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Panax quinquefolius — sources, health benefits, nutrients, uses and constituents at

Saturday, October 07, 2017 by

Panax quinquefolius, more commonly known as wild American ginseng, is a perennial wildflower characterized by its hairless, unbranched stem and compound leaves. An article posted on the Illinois Wildflower website reveals that American ginseng is widely distributed in the state, but is categorized as uncommon. According to the article, the plant’s declining population is largely due to habitat destruction and over-collection of its fleshy, medicinal roots.

The herb’s root system features fleshy, fusiform taproot that measures several inches long. The plant is also known to reproduce by reseeding itself. Panax quinquefolius or wild American ginseng can be found in high-quality and little-disturbed woodlands.

List of known nutrients

Wild American ginseng is an excellent source of essential nutrients that promote the body’s overall health and stave off a host of illnesses. An entry posted on the Herbpathy website lists the important nutrients found in wild American ginseng, which include:

  • Amino Acids
  • Beta-sitosterol
  • Calcium
  • Choline
  • Cinnamic Acid
  • Ferulic Acid
  • Fumaric Acid
  • Iron
  • Kaempferol
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Oleanolic Acid
  • Pectin
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Saponins
  • Silicon
  • Vitamin B-complex
  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc

Medicinal uses for panax quinquefolius

Panax quinquefolius or wild American ginseng is best known for its beneficial effects on the immune system. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), the plant boosts cell function that is vital in strengthening the immune system. This then fortifies the body’s defenses against diseases and infections. Likewise, certain components found in the plant are shown to increase white blood production, which in turn further enhances the immune system. Previous studies have also shown that taking wild American ginseng may help stave off the onset of fever and flu.

The plant is touted for its positive effects on the brain and the central nervous system as well, according to an article posted on the Live Strong website. The article discusses that wild American ginseng may help alleviate a variety of mental and behavioral conditions such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mental and emotional stress, and cognitive issues. A previous study has also demonstrated that taking wild American ginseng may boost cognitive function in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

In addition, wild American ginseng is shown to effectively lower blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes. A past study involving diabetes patients has revealed that those who took the medicinal herb experienced less increase in blood sugar levels after consuming a high-sugar beverage. Likewise, another study has revealed that diabetes patients who took wild American ginseng have exhibited lower blood alcohol levels.

Wild American ginseng is also found to contain anti-cancer properties that help mitigate tumor growth. Certain constituents in the plant are shown to effectively fend off colorectal cancer cells. The medicinal herb is touted to reduce the risk of developing other types of cancer such as gastric and breast cancer.

Body systems supported by panax quinquefolius

Wild American ginseng is notably effective in keeping a strong and healthy immune system. Likewise, the plant is known for its beneficial effects on both the digestive tract and the central nervous system.

Ways to use panax quinquefolius

Wild American ginseng can be used in the same manner as other ginseng varieties. The plant goes well with meat and poultry. Likewise, American ginseng can be used in a variety of soup recipes. An entry published by online recipe curator has listed several interesting wild American ginseng dishes.

Where to learn more


Panax quinquefolius prevents certain types of cancers.

Panax quinquefolius staves off infections such as flu and fever.

Panax quinquefolius addresses various mental and behavioral conditions.

Panax quinquefolius helps regulate blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

Panax quinquefolius is particularly beneficial to the immune system.

Panax quinquefolius supports both the digestive tract and the central nervous system.

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