Korean ginseng, also known as red ginseng, red panax ginseng or panax ginseng, has a range of positive health benefits. Ginseng roots often resemble the human form and are sometimes called “manroot” or “root of man.” Among the health benefits listed for ginseng are: lower blood sugar, enhanced immune system, antioxidant properties and stimulation of the production of immune cells called “killer T-cells.”

Ginseng Forms

Ginseng is available in a variety of forms. Many people consider the whole, dried root to be the best. However, powdered forms, slices of root and the distilled essence of the ginseng root are readily available. In addition, ginseng teas are quite common in Asian groceries. Higher quality, more expensive forms are generally thought to have more and better active ingredients.

Daily Recommendation

Regardless of the form of the ginseng, a recommended daily dose is equivalent to approximately 1 to 2g dried ginseng root. Many commercially available ginseng products contain less ginseng than they list on the packaging, so buying your ginseng or ginseng products from a reputable vendor is a good idea. Ginseng can be taken daily for up to 3 months. However, after 3 months, it is often a good idea to take a break from the ginseng for a month or 2.

Who Should Not Take Ginseng

Although ginseng is safe, people with high blood pressure should consult a physician before taking ginseng. People on the monoamine oxidase inhibitor phenelzine may experience manic-like symptoms. If you are taking any kind of anti-depressant or psychiatric medication, it is important to consult your physician before taking ginseng. Pregnant women should also avoid ginseng without first consulting a doctor.

Varieties of Ginseng

Although in general, Korean of Chinese red panax ginseng is considered the best, red panax ginseng from other growers is also considered outstanding. The best example is red panax ginseng grown in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. This ginseng is considered excellent and, due to its relatively abundant supply, is much cheaper than the more rare, and often counterfeit, Korean and Chinese red panax ginseng.