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Ginseng, American (Panax quinquefolius)

Ginseng, American


antioxidant, anti-inflammatory

Areas of application:

regulates blood sugar, colds, flu, increases energy and stamina, fatigue, improves cognitive performance and memory (ability to concentrate), stress, agitation disorders, improves mood

Plant parts used:


Collection time:


To find:

Fully shaded environments in deciduous forests in the Appalachian and Ozark Mountains of the United States.


Ginsenosides, saponins


American ginseng grows between 15 and 45 cm tall. The leaves are palmate and divided into 3 to 7 lanceolate, sharply toothed leaflets. The flowers are whitish-greenish, and the fruits are pea-sized red berries with two seeds each. The rhizome neck has scars resulting from annual growth. The number of leaf scars indicates the age of the root. The concentration of the medicinal ingredients, the so-called ginsenosides, increases as the root ages. The root should be at least 4 years old or older before harvesting.

🛑 American ginseng should not be taken if taking warfarin or other blood thinning medications. It is also not recommended if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have impaired liver or kidney function. Furthermore, it should not be used if someone has a hormone-related disease, such as endometriosis, fibroids, or cancers of the breast, ovaries, uterus, or prostate. In addition, ginseng should not be taken if you have heart disease, as it reduces the speed and strength of the heartbeat. Uncommon side effects include headache, anxiety, upset stomach, and sometimes trouble sleeping.

Recent studies have shown that the many farming practices used to grow American ginseng have contaminated the crop with fungi, pesticides, and various metals and residues. Although these contaminating effects are not particularly significant, they represent health concerns that can lead to neurological problems, poisoning, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

American Ginseng is highly valued in Asia for its cooling and calming medicinal properties (Yin), whereas Asian Ginseng embodies the warmer aspects of Yang.

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