What is Red Ginseng Tea?

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  • Written By: Celeste Heiter
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 14 January 2020
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Red ginseng tea is an herbal beverage brewed from ginseng root. It is typically packaged in individual tea bags, but it is also available as instant tea. Red ginseng tea acts as a stimulant and is believed to have therapeutic properties.

Like other types of tea, it is usually brewed with hot water, although it may also be used to make iced tea. Red ginseng tea may be served plain, or it may be sweetened with honey or sugar and mixed with milk or lemon juice. Compared to other types of tea, red ginseng tea is relatively expensive.

In its natural form, ginseng root is tan in color and shaped like a human figure with appendages that resemble arms and legs. Red ginseng is produced from roots that have matured to 6-years-old. The production process for red ginseng tea requires steam-heating the ginseng root to 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius), which causes the root to turn reddish brown. This process is believed to increase the potency and preserve the active ingredients in the ginseng. The root is then dried and powdered for making tea.


Known also as Ginnsuu, ginseng root is native to cooler climates in eastern Asia, especially Korea, China and Siberia. Ginseng also grows in North America, where it is cultivated in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and British Columbia, as well as in the state of Wisconsin in the United States. Commercially cultivated Panax ginseng is the most commonly used Asian species for the production of red ginseng tea, although American red ginseng tea is also available. The most widely consumed red ginseng teas come from Korea.

The primary active ingredients in ginseng are called ginsenosides. Ginseng been extensively studied for its effects on cancer and immune deficiencies. It has also been tested as an anti-inflammatory and as a treatment for male erectile dysfunction. Ginseng also shows promise as an antiretroviral for the treatments of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

Red ginseng tea is a powerful herbal brew that should be used with caution as it may have both beneficial effects and significant side effects. For therapeutic purposes in Chinese medicine, red ginseng tea is believed to increase sexual potency, improve circulation and restore vital energy after an illness. The side effects of red ginseng tea may include high blood pressure, low blood sugar and gastric disorders. Since it is a stimulant, it may also cause anxiety and insomnia.


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Post 3

@ZipLine-- My red ginseng tea has directions written on it and it says not to drink the tea regularly for more than three weeks. So perhaps the side effects show up with excessive/continued use.

I wouldn't drink red ginseng tea every day or multiple times a day. I think it's better to use it briefly as a supplement during times of illness or stress.

Post 2

@ZipLine-- Red ginseng tea is said to regulate many things in the body, including blood pressure and blood sugar. But like all things, it can have side effects as well. It's not possibly to predict how every individual will react to a herb. Moreover, if someone takes other medications and supplements, they may interact with red ginseng tea.

Red ginseng tea is a stimulant though. That's why it gives energy. Many people drink it in place of coffee. Just like coffee, red ginseng tea may cause increased heart beat and anxiety. I think these effects are more subtle though.

It also depends on how potent the tea is. For example, I drink Korean red ginseng tea that is quite potent. It really works like coffee when I have it in the morning.

Post 1

I'm surprised to hear about the potential side effects of red ginseng tea in the last paragraph. I thought that red ginseng tea is beneficial for high blood pressure. It's also supposed to improve mood and fight depression. Red ginseng tea has more benefits than risks though correct?

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