead of increasing it. Clearly, the results of both studies are contrasting. So, which one is it? To be honest, I don’t know and, personally, I think these are tell-tale signs that Red Ginseng does indeed need more scientific exploration.
Ginseng’s performance has been so outstanding that one could really qualify it as a food in terms of safety and beneficial properties. Furthermore, and as we’ll show below, Ginseng seems tailor-made for the middle-aged and beyond guy battling some aging-onset maladies, including loss of erectile strength, mental sharpness and insulin resistance. It’s not an inaccurate characterization to say that Ginseng is a turn-back-the-clock supplement in most of the key areas of health that males are interested in.
NOTE: American Ginseng has many excellent properties as well, but we are only talking about the Korean variety here.