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American Ginseng

American Ginseng

Panax quinquefolium

What is american ginseng?

American ginseng is perennial growing to about 30 cm. American ginseng as a smooth stem and large fleshy root. Each leave consists of five oval leaflets, the three terminal leaflets are larger than the two lateral ones. The small green-white flowers form kidney-shaped red berries. The American ginseng is very similar to the Korean ginseng. The main difference is the shape of the leaves: the leaflet form of the American ginseng is rounded whereas that of the Korean ginseng is tapered.

Parts used

Only the roots of the American ginseng are used.

Phytochemicals

These are typical phytochemicals found in american ginseng: salicylates, quinquefolans, ginsenosides, saponins, vanillic acid.

Benefits of american ginseng

American ginseng has been traditionally used to increase female fertility. American ginseng has similar action than the Korean ginseng but its action is milder. The American ginseng also contain more phytopanaxadiols than Korean ginseng. These steroid-like phytochemicals have adaptogenic properties, which give ginseng property to counter the effects of stress. American ginseng extract has antioxidant activity and can help to reduce age related oxidative damage to the heart, as illustrated in the study of Ying Fu entitled Chronic Ginseng Consumption Attenuates Age-Associated Oxidative Stress in Rats (Journal of Nutrition, November 2003).
Extracts of North American ginseng may help to modulate natural and acquired immune responses, as well as fighting colds.
American ginseng may also help people with type 2 diabetes because it reduces the rise in blood glucose levels after consumption of sugar.

Other facts

The American ginseng occurs naturally in the USA and Canada. American ginseng is rarely seen in the wild due to over harvesting. Today American ginseng is also cultivated in China together with Korean ginseng. The word panax is derived from the Greek word panacea, which means all healing.

Other names

Ginseng, five finger, tartar root, man's health.

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