The effect of ginseng: the most important questions and answers

Die Wirkung von Ginseng: Die wichtigsten Fragen und Antworten

Ginseng has been used as a traditional medicine in China for over 2000 years because the medicinal plant is said to have healing properties. Ginseng has also arrived in Europe. But what effect does ginseng have?

Whether ginseng really helps with skin problems, erectile dysfunction or menopause is explained in more detail in this article. The doubt as to how ginseng is taken or prepared correctly is explained. Many of these questions that require answers are to be objectively clarified in this article on the basis of studies and evidence.

the essentials in brief

  • Ginseng is a medicinal plant with an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory effect. It has a supportive and soothing effect.
  • The ivy plant can be taken in a variety of ways. Ginseng can be administered as a tea, raw as a root, drops or in the form of capsules.
  • Ginseng can support high blood pressure, the immune system, hair growth and skin problems. It also helps with menopause symptoms.

The effects of ginseng: what you should know

The following questions are designed to answer your important questions through studies and contributions. And give you information about the medicinal plant ginseng.

What is ginseng?

Ginseng belongs to the ivy family. It consists of cylinder-like roots, has 1 to 4 fingers and is about 30 to 80 centimeters high. The flowers bear drupes that are a deep red.(1) Ginseng tastes bitter at first, but then sways to a sweet taste. Ginseng has a faint odor. However, it tastes intense.

There are different types of ginseng, the best known being white ginseng and red ginseng. The White Ginseng is light brown to light yellow and the Red Ginseng is a mixture of red and brown. (2)

How does ginseng work?

Ginseng can be taken for a period of 3 months or 90 days. If the ginseng is taken every day over this period with about 1 to 2 grams, it should be discontinued for about 30 days.

The ivy plant is absorbed by the body through the mucous membranes and thus achieves a beneficial effect. This means that the ginseng does not fight the disease or symptoms, but helps the body to come into balance to stop disease.

Ginseng has many different positive effects, so it can be taken for a variety of reasons. Whether chronic fatigue, a weakened immune system or mood swings. But more on that later in the article.

How fast does ginseng work?

In order to achieve an effect with ginseng, the natural product should be taken for 3 months. It doesn't matter whether it's in the form of a tea, capsule or raw.

The ginseng root is a herbal remedy. These natural remedy carriers need their time to develop their effects. Therefore patience must be exercised.

Where does ginseng grow?

Ginseng originally comes from East Asia. Most come from Korea and China. The Korean ginseng is the most popular and grows in the mountain forests. The herbaceous plant is also found in smaller amounts in Japan and America.

But ginseng is also cultivated in Germany. More than nine hectares of ginseng are cultivated on the Florafarm in Lower Saxony. The root stays underground for 6 years and is then harvested to the best quality. (3)

Plantation with ginseng roots

The ginseng root is very sensitive and needs a period of 6 years before it can be harvested. (Source:

What are the side effects of ginseng?

Ginseng offers many benefits, but side effects of the ivy plant have been identified.

Digestive problems have been reported with the use of ginseng supplements. These were shown by minor stomach problems. The side effects can show up as nausea and vomiting, the so-called nausea. Diarrhea was also noted as a side effect.

Headaches and insomnia were also reported. Therefore, a doctor's advice should be sought before or while taking ginseng. (4)

How can ginseng be taken?

Ginseng can be taken in a number of ways. If you want to achieve specific effects, the route of administration can result in a higher or lower effect.

Type revenue
tea Pour 150 milliliters of boiling water over 2 grams of dried, finely chopped root. Let the tea steep for 5 to 10 minutes and strain. (5)
root Put 1 gram of the dried root in your mouth and slowly let it soften in your mouth. Thus, the active ingredients can be absorbed through the oral mucosa. (6)
drops 5 to 10 drops daily are recommended. The drops are absorbed through the oral mucosa. (7)
capsules The capsule is simply placed in the mouth and swallowed with water. The dose may vary with different brands.

No matter what form you take the ginseng in. You should clarify the dosage with a doctor.

Who Should Not Take Ginseng?

There are also people and situations where ginseng should be avoided, including:

  • pregnant women
  • breastfeeding
  • minors
  • people with autoimmune disease
  • When taking blood-thinning medication
  • Related to caffeine

Since ginseng has not yet been sufficiently studied, pregnant women, breastfeeding women and minors should not take the drug to be on the safe side.

Ginseng also has a blood-thinning effect, so it is advisable not to take ginseng with blood-thinning medication. Furthermore, the remedy has an increased effect on caffeine-containing agents.

