En Español
Health Encyclopedia

Nutritional Supplement

American Ginseng

  • Immune System Support

    Common Cold and Sore Throat

    In a double-blind study, supplementing with American ginseng significantly reduced the number of colds that people experienced over a four-month period.
    Common Cold and Sore Throat
    ×
     

    In a double-blind study, supplementation with American ginseng significantly reduced by 27% the number of colds that people experienced over a four-month period, compared with a placebo.4 The amount used in this study was 400 mg per day of a freeze-dried extract.

    Infection

    American ginseng supports the immune system and protects against microbes.
    Infection
    ×

    Herbs that support a person’s immune system in the fight against microbes include the following: American ginseng, andrographis, Asian ginseng, astragalus, coriolus, eleuthero, ligustrum, maitake, picrorhiza, reishi, schisandra, and shiitake.5

  • Blood Sugar and Diabetes Support

    Type 2 Diabetes

    Supplementing with American ginseng may help improve blood glucose control and insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes.
    Type 2 Diabetes
    ×
    Numerous clinical trials indicate American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) may improve insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism.6,7,8 Results from a placebo-controlled crossover study show a beneficial effect of 3 grams of American ginseng extract per day in participants with type 2 diabetes: eight weeks of treatment resulted in reductions in HgbA1c, fasting blood glucose levels, blood pressures, and LDL-cholesterol levels compared to placebo.9 In a twelve-week placebo-controlled trial that included 64 participants with type 2 diabetes and related high blood pressure, 3 grams of American ginseng per day resulted in decreased blood vessel stiffness and lower blood pressure.10 A typical dose used in clinical trials and found to be safe in those with type 2 diabetes is 1 gram three times daily.11 Some American ginseng extracts are standardized for their ginsenoside content.
  • Fitness

    Athletic Performance

    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.
    Athletic Performance
    ×
    Extensive but often poorly designed studies have been conducted on the use of Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) to improve athletic performance.12[REF] While some early controlled studies suggested there might be benefits, several recent double-blind trials have found no significant effects of Asian ginseng on endurance exercise.13,14[REF] In many studies, it is possible that ginseng was used in insufficient amounts or for an inadequate length of time; a more effective regimen for enhancing endurance performance may be 2 grams of powdered root per day or 200 to 400 mg per day of an extract standardized for 4% ginsenosides, taken for eight to twelve weeks.[REF] Short-term intense exercise has also not been helped by Asian ginseng according to double-blind trials,15,16 but one controlled study reported increased pectoral and quadricep muscle strength in non-exercising men and women after taking 1 gram per day of Asian ginseng for six weeks.17



    An extract of a related plant, American Gingseng (Panax quinquefolius), was found ineffective at improving endurance exercise performance in untrained people after one week’s supplementation in a double-blind study.[REF] Standardized extracts of American ginseng, unlike Asian ginseng, are not known. However, dried root powder, 1–3 grams per day in capsule or tablet form, can be used. Some herbalists also recommend 3–5 ml of tincture three times per day.
What Are Star Ratings?
×
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.

Temp Title
×
Temp Text

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.18 The Chinese began to use American ginseng after it was imported during the 1700s.19 The traditional applications of American ginseng in China are significantly different from those for Panax ginseng (Asian ginseng).19

References

1. Shibata S, Tanaka O, Shoji J, Saito H. Chemistry and pharmacology of Panax. Econ Med Plant Res 1:218–84.

2. Morris AC, Jacobs I, McLellan TM, et al. No ergogenic effect on ginseng ingestion. Int J Sport Nutr 1996;6:263-71.

3. Vuksan V, Sivenpiper JL, Koo VYY, et al. American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) reduces postprandial glycemia in nondiabetic subjects and subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Arch Intern Med 2000;160:1009-13.

4. Predy GN, Goel V, Lovlin R, et al. Efficacy of an extract of North American ginseng containing poly-furanosyl-pyranosyl-saccharides for preventing upper respiratory tract infections: a randomized controlled trial. CMAJ 2005;173:1043-8.

5. Murray MT. The Healing Power of Herbs. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing, 1995.

6. De Souza L, Jenkins A, Jovanovski E, et al. Ethanol extraction preparation of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L) and Korean red ginseng (Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer): differential effects on postprandial insulinemia in healthy individuals. J Ethnopharmacol 2015;159:55–61.

7. Shishtar E, Sievenpiper J, Djedovic V, et al. The effect of ginseng (the genus panax) on glycemic control: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials. PLoS One 2014;9:e107391.

8. Gui Q, Xu Z, Xu K, Yang Y. The Efficacy of Ginseng-Related Therapies in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: An Updated Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Medicine (Baltimore) 2016;95:e2584.

9. Vuksan V, Xu Z, Jovanovski E, et al. Efficacy and safety of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) extract on glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in individuals with type 2 diabetes: a double-blind, randomized, cross-over clinical trial. Eur J Nutr 2019;58:1237–45.

10. Mucalo I, Jovanovski E, Rahelic D, et al. Effect of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) on arterial stiffness in subjects with type-2 diabetes and concomitant hypertension. J Ethnopharmacol 2013;150:148–53.

11. Mucalo I, Jovanovski E, Vuksan V, et al. American Ginseng Extract (Panax quinquefolius L.) Is Safe in Long-Term Use in Type 2 Diabetic Patients. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2014;2014:969168.

12. Bahrke MS, Morgan WP. Evaluation of the ergogenic properties of ginseng. Sports Med 1994;18:229-48 [review].

13. Engels HJ, Wirth JC. No ergogenic effects of ginseng (Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer) during graded maximal aerobic exercise. J Am Diet Assoc 1997;97:1110-5.

14. Allen JD, McLung J, Nelson AG, Welsch M. Ginseng supplementation does not enhance healthy young adults' peak aerobic exercise performance. J Am Coll Nutr 1998;17:462-6.

15. Engels HJ, Fahlman MM, Wirth JC. Effects of ginseng on secretory IgA, performance, and recovery from interval exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2003;35:690-6.

16. Engels HJ, Kolokouri I, Cieslak TJ 2nd, Wirth JC. Effects of ginseng supplementation on supramaximal exercise performance and short-term recovery. J Strength Cond Res 2001;15:290-5.

17. McNaughton L. A comparison of Chinese and Russian ginseng as ergogenic aids to improve various facets of physical fitness. Int Clin Nutr Rev 1989;9:32-5.

18. Duke J. Ginseng: A Concise Handbook. Algonac, MI: Reference Publications, 1989, 36.

19. Bensky D, Gamble A, Kaptchuk T. Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica. Seattle: Eastland Press, 1993, 358-9.

20. Foster S. Herbs for Health. Loveland, CO: Interweave Press, 1996, 48-9.

21. Yun TK, Choi Y. Preventive effect of ginseng intake against various human cancers: A case-control study on 1987 pairs. Cancer Epidem Biomarkers Prev 1995;4:401-8.

Copyright © 2020 TraceGains, Inc. All rights reserved.

Learn more about TraceGains, the company.

The information presented by TraceGains 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. 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 December 2020.

Copyright © 2020 TraceGains, Inc. All rights reserved.

The information presented by TraceGains 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 December 2020.