Ginseng is an eastern medicine herb, used for hundreds of years, that helps improve mood, energy, immunity and even helps to prevent cancer. There are many types of this herb, but the most popular are American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng). It is believed that American ginseng works as a calming agent, whereas the Asian variety has a stimulating effect (1, 2).
The compounds in ginseng that provide most of the health benefits are called ginsenosides and gintonin (3).
1. Yours Nutrition Korean Red Ginseng
Vegan-friendly, organic capsules provide a highly potent red ginseng dosage. This ginseng product is naturally sourced from the Korean ginseng root and contains about 10% of ginsenosides.
In addition to mental benefits, red ginseng can also help maintain healthy cholesterol levels and proactively work towards weight loss. The all-natural ginseng boosts your metabolism, reduces fatigue, and helps to suppress your appetite. For these reasons, it’s our #1 pick.
2. NuSci Ginseng Extract
This bag has a shelf life of up to 2.5 years and the powder is from Panax ginseng extract with 10% ginsenosides. The ginseng used is natural and fresh and the benefit of the powder formula is that there are no additives or fillers to create capsules.
The powder is very fine and has minimal taste and odor in it. It dissolves in water but you could also dissolve it in juice if you prefer the additional flavor. Additionally, this powder can be worked into shakes, smoothies, energy drinks, or even serums and skincare products.
3. Auragin Korean Ginseng
The Auragin Korean ginseng tablets are another highly potent formulation that is made from the root of Korean ginseng. This formula contains 8% ginsenosides and does not contain additional fillers or preservatives.
Auragin ginseng tablets are small and round making them easy to swallow with no ill tastes that stick in your mouth. This is 100% ginseng with little to no processing, high-quality ginseng, and no extract properties giving it a high potency.
4. Nature Bell Korean Red Ginseng
NatureBell Korean red ginseng capsules contain 1500 mg per serving. This ginseng supplement is formulated with organic Panax ginseng root and some minimal filler ingredients for the capsules which are kosher-friendly. Additionally, this compound does not contain soy, irradiation, additives, preservatives, or gluten.
The capsules from NatureBell are 3rd party lab-tested to ensure you are getting pure ingredients of high-quality standards. All of this takes place in the USA.
5. NutraChamps Korean Red Panax Ginseng
NutraChamps Korean red Panax ginseng hosts traditional Korean-grown ginseng roots but is otherwise made in the USA. This formula contains a minimum of 5% ginsenosides but does not provide us with a specific percentage. These capsules are 1000 mg per dosage and are vegan-friendly capsules great for both men and women.
Expect focus, performance, and energy as well as various other benefits when you give this ginseng option a try. NutraChamps ginseng is 3rd party lab-tested to ensure quality and viability. GMP-certified, this formula contains no gluten, soy, eggs, dairy, nuts or preservatives.
6. NooMost Doctor’s Formula Authentic Korean Red Panax Ginseng
This Korean red Panax ginseng also contains a light dosage of Ginkgo Biloba, which makes it extra strong with some additional benefits. These powder capsules are vegan-friendly with 100mg of ginseng extract and 60 mg of Ginkgo Biloba per serving.
This formula contains 10% ginsenosides and does have some fillers for the capsules. Additionally, these capsules are made in the USA, GMP-certified, Non-GMO, and are gluten-free.
7. Vital Vitamins Korean Ginseng Red Panax
The Korean red Panax ginseng capsules from Vital Vitamins are high-strength capsules, which are vegan-friendly and will boost your energy, performance, and mental clarity.
This formula also contains a minimum of 5% ginsenosides but does not clarify a specific percentage beyond that. The ginseng root extract used in the powder for the capsules is high-quality, natural ginseng root.
8. Zamia Ginseng
The ginseng compound from Zamia also contains Rhodiola, spirulina, and nettle providing plant-based energy, endurance, immune support, and breathing. This is a unique compound because it contains high-quality ginseng extract with 10% ginsenosides as well as containing the other active ingredients that provide additional benefits to the capsules.
The additional fillers for the capsules are natural ingredients and this product has minimal processing to complete. The bottle contains a 30-day supply at a reasonable price.
9. Purely Optimal Premium Korean Red Ginseng Capsules
Purely Optimal delivers a premium result with their Korean red Panax ginseng capsules. These capsules have maximum strength in 1200 mg doses. This compound is made in the USA and non-GMO using authentic Korean red ginseng extract and containing 5% ginsenosides.