What alternatives are there to ginseng?

If you are looking for a herbal alternative to ginseng, consider ginger, masterwort, or sleeping berry. But not every plant has the same effect and can help with all ailments.

Type Effect
Ginger Ginger root helps with high blood pressure, dementia, arthritis, fever, and inflammation (8)
Masterwort The effect of masterwort is anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and antiallergic. It is also proven to be good for bone metabolism and anti-cancer. (9)
sleeping berry The berry works for insomnia, dizziness and exhaustion (10)

All of these herbal remedies do not treat the symptoms, but have a supportive effect. Side effects may occur.

What effect does ginseng have on various ailments?

Ginseng is used in traditional Chinese medicine for a wide variety of ailments. These are explained in more detail in the following paragraphs.

Ginseng against skin problems

Acne inhibits your own self-confidence and you feel more comfortable in your own skin. Antibiotic treatment only helps to a limited extent and is also not good for the body.

Red ginseng promises an improvement. It has antibacterial substances in it that can help relieve acne. Ginseng is said to have the same antibacterial value as azelaic acid.

Here we recommend a cream with ginseng. Evidence shows that after 4 weeks with simple to moderate acne, an improvement in the sebum content is visible and skin redness has also been reduced. (11)

Ginseng in cognitive abilities

The mind is difficult to influence. At work or in private crises, you often need a lot of cognitive skills to keep an overview. Ginseng should be able to support this performance.

There is a difference between man and woman. In men, the ginseng has almost no effect on cognitive abilities. A study found that ginseng does not affect cognition, but does affect the cardiovascular system. (12)

The women who took ginseng also improved their cognitive performance due to the improved cardiovascular system. However, ginseng does not directly affect cognitive ability.(12)

ginseng tea

You can not only prepare ginseng for tea. The root can also be eaten raw, or taken in the form of drops or capsules. (

Ginseng for high blood pressure

High blood pressure is not uncommon and is usually treated with antihypertensive drugs. But maybe you are looking for an alternative?

The effect of ginseng on high blood pressure was tested by a study and the effect was confirmed. But there are factors to consider when using ginseng for high blood pressure. (13)

First, the dose matters. Too low a dose shows no significant effect on hypertension. An amount of 300 milligrams per day shows an effect in people with high blood pressure. (13)

Furthermore, high blood pressure cannot be compared to skin problems or a person's cognitive abilities. Therefore, before taking ginseng, in whatever form, a doctor should be consulted. He can adjust the amount and duration for each individual or, if necessary, advise against taking the ginseng or be consulted if side effects occur during the intake.

Ginseng in menopause

Are you a woman going through menopause? The constant hot flashes, headaches and the additional insomnia limit your life? Would you like to avoid hormone therapy because it can promote other diseases such as breast cancer? Then use the natural medicinal plant ginseng.

Consider this alternative to hormone therapy if you want it. If you take ginseng regularly for about 90 days, you might feel a change. Ginseng can alleviate symptoms of menopause and thus improve the quality of life. (14)

It has also been proven that ginseng has a positive effect on sexual dysfunction during menopause.(14)

ginseng for hair

Hair loss can cause psychological distress. A well-groomed appearance is also reflected in well-groomed hair. But what to do if bald spots appear or hair growth is not working properly?

A hair transplant is expensive and various branded products promise shampoos and hair serums that make hair grow back or grow faster. These are often empty promises.


An alternative to chemical hair products is ginseng.

Natural ginseng can help here. Scientific studies have shown that the plant has a positive effect on human hair. The extract, which is obtained from the ginseng, promotes the hair cycle after about 7 weeks. The ginseng activates the hair roots. (15)

An effect on hair regeneration in hair loss has not yet been sufficiently investigated. However, it is believed that treatment with ginseng could be applicable to bald spots. (15)


Various shampoos are often referred to as miracle cures and promise success.

There are different brands at different prices. However, if you have to use the shampoo for months to get a result, it can quickly become expensive. Not only the price, but the duration make the product expensive. The shampoo should activate the hair roots and thus increase growth.

The disadvantages of a hair growth shampoo are, on the one hand, the ingredients. Since these do not only have to be natural, you can have an allergic reaction to them. Then please put the product down. Another shortcoming is that the shampoo usually has to be used for weeks to months to achieve a result.

Ginseng for the immune system

A weakened immune system can cause many problems. Often one then takes pills that were prescribed to one by the doctor in order to strengthen it again.

