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How do I Choose the Best Ginseng Products?

By Mary Davis
Updated May 17, 2024
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Used in Chinese medicine for centuries, ginseng products have become one of the most common supplements used in modern society and are sought after for a variety of uses. A number of different products are made with ginseng, including capsules, extracts, and dry roots. Choosing the right product depends on how you want to use the ginseng; you should also only choose brands that are known and trusted.

There are two main types of ginseng: Asian ginseng, or Panax ginseng, and American ginseng, Panax quinquefolius. According to herbalists, Asian ginseng improves circulation due to its heating properties. You'll also hear this type of ginseng referred to as Chinese ginseng or Korean ginseng. American ginseng is known for its cooling properties, and is used to treat respiratory issues and for reducing fever.

The root is often used to make ginseng tea. It can also be sliced and added to soups and stews, especially chicken soup. Some people even eat it raw.

Capsules and extracts are a convenient way to consume ginseng, and often provide a more concentrated dosage. Ginseng can even be applied in a topical cream to treat some conditions.

Ginseng products are believed to be beneficial for a number of specific conditions. Ginseng is believed benefit those with heart conditions and is thought to have antioxidant properties that may aid in lowering bad cholesterol levels. It's also believed to lower blood sugar in those with type 2 diabetes. In addition, ginseng products may be good for the overall immune system.

Ginseng has also been linked to the alleviation of several other health issues such as erectile dysfunction, high blood pressure, and lung conditions. Ginseng products are also used to aid mental performance and elevate mood.

Regardless of which kind a person chooses to use, it's always advised to follow manufacturer's dosage instructions or ask an herbalist. It's also wise to look for well-known or trusted brands, as ginseng can be expensive, and some companies may use less in their products to cut costs.

Ginseng products can have side effects, such as nervousness, insomnia, headaches, dizziness or stomach upset. Ginseng may also interact with certain drugs, and its effects can be intensified when combined with caffeine. Those wishing to take any form of ginseng supplements should always consult a health professional.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By burcidi — On Jan 18, 2014

@SarahGen-- Ginseng comes in many different forms like capsules, powder, tea, liquid vials, etc.

I think they're all effective. Potency may vary depending on how much ginseng the supplement contains, where it was cultivated, how fresh it is, etc. I personally drink Korean red ginseng tea and I think it works very well. The tea is just dried ginseng root that's steeped in hot water.

If taste is a concern for you, you might want to take the capsule supplements. If you like the taste, than the tea or the liquid vials are good options. Korean ginseng products are very nice. Korean and Chinese red ginseng are supposed to be the best of all ginseng.

By SarahGen — On Jan 18, 2014

What type of ginseng supplements or products are the most effective? I want to take it for better circulation. Should I take it in capsule form?

By ZipLine — On Jan 17, 2014

I love green tea with ginseng. I discovered it fairly recently but drink it almost daily now. It has mostly replaced caffeinated drinks for me. I think green tea with ginseng herb gives me better energy than coffee or black tea. I also love the flavor, it tastes very good.

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