There are some filler ingredients in the capsules, but nothing that would be concerning or heavily processed. The facility in which this is made is FDA-registered. The product is 3rd part lab tested to ensure potency and purity of all ingredients within the formula.
10. Toniiq Ultra High-Strength Panax Ginseng
This formula is 20x concentrated and the extract comes from the stem and leaf of ginseng. This premium blend of ginseng contains 80% ginsenosides, which is the highest level of ginsenosides listed in our ranks.
The production facility is FDA-compliant and GMP-certified as well as located in the USA. These capsules are vegan-friendly and do not contain additional preservatives, wheat, or gluten.
How We Rank
First, we reviewed which products provided the highest ginsenoside content. As ginsenosides are the active biological ingredients in ginseng responsible for health benefits, it was critical the products we chose had this content listed.
Additionally, we also wanted to make sure the ginsenoside content for each product fell within the preferred and recommended standard. Scientifically, ginseng has been shown to be most effective when it exceeds 5%. While we gave higher preference to products, like Yours Nutrition and Auragin that had larger amounts of ginsenosides (10% and 8% respectively), we did include those with lesser amounts as long as they contained more than the 5% needed for better efficacy.
Second, we reviewed the type of ginseng plant used for each product. Though there are many potent and effective ginseng plants, we favored those that used Asian Panax ginseng, like NuSci and NutraBel. This particular ginseng plant has a solid and historical reputation in eastern medicine and tends to have higher ginsenoside content making it the best possible choice for a ginseng supplement.
We also evaluated which supplements included unnecessary binders, fillers, or stabilizers. One of the most important qualities found in a superior supplement is purity. We placed an extremely high emphasis on the need for a clear and pure design to enhance potency.
Next, considered the manufacturing techniques for each potential supplement. Products manufactured in FDA – certified facilities or provided 3rd party lab testing were given higher preference over those with processes that may be more unknown.
Finally, we evaluated which products delivered doses within the recommended range according to scientific evidence, which ranges from 200 to 1000 mg. This range has been shown to provide the highest bioavailability within the human body and produce the best health results. Brands such as Royal King, for example, were eliminated due to providing an amount of ginseng that far exceeded the upper dosage range at 6000 mg per serving.
After all this, we determined the top 10 best ginseng brands on the market.
1. Ginseng can help treat erectile dysfunction. A 2014 study published in Urologia Internationalis found that the ginseng compound ginsenosides and gintonin may protect against oxidative stress within the tissues in the penis and help restore normal functioning (4).
Another 2007 study examined the treatment efficacy of Korean red ginseng in impotent men with erectile dysfunction.
60 patients with varying levels of erectile dysfunction were enrolled in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study in which the efficacies of placebo and Korean red ginseng were compared.
Those who supplemented with 100omg, 3 times per day, of Korean red ginseng experienced improved symptoms in terms of erection hardness and lasting. The placebo group patients saw no improvements (5).
Another 2008 systematic review of 28 different studies showed evidence for the use of red ginseng in treating erectile dysfunction in a variety of subjects and circumstances (6).
Lastly, a 2009 study published in the Asian Journal of Andrology demonstrated that 86 men with erectile dysfunction had significant improvements in erectile function and overall satisfaction after taking 1,000 mg of aged ginseng extract for 8 weeks (7).
2. Ginseng can reduce the risk of cancer. A 2016 study showed that ginseng might be able to reduce the risk of certain types of cancers including mouth, lung, stomach, and colon cancer (8).
Another 2016 meta-review published in the Journal of Ginseng Research showed that ginseng supplementation resulted in a 16% less prevalence of cancer (9).
Ginseng has also been shown to help those who are getting treated with cancer with chemotherapy. A 2015 study showed that ginseng might help reduce the side effects of chemotherapy drugs and bolster the drug’s cancer-fighting properties (10).
3. Ginseng can increase your energy levels and lower fatigue. A 2013 study showed that patients given 1-2 grams of Panax ginseng experienced less physical and mental fatigue, as well as reductions in oxidative stress (11).
Another 2013 study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute showed that patients given 2g per week of ginseng had lower levels of fatigue than those given a placebo (12).
Lastly, a 2016 meta-analysis of more than 155 studies concluded that ginseng supplements could enhance physical activity (13).
4. Ginseng can lower blood sugar and help with diabetes. A 2008 study showed that ginseng given to diabetic patients over 12 weeks resulted in an 11% decrease in blood sugar levels, a 38% decrease in fasting insulin and a 33% increase in insulin sensitivity (14)
Another 2009 study showed that ginseng extracts help reduce free radicals in the cells of those with diabetes via its sky-high antioxidant score (15).
