Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food. ...Hippocrates
This fact sheet provides basic information about the herb Asian ginseng--common names, uses, potential side effects, and resources for more information. Asian ginseng is native to China and Korea and has been used in various systems of medicine for many centuries. Asian ginseng is one of several types of true ginseng (another is American ginseng, Panax quinquefolius). An herb called Siberian ginseng or eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is not a true ginseng.
Common Names--Asian ginseng, ginseng, Chinese ginseng, Korean ginseng, Asiatic ginseng
Latin Name--Panax ginseng
Treatment claims for Asian ginseng are numerous and include the use of the herb to support overall health and boost the immune system. Traditional and modern uses of ginseng include:
The root of Asian ginseng contains active chemical components called ginsenosides (or panaxosides) that are thought to be responsible for the herb's medicinal properties. The root is dried and used to make tablets or capsules, extracts, and teas, as well as creams or other preparations for external use.
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Ginseng, Asian (Panax ginseng). In: Coates P, Blackman M, Cragg G, et al., eds. Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker; 2005:265-277. Accessed at Dekker Encyclopedias Web site on August 18, 2005.
Ginseng, Panax. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Accessed on August 18, 2005.
Ginseng. Natural Standard Database Web site. Accessed on August 18, 2005.
Ginseng root. In: Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckman J, eds. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Newton, MA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2000:170-177.
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Hepatitis C and Complementary and Alternative Medicine: 2003 Update. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Web site. Accessed on August 18, 2005.
NCCAM has provided this material for your information. It is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your primary health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with your health care provider. The mention of any product, service, or therapy in this information is not an endorsement by NCCAM.
NCCAM Publication No. D284