Part Used: Dried root
Chinese Ginseng (Panax ginseng) is a perennial plant indigenous to the mountainous forests of the northern temperate zone of Eastern Asia and is cultivated in China, Korea and Japan. It has a thick, spindle-like brown-yellow root, often divided at the end. It has properties like thymoleptic, adaptagenic, stimulant, tonic, demulcent, stomachic, cardiotonic, hypoglycaemic, and reputed aphrodisiac. It is one of the most commonly used and researched herb. The main active components of Panax Ginseng are ginsenosides, which have been shown to have a variety of beneficial effects, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer effects. Results of clinical research studies demonstrate that Chinese Ginseng may improve psychologic function, immune function, and conditions associated with diabetes.
Chinese Ginseng is the most famous Chinese herb, which is the most widely recognized plant used in traditional medicine. Ginseng is commonly used as an adaptogen, meaning it normalizes physical functioning depending on what the individual needs (for example, it will lower high blood pressure, but raise low blood pressure). It is also used to reduce the effects of stress, improve performance, boost energy levels, enhance memory, and stimulate the immune system. Oriental medicine has deemed Ginseng a necessary element in all their best prescriptions, and regards it as prevention and a cure. It is said to remove both mental and bodily fatigue, cure pulmonary complaints, dissolve tumors and reduce the effects of age.
Chinese Ginseng contains vitamins A, B-6 and the mineral Zinc, which aids in the production of thymic hormones, necessary for the functioning of the defense system. The main active ingredients of Ginseng are the more than 25 saponin triterpenoid glycosides called "ginsenosides". These steroid-like ingredients provide the adaptogenic properties that enable Ginseng to balance and counter the effects of stress. Chinese Ginseng is an adaptagenic herb - it enhances the body's resistance to external stresses and improves physical and mental performance. It acts on the central nervous, cardiovascular and endocrine systems, promotes immune function and metabolism, and has biomodulation actions. The hormone-like substances in the plant account for its simultaneous sedative and stimulating (adaptogenic) effect on the central nervous system. It has been found to have a beneficial effect on carbohydrate tolerance in diabetic patients. In general, Chinese Ginseng improves the balance of functions in the body. It is a valuable general plant drug for geriatric care.
American Academy of Family Physicians. http://www.aafp.org/afp/20031015/1539.html
Herbal Information Center. http://www.kcweb.com/herb/ginseng.htm
Purple Sage Botanicals. http://www.purplesage.org.uk/profiles/ginseng.htm