My readers have asked me many times questions such as "Where to buy those adaptogens?" or "Which ginseng is good?". This guidance page is the result of a long development of the answers to such questions on my part. If you are very experienced with adaptogens, if you know what to expect, you do not need my guidance – you can buy and try anything, anywhere. But if you are not experienced, and if you trust my opinion so much as to be reading this page, then you should realize, that it is more important what to try first, and how to try it.
What to buy
The first adaptogen you should try is Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) in the form of so-called red root (ginseng radix rubra). You should get at least 50 grams of sliced red ginseng root, and perform the personal dosage trial to gain confidence about its effects. Be sure to use fully matured 6-year old ginseng from a reliable source, such as 6-year old ginseng TaiwanTCM Liang, or 6-year old ginseng Korea Insam. Only this way I can guarantee, that the personal dosage trial will work as expected. It does not matter, if you have earlier tried ginseng capsules, pills, candies or other low-dosage products.
Often, people who "do not feel any effects" simply use wrong material, in wrong dosage. Again, the right material for the beginners is quality ginseng like TaiwanTCM Liang, or more expensive Korea Insam. Korea Insam is a brand, that covers countrywide production of quality ginseng for whole Korea. As for ginseng TaiwanTCM, I have tried many types and grades of ginseng in China as well as in Taiwan, and I consider 6-year old TaiwanTCM Liang a good and economic choice for the dosage trial.
If you are seeking a specific natural medicine for a specific problem (such as Ganoderma lucidum for cancer patients), reliability of the source is also important. In case of Ganoderma, the quality product endorsed by TCM comes in the form of a naturally grown fruiting body. It takes at least 6 months for the fruiting body to grow, but many products labeled Ganoderma contain only the embryonal stage of the mushroom (mycelium) harvested after a few days of cultivation.
Where to buy
These products are available from various online shops. If you are from EU, I can particularly recommend Adaptogens.eu, located inside EU, whose staff I know personally.
Finally, keep in mind, that the primary source of adaptogens is the Nature. If you cannot afford the highest available product grade, you can try to grow these interesting plants yourself. Gynostemma pentaphyllum, a vine of the cucumber family (Cucurbitaceae), is the only known source of ginseng panaxosides outside the Panax genus, and can be grown in flowerpots. Ganoderma lucidum can also be grown in domestic conditions (sawdust pots, wooden logs etc.)