What is Ginseng Used For?

What is ginseng used for? What is ginseng good for? In the West ginseng is promoted as a "miracle" tonic that can be used by virtually anyone needing an energy boost.

Consequently, there are dozens of ginseng energy drinks on the market, with names like Red Ginseng Plus Energy Drink and Lightning Bolt Asian Experience perpetuating the hype. Ginseng is also promoted in the West as a miraculous tonic that's good for anyone wanting to increase their libido.

While ginseng is an energy tonic, most people unfortunately don't know that it's NOT suitable for everyone, regardless of how tired you are, or how badly you need a boost in the bedroom. It can cause adverse reactions and make certain health problems worse. Why? There are different kinds of ginseng, each with a different effect on the body. Panax ginseng, the kind commonly used in China, has a warming effect on the body, while Korean ginseng has a hotter effect.

If you already have too much heat in your body, taking ginseng will add more heat and produce symptoms like a flushed face, headache, sore eyes and skin rashes. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a "hot" body comes from consuming too much heating foods and drinks such as fried foods, curry, chili, chocolate, alcohol and coffee, as well as from excessive emotional stress, frustration and anger.

In China the heating effect of ginseng is common knowledge. Ginseng is mostly consumed by the middle-aged and elderly and especially in winter when they need more of a warming boost. It's also common to make dietary and lifestyle adjustments before taking ginseng. While energy drinks like Red Ginseng Plus Energy Drink, etc, and other ginseng supplements, may well boost your energy, be aware that ginseng may be too hot for you.

So, as well as wondering, "what is ginseng good for?" or "what is ginseng used for?" also consider "is it right for me, or are there better ways for me to boost my energy?". The best way to be sure if ginseng is right for you is to consult a trained practitioner of traditional Chinese herbal medicine or acupuncture.

What is Ginseng Used For Mostly in TCM?

What is ginseng used for, primarily, in TCM? The main ginseng health benefit is as a qi (vital energy) tonic for people with symptoms of weakness like fatigue, poor appetite, shortness of breath and low resistance to infections, and who don't have excess heat in their bodies. Other ginseng health benefits include enhancement of memory and cognitive functions.

Ginseng provides a subtle boost though - not like the quick hit you get from say coffee - and is best taken in small, frequent amounts over several weeks or months, rather than in large, infrequent amounts. Note also that taking ginseng for colds and flu and other infections is not recommended as it feeds the infection - ginseng should NOT be taken when you're ill.

Back to top of page: What is Ginseng Used For?