Standardised Ginseng products such as capsules, tablets and teas are all made from the roots of the plant.

There are three types of Ginseng:

  • North American, which is the most active and better suited to long-term use,
  • Asian or Korean, which is the basis for most of the European Ginseng products, is less active and taken for short term use,
  • Siberian Ginseng, a cheaper alternative, which is not true Ginseng but acts in a similar way.

Many people seeking to improve energy and vitality use ginseng daily. There are many Ginseng products around, but trial and error is the simplest way to find the best one for you. There are fake products around, so buy a reputable brand.

Many non-herb products have added Ginseng, but there is too little in them to have any real effect. It is a marketing gimmick.


The curative powers of ginseng are unique in the way they affect the whole body. Ginseng has been recognized as a potent immune system tonic.

Ginseng is used to increase stamina, decrease tiredness and combat stress.

The effects are subtle and build up over time.


Normal doses are in the range of 100 to 200 mg a day of standardised extract. The equivalent in Siberian Ginseng is 200 to 400 mg.

If you want to take Ginseng for a long time, accepted advice is to take a two or three week break from Ginseng every three months.


Ginseng has few side effects (Siberian Ginseng has no side effects). Any problems such as insomnia, diarrhoea or post-menopausal bleeding are rare, mild and short-lived, but can be easily treated by stopping the Ginseng.

Taking coffee or colas along with Ginseng has an exaggerated effect since you are increasing the stimulants by adding caffeine.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.