Ginseng is one of the most commonly used herbal supplements in the entire world. This popularity is long-standing. Different varieties have been used in both Asia and North America for centuries. The Asian and American varieties of ginseng are similar, but not quite identical. They affect your body in slightly different ways and might not be equally effective for every individual. So how do you tell which type of ginseng is right for you?
Types of Ginseng
There are two main types of ginseng: American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng). Both varieties contain ginsenosides. This is the compound credited with ginseng’s medicinal qualities. The two varieties’ benefits are similar, but not exactly the same.
There’s also a plant called Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus), but it’s not a true ginseng and doesn’t contain ginsenosides. It contains eleutherosides instead, which are thought to stimulate your immune system. But since Siberian ginseng is not technically in the ginseng family, this article will focus only on Asian and American ginseng.
Asian and American Ginseng are both adaptogens. And since they both contain ginsenosides they have a similar effect on the body. As adaptogens, they both help your body regulate physical, mental, and emotional stress. Both types of ginseng improve cognitive function, including memory and focus. They’re also energizing and immune boosting.
There’s also some evidence that ginseng can help regulate blood sugar and fight cancer growth. Studies in these areas are preliminary, though. Because ginseng can affect blood sugar levels, you should talk with your doctor before taking either type of ginseng if you’re on medication for diabetes. It can also interact with certain anti-depressants, so if you’re taking medication for that ask your doctor before adding ginseng to your diet.
Asian ginseng has more of a stimulant effect than American ginseng. People typically take it to improve stamina and energy as well as boost their mental functions. But because it can act as a stimulant, some people find that Asian ginseng causes nervousness, upset stomach, and insomnia. It’s so strong that some experts recommend that you take a break from using Asian ginseng every few weeks.
American ginseng has more of a calming effect. It soothes your nerves, relieves stress, and calms upset stomachs. It still contains some of the compounds that make Asian ginseng energizing, but it won’t over-stimulate you. You’ll feel more energized and still be able to get a good night’s sleep. This makes American ginseng perfect for most Americans, whose fast-paced and energetic lifestyles call for more calm and balanced energy. In fact, we love American ginseng so much that it’s the only ginseng we sell at Crucial FOUR. You can order some from our store by clicking here.