Lastly, a 2014 study done with fermented red ginseng showed that 2.7g daily was effective at lowering blood sugar levels post after a meal (16).
5. Ginseng helps fight off the common cold. A 1996 study showed that ginseng extract could enhance the effect of vaccinations against diseases like influenza (17).
Another 1998 study showed that patients given 5400 mg/day of ginseng saw improvements in immune functions (18).
6. Ginseng can improve mood. A 2002 study showed that Panax ginseng administered at a dose of 200mg per day for four weeks improved social functioning and mood in healthy individuals (19).
7. Ginseng can improve mental performance. A 2005 study showed that 200mg daily of ginseng improves mental performance, memory, and cognitive functioning (20).
Another 2010 study showed that 400mg a day of ginseng supplementation improved math skills (21).
8. Ginseng helps fight off inflammation and inflammatory-related diseases. A 2013 study showed that ginseng has beneficial antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects (22).
Another 2014 study showed that red ginseng supplementation increased antioxidant enzyme activity to help fight inflammatory and oxidative stress (23).
9. Ginseng can help treat patients with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).
A 2002 study showed that ginseng supplementation was effective at improving COPD patients’ ability to breathe and exercise. The placebo group so no benefit (24).
Another 2011 study published in Respiratory Medicine examined all existing evidence regarding ginseng for COPD. They concluded that compared to no treatment, or treatment with standard medications alone, ginseng offered some additional improvement in the quality of life and lung function among patients with stable COPD (25).
10. Ginseng can help with weight loss. Ginseng has been shown to work as a natural appetite suppressant and boost your metabolism. A 2002 study conducted at the Tang Center for Herbal Medicine Research in Chicago measured the anti-diabetic and anti-obesity effects of Panax ginseng berry in adult mice (26).
The mice were injected with 150 milligrams of ginseng berry extract per kilogram of body weight for 12 days. After day 12, the glucose tolerance in the mice increased, and overall blood glucose levels decreased by 53 percent. The treated mice also showed weight loss, too, starting at 51 grams and ending the treatment at 45 grams.
Another 2009 study found that Asian ginseng plays a pivotal role in the anti-obesity effect in mice (27).
This shows the potential ginseng could have to help with obesity.
11. Ginseng improves lung functioning and respiratory illnesses. Ginseng treatment has significantly decreased lung bacteria, and studies involving rats have shown that ginseng can stop the growth of cystic fibrosis, a common lung infection. In one 1997 study, rats were given ginseng injections, and after two weeks, the treated group showed a significantly improved bacterial clearance from the lungs. (28)
Ginseng reduces stress. A 2003 study published in the Journal of Pharmacological Sciences showed that 100mg of Panax ginseng reduced plasma glucose levels, the ulcer index, and adrenal gland weight (29).
The researchers concluded that ginseng “has significant anti-stress properties and can be used for the treatment of stress-induced disorders.”
12. Ginseng is a powerful antioxidant. You may not be aware, but ginseng has antioxidant properties. This is what makes it a suitable option for aiding with weight loss, inflammation, mood, and even immune support. Antioxidants help to cleanse your body of the negative things that can wreak havoc on your system. Not only can the antioxidant be anti-inflammatory, it also works to improve the function of your immune system and skin cells.
Ginseng is powerful for both men and women in multiple areas and test groups have routinely proven that the results are steady and do not require exorbitant amounts of the ginseng to present.
13. Ginseng can prevent influenza. Influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are challenging to combat. However, studies have begun to show that ginseng can potentially prevent and/or treat both of these illnesses.
Red ginseng specifically proactively improves the health of the epithelial cells within your lungs. These cells are hard-hit when influenza or RSV attacks the body. The studies are still not complete and thus far have only been tested on mice, but with the other benefits of ginseng and its immunity support, it would stand to reason that this is a possible benefit.
1. Ginseng can cause and aggravate insomnia. High doses of Asian ginseng have been linked with insomnia. If you have trouble sleeping, use Asian ginseng with caution.
2. Ginseng’s effect weakens over time. As such it’s important to cycle your dosing. 3-4 weeks is the maximum recommended time to use the supplement daily before needing a break.
3. People with diabetes need to be careful with ginseng. Ginseng may affect blood sugar levels, so people taking drugs for diabetes shouldn’t use ginseng without talking to their healthcare providers first.
4. Ginseng can cause allergic reactions. Panax ginseng seems to increase the activity of the immune system. It might make auto-immune diseases worse. Don’t use Panax ginseng if you have any auto-immune condition.
