ginsengIf you are a ginseng believer, then ginseng is the one supplement that all of us should be taking.

Russian scientist Israel Brekhman coined the term “adoptegens” to refer to agents that helped individuals deal with stress. The prime example of this, in his view, was ginseng.

[If you are interested in an example of the controversy that surrounds many topics related to natural supplements, go to the wikipedia article about Brekhman and follow the link to the “Prime One” adoptogenic formula…]

But, let’s say you are just trying to figure out if Ginseng makes sense for you, what kind of information can you get from reliable sources?

First, you should know that there are three different plants that are called “ginseng”… and despite their similar name they are quite different. Panax ginseng is the Asian herb that has been the best studied. There is a related herb called Panax quinquefolius which is grown in the United States. And then there is an unrelated herb, Eleutherococcus senticosus, which is called Siberian “ginseng.”

In this brief article we will talk primarily about Panax ginseng, or Asian ginseng.

Several, but not all, studies, have suggested that Panax ginseng can enhance mental function. However, the specific nature of this enhancement is often quite variable from clinical trial to clinical trial.

Other studies suggest that it may contribute to an overall sense of “well-being” and that it may help with erectile dysfunction and postmenopausal symptoms.

There don’t appear to be any safety issues, so the main concern is whether or not the supplement is worth the cost.

If you are interested in taking a test drive, you should know that some studies suggest a negative interaction with antidepressants. And you might also want to know that, in a recent article in our favorite resource for information about natural supplements (Consumer Labs – if you use supplements you really should prescribe – 33$ per year but well worth it in potential savings from not buying worthless or even harmful supplements) the [amazon_link id=”B000GPZXCO” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Nature Made formulation [/amazon_link]was highly rated.