Panax Ginseng and Testosterone

Panax Ginseng and Testosterone

Panax ginseng is considered the ‘true’ ginseng with a wide variety of health benefits that are coming to fruition with modern research.

We want to establish whether it can have an impact on our hormone levels.

LAST UPDATED: March 2019 by Ben.

This article contains 20 reputable sources of reference to support the work which can be found at the bottom of this page.

Ginseng and Hormones

There are a number of different varieties of ginseng, but only one is known as ‘true ginseng’, and that is panax ginseng.

If you are looking to stimulate more natural testosterone production, you shouldn’t overlook panax ginseng.

Not only can it help with testosterone levels, but scientific studies state that ginseng will also improve overall brain function and health.

What is Panax Ginseng?

Ginseng is a plant that has been used as a Chinese remedy for years.

It has a wrinkly brown looking exterior and leg like features.

Furthermore, Panax Ginseng is also known as Korean Red Ginseng.

The word Panax means ‘all-healing’ which is derived from the Greek language.

Whereas the name ginseng appears to be attributed to the appearance looking like man’s legs.

Before ginseng is used for medicinal purposes, the plant is harvested after about four years.

The harvest period is due to levels of the beneficial components in ginseng plant starting to decrease after around five years.

What are Panax Ginseng Benefits?

If you are looking to increase your physical and mental performance, nutrients such as panax ginseng should have a place in your nutrition plan.

As already mentioned, Panax Ginseng has multiple uses, these include:

  • Improved cognitive function
  • Anti-fatigue
  • Helps erections
  • Well being improvements
  • Stronger libido
  • Better blood flow
  • Increased testosterone levels

Testosterone and Panax Ginseng

muscular guy basking in sunshine with endless blue skies

Both men and women suffer from a reduction of testosterone production as they age.

And testosterone has many health benefits.

It has its role in bone density, body composition, cognitive health, libido and mood.

As a result it is wise to maintain a healthy level of testosterone. Luckily, there are ways in which we can do this naturally.

Exercise and diet is a key, but there’s also other natural ingredients that can help your body stimulate more testosterone.

Panax ginseng is one of them. [1]

Evident research has shown that ginseng has characteristics which protect the testes from toxins such as alcohol, physical trauma and ginseng also increases protein synthesis.

Another thing to consider about testosterone and ginseng is its ability to reduce gynecomastia…

A male who was treated for gyno with panax ginseng saw breast growth stop after a month of administration. [2]

How does Ginseng work?

It is thought that the one of the primary active components in panax ginseng, known as Ginsenoside’s, are the reason why it increases testosterone levels.

Ginsenoside’s are steroid-like saponins.

Research has demonstrated that when there’s a higher percentage of panax ginseng being supplemented in a subject’s diet their serum testosterone levels were elevated.

The results are positive when compared to other participants who had little or no panax ginseng supplementation. [3]

This can then be related to testosterone which is produced by the Leydig cells, these cells are under the control of luteinizing hormone.

The luteinizing hormone is produced by gonadotropic cells.

Supplementation of panax ginseng increases luteinizing hormones on a huge scale. As a result, this increases the level of circulating free testosterone.

Does this improve libido?

There is a strong correlation between testosterone levels and sexual activity.

Therefore, more testosterone usually means a higher libido, sexual fantasy and function.

Because of this, panax ginseng has been labelled and aphrodisiac for many years, and tests in humans have proven that ginseng can increase both libido and sexual performance.

In addition, studies have seen sperm quantity improvements among test subjects which have been associated with the level of ginsenosides which are also responsible for the increased levels of testosterone. [4]

Other studies have found that taking panax ginseng has been able to significantly improve test subjects’ erections after just eight weeks. [5]

Nitric Oxide

The theory is that components of ginseng are able to produce increased levels of nitric oxide which stimulates blood flow. [6]

As a result, this has lead to increased erection strength plus longevity of the erection after penetration.

Furthermore, the effects of panax ginseng on sperm quality are also impressive, this heralds great benefits for those increasing numbers of men who are suffering from fertility issues. [7]

It seems that once again the ginsenosides when in combination with higher levels of nitric oxide improve sperm function, quality and quantity. [8]

Other Ginseng Health Benefits

woman with healthy strong looking hair

We’re not just going to stop at increase fertility, sexual function and testosterone.

Panax ginseng can also hold its hand up to a number of other interesting and positive health related benefits.

Improved mental & physical performance

Studies relating to panax ginseng have discovered that the plant has a remarkable ability to increase physical and mental exhaustive capacity without using more oxygen.

Ginseng is therefore considered an actoprotector due to this capability. [9]

Additional studies noted an increase of endurance levels while seeing a reduction of fatigue. These results were recorded after long periods of psychological testing. [10]

Then further evidence points toward learning and memory improvements. [11]

Inflammatory & pain

It has been noted that panax ginseng is able to reduce signs of inflammatory and also has the ability to help reduce pain. [12]

Other studies in to ginseng unearthed its ability to increase the effectiveness of vaccinations increasing immunity as well as reducing physical stress from strenuous exercise. [13] [14]

Overall well being

Improvements in overall well being are also evident. [15] [16]

This includes:

  • Increased calmness
  • Mental health
  • Social function
  • Depression and mood for those during menopause
  • Alertness
  • Relaxation

Hair & skin

Physical differences have been noted with contributory ginseng doses.

Older women noticed a reduction of skin wrinkles after just three months of ginseng supplementation. [17]

This then stabilised and was maintained for up to six months and thereafter.

In addition, it is considered that ginseng has collagen degrading inhibition abilities.

Thus, instead of increasing collagen production, they halt the decline of collagen deterioration.

