Before we get into what is Korean ginseng, we need to dig into ginseng and the different types that are out there and some of the differences between the several types.
Ginseng is the root of plants in the genus Panax that are used for their medicinal properties to treat varieties of conditions. The most common among them are P. ginseng (Korean ginseng), P. notoginseng (South China ginseng), and P. quinquefolius (American ginseng). This category of plants is believed to possess numerous chemical compounds including gintonin and ginsenosides.
The term “ginseng” is derived from the Hokkien Chinese jîn-sim meaning “person” and “plant root.” It is believed that this is because of the physiology of the root which is similar to that of the human legs. Furthermore, the botanical name of ginseng “Panax” is translated in Greek to mean “all-healing.”
Herbal doctors conclude that the genus name was ascribed to it because of the herb’s ability to heal many conditions. Ginseng is traditionally used in ancient Chinese and Korean medicine as a tonic to heal patients who are suffering from chronic illnesses and convalescents. It has been used for centuries to treat varieties of conditions and has grown in recent times in terms of usage and acceptance.
Ginseng is prescribed as a potent remedy for cognitive disorders, fatigue, perimenopausal symptoms, diabetes, premature aging, issues with the central nervous system, weak immune system, infertility in males, stress, headaches, erectile dysfunction, depression, insomnia, cardiovascular diseases, anxiety, high level of cholesterol, high and low blood pressure, chest congestion and many others.
Although the root of the plant is mostly utilized for its medicinal benefits and non-toxicity, it is believed that its stem and leaves which are even easier to harvest and extract contain more phytochemicals including steroid saponins also referred to as ginsenosides. In recent times, the root of the plant is consumed in different forms including fresh root, dried root, and powder.
Other common forms of taking the herb are Ginseng-infused herbal tea and liquor, ginseng soups, dietary supplement, and even as additives in energy drinks and beverages. Several clinical trials on the health benefits of the herb have been published but further research on its effectiveness and safety is required.
More often than not, people may be confused with regards to the difference between the types of ginseng and may ask, what is Korean ginseng? Panax ginseng is commonly referred to as Asian ginseng, Korean ginseng, Manroot, Oriental ginseng, the root of immortality, Chinese ginseng or Asiatic ginger. It is a perennial plant widely grown in the mountains of Eastern Asia. Ginseng as a perennial can only be harvested five to six years after planting. The plant is native to the mountainous regions Manchuria, Russian Far East, and the Korean Peninsula.
Although the ginseng is a protected plant in China and Russia, most of the plant used for ginseng root extract on the market today is sourced from Korea, China, and Russia. Traditionally, up till the 21st century, a majority of the ginseng in markets across the globe is produced in South Korea, China, Canada and the United States of America.
In recent times the herb is manufactured and processed in different forms. It is believed that the majority of ginseng sold across the globe is produced in South Korea, thus making the variants from this region more common. Ginseng is allowed to grow naturally in mountains. They are known as wild ginseng and is usually hand-picked by gatherers also referred to as simmani.
Due to increased demand for the herb in recent years, wild ginseng is endangered, rare and is more expensive compared to the cultivated variant of the herb. P. ginseng (Korean ginseng) is available in different forms such as red, fresh, and white ginseng. While the fresh ginseng simply called water ginseng or green ginseng is the freshly harvested, raw, non-dried root of the plant, White ginseng is the peeled and dried root of the herb.
However, it is important to state that White ginseng is only dried without first passing through the heating process. It is peeled and dried to reduce the water content for easy storage and transportation. Since the white ginseng is dried in the sun, it may lose the concentration of most of its therapeutic components.
The sun drying process may also lead to a significant break down of the enzymes contained in the root because the heat of the sun bleaches the ginseng to a whitish-yellow color. It is believed by herbal specialists that this type of ginseng is less potent compared to the third variation called the red Korean ginseng.
At this point, one may be tempted to ask, what is red Korean ginseng root and how does it compare to other types of ginseng? Red Korean ginseng is the most potent of all variations. This variant has a red color and it passes through a careful steaming and drying process.
It is believed that the red Korean ginseng is less prone to decay compared to its white counterpart because it has passed standard process to ensure that all chemical components are retained and that it survives the period of storage. Many manufacturers also marinate the root in a herbal brew thus making it extremely brittle.
