Forms of Ginseng and Where to Find Them

December 31, 2014 Updated: June 24, 2015

Last week, I described the three different varieties of ginseng. Today, I want to explain the available forms of ginseng and where to find them.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, ginseng is usually used in a formula with other Chinese herbs, rather than alone. A skilled Chinese herbalist can recommend the right formula or type of ginseng for you. Ginseng also can be used alone as a tonic. Alone, ginseng can be found raw, in capsules, and tinctures. Raw, unpeeled ginseng can be found at many Asian markets. Dried and peeled ginseng is available in powdered capsules or granules. The capsules and tinctures are easily found in Asian markets and in many health food stores. When you take ginseng, be sure to use standardized products that contain at least 1.5% ginsenosides. If you can’t consult a herbalist, you can find general guidelines on what type of ginseng might be right for you by reading my previous post All About Ginseng. Please note the cautions and contraindications when you take ginseng or any other supplement.

Jennifer Dubowsky, LAc, is a licensed acupuncturist with a practice in downtown Chicago, Illinois, since 2002. Dubowsky earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from University of Illinois in Chicago and her Master of Science degree in Oriental Medicine from Southwest Acupuncture College in Boulder, Colorado. During her studies, she completed an internship at the Sino-Japanese Friendship Hospital in Beijing, China. Dubowsky has researched and written articles on Chinese medicine and has given talks on the topic. She maintains a popular blog about health and Chinese medicine at Acupuncture Blog Chicago. Adventures in Chinese Medicine is her first book. You can find her at