American Ginseng Root
Scientific Name/Common Name: Panax quinquefolius /American Ginseng
Part(s) Used: Root
Constituents/Active Ingredients: Triterpenoid saponins (ginsenosides): predominately Rb1, Re, Rc , Rd, Rb2, and Rg1.
Overview: American ginseng is closely related to Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) and has many medicinal virtues. The genus name Panax is derived from the Greek words pan (all) and akos (cure) meaning cure-all. Panax quinquefolius contains many of the same active ginsenosides as Panax ginseng. Both these types of ginseng have been used medicinally for thousands of years. Ginsenosides have been found to have pharmacological effects related to cognition including mood, memory, and response to stress. Effects related to normalizing blood sugar levels have also been noted.
Traditional Use/Benefits/Body Systems: American ginseng has been noted to be less stimulating that its Asian cousin. Traditionally it has been used for dysphoria and tiredness, as supportive therapy for the promotion of healthy glucose levels, to help relieve nervousness (as mild sedative), to help relieve nervous dyspepsia/indigestion in cases of nervousness and/or as an adaptogen to help maintain a healthy immune system.
Clinical Studies/Scientific Research/References:
Scholey, A., et al. Effects of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) on neurocognitive function: an acute, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Psychopharmacology (2010) 212:345–356.
Godfrey A, Saunders PR, Barlow K, Gilbert C, Gowan M, Smith F. Principles and Practices of Naturopathic Botanical Medicine. Volume 1: Botanical Medicine Monographs. Toronto (ON): CCNM Press; 2010.
Hoffmann D. 2003. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester (VT): Healing Arts Press.
Disclaimer: This information in our Herbal Encyclopedia is intended only as a general reference for educational purposes. It is not a replacement for medical advice. This content does not provide dosage information, cautions/contraindications, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Please consult any relevant product labels for detailed information on use and with a medical practitioner for individual health advice.