There are several other plants referred to as ginseng because of the health benefits they offer. These plants are dong quai or female ginseng (Angelica Sinensis), poor man’s ginseng (Codonopsis Pilosula), Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus Senticosus), jiaogulan or five-leaf ginseng (Gynostemma Pentaphyllum), and maca or Peruvian ginseng (Lepidium Meyenii).
Also in the list of plants called ginseng are Tongkat Ali or Malaysian ginseng (Eurycoma longifolia), ashwagandha or Indian ginseng (Withania Somnifera), Suma or Brazilian ginseng (Pfaffia Paniculata), Alaskan ginseng (Oplopanax Horridus), Prince ginseng (Pseudostellaria Heterophylla) and five-flavoured berry (Schisandra Chinensis).
Korean ginseng root extract has been used for centuries to treat several health conditions and improve the overall well being of the body. In recent years, the herb is used as a memory booster, normalizer and stress reliever. This is because of the adaptogenic benefits of the herb which helps to increase the body’s resistance to stress.
It is used as a general tonic to treat chronic illnesses and energize a person both mentally and physically. The herb is also used to treat conditions like high cholesterol, arthritis, asthma, infertility in men, low sperm count, and many others. If taken on a regular basis, panax ginseng may improve the overall well being of the body.
Several studies have been conducted on the benefits of Korean ginseng root extract and have found that it may be beneficial in treating most of these conditions. Even with this, further studies are required to determine the safety and effectiveness of the herb in humans.
Red Korean ginseng root extract contains numerous phytochemicals with chief among them being saponins, also referred to as panaxosides and ginsenosides. Other compounds are calcium, Vitamins A, E, and B12, thiamin, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin, iron, tin, sodium, sulfur, manganese, niacin, and magnesium.
Numerous studies on the health benefits of the major component of red Korean ginseng root extract – ginsenosides have been studied extensively. Many studies have found that it may be beneficial in inhibiting the growth of a tumor, stimulating of the immune system, stabilizing blood pressure, balancing blood sugar, detoxifying the liver, stimulating the production of bone marrow and many others. Here are a few other benefits of the herb:
Red Korean ginseng root extract is beneficial in treating weak immune systems by maintaining the homeostasis thus helping the body to repel diseases and infections that may try to attack it either from the food we eat or from the environment. A clinical study conducted on the health benefits of the herb found that it is beneficial in improving the functions of immune cells like macrophages, natural killer cells, T cells, B cells and dendritic cells.
Other studies have also found that panax ginseng root extract contains numerous antimicrobial properties that may be beneficial in providing the body with defense mechanisms against the viral and bacterial infections that may attack it. The herb is also reported to contain polyacetylene compounds that are effective in preventing diseases and illness in the body.
Red Korean ginseng root extract may also be beneficial in mood upliftment thus treating and preventing mood related conditions like anxiety and depression. The herb does this by helping the body relieve stress, increase stamina, boost endurance and reduce recovery time after stressful workouts. This goes a long way in reducing tension, anger, and confusion, and keeping the body and mind in a calm and relaxing state.
Poor circulation of blood may lead to a number of conditions in the body including weakness, fatigue, numbness in some parts of the body and even chronic illnesses. Red Korean ginseng root extract is beneficial in aiding proper blood circulation to all parts of the body, thus leading to a better circulation of nutrients and oxygen to all organs and parts of the body. By performing this function, the herb helps to improve the overall well being of the body.
The herb is also prescribed to treat and prevent premature aging as well as the conditions and symptoms that accompany the phase. Red Korean ginseng root extract is believed to be beneficial in preventing early wrinkling of the skin, greying of the hair, hair loss, rapid decrease in the level of testosterone and other hormones as well as preventing age-related conditions including neurodegenerative disease, cardiovascular diseases, and hypertension.
Red Korean ginseng is usually prescribed to alleviate menopausal symptoms in women undergoing the phase. The menopausal phase is accompanied by many unpleasant symptoms like vaginal dryness, anxiety, hot flashes, hormonal imbalance, low libido, night sweats, irritability, weight gain, hair thinning, depression and several others. According to the findings of a study conducted on 32 menopausal women, panax ginseng root extract may be effective in returning sexual fantasies to this category of women as well as alleviate other symptoms that accompany the menopausal phase.