But the herbal alternative ginseng from traditional Chinese medicine can also support the immune system.

A clinical study has shown that taking red ginseng strengthens the immune system. The energy metabolism is regulated by ginseng, which strengthens the immune system and gives new strength. (16)


Ginseng has been shown to have many benefits when dosed and consumed correctly. If you talk to your doctor, you can get relief from certain symptoms. The ginseng didn't promise too much, but confirmed its effect. However, ginseng is not a miracle cure that can cure diseases, it is only supportive.

If you value a natural alternative to medication, you should turn to ginseng for medical advice. But since it is a purely herbal remedy, you should not expect a quick effect, and this if it only occurs for a certain period of time.


  1. Thomas Brendler, Jörg Grünwald, Christof Jänicke (2003): Medicinal Plants. Stuttgart, Germany: Medpharm Scientific Publ.
  2. Funke Digital GmbH (oJ): Ginseng root: Ginseng. In: Lexicon of Medicinal Plants. Online at:
  3. Florafarm GmbH. (oJ): Ginsen harvest. In: About Florafarm.
  4. Caron MF, Hotsko AL, Robertson S, Mandybur L, Kluger J, White CM. Electrocardiographic and hemodynamic effects of Panax ginseng. Ann Pharmacother. 2002 May;36(5):758-63. doi: 10.1345/aph.1A411. PMID: 11978148.
  5. dr Daniela Oesterle / Martina Feichter (2017): How is ginseng used. In: Ginseng.
  6. Florafarm GmbH. (oJ): What is the best way to take ginseng? In: Ginseng: effect - side effect - interaction.
  7. Thomas Brendler, Jörg Grünwald, Christof Jänicke (2003): Medicinal Plants. Stuttgart, Germany: Medpharm Scientific Publ.
  8. Haniadka R, Saldanha E, Sunita V, Palatty PL, Fayad R, Baliga MS. A review of the gastroprotective effects of ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe). food function 2013 Jun;4(6):845-55. doi: 10.1039/c3fo30337c. Epub 2013 Apr 24. PMID: 23612703.
  9. Jarząb A, Grabarska A, Skalicka-Woźniak K, Stepulak A. Pharmacological features of osthole. Postepy Hig Med Dosw (Online). 2017 May 15;71(0):411-421. doi: 10.5604/01.3001.0010.3824. PMID: 28513464.
  10. Kuboyama T, Tohda C, Komatsu K. Effects of Ashwagandha (roots of Withania somnifera) on neurodegenerative diseases. Biol Pharm Bull. 2014;37(6):892-7. doi: 10.1248/bpb.b14-00022. PMID: 24882401.
  11. Hou JH, Shin H, Jang KH, Park CK, Koo B, Shin H, Yuk SH, Lee KY. Anti-acne properties of hydrophobic fraction of red ginseng (Panax ginseng CA Meyer) and its active components. Phytother Res. 2019 Mar;33(3):584-590. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6243. Epub 2018 Dec 3. PMID: 30506753.
  12. Ong Lai Teik D, Lee XS, Lim CJ, Low CM, Muslima M, Aquili L. Ginseng and Ginkgo Biloba Effects on Cognition as Modulated by Cardiovascular Reactivity: A Randomized Trial. PLoS One. 2016 Mar 3;11(3):e0150447. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0150447. PMID: 26938637; PMCID: PMC4777384.
  13. Rhee MY, Cho B, Kim KI, Kim J, Kim MK, Lee EK, Kim HJ, Kim CH. Blood pressure lowering effect of Korea ginseng derived ginseol K-g1. Am J Chin Med. 2014;42(3):605-18. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X14500396. PMID: 24871654.
  14. Ghorbani Z, Mirghafourvand M, Charandabi SM, Javadzadeh Y. The effect of ginseng on sexual dysfunction in menopausal women: A double-blind, randomized, controlled trial. Complement Ther Med. 2019 Aug;45:57-64. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2019.05.015. Epub 2019 May 22. PMID: 31331583.
  15. Park S, Shin WS, Ho J. Fructus panax ginseng extract promotes hair regeneration in C57BL/6 mice. J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Nov 18;138(2):340-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2011.08.013. Epub 2011 Sep 21. PMID: 21959181.
  16. Liu J, Nile SH, Xu G, Wang Y, Kai G. Systematic exploration of Astragalus membranaceus and Panax ginseng as immune regulators: Insights from the comparative biological and computational analysis. phytomedicine. 2019 Aug 23:153077. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2019.153077. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 31477352.
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