What is Ginseng?

The word ‘ginseng’ is derived from ren-shen, the Chinese word for the plant, which means ‘essence of the earth in the form of a man’ or ‘man-root,’ referring to the root's human-like shape.1

Korean Ginseng: There are a few different herbs that may be referred to as ‘ginseng’ however, true ginseng relates to the herb of the Panax genus of the Araliaceae family, known as Panax ginseng, common name Korean ginseng.1

Other Ginsengs: Another herb commonly known as Withania is sometimes referred to as Indian ginseng because it is used in much the same way in Ayurvedic medicine as Panax ginseng is used in traditional Chinese medicine.4  The herb Donq quai, commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine, is regarded as a ‘female’ remedy and may be referred to as women’s ginseng.4  Maca is a vegetable that can be found wild in Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Argentina.2  Although it is not in the same family as ginseng, this energizing plant may be referred to as Peruvian ginseng.2,4  The Panax species should not be confused with Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus), which is from a different botanical family.1

Siberian Ginseng

Siberian ginseng is a small, woody shrub native to south-eastern Russia, northern China, Korea, and Japan.3  Although it is not related to true ginseng, the name Siberian ginseng became popular based on the herb’s potential properties that were similar to Panax/Korean ginseng.3  Siberian ginseng is also called ‘eleuthero’ in some products.3  The root of the Siberian ginseng plant is the part used in herbal medicines.4

Benefits of Siberian Ginseng

According to Chinese medical records Siberian ginseng has been in use for over 2000 years.4  In traditional Chinese medicine Siberian ginseng was used to prevent colds and flu and to increase vitality and energy.4

Traditionally, Siberian ginseng has also been used as an adaptogen to fight against stress and fatigue, for increased endurance and memory improvement, as well as for immunological enhancement, and overall well-being.3

Siberian ginseng is now widely used by herbalists and naturopaths to assist with nervous exhaustion or anxiety due to long-term exposure to stress. It has also been used as a tonic in times of fatigue and debility or during, convalescence.4  Siberian ginseng appears to alter many chemicals involved in switching the body’s stress responses on and off and as such it is used to improve wellbeing during times of stress.4

Uses for Siberian Ginseng

  • To help maintain stamina during times of excessive physical exercise/demands.
  • To help maintain normal energy levels.
  • As a tonic, helping to maintain general well-being.
  • To help strengthen the body’s immune response and maintain a healthy immune system.
  • To help the body deal with physical and mental stress and to support the body’s stress-coping mechanisms.
  • May help maintain normal physical and mental performance particularly where there is fatigue and low energy.


The recommended dosage for Siberian ginseng is 1000mg (1g) – 4000mg (4g) per day of dried root or equivalent.4  Siberian ginseng is recommended for use for a period of 1-3 months at a time.4
By Heidi Anderson Bachelor of Health Science (NAT)

Sanofi Consumer Healthcare


[1] Natural Standard – Ginseng; 2012;; date accessed: 5th October, 2012

[2] Natural Standard – Maca; 2012;; date accessed: 5th October, 2012

[3] Natural Standard – Siberian Ginseng; 2012;; date accessed: 5th October, 2012

[4] Braun, L and Cohen, M; CD to Accompany Herbs and Natural Supplements, An Evidence Based Guide 2nd Edition; Elsevier; Australia; 2007; page 360, 577, 581, 582, 584, 586 & 1370

MICROgenics Siberian Ginseng provides 3gm (3000mg) of standardised Siberian Ginseng dried root extract per capsule. It is available for secure order from our online shop.

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