Another amazing benefit of panax ginseng root extract is its ability to improve the quality of life in cancer patients. Studies conducted on the effectiveness of the herb in improving the quality of life in cancer patients found that the herb may be effective in inhibiting the spread of cancer to other organs of the body. It may also lead to the early death of cancer cells as well as alleviate the unpleasant side effects of chemotherapy.
Furthermore, if consumed on a regular basis, red Korean ginseng root extract may prevent the development of cancer in individuals who are at high risk of developing it. A recent study found that the herb may reduce fatigue and improve overall well-being in people diagnosed with cancer who are undergoing treatment. Meanwhile, another study found that it may not be beneficial in those who are not undergoing treatment.
Red Korean ginseng root extract contains properties that may help to increases strength, stamina, and endurance. This makes the herb an ideal choice for individuals who live an active lifestyle, bodybuilders, weightlifters and even fitness professionals. red Korean ginseng helps to keep its users physically and mentally fit at all time.
A study conducted on the effectiveness of the herb in boosting strength and stamina found that red Korean ginseng root extract may be beneficial in increasing strength, and stamina as well as reducing recovery time after hectic workouts.
Red Korean Ginseng root extract is beneficial in improving cognitive functions and treating cognitive disorders. A study published in The Cochrane Library found that the herb may be effective in boosting cognition function, and the overall well being of the body.
Another study conducted on whether it will be possible to include Ginseng in manufactured food because of its memory boosting abilities and other cognitive benefits led to the production of ginseng-fortified milk with an amount of ginseng believed to enough to boost cognitive function.
Red Korean ginseng may be effective in reducing inflammation, and pain in the body. The main component of red Korean ginseng root extract – Ginsenosides was found to have anti-inflammatory benefits in a study conducted on the effectiveness of the herb in reducing inflammation in the body and published in Journal of Translational Medicine.
The herb is traditionally used to manage inflammation and the researchers stated that this may be due to the ginsenosides properties which function by targeting the immune system pathways that may significantly reduce inflammation.
Red Korean ginseng root extract has been used for centuries to treat erectile dysfunction in men. Several studies conducted on this topic have found that the herb may be beneficial in treating and preventing impotence in males.
One of such studies conducted on the effectiveness of the herb in treating erectile dysfunction in 45 men diagnosed with the condition found that it led to a significant improvement in the symptoms of ED. Red Korean ginseng root extract was administered to the study participants for eight weeks after which it was concluded that the herb may be a safe and effective remedy for erectile dysfunction.
Another amazing health benefit of Red Korean Ginseng is its ability to treat and prevent the flu. Several studies conducted on the topic have confirmed this benefit. One of such studies conducted on the benefit of red Korean ginseng root extract on mice found that there may be a link between the herb and the prevention and treatment of RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) and influenza.
Other studies on the effectiveness of the herb in treating the condition have also found that red Korean ginseng could be beneficial in enhancing the survival of the lung epithelial cells that are infected with the influenza virus in the human body.
The herb has also been found to be beneficial in regulating blood sugar level and improving the body’s interaction with insulin. A study conducted on the effectiveness of the herb in managing this condition found that red Korean ginseng root extract may be effective in reducing the level of blood sugar in patients diagnosed with diabetes. Other studies on the topic have also found that the herb may be effective in stimulating the production of insulin in the pancreas thus improving insulin resistance via other mechanisms.
Taking small doses of red Korean ginseng root extract within a short period of time is reportedly safe in adults, but the same cannot be said if taken in large doses over a long period of time. Numerous studies have been conducted on the safety of the herb and many of them found that the side effects of korean ginseng are mild to moderate on a meager percentage of study participants. Unlike many pharmaceutical medications, no adverse side effects were reported by a majority of these studies.
