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Panax quinquefolius - L.
                 
Common Name American Ginseng
Family Araliaceae
USDA hardiness 3-7
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Rich cool woods[43].
Range Eastern N. America - Maine to Georgia, west to Oklahoma and Minnesota.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade

Summary

Panax quinquefolius American Ginseng


Panax quinquefolius American Ginseng
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Panax quinquefolius is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3. It is in flower in June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms
Aralia quinquefolia.

Habitats
Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; not Deep Shade;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Root.
Edible Uses: Tea.

A tea is made from the leaves and the roots[105, 177, 183]. The aromatic root is candied and used as a masticatory[183].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Adaptogen;  Cardiotonic;  Demulcent;  Sedative;  Sialagogue;  Stimulant;  Stomachic.

This N. American species of ginseng is said to have similar properties to the Oriental ginseng, P. ginseng, though it is said to have a milder action and is more likely to be prescribed for younger patients[238, 254]. It is cultivated in some areas of America as a medicinal crop and is also often harvested from the wild[238].The root is said to be adaptogen, cardiotonic, demulcent, panacea, sedative, sialagogue, stimulant and stomachic[21, 35, 46, 147, 165, 176, 222]. It is used in the treatment of chronic cough, low-grade fever, spontaneous or night sweating and fatigue due to chronic consumptive disease[176]. When taken over an extended period it is said to increase mental efficiency and physical performance whilst helping the body adapt to high or low temperatures and stress[222]. Some caution is advised, though, because large doses are said to raise blood pressure[222]. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use[254]. The following notes are the list of uses for P. ginseng. Ginseng has a history of herbal use going back over 5,000 years[238]. It is one of the most highly regarded of herbal medicines in the Orient, where it has gained an almost magical reputation for being able to promote health, general body vigour and also to prolong life[218]. The root is adaptogen, alterative, carminative, demulcent, emetic, expectorant, stimulant and tonic[165, 176, 178, 218]. It both stimulates and relaxes the nervous system, encourages the secretion of hormones, improves stamina, lowers blood sugar and cholesterol levels and increases resistance to disease[238]. It is used internally in the treatment of debility associated with old age or illness, lack of appetite, insomnia, stress, shock and chronic illness[238]. Ginseng is not normally prescribed for pregnant women, or for patients under the age of 40, or those with depression, acute anxiety or acute inflammatory disease[238]. It is normally only taken for a period of 3 weeks[238]. Excess can cause headaches, restlessness, raised blood pressure and other side effects, especially if it is taken with caffeine, alcohol, turnips and bitter or spicy foods[238]. The roots are harvested in the autumn, preferably from plants 6 - 7 years old, and can be used fresh or dried[238]. A dose of 10ug/ml of ginseng saponins has been shown to be significantly radio-protective when it is administered prior to gamma-irradiation[218]. The leaf is emetic and expectorant[218].
Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details
Requires a deep moist humus rich soil in a shady position in a woodland[200]. Requires deep shade, growing well on north-facing slopes and in woodland[4, 14, 20]. Often grown as a medicinal plant[4, 57], though considered to be inferior to Korean ginseng, P. ginseng[200]. It is exported from N. America, mainly to Hong Kong[207].
Propagation
Seed - sow in a shady position in a cold frame preferably as soon as it is ripe, otherwise as soon as the seed is obtained. It can be very slow and erratic to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a shady position in the greenhouse or frame for at least their first winter. Make sure the pots are deep enough to accommodate the roots. Plant out into their permanent positions in late summer. Division in spring.
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Kalopanax sciadophylloides 10
Kalopanax septemlobusTree Aralia, Castor aralia21
Oplopanax horridusDevil's Club22
Oplopanax japonicus 21
Opopanax chironiumOpopanax01
Panax ginsengGinseng, Chinese ginseng25
Panax japonicusJapanese Ginseng11
Panax pseudoginsengGinseng, Japanese ginseng13
Panax pseudoginseng notoginsengSan Qi15
Panax trifoliusGround Nut, Dwarf ginseng12
Polyscias sambucifoliaElderberry Panax00
Pseudopanax arboreusPuahou10
Pseudopanax edgerleyi 00
Tetrapanax papyriferRice Paper Plant, Chinese Rice Paper Plant11
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Expert comment
 
Author
L.
Botanical References
43200
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
 
Elizabeth H.
Katie Tue Aug 8 2006
You might also want to mention on your page that American Ginseng is ENDANGERED and should not be harvested in the wild.
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Subject : Panax quinquefolius  

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