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American Ginseng Vs Korean Ginseng

American Ginseng Vs Korean Ginseng

There are two distinct kinds of ginseng herb grown over the world. First is the Korean ginseng and second is the American ginseng. This article provides some facts that will help you in distinguishing between these two types.
HolisticZine Staff
Ginseng herb is widely used as an alternative medicine for boosting the energy levels in the body. There are two main varieties of Ginseng herb, the American and Korean variety. Ginseng herb which is commonly found in Korea and North Eastern China is known as Korean ginseng, and the herb found in America and Canada is known as American ginseng. According to traditional Chinese medicine, American ginseng herb promotes Yin energy and cleans the Yang in the body and thus, helps to calm the body. On the other hand Korean ginseng helps in promoting Yang. This is the main difference between the two.

Difference Between American Ginseng and Korean Ginseng

Alternative Names
The popularly known American ginseng has scientific name panax quinquefolius. It is white or yellow in color, and is native to Eastern parts of North America from Southern Ontario to Georgia and as far as west Wisconsin. It is also grown in China now.

The Korean ginseng is also known as Panax ginseng, Asian ginseng, Chinese ginseng, red ginseng, etc. This plant is native to North Korea and China, but the red ginseng is a processed product which is made from steaming Korean grown Panax white ginseng for 8-10 hours and then it is dried, often it is processed into tea, slices, or capsules.

Active Ingredients and Characteristics
The active ingredients which are present in American ginseng are saccharides, organic acids, and ginsenosides. It is bitter in taste. It is very cooling and relaxing.

The active ingredients present in Korean ginseng are ginsenosides, sesquiterpenes, and polysaccharides. It is warm and bitter, and also pungent, energizing, and strengthening.

Action of American Ginseng and Korean Ginseng
American ginseng is used for promoting the yin and therefore, used for cooling down the body from a fever or from hot climate. Hence, it is used to enhance the body's immune system. Early research studies show that it may also help with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), when it is used with ginkgo. Other actions of this type include anti-fatigue, anti-weakness, relaxing, and strengthening.

Korean ginseng root is red in color, it is not peeled, steam cured, and dried as it is thought to prevent the concentration of the healing ingredients. The roots of this type are brewed as a warm herbal tea. It is used for promoting the yang in the body, and is used to improve blood circulation and revitalize or stabilize the natural heat present in the body. The heat inside the body can come due to many conditions like menopause, stress, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.

Side Effects
American ginseng and Korean ginseng are not recommended for children or pregnant ladies, as their effects are stimulating. Other side effects of these herbs include the inability to sleep, headaches, restlessness, and vomiting. If you are having a medical condition or are on pre-existing medication, then consult the doctor before using any of them as an alternative medicine. Make sure to follow the recommended dosage too, to avoid any side effects.

There is also a third type of ginseng, called the Siberian ginseng. Though, it is not true ginseng. However, it is related to the ginseng group as they belong to the same family of plants. It doesn't have the chemicals called ginsenosides in its roots, but has similar chemicals. It is grown in Russian and China, and has warm and mild effect on the body. It helps to improve mental and physical endurance and vitality, and helps to boost up the immune system.

Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.