American #Ginseng: Panax quinquefolius

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American #Ginseng:  Panax quinquefolius

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

American Ginseng is an herb ‘at risk’. United Plant Savers is an organization founded to help save ‘at risk’ herbs. It is a fountain of information on plants and how you can help.

Why is American Ginseng at risk?

Per United Plants Savers – 

  • Increased deer populations who forage on herbaceous plants
  • The fact that ginseng is slow growing, and reproduces only by seed
  • Poaching in National Parks where harvesting is illegal
  • Loss of habitat due to development and mountain top removal
  • Over-harvesting
  • Invasive plants
  • Change in rural culture and increased economic incentives as the price of wild roots continues to rise

Because this herb is ‘at risk’ those who choose to use it are encouraged to purchase the herb only from those growing it as ‘wild simulated’.

Definition of Wild-Simulated:

Wild-simulated ginseng production is, as the name implies, simply growing ginseng under conditions that mimic those found in the wild.

Those who use American Ginseng are typically very dedicated to it. It has a long history, especially with many Native American tribes. It has a different energy than Chinese or Korean Ginseng and has been used for colic, nausea and chronic coughs. Many herbalists use this herb as an adaptogen to counteract the effects of stress and increase endurance.

The root is the only part of the plant that is used so you can easily understand why it has become ‘at risk’.

Have you used this herb? What did you use it for? Was it effective? 

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Comments (9)

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  1. patweber says:

    I'm not sure I have ever taken Ginseng in any form besides tea. But I'm sure that use counts toward adding to the possible extinction. What else would we find it in Cheryl?

  2. JeriWB says:

    Like Pat, I've only encountered it in the name of teas. However, it's a huge buzzword and often seems like it's been added to everything.

    • Cheryl says:

      Yes. It is a huge buzz word. It seems like it has become the 'herb of all trades' whether or not it is actually useful.

  3. There was a big rush on wild Ginseng in West Virginia a good many years back. I'm not sure what the status is today but there were concerns about losing the plant as a result of over hunting. 🙂

    • Cheryl says:

      That's right. People have hunted it to almost extinction.

  4. I have never heard the term wild simulated before. Interesting concept, I wonder what steps you need to take to prove you are growing in close to wild conditions.

    • Cheryl says:

      I am not sure of the steps to reach this classification. It would be interesting to know.

  5. Fascinating, Cheryl! I didn't even know that Ginseng was grown in the US! I'd only previously heard of the Asian varieties. Unfortunate that it is in jeopardy. Hopefully, they will find a way to propagate it and keep it in our midst.

  6. tuhinmech says:

    Is there an organization to save at-risk herbs too? Wow! Thats great! 🙂 Since I don't have much knowledge about Ginseng so I wont speak much about this! What made me happy is the fact that organizations like United plant savers do exist and are doing a great job in creating awareness about the endangered herbs!