Men, listen up! Are you doing all that you can to stay healthy? We all know that it’s important to exercise, eat well, and get enough sleep. But what if a plant can improve several areas of your health?
Meet ginseng. For centuries, this slow-growing herb has been used to treat an array of conditions, especially when it comes to men. Here are 5 of the health benefits ginseng has on men.
1. Treats Erectile Dysfunction
Ginseng can improve sexual performance in males. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is not a normal part of aging, but it becomes more common with age.1 After all, it affects 5 percent of 40-year-old men! By age 70, roughly 15 percent of men have ED.2
According to the International Journal of Impotence Research, Korean ginseng helps sexual function in men without changing hormone and lipid blood levels.3 Men who took ginseng reported better penile hardness, making it easier to have sexual intercourse.4
2. Improves Blood Glucose
Men are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and they’re often diagnosed at a lower BMI than women of all ages.5 American ginseng might reduce that risk.
Ginseng has been proven to improve both fasting and postprandial glucose, two major contributing factors of type 2 diabetes. These effects were even observed with people who already have type 2 diabetes, making it a potential natural treatment. Keep in mind that since diabetes can contribute to ED, ginseng targets both with one shot.6
Note: Always take ginseng with food. Otherwise, your blood sugar can get so low that you develop hypoglycemia, even if you’re diabetic. Ginseng also interferes with diabetic medications. So if you’re on medication, talk to your doctor before taking ginseng.7
3. Fights Cancer
The rate of cancer death is higher in males, affecting 207.9 in every 100,000 men.8 As a natural antioxidant, ginseng can combat this ruthless disease. It has shown noteworthy effects against colon cancer, the third most common cancer in the United States, for which men are at a slightly higher risk.9
Ginseng works by preventing oxidative stress and protecting cells.10 At the same time, it also combats tumor growth.11
4. Improves Metabolic Syndrome
Obesity often shows up with metabolic syndrome, a cluster of factors that increases your chances of chronic disease. Diabetes, stroke, and heart disease are just some of the conditions it’s linked to.12
Obese men have an increased risk of metabolic syndrome. According to Complementary Therapies In Medicine, red ginseng has the ability to make it better. This type of ginseng has a favorable effect on hormones and mitochondrial function, two factors linked to metabolic syndrome.13
5. Enhances Memory
As men age, they enter a phase known as andropause, a male version of menopause. Andropause can cause memory loss, especially if diabetes is involved.14
Luckily, men can naturally improve their mental health with ginseng. Both Asian and American ginseng enhance brain function and mood. American ginseng is especially great for working memory, making it useful to fight this age-related decline.15
All you men out there, consider taking ginseng for these awesome health benefits. You can take it in the form of tea, pill, extract, or tincture. Fresh and dried ginseng can also be found at health food stores or Asian markets.
|↑1||Erectile Dysfunction. MedlinePlus.|
|↑2||Erectile Dysfunction (ED). UW Health, University of Wisconsin.|
|↑3||Choi, Y. D., C. W. Park, J. Jang, S. H. Kim, H. Y. Jeon, W. G. Kim, S. J. Lee, and W. S. Chung. “Effects of Korean ginseng berry extract on sexual function in men with erectile dysfunction: a multicenter, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical study.” International journal of impotence research 25, no. 2 (2013): 45-50.|
|↑4||Mulhall, John P., Laurence A. Levine, and Klaus-Peter Jünemann. “Erection hardness: a unifying factor for defining response in the treatment of erectile dysfunction.” Urology 68, no. 3 (2006): 17-25.|
|↑5||Logue, Jennifer, J. J. Walker, H. M. Colhoun, G. P. Leese, R. S. Lindsay, J. A. McKnight, A. D. Morris et al. “Do men develop type 2 diabetes at lower body mass indices than women?.” Diabetologia 54, no. 12 (2011): 3003-3006.|
|↑6||Erectile Dysfunction. American Diabetes Association.|
|↑7, ↑11||American ginseng. University of Maryland Medical Center.|
|↑8||Cancer Statistics. National Cancer Institute.|
|↑9||Key Statistics for Colorectal Cancer. American Cancer Society.|
|↑10||Castro-Aceituno, Verónica, Sungeun Ahn, Shakina Yesmin Simu, Priyanka Singh, Ramya Mathiyalagan, Hyun A. Lee, and Deok Chun Yang. “Anticancer activity of silver nanoparticles from Panax ginseng fresh leaves in human cancer cells.” Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy 84 (2016): 158-165.|
|↑12||What Is Metabolic Syndrome? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.|
|↑13||Jung, Dong-Hyuk, Yong-Jae Lee, Chun-Bae Kim, Jang-Young Kim, Seung-Hun Shin, and Jong-Ku Park. “Effects of ginseng on peripheral blood mitochondrial DNA copy number and hormones in men with metabolic syndrome: A randomized clinical and pilot study.” Complementary therapies in medicine 24 (2016): 40-46.|
|↑14||Tan, R. S. “Memory loss as a reported symptom of andropause.” Archives of andrology 47, no. 3 (2001): 185-189.|
|↑15||Scholey, Andrew, Anastasia Ossoukhova, Lauren Owen, Alvin Ibarra, Andrew Pipingas, Kan He, Marc Roller, and Con Stough. “Effects of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) on neurocognitive function: an acute, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study.” Psychopharmacology 212, no. 3 (2010): 345-356.|