Does stress cause you to feel anxious, suffer from fatigue, and lose sleep? Have you noticed your attention span and mood suffer after a long week? Panax Notoginseng, what we'll call ginseng, may play a big role in helping your body adjust to these stressful situations. Ginseng has been used for over 2,000 years and it’s achieved a well-known reputation for its benefits.
Panax Notoginseng is an Asian variety of the ginseng root revered as “more precious than gold” in the Materia Medica, the most comprehensive book in Chinese Medicine . Besides contributing to energy, ginseng also contains powerful health-promoting agents that may improve mental and circulatory function, promote healthy levels of inflammation, and help you enjoy a good night’s sleep. We’ll take a closer look at its makeup to understand how it works.
How Ginseng Works
Ginseng is an adaptogen, a plant that enhances the resistance of the human body against different external stimuli . In other words, it can have many health benefits, and it “adapts” to work based on what your body needs. The compounds in ginseng known to have these mighty health effects on individual cells are called saponins. The four major saponins in ginseng are known as Panax Notoginseng Saponins (PNS):
- Ginsenoside Rg1
- Ginsenoside Rb1
- Ginsenoside Re
- Notoginsenoside R1 
Why are these important? Each PNS benefits a different part of a cell, which provides a different overall benefit for the body. For example, Rg1 increases antioxidant function inside cells, while Rb1 exerts healing effects on mitochondria in cells . When we consume ginseng, a particular saponin will activate based on what our bodies need. PNS are widely used to support enhanced heart health, and their anti-inflammatory properties have numerous benefits in the brain related to mood and mental clarity . We can see why when we dig deeper and examine how they act at the cellular level.
Powering the Powerhouses
Ginseng has an amazing ability to repair and protect mitochondria— the “powerhouses” of cells . These tiny cell parts create the energy used in every part of our body. The heart and brain, which work nonstop from the moment you’re born until the day you die, use an incredible amount of this energy. Ginseng’s ability to restore function of mitochondria in these organs makes it highly beneficial to the cerebral and cardiovascular systems.
Benefits of Ginseng
- Fights fatigue
- Enhances resilience
- Improves stress response
On Mental function
- Enhances mood 
- Promotes good sleep quality
- Enhances attention
- Supports healthy levels of inflammation in the brain
- Vasodilates (widens blood vessels)
- Supports enhanced heart health
- Helps manage clotting
- Improves blood flow
This incredible adaptable ingredient in Libby's In the Mood supplement plays an important role in helping your body face a stressful world. From the power of individual cells to restoring power to the person as a whole, ginseng deserves every bit of its highly-regarded status.
- San Qi: The Powerful Ginseng Few People Have Heard Of. Nutrition Review. https://nutritionreview.org/2019/02/san-qi-the-powerful-ginseng-few-people-have-heard-of/. Published Feb 5, 2019. Accessed September 10, 2020.
- Liao LY, He YF, Li L, et al. A preliminary review of studies on adaptogens: comparison of their bioactivity in TCM with that of ginseng-like herbs used worldwide. Chin Med. 2018;13:57. doi:10.1186/s13020-018-0214-9.
- Zhao H, Han Z, Li G, Zhang S, Luo Y. Therapeutic Potential and Cellular Mechanisms of Panax Notoginseng on Prevention of Aging and Cell Senescence-Associated Diseases. Aging Dis. 2017;8(6):721-739. doi:10.14336/AD.2017.0724.
- Zhou P1, et al., Ginsenoside Rb1 and mitochondria: A short review of the literature. Mol Cell Probes.2019;43:1-5. doi:10.1016/j.mcp.2018.12.001.