The Four Types of Ginseng Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Tradititonal Chinese Medicine uses four types of ginseng. 

  1. Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus)
  2. Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng)
  3. Chinese ginseng (Panax notoginseng)
  4. American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)

Siberian Ginseng

Siberian Ginseng, also known as Eleutherococcus, is a plant commonly referred to by various colloquial names such as devil's bush, eleuthero, ciwujia, Devil's shrub, shigoka, touch-me-not, wild pepper, or kan jang.

This herb belongs to the Tonify Qi category and is used to stimulate the Spleen, Heart, and Kidney channels. It has a spicy, slightly bitter, and warming taste.

Siberian ginseng is used to strengthen the Spleen and Stomach qi, warm the Kidneys, and promote yang to warm the Spleen. It also has a calming effect on the spirit. Additionally, it helps to invigorate the blood, unblock the collaterals, boost the Heart qi and calm the spirit. The recommended dosage is 9-30g, taken as a powder, three times a day.

Korean Ginseng

Korean Ginseng, also known as Panax ginseng, is a plant that is also referred to by various colloquial names such as Asian ginseng, Japanese gingseng, or simply Korean ginseng. It is known to be part of the Tonify Qi category and has the ability to stimulate the Lung and Spleen channels. It has a sweet and slightly bitter taste and is considered slightly warm in nature.

This herb is known for its ability to boost the primal qi, strengthen the Spleen and tonify the Stomach, enhance the Lungs and augment the Qi, promote fluid production and alleviate thirst, improve the Heart Qi and calm the spirit. The recommended dosage is 3-9g, taken as a powder, three times a day.

Chinese Ginseng

Chinese Ginseng, also referred to as Notoginseng or Pseudoginseng, is an herb that is part of the Stop Bleeding category. It works on the Liver and Stomach channels. It has a sweet and slightly bitter taste and is considered slightly warm in nature.

This herb is known to be effective in stopping bleeding and altering blood stasis, as well as reducing swelling and reducing pain. The typical recommended dosage of Chinese Ginseng is 1-1.5 grams, taken as a powder, three times a day. It is cautioned in pregnancy because of its blood moving function. 

American Ginseng

American Ginseng, or Panax quinquefolius, is a type of herb known for its yin-nourishing properties. It works on the Heart, Kidney, and Lung channels and has a sweet and slightly bitter taste, it is considered cold in nature.

This herb is typically used to improve the Qi, generate fluids, nourish the Yin, and clear heat from the Lungs. The recommended dosage for American ginseng is 3-6 grams, taken as a powder, three times a day.

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Consult with a TCM Practitioner

If you are experiencing symptoms or health concerns that you believe may be related to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) patterns, it is important to consult with a qualified TCM practitioner. A TCM practitioner will be able to assess your specific situation and provide you with a personalized treatment plan based on your unique needs and constitution. During your consultation, the practitioner will ask you about your health history, symptoms, and lifestyle habits, and may also assess your pulse, tongue, and other physical signs to determine the underlying causes of your condition. Working with a TCM practitioner can be an effective way to address a wide range of health issues and promote overall balance and well-being.

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