However, it is important to state that the side effects do not happen to everyone as there are people who take the herb in large doses over a long period of time with no adverse reactions. The most common Korean ginseng root side effects are sleep disorders. Other common red Korean ginseng side effects are, diarrhea, headaches, vomiting, digestive issues, fatigue, fever, unbalance blood pressure and blood sugar level, irritability, nervousness, blurred vision, skin reactions, edema, and bleeding.
Also included in the line up are dizziness, low heart rate, convulsions and seizures, swollen breast, vaginal bleeding, irregular menstrual cycle, agitation, nervousness, dry mouth and lips, excitation, fidgeting, tremor, palpitations, increased body temperature, decreased appetite, itching, eczema, restlessness, urinary and bowel incontinence, increased respiration, decreased sensitivity and reaction to light, cyanotic facial complexion, red facial complexion, and delirium.
The safety of red Korean ginseng in pregnant women and lactating mothers is yet to be established. For this reason, it is advised for this category of individuals to avoid taking the herb until after pregnancy and lactation. It is also recommended to consult with your medical practitioner to know if it is safe to take red Korean ginseng root extract before going ahead to start the herbal therapy. Furthermore, it is not known if red Korean ginseng is safe in children and so the herb should not be administered without medical advice.
Red Korean ginseng root extract may also interact with some drugs that are meant to treat certain conditions. For instance, the herb may interact with the functions of medications like blood thinner – warfarin, imatinib, lamotrigine, phenelzine, nifedipine, blood pressure medication, MAOI (monoamine oxidase inhibitor), stimulants or decongestants, immune system suppressants, insulin for diabetics, antiplatelet medications, and anti-inflammatory medications.
People suffering from certain conditions including mental disorders, heart disease, immune system disorders, and diabetes may notice some adverse side effect when taking the herb. This is the reason why you should first consult with your medical practitioner and inform him/her of any underlying medical condition or medications you are taking before going ahead to take red Korean ginseng. It is advised not to take red Korean ginseng root extract with caffeine as it may intensify its effects and lead to unpleasant side effects.
How to use Korean ginseng differs from society to society. It is taken in different forms across the globe including making it into soups, incorporating it in alcoholic beverages, teas, as well as mixing it with other herbs. Red Korean ginseng supplements are also available for people who want to use the herb to support their health. The fresh root of the herb is also sliced and consumed raw for food and its healing benefits. However, the common forms of taking the herb are as tea, powder, tincture, and capsule.
Different parts of the plant including the root, leaves, and stems are believed to contain medicinal properties but the root is mostly used. Traditionally, parts of the plant are boiled and the extract is used as a tonic to treat people suffering from chronic illnesses or convalescents. In recent times, the herb has grown in both usage and acceptability and it is now used to treat conditions like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cognitive disorders, sleep disorders, and many others.
The majority of the herb available on the market is red Korean ginseng extract. This is preferable compared to extracts from other parts of the plant because of its safety and non-toxicity. The constant advancement of technology has also made it easy to cultivate, extract and package Korean red ginseng in large quantities.
Although you may still consume the herb in the traditional form by boiling the root and drinking the water from the herb, it is important to state that these may not be a great idea. The herb may be contaminated by pollutants and heavy metals from the field where it was cultivated. The manufacturing and extraction facilities coupled with the careful lab testing process used in the herbal extract industry in recent times makes it easy to identify and eliminate these pollutants thus making the herb safe for consumption.
If you are taking the fresh or dried root, you may not be able to determine if it is contaminated or not. In addition, the fresh or dried root may not be as concentrated as the extract found on the market today and thus may not be effective in treating your condition. For instance, most products are standardized to a concentration of 1:10, which means 10 grams of red Korean ginseng root extract is used to produce 1 gram of the final product.
When buying red Korean ginseng root extract, it is also advised to go for the capsule form as it is more potent, easier to store and consume and you will be able to determine your dosage with much ease compared to the other forms like beverages and teas. Checking the ingredient in an extract before purchasing it is highly recommended. It is advised to avoid extracts, the concentration of which is not specified or those that contain additives. Go for only a pure red Korean ginseng root extract.
Red Korean Ginseng is commonly used as a dietary supplement to furnish the body with the phytochemicals contained in the herb and also for its healing benefits. Taking red Korean ginseng supplements on a regular basis is believed to be beneficial in improving the overall health of the body.
