人参，常被称为“药草之王”，自古以来就在远东地区使用。代表人参的中国铭文可追溯到公元前 3000 年左右的骨骼和龟甲上，最早的药用记录可追溯到公元 500 年左右。东方地区已经使用这种非凡的草药来增加耐力，减少疲劳，并提高他们的性欲。
Ginseng, often called the “king of herbs,” has been used in the Far East since antiquity. Chinese inscriptions representing ginseng have been found on bones and tortoise shells that date back to about 3000 B.C., and the earliest record of its being prescribed for medicinal use dates from about 500 A.D. For at least that long, people in China, Korea, and other regions of the Orient have used this remarkable herb to increase stamina, decrease fatigue, and give a boost to their libido.
It should be noted that we are talking here about the type of ginseng commonly called Asian ginseng or, more specifically, Chinese or Korean ginseng. These are all the same plant, Panax ginseng, but different varieties of it are cultivated under different conditions and processed in different ways throughout Asia, so there are many variations on that botanical theme. As we will see, a high-quality variety called red ginseng is of particular interest.
Even though all three ginsengs are used as tonics, herbalists and others familiar with herbal remedies tend to use them for different purposes. Korean red ginseng is considered to be the most potent or stimulating type of ginseng. In traditional Chinese medicine, Korean red ginseng is said to have more yang energy (yang and yin represent all the opposing properties in the universe, such as male and female, active and passive, hard and soft, hot and cold, stimulating and sedating, etc.). American ginseng, on the other hand, is said to be more yin in nature and is used for people who feel worn out because of a high-stress environment. Siberian ginseng, like Korean red ginseng, is seen as having more of a yang nature and is often used to increase a person’s endurance and stamina.
A paper entitled “Ginseng, Sex Behavior, and Nitric Oxide,” published recently in the prestigious Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, examined the scientific evidence behind ginseng’s purported beneficial effects on sexual health.1 The authors stated that there is hard scientific evidence that certain active chemical ingredients in red ginseng, called ginsenosides, have prosexual effects. In their own words, “There is good evidence that ginsenosides can facilitate penile erection by directly inducing the vasodilation and relaxation of penile corpus cavernosum. Moreover, the effects of red ginseng on the corpus cavernosum appear to be mediated by the release and/or modification of release of nitric oxide from endothelial cells and perivascular nerves.”