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Ginseng, Erection, Libido: what should we believe?

From legend to reality…

Ginseng and sexuality have long been linked. The use of ginseng in Asia for over 2000 years has
given time to create “ginseng legends” about health. Personalities are mentioned, who would
have benefited from the particular virtues of ginseng or would have been relieved in serious
circumstances, all this told with a touch of exoticism could sometimes make believe in a miracle

So what about sexuality, erection and libido?

One thing is certain: ginseng has real health benefits. First of all in men, as far as erection is
concerned; it is quite true that ginseng improves the process. How? How? Thanks to a well
identified process, observed and described through scientific studies: by promoting the synthesis
by cells and nerve transmissions of powerful vasodilator Nitric Oxide (NO) which relaxes the
vessels, makes them more flexible and therefore promotes better blood flow.

This vasodilation stimulates the circulation of the cavernous bodies, real blood sponges inside the
penis that allow and especially maintain the erection. This action is therefore well demonstrated.
EFSA, the European body that regulates discourse around plants, has authorised ginseng to claim
erectile enhancement.

This property of ginseng is interesting. Its mode of action can be compared to that of drugs (such
as Viagra), with less “violence” because ginseng does not act immediately but in the medium
term. It takes at least 15 days, 3 weeks to feel the first benefits. The advantage is that it does not
cause any side effects (which are far from harmless with drugs) and has an impact on the
condition of the vessels and the quality of the walls. In the long term we improve the whole

And the libido? The famous Aphrodisiac effect!

Now that’s… yes… but! First of all, because libido is a complex phenomenon that depends on
several factors. Worries, stress, which are good barriers to sexual appetite will not be solved by

Desire, on the other hand, is modulated by chemical factors on which ginseng can have some
influence… A hormone, testosterone, is responsible for libido in both men and women. In brain
cells, testosterone has an effect that can be described as an aphrodisiac.

However, ginseng, especially Black Ginseng, which is very rare in Europe, stimulates
testosterone metabolism. In both men and women, the increase in free testosterone will affect
desire. As such, we can say that ginseng will have a positive influence on libido.

Provided you take the right dosage!

The last point that we will see in more detail in a future article is the dosage ! To benefit from a
positive influence of ginseng on these sexual factors, you need a sufficient dose… The dose in
clinical studies is 3 g of plants per day *, which very few manufacturers provide. Most offer 200 or
300 mg capsules, which means that it would take 10 to 15 capsules a day to reach 3 g! The only
way to be sure to absorb the right dose is to take the extract. A 1g extract (usually a liquid
spoonful) is a concentrate that represents the equivalent of 3 to 5 g of plants; at this time one can
expect positive effects.

In short, YES Ginseng can have a stimulating effect on sexuality if you use a well-dosed product !

Dr Xavier Fruneau

Sources :

* de Andrade E, et al, 2007. Study of the efficacy of Korean Ginseng in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Asian J Androl, 9, 241-244