With this in mind it may come as no surprise that ginseng can also have positive impact on hair growth for both mena and women. [18]

This is because panax ginseng can help promote hair shaft regrowth plus improve hair density.

Test also highlighted that there were lower traces of oxidants and inflammation.

Protects the Male Reproductive System

Yes, that’s correct.

A study has produced evidence which demonstrates the effectiveness that ginseng has at reversing and protecting the testes from damage that other drugs may have. [19]

Unwanted Side Effects

On the whole panax ginseng is reported as being safe to use.

Much of the few reported side effects appears to be related to the gastrointestinal tract with upset stomach and diarrhoea being the most common issue.

However, some other tests have reported sleeping troubles and headaches.

Yet, if you are pregnant, please be careful…

Theoretically some of the components of panax ginseng could potentially harm fetal development and the embryo.

That said, tests in mice to stimulate these theories have not come to fruition, so it could possibly safe. [20]

Panax Ginseng & Testosterone Video Review

Panax Ginseng Conclusion

As initially stated, panax ginseng can not only benefit testosterone production.

There are many potential uses and benefits from ginseng supplementation, these include but are not limited to an improvement of overall well being, physical and mental performance, aesthetic changes notwithstanding a reduction of pain and inflammation.

There appears to be minimal and limited reported cases of unwanted side effects, even pushing the boundaries of scientific theory.

Final thoughts

As a result, panax ginseng should be given much thought and be considered to be part of your nutrient intake.


[1] Effect of Panax ginseng on testosterone level and prostate in male rats. Fahim MS, Fahim Z, Harman JM, Clevenger TE, Mullins W, Hafez ES. Arch Androl. 1982 Jun;8(4):261-3. PMID: 7202345


[3] Fahim MS, Fahim Z, Harman JM, Clevenger TE, Mullins W, Hafez ES. Effect of Panax ginseng on testosterone level and prostate in male rats. Arch Androl. 1982;8:261–3. doi: 10.3109/01485018208990207.

[4] Wang X, Chu S, Qian T, Chen J, Zhang J. Ginsenoside Rg1 improves male copulatory behavior via nitric oxide/cyclic guanosine monophosphate pathway. J Sex Med. 2010;7:743–50. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01482.x

[5] Hong B, Ji YH, Hong JH, Nam KY, Ahn TY. A double-blind crossover study evaluating the efficacy of korean red ginseng in patients with erectile dysfunction: a preliminary report. J Urol. 2002;168:2070–3. doi: 10.1016/S0022-5347(05)64298-X.

[6] Murphy LL, Lee TJ. Ginseng, sex behavior, and nitric oxide. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002;962:372–7. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2002.tb04081.x.

[7] Rolland M, Le Moal J, Wagner V, Royère D, De Mouzon J. Decline in semen concentration and morphology in a sample of 26,609 men close to general population between 1989 and 2005 in France. Hum Reprod. 2013;28:462–70. doi: 10.1093/humrep/des415.

[8] Zhang H, Zhou Q, Li X, Zhao W, Wang Y, Liu H, Li N. Ginsenoside Re promotes human sperm capacitation through nitric oxide-dependent pathway. Mol Reprod Dev. 2007;74:497–501. doi: 10.1002/mrd.20583.

[9] Actoprotective effect of ginseng: improving mental and physical performance. Oliynyk S, Oh S. J Ginseng Res. 2013 Apr;37(2):144-66. doi: 10.5142/jgr.2013.37.144. PMID: 23717168

[10] Wang J, et al. Anti-fatigue activity of the water-soluble polysaccharides isolated from Panax ginseng C. A. MeyerJ Ethnopharmacol. (2010)

[11] Liu L, et al. Ginsenoside Rb1 improves spatial learning and memory by regulation of cell genesis in the hippocampal subregions of ratsBrain Res. (2011)

[12] Jung HJ, et al. Enhancement of anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive actions of red ginseng extract by fermentationJ Pharm Pharmacol. (2012)

[13] Hu S, et al. Adjuvant effect of ginseng extracts on the immune responses to immunisation against Staphylococcus aureus in dairy cattleVet Immunol Immunopathol. (2003)

[14] Pannacci M, et al. Panax ginseng C.A. Mayer G115 modulates pro-inflammatory cytokine production in mice throughout the increase of macrophage toll-like receptor 4 expression during physical stressBrain Behav Immun. (2006)

[15] Wiklund IK, et al. Effects of a standardized ginseng extract on quality of life and physiological parameters in symptomatic postmenopausal women: a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Swedish Alternative Medicine GroupInt J Clin Pharmacol Res. (1999)

[16] A double-blind comparison of the effect on quality of life of a combination of vital substances including standardized ginseng G115 and placebo.

[17] Cho S, et al. Red ginseng root extract mixed with Torilus fructus and Corni fructus improves facial wrinkles and increases type I procollagen synthesis in human skin: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studyJ Med Food. (2009)

[18] Murata K, et al. Effects of ginseng rhizome and ginsenoside Ro on testosterone 5α-reductase and hair re-growth in testosterone-treated micePhytother Res. (2012)


[20] Shin S, et al. Korean red ginseng extract does not cause embryo-fetal death or abnormalities in miceBirth Defects Res B Dev Reprod Toxicol. (2010)

Testosterone and panax ginseng
Article Name
Testosterone and panax ginseng
we look at the evidence available to understand how panax ginseng may benefit our health.

Ben BA(Hons), PGCert

Ben established this site to be a free resource in 2015. Since then it has gained over half a million visits. He has always been interested in sport and he started playing rugby at the age of 6 represented his town, county and school. Ben also enjoys cycling, has started skiing and is in the Army Reserve representing his Regiment as part of the 150 Regimental Shooting Team. He holds a bachelor's and postgraduate degree in sport exercise & nutrition.

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