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American, Korean & Red Ginseng - What's the Difference?

Are you interested in taking ginseng? Is American ginseng the same as Korean ginseng? What is this red ginseng you keep reading about online? Should you try ginseng pills, ginseng tablets, or ginseng capsules?

Ginseng quick facts

  • Ginseng is an herb that originated in Asia and is also cultivated in North American states such as Wisconsin.
  • It is a component of traditional medicine with centuries of history.
  • It has 11 species but the two most common types are Asian ginseng and American or Wisconsin ginseng.
  • Its distinct physical features are a smooth and erect stem that grows up to two feet high, three large green leaves with 3 to 7 leaflets, yellow-green flowers, and a slender fork-shaped root.
  • It is slow-growing and only begins to bloom and bear fruit four years after being planted.
  • It was used by Native Americans to treat a wide range of health problems, including fever, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and gastrointestinal disorders.
  • China, Korea, the USA, and Canada are the top manufacturers of ginseng in the world, and more than 80,000 tons are harvested every year.
  • It remains to be one of the most popular herbal medicines today because of its many health benefits.

American ginseng vs. Korean ginseng vs. Red ginseng

Ginseng has many different species, but the two primary classifications are American ginseng and Korean ginseng. It is also called by many different names. American ginseng, for instance, is also known as Panax quinquefolius. Korean ginseng is also known as Panax ginseng, Asian ginseng, Chinese ginseng, and Japanese ginseng. It is sometimes referred to as red ginseng too. Yes, you read that right. Korean ginseng and red ginseng are the same things.

Usually, the term “ginseng” refers to both American ginseng and Korean ginseng. However, it is important to know that while the two share some similarities, they also have certain differences.

So in what ways are American ginseng and Korean ginseng the same?

First of all, they are species of ginseng that thrive in cool regions --- American ginseng in the United States and Canada, and Asian ginseng in Northeastern China and Korea. Both are known for their fleshy and gnarly-looking roots, which are considered the most valuable part of the plant.

Next, both contain ginsenosides, which are active chemical compounds believed to be responsible for the herb’s medicinal and pharmacological properties. Various studies have found that these have immune-boosting, antioxidative, and anti-inflammatory abilities, with promising potential in supporting immune, cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, and cognitive function and health.

These days, they are available in a wide variety of forms, such as ginseng tablets, ginseng pills, ginseng capsules, ginseng creams, ginseng powder, ginseng tinctures, ginseng tea bags, and ginseng coffee.

Now, let us take a look at their differences. How do you distinguish one from the other?

In addition to the fact that American ginseng is the variety that is grown and cultivated in North America and Korean ginseng, also called red ginseng, is the variety that originates in Asia, the two also have different characteristics, potency, and effects.

In terms of their physical appearance, American ginseng is generally shorter than Korean ginseng. The former grows up to a height of 18 inches, while the latter reaches up to 24 inches. Also, American ginseng has large, deep green leaves that form three- to five-leaf clusters, while Korean ginseng has leaves that are green with jagged edges.

Regarding potency, American ginseng, and Korean ginseng are on different levels. According to research, American ginseng has a milder effect when ingested while Korean ginseng causes a more powerful reaction.

Health benefits of ginseng

Over the years, various studies have been conducted to learn more about the health benefits of ginseng. So far, the following information has been collected:

Ginseng helps boost energy.  – In traditional Chinese medicine, ginseng has been used to invigorate and stimulate the body for many thousands of years. Particularly in Korea, Japan, and China, it is regarded as a source of vital energy for the restoration of balance in the body.

Ginseng helps enhance cognitive function. – In Native American medicine, ginseng is said to be a tonic that has a cool and calming effect and offers warmth and stimulation for mental function. According to certain research, the active components of ginseng help promote memory, focus, attention, short-term recall, cognitive accuracy, and others.

Ginseng helps improve sexual health. – According to various studies, Korean ginseng has shown the potential in enhancing sexual performance in men. When ingested, it could promote hormonal balance, testosterone production, sperm count and quality, and other sexual and reproductive functions, reducing the risk of erectile dysfunction.

Ginseng helps combat inflammation. – Some medical conditions, such as diabetes and cancer, are linked to chronic inflammation. Whether caused by infections, toxins, injuries, stress, obesity, or autoimmune diseases, inflammation can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. According to certain research, the ginsenosides in ginseng may be capable of preventing inflammation through the suppression of the body’s pro-inflammatory cytokines and the moderation of the body’s inflammatory response.

While many studies on ginseng have unearthed the herb’s great potential in preventing and helping treat a wide range of medical conditions, researchers say that further studies are still needed to understand it much better and to collect more conclusive findings.

Different types of ginseng products

These days, ginseng is available in many different forms. At Baumann Wisconsin Ginseng, we have several ginseng products that may suit your needs. These include:

Ginseng roots – Fresh or dried, ginseng roots have several uses. They can be boiled whole to make tea, stew, or soup. They can also be chopped or sliced to be used as ingredients to make different dishes.

Ginseng slices – Instead of having to chop a whole ginseng root into your preferred size, ginseng slices have already been cut smaller for you to consume as is or added as ingredients.

Ginseng supplements – For people always on the go, taking ginseng in the form of a pill, capsule, or tablet is ideal. Usually sold in bottles containing 25, 50, 75, 100, or more ginseng pills, ginseng capsules, or ginseng tablets, you can take one 200-milligram to 400-milligram pill, cap, or tablet before a meal.

Ginseng tea bags – Your daily tea sessions can be healthier by switching to ginseng tea. With our ginseng tea bags, you can prepare your cup of tea as usual. You can also add honey or lemon to enhance the flavor.

Ginseng dosage

Today, there really is no standard when it comes to ginseng dosage. The recommended dosage that you usually find online, which is 200 milligrams to 400 milligrams per day, is the frequently used dosage in ginseng studies and research.

How much ginseng you can and should take depends on certain factors, such as what your reason for taking it is, how much ginsenosides are contained in the product, and what type of ginseng it is. For your safety, you should talk to your doctor first.