You can find the red Korean ginseng supplements come in several forms to include:
Here is more information on each one.
After extraction, the root of red Korean ginseng is ground into fine powder. While most companies supply the extract to its final consumers in the powdered form, others use it as additives for food, drinks, and beverages. Red Korean ginseng root powder may be added to milk, cooked food or any other form depending on the preference of the consumer.
However, it is important to state that red Korean ginseng powder is bad tasting and may not be easy to consume for some people. Getting a proper storage as well as determining your red Korean ginseng dosage may not be easy with the powder.
Korean Red ginseng root extract is also available as a ginseng tincture. This form is often preferred by individuals who do not like to swallow pills or who can’t stand the taste of the powder. Few drops of the red Korean ginseng tincture in drinks, on the tongue or any other way depending on your preference, is believed to be sufficient.
The powdered form of red Korean ginseng root extract is also processed into tea bags. It can be consumed hot or cold for it soothing and healing benefits. Honey and artificial sweeteners may be added to red Korean ginseng tea depending on the preference of the consumer.
This is also a great choice for individuals who do not like to take pills. However, it is important to state that taking the herb in this form may not be effective enough for the condition you intend to manage.
The most potent form of taking the herb is pure Korean ginseng capsules. The powdered form of the herb is encapsulated for easy ingestion. Determining your dosage is also relatively easy with this form of the herb.
The misconception associated with herbal supplements is that there is no too much or too little dose of it, but this is not true. Before going ahead to take Korean red ginseng root extract, it is best to read the dosage guide provided by the manufacturer. It is reported that taking large doses of the herb over a long period of time may lead to several unpleasant side effects such as fatigue, dizziness, dry mouth, diarrhea, vomiting, high blood pressure, palpitations and many others.
This is the reason why taking red Korean ginseng capsules is better than other forms which the herb is consumed, as users will be able to know and determine their dosage of the herb without any difficulty. Additionally, it is the most potent form of taking red Korean ginseng root extract. The recommended dosage of Korean ginseng root extract twice daily is believed to be both effective and safe in treating the conditions the herb is used to manage.
Red Korean ginseng dosage and concentration are always specified by the manufacturer. It is advised not to buy red Korean ginseng root extract that has no dosage or concentration specification.
Korean ginseng root extract is best taken in cycles. It is believed that cycling the herb will prevent your body from becoming dependent to it. Red Korean ginseng root extract dosage cycling will also go a long way to aid your body to manage and treat several health conditions naturally.
You may cycle your intake of the herb by taking it every day for three weeks, and then take a break for three weeks before resuming your intake all over again. However, taking the herb for five days in a week and then taking two days break is believed to be the best way of cycling Korean ginseng root extract dosage.
The best Korean ginseng supplement is the red Korean ginseng root extract because it is believed to be more potent compared to its white counterpart. While the latter loses a substantial proportion of its nutrient during extraction processes as a result of sun drying, the former is believed to have retained its major phytochemicals in their natural forms.
There are a lot of fake and less concentrated products on the market and it may be hard to tell which is genuine. There are few important factors to look into before purchasing a red Korean ginseng supplement. As already mentioned above, it is important to check the ingredient and concentration of the herbal supplement you are about to buy. In addition, it is best to avoid red Korean ginseng supplement that contains additives and “other ingredients.”
Most people complain of how the herb was not effective in treating their conditions and this may primarily be because they are not consuming the right concentrations. Another important factor to look into is the track record, ratings, and reviews of the manufacturer or seller. Only buy the root extract of the herb and not that of the stem or leaves. There are several places to buy red Korean ginseng root extract but you may not find the right concentration and the best value for money.
A safe place to purchase the herb for a budget-friendly price is Herbolab. The Singapore dealer is renowned for supplying genuine and highly concentrated herbal supplements. The Herbolab red Korean ginseng root extract sold by the retailer has a concentration ratio of 1:10, is fermented, properly aged and from Korea.
The reviews and ratings of the services offered by herbolab are amazing plus you can order products right from the comfort of your home and have it delivered to your doorstep within a reasonable period of time. Interestingly, products are also shipped abroad for customers who do not live in Singapore and are available for quick delivery in most countries.