Genus; Species: Panax quinquefolius L.

CAM Type: biologically based

Common Names: American Ginseng, Panax

Introduction to American Ginseng:

American Ginseng is a member of the Panax species of about five or six species of slow-growing perennials having fleshy roots, in the family Araliaceae. They grow in the Northern hemisphere in eastern Asia and North America, typically in cooler climates; the plant is indigenous to Appalachia in North America. True ginseng is characterized by the presence of ginsenoside.

Common Uses:

Mental sharpness/focus, memory, mental/physical fatigue, immune system response, overactive behavior

In clinical studies, the active components of American Ginseng have been shown to provide support for mental and physical fatigue, lack of focus or mental clarity, problems with memory and other cognitive functions, immune system response, and occasional overactive behavior.

It is similar in composition to Asian Ginseng, and is traditionally recognized for its adaptogenic properties. An adaptogen is a physiological agent that naturally increases resistance to physical and emotional stress.

 Preparation Methods:

American Ginseng may be consumed in the root form, tea, powder or as a supplement.

Pharmacology and Phytochemicals:

Phytochemists have isolated Saponin glycosides, or Saponins, in American Ginseng. These are the primary biologically-active components of the American Ginseng root. The specific phytochemicals in this ginseng include Panaquilon and ginenosides.

Mechanisms of Action:

American Ginseng is noted to affect neurotransmitter processes in the brain where ginsenosides are believed to have a neuroprotectant role on the Dopaminergic system and anti-stress activity on Acetylcholine receptors. Clinical trials involving both single-herb and combination preparations have suggested that American Ginseng supports response time, accuracy, general improvement of memory, and accuracy.


Daily usage for ginseng range from 50mg to 1000mg.

Always consume ginseng in moderation and in balanced amounts. Those who use large amounts of American Ginseng over long periods of time have reported such side effect symptoms as changes in blood pressure, nervousness, hypertension, headache, and sleeplessness.

Safety, Side Effects and Warnings:

American Ginseng has an excellent rating for safety and interaction when used in moderation.


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