I may receive a commission for purchases made through product links on this page, but I always stand by my opinions and endorsements!
So you wanna take your health to the next level.
Maybe you’re getting serious about your New Year’s resolution. Or perhaps you’re just sick and tired of feeling average.
Either way, congratulations! You’re making a life changing decision.
Once your diet and exercise routine are on point, you just need to take some high-quality supplements.
No biggie, right?
Only problem is, there are SO many supplements to choose from. 100s of capsules, powders, tablets, herbs and more.
It can be really overwhelming, and hard to know which one is the right fit for you.
So that’s why I’ve created this Supplement Comparison Series.
Today’s article features Ashwagandha vs Ginseng.
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha (Withania Sommnifera) has been used for over 4,000 years for a variety of health conditions.
It’s native to India and belongs to the Nightshade family of plants, which also includes eggplants, potatoes and tomatoes.
In the Sanskrit language, the word Ashwagandha loosely translates to “the smell of a horse”, hinting it can give you the strength of a stallion.
(And apparently Ashwagandha root has a similar smell to the sweat of a horse…)
Ashwagandha is most appreciated for its ability to help you feel calm, vitalized and strong.
What is Ginseng?
Ginseng is a medicinal herb that’s been used in Asian countries for treating diseases and improving well-being for more than 2,000 years.
It roughly translates to “essence of man” in Chinese and it’s one of the most popular herbal supplements used in the US.
The health benefits from Ginseng are credited to phytochemicals known as Ginsenosides which are found within the herb.
(In fact, more than 30 different Ginsenosides have been identified so far.)
Benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha lowers Anxiety
Did you know that more than 40 million American adults are affected by anxiety disorders?
This makes anxiety the most common mental illness in the United States.
Now, if you’re one of the unfortunate 40+ million, you may wanna give Ashwagandha a try, as multiple studies have shown its effectiveness at improving anxiety.
For example, a study over 2 months had some of the participants take 600mg of Ashwagandha each day, and others taking a placebo.
The results showed that those who took Ashwagandha had a huge reduction in scores on the “stress test”, compared to those who took the placebo.
Another 6-week study compared anxiety levels in subjects taking either Ashwagandha or a placebo.
By the end of the study, a whopping 88% of the people who used Ashwagandha had reported less anxiety.
Ashwagandha boosts muscle strength and size
As mentioned earlier in the article, Ashwagandha’s name suggests it should give you the “strength of a stallion” in the ancient language of Sanskrit.
Well, it turns out this claim has been backed up by research too!
For example, a study on 57 subjects had some of them take a placebo and the rest take 600mg of daily Ashwagandha.
The results showed that those who took the Ashwagandha had greater increases in muscle size, muscle strength, fat loss and testosterone levels than the placebo takers.
Ashwagandha lowers blood sugar levels
Symptoms of low energy, including brain fog, fatigue and mood swings can often be blamed on high blood sugar levels.
When you’re low on energy, you can say goodbye to your productivity levels as well as that healthy diet you intended on sticking to.
But fear not – recent research has shown that Ashwagandha is super effective at lowering blood sugar levels.
A study on 12 participants looked at how Ashwagandha powder affected their blood sugar levels.
After only a month of using Ashwagandha, their blood sugar was reduced by amounts similar to that of an actual blood sugar lowering drug.
(Yep, you read that correctly.)
Ashwagandha increases Testosterone
Testosterone is such an important hormone for many different bodily functions, but nowadays, many people have less than ideal levels.
This can be blamed on many things, including:
- Low fat diets
- Poor sleep hygiene
- High sugar consumption
The implications of low testosterone levels can be devastating to say the least.
For example, studies suggest that low testosterone levels can contribute to depression in aging men.
If this concerns you, then you may want to try out Ashwagandha as research suggests it can boost your testosterone levels.
A study on 75 males showed that Ashwagandha increased their Seminal testosterone levels (as well as other healthy biomarkers.)
Benefits of Ginseng
Ginseng may improve erectile dysfunction
Research has shown that oxidative stress in the blood vessels plays a big role in erectile dysfunction.
The good news is that compounds found in Ginseng may protect against this oxidative stress, which helps restore normal function.
But that’s not all though…
Ginseng may help increase nitric oxide production, which helps increase blood circulation and muscle relaxation in the penis.
It’s reassuring that Ginseng has had great results for ED in human studies too.
For example, a study found that men treated with red Ginseng had a 60% improvement in ED symptoms, compared to only 30% improvement from medication that’s used to treat ED.
In other words, Ginseng was twice as effective as medication that’s actually used to treat ED.
Ginseng helps lower inflammation
Chronic inflammation has been linked to many diseases, including:
- Leaky Gut
- Heart Disease
So, if you want to lower your risk of getting the above diseases, a great way is to reduce your levels of inflammation.
Now whilst I always recommend fixing your lifestyle choices first, it’s true that many supplements, including Ginseng have been shown to help lower inflammation.