5. Women who use ginseng regularly may experience menstrual changes (30).
6. Ginseng can aggravate autoimmune disorders. Panax ginseng seems to increase the activity of the immune system. It might make auto-immune diseases worse. Don’t use Panax ginseng if you have any auto-immune condition.
7. Ginseng can affect blood clotting. Don’t use Panax ginseng if you have a bleeding condition.
8. Ginseng affects alcohol metabolism. While the body breaks down alcohol to get rid of it, Panax ginseng increases how fast the body performs the process.
9. Caffeine and ginseng don’t enhance each other. Caffeine and Asian ginseng both speed up the nervous system. This may lead to mild compounding side effects like jitteriness or more severe side effects like high blood pressure. For this reason, avoid taking caffeine with Panax ginseng.
10. Ginseng can increase estrogen. Panax ginseng contains chemicals (ginsenosides) that can act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don’t use Panax ginseng.
11. Ginseng can interact negatively with donated organs. Panax ginseng might make the immune system more active. This could interfere with the effectiveness of medications that are given after an organ transplant to reduce the chance that the organ will be rejected. If you have received an organ transplant, don’t use Panax ginseng.
12. Ginseng can affect blood pressure and the heart. Panax ginseng can affect heart rhythm and blood pressure slightly on the first day it is used. However, there are usually no changes with continued use. Nevertheless, Panax ginseng has not been studied in people with cardiovascular disease. Use Panax ginseng with caution if you have heart disease.
13. Ginseng can have various drug interactions. Panax ginseng may decrease how quickly some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. When taken simultaneously, Panax ginseng can increase the side effects of these medications.
Talk to your healthcare provider first if you are on the following medications as they interact with ginseng:
amitriptyline (Elavil), clozapine (Clozaril), codeine, desipramine (Norpramin), donepezil (Aricept), fentanyl (Duragesic), flecainide (Tambocor), fluoxetine (Prozac), meperidine (Demerol), methadone (Dolophine), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), olanzapine (Zyprexa), ondansetron (Zofran), tramadol (Ultram), trazodone (Desyrel), phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), diethylpropion (Tenuate), epinephrine, phentermine (Ionamin), pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol) and tolbutamide (Orinase).
How much you should take depends on the condition you want to improve. Overall, daily doses of 1–2 grams of raw ginseng root or 200–400 mg of the extract is suggested. It’s best to start with lower doses and increase over time.
Look for a standard ginseng extract that contains 2–3% total ginsenosides, and consume it before meals to increase absorption and get the full benefits.
There is evidence suggesting that the extended use of ginseng could decrease its effectiveness in the body.
To maximize its benefits, you should take ginseng in 2–3-week cycles with a one or two week break in between (31).
Ginseng is not recommended for infants, children, pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding.
Why is Ginseng illegal to grow? According to American laws, American ginseng can be harvested in just 19 States. Regulations for places outside the US may differ. Always check with your lawyer before deciding to grow ginseng.
Is ginseng safe for you? Taken in the prescribed dosage range, for no longer than 4 weeks at a time, ginseng is a healthy and safe alternative medicine for the average person.
How long does it take to feel the effects of ginseng? It should not take more than about 24 hours to start “working.” However, you may not feel the effects for 12-48 hours. It really depends on your condition and the dosage.
Is it safe to take ginseng with high blood pressure? Do not take ginseng without first talking to your doctor if you have a bleeding or blood clotting disorder, diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease, or if you are taking any medicines to prevent or treat these conditions.
Which ginseng is the best for treating erectile dysfunction? Red ginseng has long been used to treat impotence and is the best option.
What does ginseng do for your hair? Ginseng may reduce hair loss. Ginseng may also stimulate the scalp, encouraging hair growth
How much ginseng can you take in a day? 1 to 2 grams of the raw herb is recommended each day, according to the New York University Langone Medical Center. If you’re taking an extract form of the herb, you should take 200 milligrams a day of Korean ginseng that has 4 percent to 7 percent ginsenosides.
Which type of ginseng is best for energy? Chinese Red Panax Ginseng provides long-term stamina benefits, is rich in amino acids, B-vitamins (particularly B5), and enzymes, and is known for its ability to provide quick energy
What does ginseng taste like? Ginseng roots are bitter-spicy with earthy undertones. Although the flavor is not overwhelming, chewing on a piece of raw root might need some getting used to. The berries don’t have much of a taste as one might expect.
Do animals eat ginseng? Some animals like mice, do eat ginseng and can be a nightmare for farmers.
