Ginseng supplements come in a wide variety of forms, and they are often found paired with other herbs - like ginkgo - and other nutrients to enhance ginseng's medicinal actions. Taking the ginseng root as a supplement has become a wildly popular option to reap the herb's benefits, such as stimulating immunity, reducing glucose levels, and lowering blood pressure.
Advantages of Taking Ginseng Supplements
The health benefits of ginseng supplements, as opposed to the consumption of the raw or dried form of the Panax root, are mainly linked to a high concentration of bioactive compounds, as well as related to safety, palatability, and dosage control.
As any other over-the-counter herbal product, commercial ginseng supplements are required to detail the amount of their ingredients, as well as the recommended dosage, allowing for better control, which is especially important when treating a specific health condition.
The main constituents in Panax species are ginsenosides, responsible for most of ginseng health benefits, but also for the bitter taste of the herbs, which can be avoided by taking ginseng pills or ginseng royal jelly, where the bitterness of ginseng root is disguised by the sweetness of the honey.
When taken in high doses over a long period of time, ginseng can cause dependency, with symptoms that include hypertension, nervousness, sleeplessness, skin rash, diarrhea, confusion, and depression. In order to prevent these adverse effects, follow the recommended dosage for specific ginseng supplements:
Capsules. The recommended daily dosage for ginseng capsules is 100 - 600 mg, to be divided into multiple doses.
Tablets. A standard dosage for ginseng tablets is up to 500 mg daily.
Liquid extracts. A daily dosage of 100 mL of ginseng extract is recommended.
Whether you consume raw ginseng or ginseng supplements, it is also recommended that every two to three weeks of usage be followed by a washout period of two weeks.
Benefits of Ginseng Supplements
The effect of ginseng supplements on general wellness has been extensively studied, and the outcomes suggest that even a minimum amount may have a positive impact on healthy individuals.
A study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology (2005) reported a reduction in blood glucose levels and a mild improvement in cognitive performance in healthy adults during sustained mental activity after taking daily ginseng doses of 200 - 400 mg.
Additionally, another study, published in the International Journal of Impotence Research (1995), concluded that 600 mg of red ginseng, three times a day, may partly help in the treatment of erectile dysfunction, also showing an accumulative effect in vascular flow over time.
How to Buy Ginseng Supplements
Ginseng supplements can be found in most specialized health food stores or even some wholesale stores. Anyone unable to find ginseng supplements in stores can look online and compare prices and brands to find the right type. The main forms of ginseng supplement are capsules, tablets, and liquid extracts, and prices range from $13 - 25 USD. The concentration of ginseng's active constituents may vary depending on the brand.
How to Choose the Best Ginseng Supplements
To choose the best ginseng supplement, you should consider different variables, such as price, quality, availability, and the reasons why you are looking for ginseng supplementation.
Be sure to always read the label before purchasing any supplement. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires the following label information:
Active herbal supplement
Manufacturer or distributor's contact information
Complete list of ingredients
Recommended serving size and the amount of the active ingredient(s)
Supplements are a safe, convenient, and more pleasant method of consuming the different types of ginseng. As long as the appropriate dosage is followed, ginseng supplements can result in successful management of the identified health condition.
- British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, Red ginseng for treating erectile dysfunction: a systematic review, 2008
- International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, The effects of Panax ginseng on quality of life, 2003
- International Journal of Impotence Research, Clinical efficacy of Korean red ginseng for erectile dysfunction, 1995
- Internet Journal of the Institute for Traditional Medicine and Preventative Health Care, The Nature of Ginseng: From Traditional Use to Modern Research, 2002
- Journal of Psychopharmacology, Single doses of Panax ginseng (G115) reduce blood glucose levels and improve cognitive performance during sustained mental activity, 2005
- The Herb Research Foundation, Herb Information Greenpaper, Ginseng Panax ginseng • American Family Physician, Panax ginseng, 2003
- University of Maryland Medical Center, Asian ginseng