The potential health benefits of ginseng include immune system improvement, a decrease in blood sugar levels, and temporary improvement of concentration ability, according to WebMD. It has also been studied as a way to boost endurance and treat cancer, heart disease and fatigue, but evidence of its effectiveness is inconclusive.
Additionally, ginseng is used by some to treat erectile dysfunction, hepatitis C, symptoms of menopause and high blood pressure, and it potentially helps improve moods. Some studies on mental performance used a combination of ginseng and ginkgo, which resulted in a modest improvement in focus and learning, reports WebMD. However, not enough research has been done to fully support any of these medical uses of ginseng, as of 2015.
There are two kinds of ginseng, Asian or Korean ginseng and American ginseng, explains WebMD. It is one of the most used herbal medicines in the world. Research has shown that each type of ginseng produces different results. As far as traditional Chinese medicine in concerned, American ginseng is less stimulating. Other herbs, such as eleuthero and Siberian ginseng, are also referred to as ginseng. However, these herbs do not contain the main active ingredient, ginsenocides.
Since quality and concentration of active ingredients vary so greatly in supplements, a standard dose is unavailable. WebMD recommends purchasing ginseng supplements from an established trustworthy company. Ginseng is not provided naturally by any other food sources, though some companies add it to beverages.