Scientific Name/Common Name: Panax ginseng / (Asian) Ginseng
Part(s) Used: Root
Constituents/Active Ingredients: Triterpene glycosides called ginsenosides (Ra, Rb, Rgl, Rg2, etc.); glycans (panaxans A-E); volatile oil.
Overview: Asian ginseng is one of the most utilized and highly regarded of the medicinal Chinese herbs, and its usage can be traced back over approximately 5,000 years. Ginseng has many medicinal virtues. The genus name Panax is derived from the Greek words pan (all) and akos (cure) meaning cure-all and from the Latin word panacea. Ginseng is considered an adaptogen, which means it supports the mind and body in dealing with and better adapting to stress. Asian ginseng is considered more stimulating than American ginseng (Panax quinquefolium). In herbal medicine, it is often recommended to the elderly or convalescent to help strengthen them. Clinical trials have focused on ginseng’s effects on everything from healthy glucose levels, erectile dysfunction, the immune system, athletic performance, and cognitive health.
Traditional Use/Benefits/Body Systems: Used in Herbal Medicine as supportive therapy for the promotion of healthy glucose levels; to support cognitive function and/or reduce mental fatigue (in cases of mental stress); to help enhance physical capacity/performance (in cases of physical stress).
Clinical Studies/Scientific Research/References:
Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J, editors. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Boston (MA): Integrative Medicine Communications; 2000.
Shergis JL, Zhang AL, Zhou W, Xue CC. Panax ginseng in randomised controlled trials: a systematic review. Phytother Res. July 2013;27(7):949-965.
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.