by Erin Marissa Russell
Wondering how you can differentiate between American versus Asian ginseng? We’ve broken it all down for you here.
First, you need to know that Asian ginseng can also be referred to by its other names. You may see references to Korean ginseng or Chinese ginseng. These both fall under the category of Asian ginseng.
American Versus Asian Ginseng: Botany
All ginseng comes from the same genus. Both American and Asian ginseng come from the genus Panax.
However, Asian and American ginseng are not the same species. Panax ginseng is Asian ginseng. Panax quinquefolius plants are American ginseng.
Asian Versus American Ginseng: Similarities
Both American and Asian ginseng are slow-growing plants that are valued for their roots. You’ll find both American and Asian ginseng growing in forested areas of Canada, China, Korea, and the United States.
The roots of ginseng are dried before the ginseng is sold. Ginseng is sold as a concentrate that can either be a liquid or a powder, which is taken in capsule form.
Whether ginseng is American or Asian, it is normally sold in its cultivated form. Wild ginseng is more prized, more rare, and more expensive than cultivated ginseng. However, wild ginseng is not known to be stronger or better than cultivated ginseng.
Asian Versus American Ginseng: Differences
Asian ginseng and American ginseng have different effects on the human body. Asian ginseng is known for a slew of benefits including improving balance, controlling blood sugar, promoting a healthy heart, and supporting healthy lung function. It also helps temper the negative effects of stress, working against exhaustion, supporting a healthy immune system, and fighting organ dysfunction. Asian ginseng can also be taken to increase libido and increase erectile function. In short, Asian ginseng is known for giving you energy.
American ginseng, in contrast, is known for promoting cognitive function. It’s also been proven to lower the risk of respiratory infection and support a healthy immune system. There is some research to show American ginseng also helps to lower both blood pressure and blood sugar.
Cognitively, American ginseng heightens attention, cognitive accuracy, memory, and short-term recall. The most substantial effects of American ginseng were seen on working memory, a part of our mind that allows us to remember things (like items on a list) for a short period of time.
What About Siberian Ginseng?
Siberian ginseng is not a member of the genus Panax. Instead, it comes from Eleutherococcus. The botanical name for Siberian ginseng is Eleutherococcus senticosus. This plant is named ginseng although it is not technically related to American or Asian ginseng.
Siberian ginseng shares some qualities with American or Asian ginseng. In addition, it can boost the health of premenopausal women, fight genital herpes, lower cholesterol, preserve bone, and lower age-related DNA damage in women.
Siberian ginseng is sometimes referred to as eleuthero or Siberian eleuthero. This is because the plant’s main active ingredients are eleutherosides.
Now you know that although American and Asian ginseng are related and share some qualities, these two plants are actually quite distinct. You’ve also learned about Siberian ginseng, which is unrelated to Asian and American ginseng despite sharing a similar name. Whether you’re looking to grow your own ginseng or just purchase a supplement, now you’re ready to make a knowledgeable decision since you can tell the difference between Asian and American ginseng.
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