Common names: Ginseng, American
Botanical name: Panax quinquefolius
Family: Ivy family
American ginseng is an herbaceous perennial herb that is usually used as an herbal or Chinese medicine. This plant is native to the eastern regions of North America and is cultivated widely in different places; China being the most common. Native Americans traditionally used the herb’s leaves and forked roots for medicinal benefits and purposes.
The root of this plant is large and fleshy and is considered to be the medicinal part. Its stem can have a height of 1-2 feet. The leaves of American ginseng are divided into 3-7 sharp-toothed leaflets and shaped like a lance. The flowers bloom from June-July, with yellow-green color and have a distinct scent. The fruits, which grow after the plant flowers, are red berries that are two-seeded. Unfortunately, there are certain areas that consider American ginseng as an endangered species.
Brief History and Folklore
The uses of ginseng are already considered legendary. The plant’s folklore and traditions originated from the ancient eras in China and as well as the folklore of Native Americans in North America.
Even though this is the story that most Americans have certainly not heard before, American ginseng, a medicinal herb, has played an important role in creating the roots of this gigantic and centuries-old trade agreement between America and China.
The Plant Composition
Medicinal Parts Used: Roots
Chemical Constituents: ginsenosides, sterols, volatile oil, pectin, starch, sugars, vitamins B1, B2, and B12, minerals, fats, choline, and hormone-like saponins
Uses and Health Benefits
- The roots of American ginseng can boost the energy level of the body especially those persons prone to hard and long day’s work. It stimulates the nervous system to provide balance to body responses. It relaxes you when you are stressed and fatigued and energizes you when you are too tired and lethargic.
- American ginseng is also a good herb to maintain and enhance the proper functions of adrenal glands. It is also good in lessening mental and physical stress. This herb can build up stamina and soothe overworked minds.
- American ginseng is full packed with antioxidants that boost the body’s immune system and protect it from the oxidizing outcomes of free radicals.
- This ginseng is also effective in maintaining circulatory health to prevent incidences of cardiovascular problems. It completely nourishes the body with all the food nutrients through proper circulation of blood in the entire body.
- American ginseng increases the sense of wellbeing through heightening sex drives and libido for both genders. It is also a good herb against impotency and boosts longevity.
- American ginseng stimulates the nerves of the brain to enhance concentration and memory.
Preparation Methods and Dosage
Like any other ginseng, American ginseng is usually taken monthly at a time and with a regular 2-week interval. Dosages for supplementation tablets and capsules must be based on product labels.
Cautions and Side Effects
American ginseng is not advised for pregnant mothers and hypertensive individuals.