Sunday, February 22, 2009

American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)

American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)

An interesting tidbit of historical fact is that Daniel Boone, in Kentucky, actually made his fortune trading ginseng although he is remembered as a fur trader. In the book Woodland Nuggets of Gold it is written that George Washington wrote to Daniel Boone “the war effort needs money, bring ginseng.”
As an antioxidant, American ginseng boosts the immune system, enhances healthy circulation, and strengthens the body’s response to illness or injury. The part of this adaptogen most commonly is the root. The root of American ginseng is light tan and gnarled, sometimes resembling the shape of the human body. Ginseng is used in many different cultures for its ability to support human health and recovery. It was used in the the mountain regions of the southeastern United States as an aphrodisiac and sexual libido and sexual performance enhancer. It was also widely used because of its ability to relieve fatigue and enhance energy.

(The following scientific information is taken from: Adaptogens, herbs for strength, stamina and stress relief by David Winston and Steven Maimes) Accepted properties: Antioxidant, bitter tonic, mild central nervous system stimulant, mild soother of mucous membranes, hypoglycemic agent and immune amphoteric. Constituents: The active constituents include triterpene saponins, known as ginsenosides or panaxosides.

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