Part Used: Fresh 5-7 year old roots
American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) is a smooth perennial herb, with a large, fleshy, very slow-growing root, 2 to 3 inches in length (occasionally twice this size) and from 1/2 to 1 inch in thickness. The plant has three compound leaves, each composed of five toothed leaflets, atop a straight stem. Tiny greenish white flowers appear in June-July. Bright red berries appear in late summer. The root is fleshy and is the part used as a herb. American Ginseng is wild-harvested and grown in eastern North America. It contains a large amount of starch and gum, some resin, a very small amount of volatile oil and the peculiar sweetish body, and Panaquilon. American Ginseng is best known for its anti-fatigue, energy giving properties. It is widely used as a stimulant. American and Asian Ginsengs contain some of the same as well as some different ginsenosides which explains their different actions as expressed in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Mild American Ginseng helps to reduce the heat of the respiratory and digestive systems, whereas the stronger Asian Ginseng is a heatraising tonic for the blood and circulatory systems. Recently, results from two small studies of adults have shown that taking American Ginseng may alleviate some cold and flu symptoms.
American Ginseng is believed to be of value in any condition where nervous or mental exhaustion is concerned. It has been accepted as being beneficial in loss of appetite, stomach and digestive affections (to relieve nausea and vomiting). In China, it is used particularly for dyspepsia, vomiting and nervous disorders. In Western medicine, it is considered a mild stomachic tonic and stimulant, useful in loss of appetite and in digestive affections that arise from mental and nervous exhaustion. Several studies indicate that any medical effect that this plant may have is that of a tonic, very subtle, effective only over a long term. In general, Ginsengs are considered to be adaptogens, or substances that may help individuals adjust to physical and emotional stress. Frequently, American Ginseng is added to sports supplements and beverages that are promoted to increase physical performance.
Holistic Online. http://www.holisticonline.com/Herbal-Med/_Herbs/h9.htm
All Natural. http://www.allnatural.net/herbpages/ginseng.shtml