Ginseng and Copulatory Behavior Animal Studies

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Panax ginseng and Panax quinquefolius have both been shown to enhance male copulatory behavior in laboratory studies (Table 4.1) [18-20]. Copulatory behavior can be examined in male rodents by placing them with sexually receptive female conspecifics and measuring the following parameters: mount latency: time from introduction of the female until the first mount with pelvic thrusting; intromission latency: time from introduction of the female until first mount with pelvic thrusting and vaginal penetration; ejaculation latency: time from the first intromission until ejaculation; and postejaculatory interval or the refractory period:time from ejaculation until next intromission. A reduced latency to mount the female would indicate increased male sexual arousal, whereas a decreased latency to intromit or ejaculate would be indicative of increased copulatory performance. In male mice whose normal copulatory behavior was compromised as a result of prolonged individual housing, the daily intraperitoneal administration of Panax ginseng extract (25 to 100 mg kg-1 body weight) or ginsenoside Rg1 (2.5 to 10 mg kg-1) produced a dose-related increase in the number of mice displaying copulatory behavior [18]. In normal male rats treated subcutaneously with Panax ginseng extract (20 mg kg-1 body weight) for 5 d, there was a significant reduction in ejaculation latency and a decreased refractory period [19]. Similarly, male rats treated orally with an emul-

Table 4.1 Ginseng preparations and their effects on copulatory behaviors in animals and on erectile dysfunction (ED) in humans

Treatment paradigm

Results

Ref.

Animal studies

Panax ginseng

20 mg kg-1

Male rats: j. ejaculation latency, j.

[19]

Root extract

sc, daily for 5 d

refractory period

Panax quin

10 to 100 mg

Male rats: j. mount, intromission,

[20]

quefolius

kg-1 po,

ejaculation latencies

root powder

daily for 1

to 28 d

Panax ginseng

25 to 100 mg

Male mice: 1 mount, intromission

[18]

red root

kg-1 ip,

frequencies

extract

daily for

35d

Ginsenoside

2.5 to 10mg

Male mice: 1 mount, intromission

[18]

Rg1

kg-1 ip,

frequencies

daily for

35d

Ginsenosides

2.5 to 10mg

Male mice: no effect on

[18]

Rb1, Rb2,

kg-1 ip,

copulatory behaviors

Ro

daily for

35d

Human studies

Panax ginseng

900 mg po, tid

Double-blind and 1 erectile function,

[24]

Red root

for 8 weeks

placebo-controlled sexual desire;

extract

n = 45 men w/ED 1 mean IIEF score

1000 mg po,

Double-blind and 1 erectile function

[25]

tid for 12

placebo-controlled 1 mean IIEF score

weeks

n = 60 men w/ED

sion of powdered Panax quinquefolius root (10, 50, or 100 mg kg-1 body weight) for 1, 14, or 28 d demonstrated reduced mount, intromission, and ejaculation latencies (Fig. 4.2) that were significantly influenced by all the ginseng doses as early as 1 d posttreatment [20].

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