Ginseng vs Viagra. Are They Similar? (Solved & Explained!)

Ginseng has been a staple of homeopathic medicine for generations. It was believed to produce a myriad of health benefits. Today, using modern science, we are able to discover the true effectiveness of ginseng.

A lot of intrigue surrounding ginseng is in regards to its effect on sexual performance. Viagra is a pharmaceutical drug that has been proven and marketed to help with erectile dysfunction. 

So how does ginseng compare to Viagra in terms of how it works and its effectiveness in tackling sexual problems?

Ginseng does not work like Viagra as they are unrelated substances with completely different mechanisms of action. Viagra has been scientifically proven and approved to help with erectile dysfunction, while ginseng only has inconsistent scientific backing when it comes to improving sexual performance.

Let us take a deeper look into these two substances.

What is ginseng?

Ginseng is a short, green-leafed plant with a large, thick root system. The supplement is made using the root. Ginseng types vary depending on their on the amount of time they are given to grow before harvesting. 

There are 11 types of ginseng, the most popular being American ginseng and Asian/Panax ginseng. The different types have varying levels of active ingredients which results in the body responding differently depending on the type.

What is ginseng most commonly used for?

Many still claim that ginseng has benefits in the realms of cancer, the immune system, brain function, blood sugar, etc. But modern scientific studies have brought a lot of these proposed benefits into question. 

Most claims about ginseng do not hold up to scientific scrutiny or science fails to consistently replicate the findings. There are a lot of “could”s and “may”s in the scientific assertions made about ginseng. 

However, according to multiple studies published on ScienceDirect, ginseng has been proven to be a powerful antioxidant that assists in getting rid of harmful waste and toxins in our bodies. Ginseng has also been proven to decrease levels of inflammation as well as lower levels of oxidative stress. There is also fairly strong and extensive scientific evidence to suggest that ginseng can improve energy levels and help fight fatigue.

How does ginseng work?

Ginseng affects the mind and body in various ways. The gintonin and ginsenosides contained in ginseng are most responsible for most of these effects. The anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of these two substances probably explain a lot of the anecdotal claims made that science cannot prove for certain.

Evidence from studies at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences suggests that ginseng can increase neurotransmitters such as dopamine and acetylcholine, as well as affect hormones such as cortisol and testosterone. Although these findings have not been proven definitively.

Does Ginseng improve sexual performance? 

Although the decreased stress and increased energy provided by ginseng will have obvious benefits in this department, the science regarding the direct links between ginseng and sexual performance is inconsistent. 

It has been hypothesized that ginseng releases nitric oxide which relaxes smooth muscles in the penis allowing for enhanced erections and therefore as a possible treatment for erectile dysfunction. Some studies have been shown to improve sperm count and motility, as well as assist in premature ejaculation. 

However, these findings have not been proven definitively and more extensive research studies are needed. Ginseng has not been approved by the FDA to assist with any aspect of sexual performance and it, therefore, remains an over-the-counter dietary supplement with largely unsupported benefits.

What is Viagra?

Viagra is a brand name of the drug sildenafil. Originally discovered by Pfizer as a treatment for chest pain, Viagra was medically approved in the U.S and Europe for the treatment of erectile dysfunction in 1998. It has since been the leading pharmaceutical solution for erectile dysfunction.

What is Viagra most commonly used for?

As mentioned, Viagra is used for erectile dysfunction in the vast majority of cases. Viagra has also been shown to help in minor cases of pulmonary hypertension among other preliminary findings. 

Viagra is often used illegally for recreational purposes which often does more harm than good. The abuse of Viagra can lead to a host of health compilations relating to blood pressure, cardiovascular health, etc. It also only works for those with existing penile issues so it will be relatively ineffective for those that don’t need it. 

How does Viagra work?

Viagra works by relaxing the smooth muscles in the walls of the blood vessels in the penis. This allows for blood to flow more easily resulting in longer and firmer erections.

The really interesting bit is that Viagra only causes erections with some sort of sexual stimulation! This is because the Viagra molecules bind to certain enzymes released during sexual stimulation, resulting in an increased penile reaction. 

Does Viagra improve sexual performance?

For those suffering from erectile dysfunction, the answer is a resounding yes. Viagra is a well-understood, extensively studied pharmaceutical that has been shown time and time again to be the most effective solution for tackling erectile dysfunction. 

Unfortunately, there is little evidence to suggest that Viagra helps sexual issues for women. Contrary to popular belief, Viagra does not increase libido for men or women. 

Do Viagra and Ginseng work in similar ways?

Viagra and Ginseng have completely different mechanisms of action and have not been proven to act in the same way. 

Some studies suggest that they both work similarly by relaxing the smooth muscles in blood vessels and increasing blood flow to the penis. However, while this has been proven in the case of Viagra, in ginseng it is merely theorized.

Are Viagra and Ginseng comparable?

Ginseng is not comparable to Viagra. They work in completely different ways, contain none of the same active ingredients, and probably do not affect the body or mind in any similar ways. 

Viagra is a scientifically approved pharmaceutical that is well understood and extensively studied. Ginseng is an herbal supplement, and although it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, it has not been approved for any medicinal purposes due to insufficient scientific findings. There is also no concrete evidence that ginseng directly assists with sexual performance or erectile dysfunction.