GINSENG: THE PLANT
Perennial herb with short underground stem and fleshy white root.
Three or four years, the plants starts to flower.
Most plant parts contain active components
Main roots used for Traditional Chinese Medicine
Mayor Panax species:
Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer: Oriental, Asian or Korea ginseng. Long hsitory of use >> 4,000 years. Cultivated in China, Korea, and Japan.
Panax quinquefolius (Notth American ginseng). 400 years of use.
Note: Red ginsend is prepared from Panax ginseng by steaming processing.
Natural Habitats PQ is native to the deciduous forest of Earstern United States and part of Canada. Wild ginseng once thrived in woodlands from Quebec to Alabama, West Minnesota, Missouri, and Nebraska and Ontario.
Most ginseng in the wild have been depleted. It is an endangered species in Canada.
90 % of the cultivated ginseng grown in the United States is grown in Wisconsin. In Canada, cultivation began over 100 years ago in Ontario and most of the cultivated ginseng in Canada is located in Simcoe, Ontario. Ontario has recently become the world’s largest producer of American ginseng with over 5,000 acres of field cultivation.
Two bioactive pharmacologically-active constituents.
1. Triterpene saponins, known as ginsenosides (plant secondary metabolites).
2. Water-soluble polysaccharides (derived from cell wall)