Which ginseng tea is best?
For thousands of years, the ginseng root has been used to treat a myriad of health issues, from respiratory problems and high blood pressure to chronic stress. Although its effectiveness as a cure-all hasn’t been entirely confirmed by science, there are a few significant reasons to consider trying this bitter-tasting tea.
Not all ginseng tea is made equal, so a bit of research is recommended before choosing a product. Ilhwa Pure Concentrated Ginseng Tea is the top pick because it contains 100 percent ginseng extract that’s been carefully cultivated in South Korea.
What to know before you buy a ginseng tea
Benefits of ginseng tea
Unlike some herbal teas on the market, ginseng root has been studied quite extensively over the years in the attempt to verify or disprove its many purported health benefits. The following benefits are backed up by science:
- Ginseng root could reduce inflammation in eczema.
- Ingesting ginseng tea could boost the immune system and may increase the effectiveness of certain flu vaccines.
- Although it doesn’t contain any caffeine, ginseng has long been used as a natural way to boost your energy level and fight fatigue.
- Research has indicated that Korean red ginseng could be useful as a treatment for erectile dysfunction.
Despite the benefits of ginseng tea, there are a few negative side effects to consider. People who take prescription medications, particularly those related to high blood pressure, should talk with their doctor before regularly consuming ginseng tea. Children and people who are pregnant may want to avoid ingesting too much ginseng. Studies have also shown that Korean ginseng root may become less effective over time, so consider taking a break from ingesting the root every couple of weeks. Like other energy-boosting drinks, avoid taking ginseng too close to bedtime.
Preparing ginseng tea
Ginseng tea typically comes in a liquid extract, bag or powder. You can also buy fresh ginseng root at specialty food markets. To make the tea, bring a pot of fresh water to a boil, then let it cool off for about a minute. Pour the hot water onto the ginseng root and add honey or whatever flavoring you’d like. Steep the tea for about 5-10 minutes, remove the root and enjoy. If the tea tastes too strong, consider mixing your concoction with another beverage, such as green tea or cold lemonade.
What to look for in a quality ginseng tea
Most ginseng tea sold in stores is either Korean or American ginseng. Korean ginseng, also known as Asian ginseng, is recommended for short-term use and is often used to treat ailments such as fatigue. American ginseng has a slightly different chemical makeup and is considered less stimulating than its Asian counterpart. This tea is often used long term and may be more effective at treating high blood pressure and boosting the immune system.
You might also come across varieties such as Siberian ginseng or Indian ginseng, otherwise known as ashwagandha. Despite their names, these herbs come from completely different plants and therefore aren’t considered “true” ginseng.
There isn’t much information on ginseng dosage but most suppliers recommend taking around 100-1000 milligrams a day for up to eight weeks. Check your ginseng tea’s brewing instructions to confirm the recommended dosage.
How much you can expect to spend on ginseng tea
The cost of ginseng tea usually depends on the size of the container and quality of the root. A bottle of concentrated ginseng extract usually costs around $15-$60, while a box of 20 tea bags is about $2-$10.
Ginseng tea FAQ
What does ginseng tea taste like?
A. Ginseng has a bitter, earthy taste that some find unpleasant, so many people mix the root with ingredients such as cinnamon, ginger or honey.
Does ginseng tea have caffeine?
A. Despite its use as a popular energy-boosting supplement, ginseng contains no caffeine. Instead, the chemical compounds found in the root are thought to encourage cell production and reduce the presence of free radicals in the body — two functions that may give the user a boost in energy.
What’s the best ginseng tea to buy?
Top ginseng tea
What you need to know: This liquid ginseng extract is very concentrated and comes in a glass bottle with a measuring spoon.
What you’ll love: Dissolve one spoonful of the Korean red ginseng extract in hot water and you’ll have a potent tea with no additives. The small glass jar is portable and easy to store, and it contains about 100 servings.
What you should consider: This red ginseng extract is more expensive than other teas on the market.
Where to buy: Sold by iHerb
Top ginseng tea for the money
What you need to know: Sold by a leading manufacturer of herbal teas, this budget-friendly blend is perfect for people who want to try ginseng.
What you’ll love: These tea bags contain a blend of ginseng and green tea alongside other energy-boosting botanicals such as guarana and yerba mate. Many users love the taste when it’s served over ice.
What you should consider: This tea blend isn’t pure ginseng, and it contains caffeine from the green tea, guarana and yerba mate.
Where to buy: Sold by iHerb
Worth checking out
What you need to know: If you’re curious about the more mellow American ginseng, these affordable tea bags are a solid choice.
What you’ll love: The tea bags contain 100 percent pure American ginseng grown in Wisconsin for three to five years. The product is free of gluten and genetically modified organisms. Some ginseng lovers enjoy the strong, pure flavor of this tea.
What you should consider: Not everyone will enjoy the taste of this pure ginseng tea.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Patrick Farmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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