Ashwagandha and ginseng have different health benefits. Ashwagandha calms you down while ginseng is a stimulant, among them having other effects as well. Your doctor can help you decide which supplement is right for you.
Are you interested in the health benefits of ashwagandha and ginseng, but don’t know which one is better? Read on to learn all about their different health benefits!
What is ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is also known as Indian Ginseng or Indian Winter Cherry. It is an evergreen shrub found in Africa, India, and parts of the Middle East.
It has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to reduce inflammation, improve overall health, increase energy, and help with pain and anxiety.
What is ginseng?
Ginseng is a perennial plant that grows slowly. The word ginseng is derived from a Chinese word that means “person” and “plant root”, referring to the forked shape of ginseng’s roots. The roots can grow to be between 2 to 12 inches long.
Ginseng can be found in the Northern Hemisphere of eastern Asia as well as in North America. It is used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Ginseng contains compounds called ginsenosides. These are the active ingredients responsible for ginseng’s health benefits.
Ginseng roots are sold in a dried form to be used as a stimulant and antidiabetes herb.
What is the difference between Ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine?
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) originated in China, while Ayurvedic medicine originated in India. Both practices are thousands of years old. They are both holistic approaches to mental and physical health.
Although both use herbs, one thing that differs is the type of herbs because different herbs grow in each country.
TCM is based on the concept that Qi, or life energy, flows through the body along meridians. If the energy gets blocked, an illness will arise. TCM removes the blockages so that Qi can flow freely.
In Ayurveda there are three doshas, or life energies: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. They are made of the five elements: earth, water, fire, air, and ether. If the doshas are unbalanced, diseases manifest. Ayurvedic medicine balances the doshas.
What has ashwagandha been proven to do?
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, which means it helps your body manage stress. Researchers found that it blocks the stress pathways in the brains of rats, while studies on humans are similarly promising.
Many studies published on PubMed show that ashwagandha reduces blood level sugars in people with and without diabetes.
Test-tube and animal studies have discovered that a compound in ashwagandha called withaferin induces apoptosis, which kills cancer cells and interrupts the growth of new ones.
It can also increase strength and muscle mass. In a study by Sachin Wankhede, people who took ashwagandha gained much more muscle strength and size, as well as doubled their reduction in percentage of body fat, when compared to the placebo group.
What has ginseng been proven to do?
Ginseng has an anti-inflammatory effect. It also contains many antioxidants and can improve antioxidant activity.
Ginseng can benefit brain functions like mood, behavior, and memory. One study showed that a single dose of ginseng increased mental performance in a 10-minute test. Studies also show positive effects on people with Alzheimer’s.
Ginseng can help people recover their immune systems after chemotherapy and enhance the effect of vaccines.
It is also a mild stimulant.
Should I work with a doctor when taking herbal supplements?
You should always work with a doctor when you take herbal supplements. You can collaborate with your primary care doctor, a psychiatrist, or an herbalist. This is especially important if you have a health condition, if you’re pregnant, if you’re taking other medications, or if you’re taking other herbs.
Herbs contain chemicals just like pharmaceuticals do. Therefore, they can interact with other things you are taking. Doctors will know about these interactions and avoid prescribing you things that won’t work well together.
Additionally, doctors will be able to monitor your progress and inform you of any potential side effects. They can also recommend good products at the correct dosage for what you need.
Why are herbal supplements becoming so popular?
There has been a big boost in the sales of herbal supplements and alternative medicines, similar to what was seen in the 60’s.
People are becoming increasingly aware of their health and are growing more wary of Western pharmaceuticals and instead turning to Eastern medicine to help with their ailments.
A lot of people and doctors believe that the best way to treat disease is through a mixture of both Western and Eastern approaches.
What dosages should I take?
According to American Family Physician, most ginseng studies use an extract at 200mg each day. Another way to take ginseng on a short-term basis is by taking between .5 and 2 grams of dry root as a tea or chewed. Capsules are typically between 100 and 600mg per day divided into multiple doses.
Ashwagandha doses range from 250mg to 5g each day, but finding the right dose depends on your tolerance of the herb as well as what benefits you’re looking for.
It’s important to work with a doctor to monitor your progress and find the right dosage for you.
What are some questions I should ask about the herbal supplement I’m buying?
There are a couple questions you should consider when you buy an herbal supplement.
- Am I getting a therapeutic and sufficient dose?
- Does the supplement contain the right amount of active compounds?
- Are the correct parts of the herb being used?
- Is my body able to absorb the nutrients in the way the supplement is presenting them?
Which is better: ashwagandha or ginseng?
Ashwagandha and ginseng are hard to compare because they both have different health effects.
If you want reduced anxiety, reduced blood sugar, potential cancer treatment, and increased strength, you should take ashwagandha.
If you’re looking for anti-inflammatory effects, antioxidants, improved brain function, immune system recovery, or a stimulant, you should take ginseng.
Talk to your doctor to see which health benefits you need and whether or not either supplement interacts with drugs you’re already taking. Under a doctor’s supervision, you will be able to choose which supplement is right for you.