Ginseng is a type of plant belonging to the genus Panax. This type of plant is found in North America and parts of Asia (Korea and Siberia). Ginseng is often used in Chinese medicine practices and holistic medicine practices. Ginseng contains compounds known as ginsenosides, which boast a lot of different benefits.
Ginseng has benefits that help boost energy levels, improve concentration, lower blood sugar levels, fight inflammation, improve mood, and even help treat heart disease and cancers. Ginseng differs among the American and Asian populations, and some believe that the Asian form of Ginseng is more effective in terms of health benefits. Let’s learn more about this supplement, its benefits, the different types, and what our choices for the best ginseng supplements are.
Different Types Of Ginseng Supplements
There are actually 11 different types of ginseng plants, but the forms Panax quinquefolius, L. (American ginseng) and P. Ginseng (Asian or Korean ginseng) contain the most benefits (boost energy, reduce stress, lower blood sugar, etc.). Siberian ginseng, Brazilian ginseng, and Indian ginseng are also common forms.
American ginseng is considered the true ginseng and is found to be less stimulating than other forms. It is known to boost the immune system and lower blood sugar levels; additionally, it can also be used long-term. Korean or Asian ginseng, on the other hand, is stimulating and quite warming and should only be used on a short-term basis. It is known to lower stress, fight fatigue, and increase endurance levels.
Panax ginseng is the type of ginseng that boasts the most amount of benefits and contains some of these different forms. Panax ginseng is found in the wild, but because of its benefits, it is heavily cultivated throughout the world today.
Ginseng Supplement Benefits
Ginseng and ginsenosides boast a lot of benefits within the body, including but not limited to:
- Improves focus and concentration
- Lowers blood sugar
- Lowers cholesterol
- May help treat type 2 diabetes
- May help treat cancer and heart disease
- Reduces stress
- Helps relax
- Increases energy
- Treats erectile dysfunction
- Fights inflammation
- May help prevent the flu and other colds
- Provides a good source of antioxidants
These benefits are found in the two main forms of ginseng (American and Asian ginseng), and as a result, many people have turned to supplemental forms of ginseng. Ginseng is often added to energy drinks and foods to boost energy levels. However, the efficacy of ginseng is still being debated, and there are many potential side effects that could counteract any added benefits. As always, consult a doctor before using ginseng in supplemental form.
Should I Take Ginseng Supplements?
As with any supplement, it’s important to consult with a doctor before use. There are actually quite a few side effects of ginseng, including the following:
- Changes in heart rate
- Changes in blood pressure
- Vaginal bleeding and breast soreness in women
However, most doctors do permit the use of ginseng in supplemental form for individuals without any health issues. The dosage depends on age, gender, and health condition. Because of the side effects, women with breast cancer should not take ginseng. Ginseng should also be avoided before bedtime as well.
In terms of drug interactions, ginseng should be avoided alongside other stimulating drugs like Sudafed and epinephrine.
Do Ginseng Supplements Work?
The efficacy of Ginseng supplements is often debated among researchers. There is not a lot of evidence that supports ginseng’s ability to treat cancers and other diseases, and some studies have shown that it does not really provide that many antioxidants. Other suggested benefits like the prevention of dementia and the treatment of erectile dysfunction are not fully supported or backed by research either.
However, some studies did find that ginseng may help fight type 2 diabetes. It seems like ginseng has been supported for its use in fighting fatigue and raising energy levels, though, which is why ginseng is often added to foods and beverages for an energy boost.
Best Ginseng Supplements
Auragin Korean Red Ginseng
This supplement comes very highly rated. It claims to contain the highest quality of Korean red ginseng in the world. It is also not an extract that chemically raises the level of ginsenosides, but instead an all-natural source of ginseng. It is also minimally processed and contains no other additives.
NutraChamps Korean Red Ginseng
This product also comes highly rated. It contains traditional Korean ginseng and provides a minimum of 5% ginsenosides, increasing potency. It is also vegan and non-GMO.
Now Supplements American Ginseng
This vegan and non-GMO product contains 500 mg of American ginseng. This product claims to provide an adaptogenic source of ginseng and is both affordable and highly rated in terms of ginseng supplements.
Ginseng Supplement Alternatives
Although ginseng may be beneficial for some individuals, other supplements may provide a more healthy and safe way to achieve some of these benefits. For example, green tea and lavender may help with fatigue; while barberry, echinacea, and eucalyptus help to fight infection. Chamomile and lemon balm may help with stress and relaxation, and nettle may help lower blood sugar levels. Or, if you’re looking for better focus, you could try a nootropic supplement such as Hunter Focus or Focusene.
Ginseng is not naturally found in any dietary sources, but it is often added to foods and beverages, especially caffeinated beverages.
Ginseng Supplements And Your Health
Ginseng can be a great supplement and staple to add to your routine as it boasts many health benefits. It can boost your energy levels, fight inflammation, provide you with antioxidants, treat type 2 diabetes, and can even help treat cancers. However, it’s important to consult with a doctor first, especially if you have other health conditions, as ginseng can cause some undesirable side effects like headaches and dizziness.
Ginseng supplements are widely available, and ginseng is often added to many foods and beverages. Now that you know the best ginseng supplements, you can find the one that’s right for you. Use ginseng with caution and always do your research to decide if ginseng use is right for you.