Does Korean Red Ginseng increase sex drive?

Brief History of Korean Red Ginseng

Korean Red Ginseng is a plant that grows in asia. Although it originated from northeastern China it is now grown in places like Korea and Siberia.

The root of this plant has been long used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. Inscriptions that represent ginseng, written by the chinese have been found on bones dating back as far as 3000 B.C.

It has many applications in Traditional Chinese Medicine including improving concentration, memory and physical stamina. It has also been used as a natural remedy for coping with stress, treating impotence (erectile dysfunction) and boosting overall health and general well being.

It was the view of traditional practitioners that the root of the ginseng plant resembled the human body. For this reason, traditional practitioners thought of ginseng as a whole body treatment. It is interesting to see modern research start to confirm the effectiveness of ginseng.

What is Korean Red Ginseng?

As mentioned earlier Korean Red Ginseng is a plant that originates from china but is grown throughout asia. The particular family of Ginseng that Korean Red Ginseng belongs to is called Panax Ginseng. Other names for this plant include “Asian Ginseng, Chinese Ginseng, Korean Ginseng” but they are essentially all the same species.

There are some differences in the varieties of this particular plant however, due to the way they are cultivated and the way the plant is processed.


Importance of Ginsenosides

The active substance within Korean Red Ginseng is called a “Ginsenoside”. They are sometimes referred to as ‘panaxosides’ by russian researchers. It is this active ingredient in ginseng that is responsible for the health benefits attributed to ginseng.

This is because ginseng is an adaptogen – a substance that improves the body’s ability to deal with stress and increases overall physical and mental health. These adaptogenic effects are particularly useful for dealing with lack of energy, chronic fatigue, loss of concentration, poor memory, loss of stamina and dealing with recovery of illness.

Importance of Where It Is Grown

It is important to note that it is only the Asian Ginseng (Chinese and Korean) and American ginseng that contains the active ingredient of ginsenosides. Another type of ginseng is Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) and it is often confused with the other two ginsengs. It is not a true ginseng however, it simply has similar medicinal properties to korean ginseng. The active ingredient is also different in Siberian Ginseng – instead of ginsenosides it contains eleutherosides.

Traditional herbalists viewed Korean ginseng as having more “yang” energy (yin and yang are representative of opposing energy within the universe) and as a result it was considered more potent and stimulating type of ginseng.

On the other hand, American ginseng was seen to have “yin’ energy and was used to relax individuals under high stress.

Recent scientific research has uncovered some interesting information about the different aspects of the two ginsengs. Korean ginseng was found to contain higher levels of Rg1 ginsenosides which produce a greater stimulatory effect. In contrast, American ginseng contained greater levels of Rb1 ginsenosides which produce more of a sedated effect.


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Positive Effects Connected With Ginseng

Here are some of the positive effects connected with the consumption of Ginseng:

  • Boosts stamina – the adaptogenic effects of ginseng improves your energy and stamina. This translates into better physical performance – whether in sports or the bedroom.
  • Stimulates sex drive in males – ginseng has been used for impotency for many years due to its adaptogenic effect. Scientific studies have shown that ginseng can facilitate penile erection and improve sperm production.
  • Relieves Mental Stress – the ginsenosides contained within the root of the ginseng plant can increase mental clarity and alertness, while attenuating mood swings. It can also be used for anti-depressant and anti-anxiety purposes.
  • Stimulates Immune Response – The number of white cells and antibodies within your blood can be increased from the adaptogenic properties of ginseng. This increase will help fight common illnesses such as colds and flus
  • Help Prevent Cancer – The anticancer properties of ginsenosides are believed to help with the prevention of cancer. It does this by inhibiting the cell cycle progression, in turn slowing down the growth of cancer cells.
  • Relieves Fatigue – Since ginseng is an adaptogen it can help with fatigue and strengthen the nervous system. A british study performed on shift workers (nurses) showed that ginseng would improve their mood and reduced fatigues. They also showed better results on speed and coordination tests.
  • Improves your cardiovascular health – by inhibiting your platelet aggregation and regulating your cholesterol levels, ginseng helps you improve your cardiovascular health.

Long-Term Ginseng Use

Short term use of red ginseng is considered safe in most instances. If consumed over a long period of time it may have a negative effect on your body.

The most common side effect of ginseng is sleeplessness. Side effects don’t occur in everyone though. Side effects that are less common are:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Rash

Studies Related to Sex Drive and Treating Erectile Dysfunction

Treating impotence with red ginseng has been done for many years. Researchers are now starting to validate these effects with their studies. In a particular study, 45 men who had erectile dysfunction were given either a placebo or 900 milligrams of korean red ginseng. The dosage was 900 milligrams taken 3 times a day over eight weeks. At the end of eight weeks the men who had taken red ginseng felt they saw an improvement with their erectile dysfunction symptoms compared to the control group. The researchers concluded that ginseng could be an alternative treatment for erectile dysfunction (Study link).


Korean red ginseng is a natural remedy that has been used for thousands of years, and its benefits have only now begun to be fully understood through scientific research. As we’ learned Korean red ginseng can help you boost your stamina, stimulate your sex drive, relieves mental stress, improve your immune response, help prevent cancer, relieve fatigue and improve cardiovascular health.