American Ginseng

Ingredient Name: Ginseng, American ginseng, panax ginseng

Traditional Chinese Name: 花旗參 (Huā qí cān)

What is this?
  • The brownish-beige ginseng is commonly grown in the United States (hence the name)
  • It produces a strong bitter, “golden” flavor
  • This ginseng is available in various forms such as whole, shredded, powdered, and in teabags
  • American ginseng is said to be a cooling agent
  • Ginseng is used in Chinese herbal medicine, soups, stews, stuffed in foods, as tablets, in skin care products, teas, desserts and many other uses

How do I prepare it?

  • Rinse in warm water before usage

Where can I buy this?

  • High quality American ginseng can be purchased from your local herbalist
  • It is sometimes also available in Asian supermarkets in both shreds or whole

What is the cost?

  • The cost of American ginseng varies depending on the size, age and rarity of the Ginseng species

Any benefits?

  • Ginseng is said to promote blood circulation, prevent fatigue and strengthen the body’s immune system
  • American ginseng is said to aid in menopausal women with “hot flashes” and help regulate menstruation and reduce PMS (although not to be taken during menstruation as it is cooling and will cause contractions)
  • It is also a good fever reducing agent
  • This type of ginseng also helps in loosening a dry, hacking cough
  • Mixed with honey and hot water, it makes for a great sore throat “tea” as it is soothing and helps cool the body and throat

Any precautions?

  • Not recommended for people with weak stomachs
  • Use in moderation
  • American ginseng is a cooling ingredient and should be taken with precaution during pregnancy and during menstruation
  • As it is cooling, reported side effects are headache and insomnia
  • Be sure to purchase ginseng from a reputable source as there are often replicas and lower grade ginseng sold at a higher price

Additional Information

  • Store in a dry and cool place
  • Ginseng can be stored for many years
  • Some very expensive ginseng are kept as a whole root (the bigger, the better) and stored in a liquid to preserve it

Other references