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"The ginseng from Mt. Jangbaek has been exhausted, and honey containers have been emptied across the nation."

These are the words of the song that parodied Yeonsangun, a king during the Joseon Dynasty who enjoyed ginseng cakes, who was infamous for his self-indulgent lifestyle, and who mismanaged his state affairs. Ginseng cake, a type of honey-marinated ginseng, was eaten together with liquor or tea. Ginseng has long been recognized as a stamina booster. In particular, it was perceived as essential for boosting the male sexual stamina. King Yeongjo of the Joseon Dynasty, who lived for 83 years, regarded ginseng as the premier health food and ate as much as 12 kg of it in a year at 72. Ginseng is also known as a stamina booster in Europe. France’s leading weekly Le Nouvel Observateur revealed the efficacy of ginseng under the theme of “love portion” in its August 15, 1991 issue cover story. In this article, sexology expert Dr. Cwain Berg emphasized, “Ginseng’s scientific name Panax means “panacea.” Ginseng not only helps recover stamina but also promotes sexual hormone secretion, making it a natural tonic.”

ginseng-rootsMale-sexual-function problems affect mainly two things: reproduction and erectility. For the reproduction problem, a growing number of males become sterile. Sterility comes from aspermia, oligozoospermia, and lack of sperm motility. These disorders lead to the birth of deformed children and are attributable to the environmental pollution caused by industrialization. Notably, 50-year-old males see their sperm function rapidly weaken. This may be a natural aging phenomenon, but such weakening varies greatly from one person to another. Another problem is male erectile dysfunction. This refers to a disorder in which the penis does not become erect enough to allow sex, or even if the penis is erected, such erection cannot be maintained for a certain time. In a recently conducted noteworthy study on male sexual dysfunction, it was reported that red ginseng helps restore the function of the testicles, which produce sperms. This is good news for sterile patients or for couples in the menopausal stage who want to have a baby. In the 10th International Ginseng Symposium, Daejeon University Clinical Pathology Division, Konkuk University Life Science Division, and KGC reported the results of their joint study on the effect of Korean red ginseng on the recessed functions of the testicles in old white rats. In a recent study using white rats, Konkuk University professor Kim Si-gwan et al. analyzed the blood biochemical parameters and conducted a histological observation of the seminiferous tubules inside the testicles to analyze the sperm formation process and the sperms’ motility. The results of this study showed that Korean red ginseng effectively recovered the recessed function of the testicles due to aging and environmental toxic substances. Notably, various recessed sexual functions due to aging distinctively improved. Moreover, ginseng normalized the abnormally raised hormone levels and increased the male hormone contents. Males are usually greatly interested in erectility, and many men want to scienti cally con rm if ginseng can boost their sexual power, erectility, and sexual satisfaction. No speci c study, however, has con rmed this. The team led by Professor Choe Yeong- deok of Yonsei University Severance Hospital Urology Department conducted a study on the ef cacy of ginseng from June to Octo- ber 2007, targeting 73 outpatients, and concluded that red ginseng is effective in improving the male sexual function. In the study, two groups were formed, one of which took four 20mg capsules of red-ginseng extract a day while the other took placebos. The subjects were not told if they were given true ginseng or placebo. Four months later, their erectility was measured. Male erectility is based on (IIEF5+1) (International Index of Erectile Function), whose total score is 30. The scores of the red-ginseng-capsule takers rose from 17.2 to 23.2. For the placebo takers, on the other hand, their scores rose from 17.7 to 19.6. Moreover, the sexual satisfaction of the red-ginseng-capsule takers rose greatly from 6.5 to 9.7 while that of the placebo group rose from 7.2 to 8.6.

Choe’s team reported that red ginseng offers erectile enhancement effects similar to those offered by low-dose erectile dysfunction drugs. The team found that ginseng’s active ingredient, saponin, helps recover the erectile function. According to the results of past studies using animals, the core ginseng ingredient saponin (Ginsenoside Rg3) works on the testicles, facilitating the secretion of male hormones, amplifying the blood ow to the genitals’ blood vessels, and thus enhancing erectility. According to Choe’s team, red ginseng is particularly effective for men who experience abnormally fast heartbeat when taking erectile dysfunction drugs. Some placebo effects are attributed to the subjects’ psychological makeup. Prior to the aforementioned study, at the Congress of the European Society for Sexual Medicine held in London, UK in December 2004, the team led by Brazil’s Dr. Enrico Andrade reported a study where red ginseng was found to be effective in reversing erectile dysfunction. In his team’s study, 60 men suffering from erectile dysfunction were divided into two groups. The experimental group took Korean ginseng three times a day for 12 weeks while the control group took placebos. The study results showed a signi cant difference between the groups. In the red-ginseng-taker group, little concern was indicated over the side effects of red ginseng, such as a change in the male hormone or cholesterol level. Ginseng boasts being a natural drug while chemical-ingredients-based erectile dysfunction drugs may have side effects. This is why experts argue that ginseng should be developed into a natural erectile dysfunction drug without side effects to boost the male sexual stamina fundamentally and not only temporarily. With fake erectile dysfunction drugs being rampant and the side effects of chemical-ingredients-based drugs being reported, and amid the growing number of males experiencing a fall in sexual function or erectile dysfunction due to diabetes and hypertension among other adult diseases, ginseng could be a natural Viagra.

Article quoted from Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MIFAFF) of Korea’s “Korean Ginseng: The Divine Wonder Medicine”
* - VIAGRA (sildenafil citrate) is a registered trademark of Pfizer Inc.





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