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Heather Hanks
Written by Heather Hanks

Reviewed by Physician Wong Si Xuan and Dr Eki Wari on September 20, 2022

Health Benefits Of Red Ginseng That Will Make Your Life Easier

Red ginseng is made through a unique steaming and drying process, making it warmer in nature than regular ginseng. Here's how that benefits you.

Slices of dried red ginseng to treat erectile dysfunction laid on a table

Red ginseng has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years to correct many health disorders. Today, this ancient herb is more important than ever for dealing with modern life.

It can counteract work stress, improve physical and mental endurance, support heart health, regulate blood sugar, boost immunity, and so much more.

Read on to learn about the many health benefits of red ginseng, how it’s different from other types of ginseng, and how to use it.

What Is Red Ginseng?

Ginsenosides are the compounds that give ginseng its medicinal properties.

Red ginseng is a gnarled root that looks like it has stringy limbs attached. Its primary active compounds are known as ginsenosides. These are what give the plant its many benefits.

It is commonly used in TCM due to its warming nature. The herb has effectiveness in the Spleen, Lungs, Heart, and Kidneys channels.

According to TCM Physician Wong Si Xuan, it has the ability to invigorate vital qi energy and warms yang energy to restore the pulse. “It is suitable for people who are deficient in yang energy and generally suffer from extreme fatigue,” stated Physician Wong.

Red ginseng vs. other types of ginseng

The term “ginseng” refers to both Asian or Korean (Panax ginseng) and American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius). The general term “ginseng” is also red ginseng that has the Asian or Korean (Panax ginseng) variety.

Siberian ginseng, also known as Eleuthero, is a different plant and does not contain the same bioactive compounds.

According to Physician Wong, “While different forms of ginseng are often used to enhance wellness, the different species have their distinct effects. Regular ginseng is processed into red ginseng through a steaming and drying process. Both types invigorate vital qi energy to restore the pulse.”

“However, regular ginseng is also able to nourish the Spleen and Lungs, boost Blood production and calm the mind. Meanwhile, red ginseng, after processing, tends to be warmer in nature. It would be better suited for people who are Yang Deficient. This includes those who tend to feel cold, especially in the extremities,” Physician Wong continued.

“Other species of ginseng have their own effects. For example, Pseudostellaria Root (Tai Zi Shen) boosts qi, strengthens the Spleen and nourishes the Lungs; (Codonopsis Root) Dang Shen strengthens the Spleen and Lungs and nourishes Blood and fluids in the body; and American ginseng boosts qi, and nourishes yin energy, clears Heat and replenishes fluids,” stated Physician Wong.

Health Benefits Of Red Ginseng

“Red ginseng can help relieve fatigue and stop abnormal bleeding due to Qi Deficiency, such as menorrhagia. It can also be combined with other herbs for personalized treatment, especially if the patient is Yang Deficient,” stated Physician Wong.

Here are some evidence-based benefits:

Reduces stress and improves quality of life

Thanks to its adaptogenic properties, red ginseng helps increase the body’s resistance to stress.

One study found that people who took it had improvements in energy, sex life, sleep, personal satisfaction, and well-being.

Another study found that people who took it in supplement form had better health-related quality of life than those who took the same supplement without it.

Boosts cognitive performance

You can improve health by combining red ginseng with other herbs.

Studies show that red ginseng may help improve learning and thinking abilities. It may also improve cognitive performance, including areas involving memory, mental arithmetic, and concentration.

Other research has shown that it may help improve abstract thought. It’s especially effective when combined with Ginkgo biloba.

Supports metabolic health

Red ginseng may help ward off metabolic diseases, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Research shows that it may help raise HDL (good) cholesterol while lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol. This can help fight symptoms of heart disease.

Other research shows that both types – American and red – may help lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

Reduces fatigue and increases physical endurance

You don’t need to be an athlete to benefit from increased energy levels. One study found that red ginseng reduced fatigue in 332 people.

Other research shows that it may help improve strength, endurance, and agility or reaction time.

Supports immune health

Red ginseng may help prevent you from getting sick. Studies show that it helps increase immune cells in the blood. It also improves the body’s immune response to the flu vaccine.

One study found that the number of colds and flu were two-thirds lower in people who took ginseng and got the flu vaccine four weeks later.

Another study found that it helped reduce the likelihood of getting a cold. Those who got one reported having milder symptoms.

Alleviates reproductive disorder symptoms

Red ginseng may be used to support fertility, alleviate erectile dysfunction, and reduce symptoms of menopause.

Animal studies have shown that ginseng improves sperm production, sexual activity, and sexual performance. Human studies have shown that it increases sperm count, motility, and erections in men.

Other studies have found that it decreases menopausal symptoms in women, especially depression and mood disorders.

How To Use Red Ginseng

Essence form is an easy way to supplement with red ginseng. Simply add a packet to hot water and drink.

According to Physician Wong, “red ginseng is suitable to be taken in different forms, such as tea, powder, or essence form. Ensure that the products bought are from a trusted source.”

Lastly, Physician Wong recommends, “Those who are pregnant or have health conditions such hypertension or heart disease should consult with a certified TCM practitioner or healthcare professional before using the herb. If unsure, one should consult a certified TCM practitioner for proper diagnosis and personalized treatment. ”

References

  1. Mountsinani.org. Asian Ginseng.
  2. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics. 2003. The effects of Panax ginseng on quality of life.
  3. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. 2008. A randomized controlled crossover trial of the effect of ginseng consumption on the immune response to moderate exercise in healthy sedentary men.
  4. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2000. Selected herbals and human exercise performance.
  5. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2010. Ginseng for cognition.
  6. Nutritional Neuroscience. 2004. Gincosan (a combination of Ginkgo biloba and Panax ginseng): the effects on mood and cognition of 6 and 12 weeks’ treatment in post-menopausal women.
  7. European Journal of Neurology. 2008. An open-label trial of Korean red ginseng as an adjuvant treatment for cognitive impairment in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
  8. The Journal of Urology. 2002. A double-blind crossover study evaluating the efficacy of korean red ginseng in patients with erectile dysfunction: a preliminary report.
  9. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 2008. Red ginseng for treating erectile dysfunction: a systematic review.
  10. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2001. Evaluation of estrogenic activity of plant extracts for the potential treatment of menopausal symptoms.
  11. Canadian Medical Journal Association. 2005. Efficacy of an extract of North American ginseng containing poly-furanosyl-pyranosyl-saccharides for preventing upper respiratory tract infections: a randomized controlled trial.
  12. Human Psychopharmacology. 2010. Panax ginseng (G115) improves aspects of working memory performance and subjective ratings of calmness in healthy young adults.
  13. Alternative Medicine Review. 2000. Male infertility: nutritional and environmental considerations.

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