What is the difference between ginseng and Panax ginseng? Panax ginseng is specifically derived from the root of the ginseng plant. Various parts of the plant can hold varying benefits and potency. Most of the ginseng supplements listed in our ranks contain Panax ginseng. One particular part is not necessarily better than the other. However, it has been determined that using the root ginseng extract provides the best potency results in capsule form.
Is ginseng good for you? Ginseng has a lot of great benefits but is not necessarily for everyone. Additionally, ginseng can carry some side effects such as insomnia, headaches, or dizziness. Ginseng is not recommended to be taken in high dosages on a daily basis, but rather take low dosages and cease immediately if you experience negative side effects.
Can ginseng be taken with other medications? It is important to discuss the use of ginseng with your personal doctor or healthcare professional in order to ensure that it will not react badly with your medication. However, it is known that Panax ginseng taken with blood clotting medication can cause easy bruising or bleeding side effects.
Additionally, if you have heart concerns or problems with your blood pressure levels you should refrain from taking ginseng or work directly with your healthcare professional to determine the best dosage and type of ginseng.
Can ginseng be taken while pregnant? While ginseng is generally considered to be safe, it is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Though there have been very few human studies to show conclusive proof of potential issues, studies on mice have demonstrated the possibility of abnormalities in developing embryos when ginseng use is present. Women considering taking ginseng during pregnancy are advised to consult a physician prior to doing so to evaluate potential risks or benefits.
Is ginseng safe for children? In most cases, ginseng is not considered to be safe for children. In the past, there have been concerns regarding its long-term effects. This does vary, however, based on the age of the child and the desired reason for use. Recently, there have been studies suggesting that ginseng consumption may be beneficial in the treatment of ADHD (32). While there are current signs that ginseng may be a positive addition to ADHD treatment, a pediatrician should be consulted prior to beginning a regimen of this nature.
Can I bring ginseng to China? Unfortunately, American ginseng can not be taken into China.
Is ginseng illegal? To the best of my knowledge, it is not illegal to try to grow ginseng, but it may be illegal to export ginseng out of certain states, like Texas. This is per federal law because some states do not have an approved ginseng protection program.
Can I grow ginseng in my house? Ginseng can also be grown successfully indoors using containers with drainage reservoirs placed out of direct sunlight. Seeds are to be sown in the fall at a depth of about 1 ½ inch, while roots should be planted under 3 inches of soil and do best when planted in early spring.
What does ginseng smell like? Just like its taste, ginseng smells very earthy, similar to wood.
Can you bring ginseng to Canada? Cultivated American ginseng can be traded in Canada legally. Anything else is off-limits, including wild American ginseng. Even the possession of wild American ginseng collected in Canada is prohibited, and the export of wild American ginseng from Canada is also prohibited.
How many pounds of ginseng can you get per acre? For wild-simulated ginseng plant 20 pounds per acre, with 7 thousand seeds per pound.
How do you grow wild ginseng? First, plant ginseng seeds, by hand, three inches apart in each furrow About one ounce or 500 seeds will be needed to plant three furrows at this spacing in a bed that is 5 feet wide and 50 feet long . Cover the seeds with 3/4 inch of soil. After planting, carefully step down each row to firm the soil around the seeds.
How long is the ginseng season? It really depends on your location. Ginseng may be harvested year-round from an individual’s own land.
Where does ginseng grow in the woods? American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) is native to deciduous forests (forests that lose their leaves every year) of the United States from the Midwest to Maine, primarily in the Appalachian and Ozark regions, and also in eastern Canada. It is also grown on ginseng farms.
Why is ginseng considered valuable? Ginseng is a prized root in demand for its wide use in traditional Chinese medicine. Some of the most valuable ginseng grows wild in Appalachia, but supplies are dwindling.
Can you get high off ginseng? No, you can’t get high off ginseng as there are no psychoactive chemicals. However, ginseng can act as a stimulant in some people.
Where is ginseng found? American ginseng (Panax quinquefolium), one of the world’s most valued plants, is found throughout the forests of eastern North America, including the woodlands of Ohio.
Ginseng is an all-natural herbal supplement that has been used for hundreds of years in Chinese medicine. It has been shown to bolster the immune system, suppress cancer and helps improve mood, cognition and overall brain function.
It can be consumed in root or powder form. It is commonly sold in North America as an extract in capsule form.
Whether you want to improve your overall health or help treat specific conditions, ginseng (and its extracts) are powerful, all-natural herbs, that are undoubtedly worth every penny.
For Healthtrends #1 Ginseng recommendation, click here.