American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) is a medicinal herb traditionally used by Native Americans and is native to North America. Traditionally it is used as an adrenal adaptogen and to help balance one’s immune system. The main active components are Ginsenosides, which are neuroprotective as well as containing antioxidant properties (1). They have also been shown to help support mitochondrial health and improve energy metabolism (2). Research has shown American Ginseng can help control brain inflammation and could be beneficial for those with Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease, or other disorders affecting the central nervous system (3).
American Ginseng can help alleviate many different types of fatigue. A study in those with rheumatoid arthritis associated fatigue showed no improvement after 4 weeks but significant improvement in fatigue levels after 8 weeks of consuming American Ginseng (4). It also has been shown to help with cancer related fatigue (5), as well as contain anticoagulant properties.
In addition to adrenal/energy support American Ginseng may improve cognitive function (6). One study with 52 young adults showed enhanced working memory, calmness, and mood when taking American Ginseng (7). A unique saponin found in American Ginseng could reduce anxiety, depression, and memory deficits when going through drug withdrawal (8). It also showed ability to increase cell survival by extending neurite growth and rescuing neurons from death (8).
When given for 8-16 weeks American Ginseng has been shown to be effective in shortening the duration of colds and acute respiratory infections. Colds were reduced 25% and the duration was shortened by 6.2 days on average (9). It also showed antimicrobial properties include those against bacteria that are commonly associated with halitosis, Fusobacterium nucleatum, Clostridium perfringens, and Porphyromonas gingivalis (10).
Ingestion of Panax quinquefolius was shown to lower rental titers of Candida Albicans and significantly lower inflammatory cytokine levels (11).
When given before a glucose tolerance test American Ginseng has been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels after eating, for those with Type II diabetes as well as for those without (12, 13).
Suggested Dosage: 2 capsules 1-2x per day.
Contraindications: Do not take while pregnant or breastfeeding. Do not take if on a prescription blood thinner.
1. Lee JH, Ahn JY, Shin TJ, et al. Effects of Minor Ginsenosides, Ginsenoside Metabolites, and Ginsenoside Epimers on the Growth of Caenorhabditis elegans. J Ginseng Res. 2011;35(3):375-383. doi:10.5142/jgr.2011.35.3.375
2. Kim JH. Cardiovascular Diseases and Panax ginseng: A Review on Molecular Mechanisms and Medical Applications. J Ginseng Res. 2012;36(1):16-26. doi:10.5142/jgr.2012.36.1.16
3. Kim HJ, Kim P, Shin CY. A comprehensive review of the therapeutic and pharmacological effects of ginseng and ginsenosides in central nervous system. J Ginseng Res. 2013;37(1):8-29. doi:10.5142/jgr.2013.37.8
4. Eugene, V. E., & Xinwei, S. (2020). A Randomized, Double-Blind Clinical Trial for Effect of Wisconsin Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) in Improvement of Rheumatoid Arthritis Associated Fatigue. International Journal of Chinese Medicine, 4(4), 71.
5. Barton, Debra L., et al. "Wisconsin Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) to improve cancer-related fatigue: a randomized, double-blind trial, N07C2." Journal of the National Cancer Institute 105.16 (2013): 1230-1238.
6. Scholey, Andrew, et al. "Effects of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) on neurocognitive function: an acute, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study." Psychopharmacology 212.3 (2010): 345-356.
7. Ossoukhova, Anastasia, et al. "Improved working memory performance following administration of a single dose of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) to healthy middle‐age adults." Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental 30.2 (2015): 108-122.
8. Kim, Hee Jin, Pitna Kim, and Chan Young Shin. "A comprehensive review of the therapeutic and pharmacological effects of ginseng and ginsenosides in central nervous system." Journal of ginseng research 37.1 (2013): 8.
9. Seida, Jennifer Krebs, Tamara Durec, and Stefan Kuhle. "North American (Panax quinquefolius) and Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) preparations for prevention of the common cold in healthy adults: a systematic review." Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2011 (2011).
10. Xue, Peng, et al. "Improved antimicrobial effect of ginseng extract by heat transformation." Journal of Ginseng Research 41.2 (2017): 180-187.
11. Trammell, R. A., Cox, L., Pikora, J., Murphy, L. L., & Toth, L. A. (2012). Evaluation of an extract of North American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) in Candida albicans-infected complement-deficient mice. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 139(2), 414-421.
12. Vladimir Vuksan, John L Sievenpiper, Julia Wong, Zheng Xu, Uljana Beljan-Zdravkovic, John T Arnason, Valeria Assinewe, Mark P Stavro, Alexandra L Jenkins, Lawrence A Leiter, Thomas Francis, American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) attenuates postprandial glycemia in a time-dependent but not dose-dependent manner in healthy individuals, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 73, Issue 4, April 2001, Pages 753–758, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/73.4.753
13. Vuksan, Vladimir, et al. "American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L) reduces postprandial glycemia in nondiabetic subjects and subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus." Archives of internal medicine 160.7 (2000): 1009-1013.