American Ginseng

(Panax quinquefolius)

Related to Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng), the root of American ginseng is used medicinally. The plant grows wild in shady forests of the northern and central United States, as well as in parts of Canada. It is cultivated in the United States, China, and France. Many Native American tribes used American ginseng. Medicinal applications ranged from digestive disorders to sexual problems. The Chinese began to use American ginseng after it was imported during the 1700s.

What it does

American ginseng, as with all forms of ginseng, increases tolerance to mental, physical and environmental stressors. This herb helps normalise the way in which the body responds to stress triggers and acts to regulate the manufacture and secretion of adrenal hormones. It also strengthens the adrenal glands themselves, which is especially important to those suffering from chronic stress.

Its adaptogenic activity provides non-specific support for the central nervous system, which may help restore proper neurological function after long term stress.

American ginseng supports the immune system by enhancing white blood cell activity.

In contrast to the stimulant effect associated with Korean ginseng, American ginseng provides a calming effect due to the two herb’s differing ratios of the active ginsenosides Rbl and Rgl.

Potential Uses

Stress Immune support Anxiety
Nervous tension Fatigue

Other information

Best taken in cycles of 3 weeks on, 3 weeks off. American Ginseng is a general tonic for stress and fatigue. It may also be of use for regulation blood sugar levels and for enhancing performance during exercise.


Generally, there are no side effects or contra-indications from using American Ginseng.

It is best not to take it too late in the day or consume too many caffeinated drinks as it may stop you from sleeping or cause over -excitability.

American Ginseng should not be used by children under 12 except under supervision of a qualified herbalist.

American Ginseng should not be used without first checking with your doctor if you take anti-coagulant medication (warfarin, heparin etc), anti-diabetics, MAOIs and stimulants.


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