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When it comes to ED, if you are one of the many patients not excited about taking Viagra, don't worry, there are alternative options out there. One of the ones that has received a lot of attention as a potential aid is Korean ginseng. Does it work though?

Erectile dysfunction is an illness plaguing numerous age-groups in the modern world; not just the elderly. Projections indicate that ED will only become more common in the coming decades so it is now more important than ever to make small lifestyle changes to ensure that you do not become a victim to this illness yourself [1]. Erectile dysfunction is a disease that can manifest on its own or secondary to other illnesses that can make it impossible to achieve and maintain an erection. Some of the more common organic causes include long-term cardiovascular diseases like hypertension, systemic illnesses like diabetes and even underlying psychological issues like depression and anxiety [2]. Traditional treatments aim at either alleviating the root cause of the erectile dysfunction or prescribing medications that can stimulate Nitric Oxide (NO) production [3]. Due to some of the safety concerns of medications like Viagra (a potent NO producer), understandably, patients with erectile dysfunction seek alternative avenues to find some form of relief for their symptoms [4]. Natural treatments for erectile dysfunction are growing in popularity and numerous vitamins and dietary supplements for ED are available. In previous articles, I have reviewed some of these common alternative medications and the risks and benefits of taking these medications.  Some of the more successful supplements we covered included horny goat weed and how it can treat erectile dysfunction or how vitamin D can treat erectile dysfunction. Nevertheless, along with this journey for an alternative cure, we have also found that some compounds are untested and potentially dangerous, so it is essential to avoid them at all costs. Herbal Viagra can be one of these potentially hazardous remedies for erectile dysfunction. One of the compounds worth investigating goes by the name of Korean Ginseng and has received a lot of appeal from the general public for its apparent efficacy. The question is though, can Korean ginseng treat erectile dysfunction in reality? 

What to Know About Korean Ginseng 

Korean ginseng has many different applications medically, but most are within the field of memory enhancement. Some of its most impressive effects can be found in patients suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). In one study, researchers found that after eight weeks of supplemental therapy, patients responded much more favorable to Korean ginseng compared to the controls [5]. Korean ginseng is also referred to as Asian ginseng or even Panax ginseng. It is an effective agent because it can affect multiple systems at once as an immuno-suppressing agent. It can also reduce inflammatory cells like dendritic cells and T-cells to prevent inflammation and also is believed to have anti-tumor properties [6].

Another practical application of ginseng is in the realm of heart dysfunction. Patients with some myocardial damage can benefit from taking Korean ginseng as it protects cardiac muscle tissue from further damage [7]. Another interesting application is in dealing with patients suffering from hypertension. Studies show that Korean ginseng supplementation can reduce elevated blood pressure [8], which can be quite beneficial for patients suffering from erectile dysfunction because hypertension is an underlying cause of vascular damage and can manifest in erectile difficulties. 

Does Korean Ginseng Really Work? 

We now know that Korean ginseng can be beneficial for some aspects of modern medicine, but does it meet the inclusion criteria to be considered one of the natural treatments for erectile dysfunction

In preliminary studies, Korean ginseng does appear to have some worth when it comes to treatment options. In an all-encompassing review of cohort studies investigating the effectiveness of Korean ginseng, researchers determined that in seven different small investigations where 350 patients were observed, there was a statistically significant improvement in erectile dysfunction incidence in the group given the supplement compared to the control group. [9] Unfortunately, they could not make definite conclusions because the number of patients in each study was too small. 

In a more recent investigation, Korean ginseng was the primary focus of a much larger research. In this study, 119 men with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction were given four tablets of 350 mg Korean ginseng berry extract daily for eight weeks and compared to a control group. At both the 4th and 8th-week points during the investigation, patients reported significant improvement if they were taking the supplement compared to the control group. 

Lipid levels and other relevant hormones were monitored as well and showed that there was no difference between the Korean ginseng group and control group, indicating that the medication was well-tolerated. Due to the low risk of side effects already, this proves that not only is Korean ginseng an excellent alternative therapy for patients suffering from erectile dysfunction, it is also well-tolerated. [10]

All in all, based on these two findings, it is apparent that Korean ginseng can be included as one of the vitamins and dietary supplements for ED. We can use Korean ginseng to treat erectile dysfunction. 

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