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What Is White Ginseng For?

author image Jessica Jacobs
Jessica Jacobs is a registered dietitian and professional writer, contributing to "Fitness Magazine" since 2003. She received a B.A. in journalism from Arizona State University and an M.S. in nutrition and food sciences from the University of Texas at Austin.
What Is White Ginseng For?
Close up of ginseng powder in a bowl. Photo Credit JK1991/iStock/Getty Images

Ginseng refers to one of eleven species of perennial plants that belong to the genus Panax of the Araliacae family. You can find ginseng in four available forms, including white ginseng. This form of ginseng comes from fresh ginseng that has grown for four to six years. Manufacturers then peel and dry the ginseng to reduce the water content to 12 percent or less, producing the white ginseng. As with any health supplement, check with your doctor prior to consuming white ginseng.

White Ginseng

White ginseng is dried ginseng. To produce white ginseng, manufacturers air dry ginseng in the sun. The process of sun drying bleaches the roots of the ginseng plant to a yellowish-white color. This bleaching process may reduce the therapeutic constituents found in ginseng, although clinical studies have not confirmed this theory. Some scientists, however, believe that enzymes present in the ginseng roots breakdown the therapeutic constituents of the ginseng during the bleaching process.

White Ginseng in Chinese Medicine

In Chinese medicine, herbal doctors believe that white ginseng holds cooling properties. These cooling properties make this herb ideal should you have excess yang, or heat, in your inner body. According to Chinese tradition, white ginseng helps to balance your heat, as opposed to red ginseng that can exacerbate your inner yang. Additionally, Chinese medicine believes that white ginseng can strengthen your Yyuan qi, the vital energy you are born with. Clinical studies have not confirmed these benefits of white ginseng proposed by Chinese medicine.

White Ginseng Benefits

According to the book “Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine,” white ginseng is a stimulant that can reduce blood sugar levels in in some individuals. Additionally, white ginseng can reduce the effects of stress, aid in alleviating mental and body fatigue, boost energy levels and help to sustain your body functions. A study published in the April 2010 “Journal of the American Botanical Council,” also found that Korean white ginseng enhanced the cognitive functions of some patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

Korean White Ginseng

In traditional Korean medicine, white Ginseng is considered an adaptogen, a substance that has the ability to restore your body’s balance. White ginseng, therefore, can increase your overall resistance to stress, according to traditional Korean medicine. Additionally, Korean medicine uses white ginseng to both stimulate and relax your body's systems depending on your needs. The benefits of white ginseng proposed by traditional Korean medicine have not, however, been proven in a clinical setting.

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