Native Americans believed American ginseng could alleviate painful childbirths and restore energy to the elderly. Found abundantly in the Cumberland Gap region of the southern Appalachians, American ginseng is identified by a single stalk crowned by delicate chartreuse blooms and crimson berries; its leaflets have sawlike teeth. The active ingredients of American ginseng are panaxosides, which are thought to calm the stomach and the brain and act as a mild stimulant to vital organs. American ginseng is milder than Asian ginseng and is often prescribed for people who consider Asian ginseng too potent. Both American and Asian ginseng are frequently used to treat the elderly.
Taken internally for:
Over the counter:
Ginseng is available as fresh or dried root, root powder, capsules, tablets, prepared tea, freeze-dried root and cured rock candy.
Tea: 1 oz. fresh root boiled with 1 cup water for 15 to 20 minutes.