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American Ginseng

Also indexed as:Ginseng (American), Panax quinquefolius
American Ginseng: Main Image© Steven Foster
Botanical names:
Panax quinquefolius

Parts Used & Where Grown

Like its more familiar cousin Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng), the root of American ginseng is used medicinally. The plant grows wild in shady forests of the northern and central United States, as well as in parts of Canada. It is cultivated in the United States, China, and France.

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary "Star-Rating" system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for AmountWhy
Common Cold and Sore Throat
400 mg per day of a freeze-dried extract2 stars[2 stars]
In a double-blind study, supplementing with American ginseng significantly reduced the number of colds that people experienced over a four-month period.
Type 2 Diabetes
3 grams with or following meals2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with American ginseng may help improve blood sugar control.
Athletic Performance
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Asian ginseng has been associated with improved athletic performance, though findings have been inconsistent. Its cousin, American ginseng, was found ineffective at improving endurance exercise performance in untrained people after one week. It is possible that different amounts and durations might affect results.
Infection
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
American ginseng supports the immune system and protects against microbes.

Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

Many Native American tribes used American ginseng. Medicinal applications ranged from digestive disorders to sexual problems.1 The Chinese began to use American ginseng after it was imported during the 1700s.2 The traditional applications of American ginseng in China are significantly different from those for Panax ginseng (Asian ginseng).3

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.