American Ginseng vs. Asian Ginseng: Differences & Similarities Explained

Ginseng is one of the most popular herbal medicines all over the world. It has been used for thousands of years to treat a wide variety of ailments, and it’s …

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Written by: Daniel Powers, MS
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Ginseng is one of the most popular herbal medicines all over the world. It has been used for thousands of years to treat a wide variety of ailments, and it’s still widely consumed today in many countries.

The two types are American Ginseng and Asian Ginseng – but which type should you choose?

This article will review the differences between these adaptogens so that you can make an educated decision about what herb best suits your needs.

american ginseng vs. asian ginseng

Wisconsin Ginseng vs. Asian Ginseng

American Ginseng is milder than Asian Ginseng and can generally be taken for longer periods of time. It sharpens the mind and energizes the body and is said to calm anxiety and reduce mental stress.

Asian Ginseng is a spicy, stimulating herb in contrast. It’s best taken for quick pick-me-ups.

That said, if you take both herbs at the same time, they work in harmony to support overall health and resilience.

American Ginseng Overview:Asian Ginseng Overview:
Scientific Name:Panax quinquefolius Panax ginseng
Primary Benefit:American Ginseng is thought to aid digestion and respirationAsian Ginseng may work to reduce acute stress
Properties:Yin (i.e. cooling)Yang (i.e. warming)
Part of the Plant Used:RootRoot
Dosage Range:200-400mg200-400mg
Form:Extract, powder or capsuleExtract, powder or capsule
Recommended Products:Gaia Herbs | Check PriceHerb Pharm | Check Price

American Ginseng

American Ginseng, also known as Panax quinquefolius, is native to the central and eastern regions of North America. It’s known as “yellow ginseng” due to its golden color.

It’s grown in many states including Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Vermont, New York, and more. American Ginseng was once so popular that there were over 20,000 acres of American Ginseng being harvested in the wilds of Wisconsin alone!

American Ginseng has been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years by Native American tribes who used it to help with various conditions and diseases.

American Ginseng’s root looks more like a human body with diverging “arms” that resemble the shape of a person. Because of this human-like shape, it’s said that American Ginseng is good for the whole body.

Traditional Asian medicine considers American Ginseng to be “Yin” or calming. “Yin” Ginseng is thought by traditional Asians to reduce the heat of the digestive and respiratory systems. Because of this, American Ginseng is preferred by consumers in warmer regions of Asia, as it is believed to “cool” systems and act as an all-purpose tonic.

American Ginseng Properties:

  • Yin
  • Cooling
  • Calming
  • Energy restoring
  • Helps the body and mind cope with long-term, daily stress

Wild American Ginseng is endangered. Thus, most American Ginseng is cultivated, however, its difficult to grow and process. This makes American Ginseng generally more expensive and difficult to find as compared to Asian Ginseng.

Asian Ginseng

Asian Ginseng, also known as Panax ginseng, is a perennial plant that’s native to the mountains of Eastern China.

Asian Ginseng is also known as Chinese Ginseng or Korean Ginseng. It’s more reddish in color, which is why it’s also sometimes called “Red Ginseng”.

Asian Ginseng is the most popular type of Ginseng, and is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine.

In contrast to American Ginseng, Asian Ginseng is a hot, intense herb. It’s considered as being a “yang” herb. Asian Ginseng is an excitatory and energetic herb. It is best for helping the mind and body deal with acute stress.

Asian Ginseng Properties:

  • Yang
  • Heating
  • Exciting
  • Energy stimulating
  • Helps the body and mind cope with acute, short-term stress


Ultimately, both types of Ginseng are prized as natural health supplements that may help with everything from boosting your immune system, to alleviating stress symptoms such as anxiety or depression.

As long as you understand which type will be most beneficial for your needs, it’s just a matter of finding the one that’s right for you!

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About Daniel Powers, MS

Daniel has a master's degree in herbal science from the Maryland University of Integrative Health. He has a passion for herbal medicine and how it can be used to support everyday health & wellness.

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