Ginseng is a fleshy herb that consists of a light colored root, a single stalk and long, oval green leaves. It grows in the Northern Hemisphere, mainly in Eastern Asian countries like China, Korea and Siberia. It is harvested in typically cooler climates. The herb has been used by the Chinese as a medicine for centuries. Ginseng contains complex carbohydrates called saponins or ginsengs-ines, which possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer properties. Besides having medicinal properties, the herb also works as an additive for energy drinks and helps in treating stress and levels of mental lucidity.
Ginseng is the most widely available herbal supplement today. Many people believe that the herb has mystical healing powers and various health benefits. Ginseng's original name was "man root", since its root resembles the shape of a human body, which according to ancient Chinese doctrines, is known to have a healing effect on humans. Therefore, it is believed that ginseng has the ability to restore harmony to the entire body. Also, Asian research states that the herb improves fatigue, works on eliminating anemia, and helps prevent diabetes, neurosis, coughs, tuberculosis and asthma. Read on to know what are the three types of ginseng and also explore the herb’s health benefits.
Different Kinds Of Ginseng
There are three types of Ginseng, Oriental, American and Siberian. Oriental ginseng is used in traditional Chinese medicine; American ginseng is used in American medicine; whereas Siberian ginseng is not exactly a ginseng, rather a distant cousin to the Oriental species. While all the three forms share common elements, there are many differences among them. Let us explore each of the three ginsengs in detail.
Oriental Ginseng is also known as Panax Ginseng. It is grown in China and Korea. Red Panax is the most popular form of ginseng among Koreans. It has derived its name from the processing of the root, a process that turns it red. If ginseng roots are allowed to dry, they turn white naturally.
American ginseng is white or yellow in color. Its scientific name is Panax Quinquefolium. This type of ginseng was harvested in abundance in mountainous regions of the United States. Though it is native to eastern North America, the herb is also cultivated beyond in other countries, such as China
Siberian ginseng, with the scientific name Eleutherococcus Senticocus, is a distant cousin of the Oriental ginseng. It is easily cultivated and sold at a relatively lower price. Siberian ginseng does not have the chemicals called ginsenocides in its root, but is said to have chemicals that have similar effects as the other types of ginseng. It is mainly cultivated in Russia and China.
Health Benefits of Ginseng
- Ginseng helps in reducing stress, improving vitality and boosting the immune system.
- Oriental ginseng, in both forms - white and red, acts as an energy booster. It is often taken as a daily tonic.
- American Ginseng cures menopausal disorders, reduces fever and cough.
- Siberian Ginseng aids in memory and stamina endurance.
- Ginseng herb acts as one of the most effective anti-aging supplements.
- It strengthens the gastrointestinal system and liver regeneration.
- The herb also reduces the effects of alcohol and alleviates hangovers.