|July 8, 2024

Panax Ginseng: Uses, Benefits and More About This All-Star Adaptogen

By Stephen Sheehan
Reviewed by Theresa Greenwell for Scientific Accuracy on 09/19/2023

Panax Ginseng: Uses, Benefits and More About This All-Star Adaptogen

  • Panax ginseng is a species of plant that grows in the mountains of East Asia and has been consumed for centuries.
  • This commonly cultivated form of ginseng may provide mind-body benefits, including daily inflammation and stress support.†
  • Discover the potential benefits of Panax ginseng, along with convenient ways to include this superstar adaptogen in your diet.

Panax ginseng may sound like a complicated science term, but people across the globe have relied on this humble root for centuries. In fact, it’s gained a reputation as an all-star adaptogen that can provide mind and body benefits.†

So what exactly makes Panax ginseng such a longstanding pillar in herbal medicine? And how can you incorporate it into your diet? Learn more about its uses and benefits, along with a few more adaptogens you should consider adding to your supplement stack.

What is Panax ginseng?

Slices of dried ginseng in a bowl

Although it may look a tad otherworldly, Panax ginseng has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years. However, don’t get it confused with other plants also commonly referred to as ginsengs. There are many varieties, including Panax quinquefolius (American ginseng) and Eleutherococcus senticosus (sometimes referred to as Siberian ginseng).

A slow-growing plant with fleshy roots, ginseng falls into three categories:

  • Fresh: Harvested before 4 years
  • White: Harvested between 4-6 years
  • Red: Harvested after 6 or more years and steamed to create a red color[1]

Panax ginseng happens to be one of the most commonly utilized and researched forms. Also called Asian ginseng and Korean ginseng, its main active agents are ginsenosides, which have been studied for their potential to support a healthy inflammation response, cognitive function, reduced fatigue and stress.[2] And while this plant species is native to the mountainous regions of East Asia, it’s utilized all over the world for its purported physical and mental benefits.†

4 benefits of Panax ginseng

Ginseng roots used to make tea.

Given its popularity and long history of use by cultures worldwide, Panax ginseng has earned a reputation as one of the top adaptogens. Why’s that the case?

Although more human research must take place, in vitro and animal studies suggest there are several benefits associated with Panax ginseng consumption.

1. Daily inflammation support

Inflammation is your body’s natural protection process, but anyone who goes hard in the gym knows about its potential drawbacks. Managing inflammation is a key component to overall health and wellness, and Panax ginseng may support those efforts.†

An in vitro cell study showed that when ginseng is fermented with Bifidobacterium longum, the results may help to potentiate ginseng’s natural inflammation support.[3] In addition, a mice study also showed Panax ginseng’s potential to support a healthy inflammation response.[4] Keep in mind, though, that the results are not found in humans.†

2. May support cognitive function

Maintaining a clear, focused mind is critical to accomplishing whatever tasks are on your plate. And when it comes to cognitive function (aka your brain power), Panax ginseng may offer some support.

Researchers have conducted both laboratory and clinical studies over the years to determine this adaptogen’s effect on the brain and nervous system. There is some evidence that Panax may benefit some aspects of cognitive function, behavior and quality of life.†[5]

3. Helps reduce fatigue

It can seem daunting to tackle life’s challenges when you feel sluggish and low on energy. After all, the daily stressors we face can take a toll on both our bodies and our minds. That’s where Panax ginseng may be able to provide some assistance.

Research shows Panax ginseng may help curb physical fatigue and help fend off mental fatigue.[6] So if you’re searching for a solution to potential fatigue woes, this powerful root may be part of the answer.†

4. Stress support

Whether it’s work, a relationship or something else entirely, stress can have a significant negative impact on our physical and mental health. Luckily, adaptogens like Panax ginseng may offer some support.

A 2017 study determined the adaptogen provides a “potential approach to regaining homeostasis after abnormal physiological changes caused by the stress of everyday life.” Furthermore, research has shown that ginseng is involved in adjusting the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) and controlling hormones.[7] Ultimately, it may offer the occasional stress support you need to make sure you check off every item on your to-do list.†

Related: How Ashwagandha Helps You Stress Less and Handle More 

How to use this all-star adaptogen

Bulletproof Vanilla Energy Collagen being scooped into a mug of coffee next to tub

Looking to unlock the benefits of Panax ginseng? Luckily, there are several ways to use this adaptogen to your advantage.

While you can eat ginseng root in its raw form, that may not suit your personal preferences. Lightly steaming it will soften things up and make it easier to consume.

Panax ginseng extract can be found in powder, tablet, capsule and oil forms. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to supplementing, a typical dosage is around 200mg per day. You can obtain exactly that plus MCT oil, magnesium and other adaptogens and energy nutrients from Bulletproof Dark Chocolate Energy Collagen Protein. Also available in Vanilla Bean, this caffeine-free supplement is a great way to take your morning smoothie to the next level.

Not only does Energy Collagen Protein contain grass-fed collagen protein to support healthy skin, bones and joints, but the Custom Adaptogens Blend includes ginseng and cordyceps mushroom.†

Pro tip: It’s best to take Energy Collagen Protein earlier in the day since it may be stimulating.†

Other adaptogens to add to your stack

Turmeric roots alongside a bowl and spoon with powdered turmeric.

The world of adaptogens extends far beyond the East Asian mountains where Panax ginseng grows. Our planet is rich with plant life that can help unlock the best version of you.

What other adaptogenic herbs should you consider incorporating into your nutrition protocol? Here are a few of our favorites, along with some easy ways to consume them:

  • Ashwagandha: An Ayurvedic herb that’s become incredibly popular over the years, ashwagandha can help your body manage occasional stress. You can consume ashwagandha via Bulletproof Zen Mode, a holistic relaxation supplement that helps reduce stress and support improved focus.†
  • Holy basil: Also known as tulsi, holy basil is another Ayurvedic herb that has research-backed benefits. Like ashwagandha, we included this adaptogen in Zen Mode to support your body’s stress-busting abilities.†
  • Rhodiola: Like Panax ginseng, rhodiola is a perennial flowering plant that’s been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Grown in cold regions of the world, this adaptogenic herb has been shown to help curb fatigue.†[8]
  • Turmeric: Foodies should already be familiar with the flavor-enhancing properties of turmeric. However, this brightly colored spice does more than transform the hue and taste of a dish. Turmeric, which is rich in curcumin, can help support a healthy inflammation response, which makes Turmeric Curcumin Complex and Bulletproof Turmeric Gummies smart choices for those who train hard and need a little help with recovery.†

The bottom line: Adaptogens like Panax ginseng can help your body reach homeostasis naturally. Studies suggest this slow-growing plant may provide several health benefits, like supporting cognitive function and combatting fatigue. Adding supplements into your stack that contain this form of ginseng, along with other adaptogens, can go a long way toward putting your body and mind at ease.†

Want to learn more about the benefits of natural herbs? Check out our deep dive on adaptogens and why you need them.

 

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