What is the difference between White ginseng and Red Ginseng?
Red and White Ginseng are the same dried Panax ginseng (Korean Ginseng) root.
Red ginseng goes through a steaming process – this changes it’s colour and properties slightly. The result is a milder ginseng.
White ginseng (looks yellow) is dried root with no steaming process : Stronger ginseng.
Some ginseng root products have the skin removed (Bakpi). This is done to dry the ginseng faster and remove stained look. This also reduces the saponin content slightly.
Preparing Korean ginseng after it is harvested.
It takes 4 to 6 years before the ginseng root is ready to harvest. Fresh root is great, but starts to spoil very quickly. Most harvested ginseng is preserved by drying. This can be done naturally, but a regulated drying cabinet gives better quality and more consistent results.
To make Red Korean ginseng, the root is put through a steaming process prior to drying. There are small scale (desk top) red ginseng production units available.
Drying the ginseng root makes it very hard, but also increases it’s potency as two thirds of it’s weight is reduced due to the loss of water. Ginseng is also made into a powder and can be sliced.
Extracts are can be made by steeping ginseng root in water or alcohol.
Commercial extracts are made using a heat and pressure process.