There are numerous herbal supplements available these days, and ginseng products are one of our favorites. However, there are many varieties of ginseng, and the health benefits they provide vary. Therefore, it’s a good idea to understand the different types of ginseng and seek medical advice from your physician before incorporating them into your diet.
Ginseng is an adaptogen and a common ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine and was first recorded over 2000 years ago. There are several types of ginseng, and they are a popular alternative medicine for everything from improving mental performance and boosting the immune system to aiding with erectile dysfunction.
Herbal medicines are great for improving health, but it’s vital to learn as much as possible about ginseng supplements and the differences between them since their active ingredients vary. This information is also useful if you plan on growing your own ginseng plant in the garden.
Different Types of Ginseng and Ways to Use Them
Looking at some roots in the store may be confusing. How do you know whether you have ginger or ginseng or another type of root?
Learn about the different varieties of ginseng, including the two most common types, how they are beneficial to your health and well-being, and their side effects. Find out how to grow high quality ginseng at home and ways to use the roots in your daily life.
How Many Varieties of Ginseng are There?
If you take herbal supplements, you probably think that there is just one kind of ginseng, but there are many varieties of ginseng. Explore the different types and where they originate.
There are different types of ginseng, including Oriental, American, Indian, Brazilian, and Siberian ginseng, as well as red and white ginseng.
Oriental ginseng, which includes Korean and Asian ginseng, is native to China, Siberia, and Korea. It is also known as Korean red ginseng or true ginseng and prized for its medicinal qualities.
American ginseng is a cousin to the Oriental type and native to North America, particularly the Appalachian mountains. It grows wild and is also cultivated throughout the United States and Canada, and traditional Chinese practitioners use it for its mild and cool effects.
Three other varieties are marketed as ginseng products but are not members of the Panax family – Indian, Brazilian, and Siberian. Indian ginseng, or Ashwagandha, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is a stress reliever and contains eleutherosides. Clinical trials show that Brazilian ginseng may have anti-cancer properties.
Finally, there is white and red ginseng which differ due to their processing methods. White types are peeled and dried, and red types result from the steaming and drying of the whole root with the skin.
What are the Two Main Ginseng Types?
While there are many ginseng varieties, not all are readily available, and some are not easy to grow. Discover the two most popular ginseng types, their benefits, and how they compare as a supplement.
Korean Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer commonly grows in areas of Asia, and it has many uses, although you should not take it for more than three months at a time.
It is warm in nature and suitable for cold conditions. This type is stimulating, invigorating, and popularly used to increase yang energy, revitalize the body’s natural heat, and improve blood circulation.
The American ginseng type has a cooling nature for hot weather conditions. It is more relaxing than the Oriental type, increases the yin energy, enhances the immune system, helps with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and may lower blood pressure.
They both have antioxidant properties and contain ginsenosides. However, the Korean types have higher levels of the Rg1 group, and American ginseng has a higher amount of the Rb1 group.
How to Grow Common Types of Ginseng
Ginseng products are readily available everywhere, from the health food store to the grocery store in one form or another, but did you know that you can produce your own ginseng root at home?
Learn how to grow common types of ginseng from seed and care for your ginseng plants in the garden.
Growing ginseng is legal but it is illegal to harvest wild ginseng or export ginseng in some areas, so check local laws. To sow seeds indoors, whether you plant ginger root in a pot or ginseng, start them about six weeks before the last frost.
Soak the seeds in a 10% bleach solution for ten minutes to prevent fungal infections. When growing ginseng from seeds, fill a tray or pots with potting mix and press the seeds an inch and a half into the soil.
Set them in a warm, sunny area of your home and spray them with just enough water to dampen the dirt without making it soggy.
Once the seeds germinate and the outdoor temperatures are warm, harden off the seedlings by taking them outside for a couple of hours daily for one week. Start by placing them in a shady spot and gradually moving them to a partially sunny area.
Prepare a garden bed or raised bed with well-drained, rich soil and choose a spot where the ginseng gets partial shade with good air circulation.
Plant each seedling three inches apart in the soil and water them immediately. Ginseng takes a long time to grow and is ready to harvest three to four years after planting.
Using Fresh Ginseng Root to Make Ginseng Extract
Making an extract is a great way to utilize varieties of ginseng roots after growing them in the garden. Find out how to extract ginseng into a concentrated liquid using a non-alcoholic solution. Add up to half a teaspoon a day to your favorite juice or tea and enjoy the healthy benefits.
This recipe is suitable for making an extract from both Ginseng types and a safe alternative to alcohol-based tinctures.
Set the ginseng roots into a glass jar and set it to the side. Boil some water and pour a half cup over the top of the ginseng roots. Pour vegetable glycerine in the jar until it’s a few inches from the top.
Screw the jar lid in place and set it on a hand towel or washcloth in a crockpot. Fill the pot with water and turn it to the lowest heat. Do not cover it to prevent it from getting too warm, and let it sit for three days while stirring the ginseng solution once a day.
On the third day, remove the jar and strain the liquid through cheesecloth into a bowl. Pour the extract into a dark glass container and store it in a cool, dark area or the refrigerator for two to three years.
Incorporating ginseng supplements or roots into your diet is a great way to boost your health and well-being, but there is more than one type.
While one is good for lowering blood sugar levels, another works better at improving focus, and understanding their differences helps you choose the right one.
Now that you understand which types of ginseng are best for your health and how to grow your own, why not share our ginseng guide and growing tips with your family and friends on Pinterest and Facebook?