American Ginseng Root
There are several types of ginseng root. The name “ginseng” is used to refer to both American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Korean or Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) which belong to the species Panax and have a somewhat similar chemical makeup. The American ginseng is grown in the Eastern portion of North America, from Quebec to Florida. It is also known as Panax quinquefolium, Canadian Ginseng, Anchi Ginseng, Ginseng, North American Ginseng, Ginseng Root, Occidental Ginseng, Ontario Ginseng, Red Berry, Ren Shen, Sang, Shang, Wisconsin Ginseng and, Xi Yang Shen. The plant has leaves that grow in a circle around a straight stem. It has yellowish-green umbrella-shaped flowers that grow in the center and bear red berries. The wrinkles around the neck of the root of the American Ginseng tell how old the plant is. This should be noted because American ginseng is not ready for use until it has grown for about 6 years.
American ginseng root is very costly and is endangered in the wild. It is now being grown on farms to keep wild American ginseng from over harvesting. Like Asian ginseng, it is light tan in color with gnarled root that often looks like a human body with stringy shoots for arms and legs.
American Ginseng Root was used traditionally by Native Americans as a tonic. It was also used to treat headaches, indigestion, fever, and infertility. In customary Chinese medicine, American ginseng is thought to have “cooling” properties. This type of ginseng is often advertized as a natural remedy for diabetes. American ginseng root is also said to improve strength and stamina, stimulate the immune system, and treat and prevent some forms of cancer. Ginseng is sometimes called an “adaptogen.” This is an herb that helps the body deal with different kinds of stress. Ginseng has been researched for several conditions, and it remains one of the most known herbs in the United States.
American ginseng products are made from ginseng root and root hairs. The main chemical compositions of American ginseng are polysaccharide glycans (quinquefolans A, B, and C) and ginsenosides. American ginseng seems to be more relaxing than Asian ginseng, which may have rousing effects.
American ginseng root (dried) is available in teas, alcohol liquid extracts, water, alcohol, powders, tablets, capsules, and usually found as an ingredient in soft drinks. The root is available with other herbs in numerous combination formulas. Ginseng root is typically promoted for the treatment or prevention of the following health problems: anxiety, cancer, diabetes, asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, fever, inflammation, headache, insomnia, erectile dysfunction, fibromyalgia, and stress. American Ginseng is also used to slow the aging process, boost stamina, enhance memory, stimulate the immune system and improve sports performance.