American Ginseng vs Asian Ginseng: What's The Difference Between Panax Ginseng, Red Ginseng and Panax Quinquefolius

There are various types of ginseng, but two of the most popular and widely used are American Ginseng and Panax Ginseng which is usually used to mean Red Ginseng, otherwise known as Asian Ginseng. And if you're thinking that's a lot of names for Asian Ginseng, then you'd be correct, and of course this often leads to a lot of confusion. There is also quite a lot of difference between the Asian and American Ginseng, at least in terms of their uses and potential benefits. And some people even refer to American Ginseng as Panax Ginseng, but this is typically a misnomer.

The main differences between american and asian ginseng are that asian ginseng, is generally used for energizing, mood and stimulating properties, and has been shown to work for everything from enhancing sexual health, to improving hormone regulation, reducing inflammation and improving mood. American ginseng has also been tested for reducing inflammation and mood, but it is generally a little less effective than it's asian ginseng counter part. Although some studies show that American Ginseng could be slightly better for calming and mood.

Asian Ginseng: The Energizing Adaptogen

Asian ginseng, commonly known as Korean ginseng, has a long-standing reputation in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese traditional medicine. It is considered a warm and stimulating adaptogen that helps restore balance and counteract the negative effects of stress. Asian ginseng is known for its ability to enhance mental and physical energy, boost immune function, and improve overall well-being.

Asian ginseng plants typically reach a height of up to 24 inches. Their leaves are simple and green, occasionally displaying serrations along the edges. The plants produce bright red berries that cluster on a centralized stalk. The roots of red ginseng are creamy in color and have a unique shape, often dividing and coming back together.

Enhancing Brain Function and Neuroprotection

Research suggests that the active compounds in Asian ginseng, known as ginsenosides, may have neuroprotective effects and improve brain function. Studies indicate that ginsenosides can enhance memory, promote nerve growth, and support cognitive performance. Moreover, Asian ginseng has demonstrated potential in regulating multiple signaling pathways associated with neurological disorders, although further research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind these benefits. [1]

Boosting Sexual Health and Erectile Function

Asian ginseng is believed to have aphrodisiac properties and may improve sexual performance. Studies have shown that ginsenosides extracted from Korean Panax ginseng can increase testosterone levels and promote endothelial nitric oxide synthase expression, which plays a crucial role in vascular health and erectile function. These findings suggest that Asian ginseng could be a potential therapeutic tool for individuals experiencing erectile dysfunction or other male reproductive disorders.

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, men with moderate to severe erectile dysfunction experienced improvements in their erectile performance and sexual satisfaction after being treated with Korean red ginseng. Similar results were observed in another study where men with erectile dysfunction reported marked improvements in erectile function, including rigidity, penetration, and maintenance of erection, after taking Korean red ginseng. [2]

Animal studies have also provided evidence for the effect of ginseng on erectile function. Korean red ginseng and ginseng berry extract have been shown to relax the smooth muscles of the penile corpus cavernosum, leading to increased intracavernosal pressure and improved erectile function. 

Testosterone Production and Asian Ginseng

Ginsenosides have been found to interact with steroid receptors, including the androgen receptor (AR) and the glucocorticoid receptor (GR). Ginsenoside Rb1 also acts directly on the anterior pituitary gland, stimulating the secretion of luteinizing hormone (LH). LH, in turn, stimulates the Leydig cells in the testes to produce testosterone. By modulating the activity of steroid receptors and hormonal pathways, ginseng can effectively boost testosterone levels. [3]

RB1 is also found in American Ginseng, but far less of it and you'd need a particularly large dose to get the same effects, as a result when American Ginseng is listed in testosterone boosters, like test boost max, it is a cheaper and less effective choice.

American Ginseng: The Cooling Adaptogen

American ginseng, on the other hand, is commonly referred to as a cooling adaptogen and is prized for its calming and non-stimulating effects. Native American communities, especially those in Appalachia and Eastern Canada, have long utilized American ginseng for its medicinal properties. This variety of ginseng offers unique benefits and is particularly known for its impact on cognitive function and inflammatory response.

Compared to red ginseng, American ginseng plants are slightly shorter, reaching a height of up to 18 inches. They have three distinct sets of serrated leaves, which are large and deep green in color. Similar to red ginseng, American ginseng plants produce bright red berries that are clustered. The roots of American ginseng resemble parsnip roots, further distinguishing them from red ginseng.

Cognitive Function Enhancement and Memory Support

Studies have demonstrated that American ginseng can improve cognitive function, including memory, attention, and accuracy. In a clinical trial, individuals who consumed a standardized extract of American ginseng exhibited significant improvements in cognitive performance compared to those who received a placebo. These findings suggest that American ginseng may be a valuable tool for enhancing cognitive abilities and overall mental well-being. [4]

Inflammation Reduction and Anti-Cancer Potential

Chronic inflammation is a contributing factor to various diseases, including cancer and diabetes. American ginseng's active compounds, ginsenosides, have been shown to reduce chronic inflammation by suppressing the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Additionally, ginsenosides exhibit protective and anti-cancer effects, making American ginseng a potentially valuable therapeutic agent. [5]

Gastrointestinal System

American Ginseng has been investigated for its potential benefits on the gastrointestinal system. Studies have shown that AG extract can protect against esophageal damage caused by reflux esophagitis and prevent gastric mucosa damage induced by chronic ethanol intake. These gastroprotective effects are attributed to Ginseng's ability to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the gastrointestinal tract. [6]

Both American and Asian Ginseng

Nitric Oxide Pathway: Relaxing Smooth Muscles and Increasing Blood Flow

The release of nitric oxide (NO) is a crucial mechanism underlying the vasodilatory effects of ginseng. Ginsenosides have been shown to induce NO synthesis in endothelial cells and perivascular nerves, leading to the relaxation of smooth muscles in blood vessels and erectile tissues. This relaxation allows for increased blood flow, improving erectile function and overall sexual performance. [7]

Ginseng for Mood

Ginseng has been found to modulate the activity of neurotransmitters involved in mood and sleep, such as dopamine (DA), acetylcholine (ACh), and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). [8]

Ginseng for Anti Aging

Ginseng has been associated with anti-aging properties, although more research is needed in this area. Its antioxidant activity and ability to scavenge reactive oxygen species (ROS) or free raditcals which contributes to its potential in reducing oxidative stress and cellular damage associated with aging. Ginseng has also been found to protect against mitochondrial dysfunction, a key factor in aging-related processes. [9]

Heart Conditions

Ginseng has been found to have cardio-protective properties. Animal studies have shown that American Ginseng extract can inhibit hypertrophy in heart failure and regulate reactive oxygen species (ROS) in mice. It has also been shown to protect against ischemic heart injury and reduce oxidative stress in the heart. Although the ginsenoocide that was effecting this was Rg1 ability to improve cardiac contractile function and regulate adrenergic responses further contributes to its positive effects on the cardiovascular system. [10]

Which is Best Asian or American Ginseng?

In general for almost all uses American Ginseng is a worse choice than Asian Ginseng as the latter has more of the ginsenocide that is most impactful for the human body. RG1 has a host of benefits, with everything from hormone health to inflammation reduction being potential benefits.


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