Healing Foods

Ginseng – Aphrodisiac and not only


There are many types of Ginseng roots, and even on each type there are many levels of quality according to the environment it has been grown, the age and some other criteria which will be described during this article. Since there are significant differences between the different types, we will treat them as such in different sub-articles below.

Ginseng – Radix Panax Ginseng

Ginseng is a powerful anti-stress ingredient. Panax Ginseng is used as a tonic for general weakness, no appetite, cold limbs, low sex drive and anti-aging.  Ginseng increases physical and mental efficiency, helping with mental focus. It prevents fatigue. It is not a stimulant like the coffee, yet it increases the alertness. It is an excellent ingredient for improving memory especially for older people.

It is a blood sugar regulator.

Energies affectedJing, Qi and Shen
Thermal energyWarm
TasteSweet & Bitter
Organ associationsSpleen & Lungs

Panax ginseng contains panaxin (a stimulant of the brain, heart and blood vessels), panax acid (stimulant of general metabolism), panaquilin (stimulant of internal secretions), panacen (stimulant of central nervous system), ginsenin (lowers blood sugar), vitamins A, B1, B2 ad C, Germanium (powerful immunostimulant) and glycoside (antioxidant). The wilder and older the roots are, the better quality and more authentic the ginseng becomes. See below a few varieties of the Radix Panax Ginseng:

Wild Ginseng Root

Wild ginseng grows in deep-shaded forests in China and Korea. It is a plant that never grows next to stagnant waters. It is more expensive than the cultivated ginseng even though it doesn’t look better. The best quality ginseng comes from Changbai mountain in the northeast China at the border of North Korea.

Wild Korean Ginseng

North Korean Red Ginseng / South Korean Red Ginseng

Generally cultivated to increase physical power, especially sexual power.  It is very yang in nature, and therefore has a hot energy. Both Korean ginseng products come classified in three classes: Heaven, Earth and Man, according to their quality and associated price. There are many counterfeit products available on the market, so make sure you are always purchasing it from a known supplier.

Wild red ginseng

Chinese Shih Chu Red Ginseng

A powerful, yet mild ginseng, it affects the body, mind and intellect. Even if it means to spend more money, it is always better to choose the high grading ginseng products, cultivated from wild seeds.

Hot to Prepare or Cook Ginseng

The best is to follow the instructions mentioned on the packaging. Some people not only boil it together with other herbs, but also eating it in small quantities.  It has no side effects, and it safe to consume it. Same as everything, it is not good to exaggerate. Give necessary time to your body to assimilate it and use it in the desired direction.

Tips from a Daoist Master

As recommended by our Tai Chi Daoist master Huang Xin Shifu, the ginseng fresh roots should be placed in bottle of fine alcohol, and kept for a few months before consuming it as a medicine for increasing overall energy.

Siberian Ginseng – Radix Acanthopanacis

Very famous because it has been used by Russian cosmonauts, reported to have a strong influence on their stamina, physical strength, mental power and concentration. Siberian ginseng is a powerful adaptogen agent. Very safe to use, Siberian ginseng has no negative side effects.

It increases respiratory power by improving the ability of the body to absorb oxygen. For this reason, it has become popular for Russian cosmonauts during space travel. Used regularly, it will improve the respiratory capacity.

Siberian ginseng

It also has the ability to increase the sensorial perception. It increases the night vision capacity.

Energies affectedJing, Qi
Thermal energyWarm
TasteBitter & astringent
Organ associationsSpleen, Lungs, Kidneys, Heart and Liver

Siberian ginseng promotes the recovery of hemoglobin and stimulates antibodies production.

American Ginseng – Radix Panax Quinquefolium

American ginseng is very different from the Asian ginseng. American ginseng is a yin tonic cold comparing to the Asian one which is hot and yang tonic.

American ginseng is popular as a cooling herb, replenishing fluids, especially beneficial during hot weather. American ginseng is highly appreciated for its ability to promote the secretion of body fluids.

American ginseng

People who appreciate the power of ginseng roots use both versions, according to the climate they are in. In the warm months they use American ginseng and in the cold ones they use Asian ginseng.

Energies affectedYin and Qi
Thermal energyCool
TasteSweet and Slightly Bitter
Organ associationsSpleen, Lungs and Stomach

Indian Ginseng – Ashwagandha

This type of ginseng has a calming anti-stress effect. It can be used to combat general fatigue. Same as all the other types of ginseng, it has to be consumed in moderation, otherwise causing imbalances in the digestive system. It is recommended not to be taken by pregnant women or people who have ulcer or other stomach disfunctions.

Indian ginseng

Ashwagandha helps against insomnia. It controls blood sugar and boosts the immune system.

Energies affectedJing and Qi
Thermal energyHot
Organ associationsSpleen, Lungs and Stomach and Kidneys

Moderation – The Ki Train Method Path

No food, herbs or supplements should be taken for long periods or in large quantities. Follow the instructions on the packaging and always do a thorough research, both online and offline (books, intuition, meditation). Find someone who has used Ginseng before and ask them about their results. Try it yourself and observe your body’s reactions. Use your intuition to evaluate every new ingredient you are trying. Whenever you notice discomfort caused by a new food or herb intake, discontinue its use and research further. Some items are not for everyone.; there is no general treatment applicable to everybody. We are all unique and therefore must tailor our diets to our specific needs.