Many people associate ginseng with regions in Asia, but there are actually several types of ginseng and a few of them grow in other areas of the world. One of my favorites, Panax quinquefolius, also known as American ginseng, has actually been enjoyed by Native Americans for centuries as a way to support energy, fertility, and digestion. The long, solid track record has prompted many people to add a ginseng supplement to their diet.
Why American Ginseng Works
Potent chemicals deep within the root of the plant are responsible for its therapeutic benefits. Polysaccharide glycans and ginsenosides are arguably the most important. They're two special nutrients that kickstart the energy boost for which ginseng is best known.
The Top Benefit of American Ginseng: Energy
American ginseng influences energy metabolism by helping muscles work longer before becoming fatigued. The effect is enhanced by the plant's calming action. Many people have described it as feeling more energetic while simultaneously feeling more at ease; almost like a ready focus.[1, 2, 3]
More Benefits of American Ginseng
- Promotes normal blood sugar
- Boosts the immune system
- Soothes intestinal irritation
- Supports normal brain function, memory, and thought
- Scholey A, Ossoukhova A, Owen L, Ibarra A, Pipingas A, He K, Roller M, Stough C. Effects of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) on neurocognitive function: an acute, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2010 Oct;212(3):345-56. doi: 10.1007/s00213-010-1964-y. Epub 2010 Jul 31.
- Barton DL, Liu H, Dakhil SR, Linquist B, Sloan JA, Nichols CR, McGinn TW, Stella PJ, Seeger GR, Sood A, Loprinzi CL. Wisconsin Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) to improve cancer-related fatigue: a randomized, double-blind trial, N07C2. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2013 Aug 21;105(16):1230-8. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djt181. Epub 2013 Jul 13.
- Qi B, Liu L, Zhang H, Zhou GX, Wang S, Duan XZ, Bai XY, Wang SM, Zhao DQ. Anti-fatigue effects of proteins isolated from Panax quinquefolium. J Ethnopharmacol. 2014 Apr 28;153(2):430-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2014.02.045. Epub 2014 Mar 4.
- Sen S, Querques MA, Chakrabarti S. North American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) prevents hyperglycemia and associated pancreatic abnormalities in diabetes. J Med Food. 2013 Jul;16(7):587-92. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2012.0192.
- Mucalo I, Rahelić D, Jovanovski E, Bozikov V, Romić Z, Vuksan V. Effect of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes. Coll Antropol. 2012 Dec;36(4):1435-40.
- Biondo PD, Robbins SJ, Walsh JD, McCargar LJ, Harber VJ, Field CJ. A randomized controlled crossover trial of the effect of ginseng consumption on the immune response to moderate exercise in healthy sedentary men. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2008 Oct;33(5):966-75.
- Dougherty U, Mustafi R, Wang Y, Musch MW, Wang CZ, Konda VJ, Kulkarni A, Hart J, Dawson G, Kim KE, Yuan CS, Chang EB, Bissonnette M. American ginseng suppresses Western diet-promoted tumorigenesis in model of inflammation-associated colon cancer: role of EGFR. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2011;11:111.
- Rinwa P1, Kumar A. Modulation of nitrergic signalling pathway by American ginseng attenuates chronic unpredictable stress-induced cognitive impairment, neuroinflammation, and biochemical alterations. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 2014 Feb;387(2):129-41. doi: 10.1007/s00210-013-0925-5. Epub 2013 Oct 17.
- Lian XY, Zhang Z, Stringer JL. Protective effects of ginseng components in a rodent model of neurodegeneration. Ann Neurol. 2005 May;57(5):642-8.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.