For example, research has shown that Ginseng extract and the ginsenoside compounds could help regulate tumor necrosis factor-alpha, which helps lower inflammation.
Also, a study of 18 male athletes investigated the inflammatory response in those who took Ginseng and those who took a placebo.
The results showed that those who took Ginseng had a significantly lower inflammatory response than those who took the placebo.
Ginseng helps improve cognitive function
Many human studies have supported the idea that Ginseng can help improve mental performance and brain function.
For example, a 4-week study on 30 people investigated the effects of 200mg of daily Ginseng on mental performance.
At the end of the study, the subjects showed improvement in mood, mental health and social functioning.
Another study showed that 400mg of daily Ginseng for 8 days improved calmness and mental arithmetic.
Ginseng may improve the immune system
One of the biggest complications of Cancer treatment is the loss of immune function.
But research has shown that this can be massively improved with Ginseng supplementation.
For example, a study had 20 people who were recovering from surgery for stomach cancer take 5,400mg of daily Ginseng for 2 years.
(19 other patients formed the control group and didn’t take Ginseng.)
The results showed that those who took Ginseng had significant improvements in immune function, and a lower recurrence of symptoms.
Another study investigated the effect of Ginseng supplementation on immune system markers in people with stomach cancer undergoing chemotherapy.
After 3 months, those who took the Ginseng had better immune system markers than those who didn’t.
Ashwagandha is usually sold in the form of tablets or as a liquid extract.
Standard prices for these are:
- Tablets: $18 for 100
- Liquid Extract: $17 for 2 Oz
Ginseng is usually sold in capsules or as slices.
Here are some typical prices for these:
- Slices: $30 for 4 Oz
- Capsules: $35 for 200
Ashwagandha Side Effects
Ashwagandha is generally well-tolerated, but some people have reported mild side effects, such as sleepiness, headaches and stomach upset in studies.
Also, if you’re currently taking medication to lower your blood sugar levels, then taking Ashwagandha increases the risk of Hypoglycaemia since it lowers your blood sugar levels too.
Hypoglycaemia can be very dangerous and even fatal in extreme cases, so please consult your doctor before considering Ashwagandha if you’re taking blood sugar lowering medication.
The following people should NOT take Ashwagandha:
- Pregnant women
- People with stomach ulcers
- Those with high/low blood pressure
- People who’re allergic to Nightshade plants, i.e. Potatoes, Tomatoes, etc.
- People with autoimmune conditions, i.e. Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, etc.
Ginseng Side Effects
Like Ashwagandha, Ginseng is usually well-tolerated but it can cause the following side effects:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Blood pressure fluctuations
Also, women may experience additional side effects, such as vaginal bleeding and breast tenderness.
Ginseng is reported to interact poorly with other drugs too, so please consult a doctor before supplementing with Ginseng.
My Ashwagandha Recommendation: NaturaLife Labs Ashwagandha
A great all-rounder.
NaturaLife Labs Ashwagandha is high-quality, high-strength and fantastic value for money.
What I like about it
NaturaLife Labs Ashwagandha has literally 1000s of raving reviews, which shows that so many people are seeing great results from using it.
I also like that this supplement contains Black Pepper extract.
Studies have shown that Ashwagandha is digested better alongside Black Pepper, making this supplement more effective than its competitors.
And last but not least, NaturaLife Labs Ashwagandha only contains natural, organic ingredients, so you don’t have to worry about potentially harmful additives and preservatives.
Assuming that you take the recommended serving size daily (3 capsules), the bottle will only last around a month.
But this isn’t a deal breaker by any means though.
My Ginseng Recommendation: Wellbeing Formula Korean Ginseng
You can’t go wrong with Wellbeing Formula Korean Ginseng.
With each bottle containing 180 capsules, this supplement will provide you with 3 month’s worth of high-quality Ginseng.
What I like about it
Wellbeing Formula only use Ginseng roots that contain a minimum of 5% ginsenosides, which makes this more potent than other Ginseng supplements out there.
This is backed up by the 100s of amazing reviews this supplement has.
I also like how each bottle contains 180 capsules meaning it’ll last you a long, long time.
It would be good if Wellbeing Formula were more specific with the ingredients of the “Vegetable Capsule” they use.
(When I take supplements, I like to know exactly what’s going into my body.)
Thanks for staying with me to the end of this Ashwagandha vs Ginseng breakdown.
These are both great supplements, and either would make a fantastic choice.
They are both priced similarly and offer a wide range of health benefits.
For a high-level guide to help you decide on which one you should take, here’s what I’d recommend:
You might prefer Ashwagandha if:
- You experience anxiety
- The side effects of Ginseng are too much
- You want to boost your Testosterone levels
- You want to increase muscle size and strength
You might prefer Ginseng if:
- You have trouble getting it up
- You want to reduce inflammation
- You want a stronger immune system
Hope this helped!