What is American Ginseng?
American Ginseng is a genus of plants native to North America. They are considered a medicinal herb, which have been used for centuries for their health benefits.
The plants belong to the mint family (Meliaceae) and are known as the common ginseng or wild ginger. There are over 200 species of these herbs, with several subspecies found in different parts of the world. Common ginseng grows from Mexico south through Central America, into South America and north into Europe.
Wild ginger grows throughout much of Asia and Africa, but it is not widely cultivated there due to its toxicity when eaten raw.
Ginger is one of the most popular herbal remedies available today. It is used to treat many conditions including anxiety, depression, fatigue, headaches, coughs and cold symptoms. Ginger is also believed to relieve pain associated with menstrual cramps and menopause.
In fact some researchers believe that ginger may even help prevent cancer!
Ginseng has been used to promote energy, boost the immune system, elevate mental performance and increase longevity. This herb has also been used in traditional chinese medicine for hundreds of years.
The two most common types of ginseng are Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) and American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius).
While there are many forms of ginseng, the two most popular are Asian ginseng and American ginseng. Both types have a long history of use in traditional chinese medicine. They also share several similar properties and uses.
Ginseng is often used to increase energy, boost the immune system, improve brain function and aid memory. It is also used to treat erectile dysfunction in men and post-partum bleeding in women.
The active ingredients in ginseng include ginsenosides, which increase a protective enzyme called superoxide dimutase (SOD) that helps the body fight free radicals.
This herb has also been used to prevent the common cold, reduce stress, prevent cancer, treat erectile dysfunction in men and post-partum bleeding in women. Many of these effects are attributed to ginsenosides, which increase a protective enzyme called superoxide dimutase (SOD) that helps the body fight free radicals.
There are two main species of ginseng: Asian ginseng and American ginseng. They are very similar in their uses, but Asian ginseng is more popular for boosting energy.
Ginseng has been used in traditional chinese medicine for over 5,000 years. It has a long and storied history of use in eastern medicine.
Both the Asian ginseng and the American ginseng are available in dried root form, though the root of the American ginseng may also be available fresh or as a extract. The dried root is usually available in capsules, tablets or in powdered form to make tea. It is also available in liquid form to drink.
There are several types and forms of ginseng available including Asian, American, Siberian, processed and red ginseng. Each type has its own benefits and uses.
Red ginseng is a type of Asian ginseng that has been specially cultivated and prepared. It has a deep red color, which comes from being steamed instead of roasted or dried. It is much less common and more expensive than other types of Asian ginseng.
Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is a close relative of Asian ginseng. It is also an adaptogen that is used to prevent and treat stress. It is often used as a non-traditional medicine to treat the same conditions as Asian ginseng.
Siberian ginseng may also be known as eleuthero.
Eleuthero is regarded as a weaker substitute for Asian ginseng, though it does seem to have similar effects and is also an adaptogen.
This type of ginseng is not actually a true ginseng, but another type of medicine in the same family as ginseng known as an adaptogen. It is often used to prevent and treat stress.
American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) is native to eastern North America. It is not as common as Asian ginseng, but it has similar properties and effects. It may also be known as pinyin or north sea ginseng.
Quick Guide How to Choose the Best Ginseng Choosing a type of ginseng can be confusing. There are several types of ginseng, each with different properties and uses. It is important to do your research before buying.
Types of ginseng include Siberian, American, red, Asian and processed ginseng. Each type has different effects and uses. Talk to your doctor before using ginseng if you have a pre-existing medical condition or are taking any medications. Ginseng may interact with certain medications. Always read the label and use as directed. Forms of ginseng include whole dried roots, extracts, capsules and tablets. The whole dried roots are usually available to buy as a supplement. They can be eaten or used to make tea. There are also other forms such as tinctures, powders, liquid extracts and tablets that can all be taken at different doses. The whole dried root is the most common form available. Common types of ginseng include American, Asian, red and Siberian ginseng. Each type has different properties and uses. The type you choose depends on your condition and what you hope to achieve. Always talk to your doctor before taking ginseng or any other supplement if you have a pre-existing medical condition, are currently pregnant or breastfeeding. It is important to tell your doctor about all medication and supplements you are taking.
People use ginseng to prevent and treat stress, fatigue and low blood pressure. It may also lower blood sugar levels and improve blood flow. It may also help treat erectile dysfunction in men.
Ginseng is also used to boost your immune system, improve concentration, memory and your ability to learn. It may also be useful for treating diabetes and cancer.
Ginseng is sometimes known as an “adaptogen”, which means it helps your body adapt to stress. It is believed to have a positive effect on your hormones and nerves.
How it works
Ginseng contains chemicals known as ginsenosides or saponins, which are thought to be responsible for many of its effects. Not all types of ginseng contain the same types of ginsenosides or the same amounts.
Ginseng is believed to boost your energy and help you cope with stress.
When should ginseng not be used?
You should not use this if you are pregnant or breastfeeding without medical advice. Ginseng may increase the risk of bleeding during pregnancy and therefore is not usually recommended.
Don’t take ginseng if you are taking medication that decreases blood clotting, such as warfarin, or anticoagulants such as heparin or low molecular weight heparin. This is because ginseng may have an effect on how these medicines work.
Don’t use if you have cancer, as there is a risk that the roots could cause the disease to become worse.
Don’t use if you are allergic to plants from the Araliaceae family, such as goldenseal and American ginseng. You should also not use American ginseng if you have a history of diabetes or heart disease.
Avoid if you have a mental health condition such as schizophrenia, mania or bipolar disorder.
Does ginseng have any side effects?
Ginseng may cause headaches, dizziness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain or nausea.
Using high doses or taking it for long periods of time may affect your blood sugar levels and can also decrease your blood pressure.
Do not use this if you are pregnant or breastfeeding without medical advice.
Don’t use this if you are taking any medication or have an underlying medical condition without medical advice.
Always consult your healthcare provider before using ginseng.
Seek immediate medical attention if you experience allergic reactions such as difficulty breathing, a swollen tongue or throat, or swelling of the hands, legs or feet.
Sources & references used in this article:
Consequences of harvesting for genetic diversity in American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.): a simulation study by JM Cruse-Sanders, JL Hamrick… – Biodiversity & Conservation, 2005 – Springer
Comparative analysis of management regimes and medicinal plant trade monitoring mechanisms for American ginseng and goldenseal by CS Robbins – Conservation Biology, 2000 – Wiley Online Library
Interactive effects of harvest and deer herbivory on the population dynamics of American ginseng by SJ Farrington, RM MUZIKA, D Drees… – Conservation …, 2009 – Wiley Online Library
Rates of harvest and compliance with regulations in natural populations of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) by JB McGraw, S Souther, AE Lubbers – Natural Areas Journal, 2010 – BioOne
Growing American ginseng in Ohio: an introduction by C Carroll, D Apsley – Ohio State University extension fact sheet F-56 …, 2004 – ruralaction.org
Understanding the relationships between American ginseng harvest and hardwood forests inventory and timber harvest to improve co-management of the forests of … by JL Chamberlain, S Prisley… – Journal of Sustainable …, 2013 – Taylor & Francis
Evidence for decline in stature of American ginseng plants from herbarium specimens by JB McGraw – Biological Conservation, 2001 – Elsevier