Ginseng: Habitat and Uses

Topics: Ginseng, Panax, Nervous system Pages: 2 (606 words) Published: January 28, 2006
Panax Quinquefolium
Other Names: American Ginseng, Panax Ginseng, San, Redberry, five fingers, man root, divine root, Root of life

Perennial herb, native to Eastern N. America found from Maine to Georgia, west to Oklahoma and Minnesota, growing in rich soils in cool woods. Cultivation: Ginseng requires a deep moist humus rich soil in a shady position in a woodland, growing well on north-facing slopes and in deep cool woodland areas. Seeds should be sown in a shady position in a cold frame or greenhouse, and spend least their first winter there. Plant into their permanent positions in late summer or early spring. It has a large, thick, fleshy, whitish, root, growing 3 to 4 inches in length, specimens have been found twice this size. Most roots are spindle shaped with smaller appendages. The stem is simple and erect, on average about 1 to 2 foot high, bearing three to five large, palmate, leaves in a whorl atop the stem, each leaf is long stalked, divided into five finely-toothed, short petiole, leaflets, and a single, terminal umbel, with a few small, yellowish or light green flowers which grow on a short stalk from the center of the whorl of leaves. The fruit is a cluster of bright red berries. Flowers bloom in June and July. Gather the roots in Fall after the berries or seeds have fallen away. Dry for later herb use. The wild supply is quickly being diminished due to over harvesting for export to china and other countries, in some areas it is illegal to harvest during certain months of the year. Properties

Ginseng herb has a long history of use as an alternative medicine going back over 5,000 years, and appears on several continents (origin unknown), it is and was used extensively in Native American medicine. The root is adaptogen, cardiotonic, demulcent, panacea, sedative, sialagogue, stimulant, tonic and stomachic. Ginseng has been studied over the past 30 years in many countries, it's remarkable ability to help the body...
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