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Ginseng, Panax quinquefolia 

Ginseng, Xi-yang-shen (Panax quinquefolia)

Ginseng, Xi-Yang-Shen, Man Root

American Ginseng

A perennial plant known worldwide for its medicinal values. Grows well on forest floors throughout the world. Ginseng is said to provide a vital elixir that improves health overall, along with vigor and longevity.

Ginseng can refer to any of 22 different plants. Some are members of the same family or even genus (Panax). Others are completely unrelated to ginseng either botanically or chemically and are often passed off fraudulently, to capitalize on Ginseng's good reputation and premium price for the original root. According to an article published in the Wall Street Journal in 1983, "seng hunters" bought Wild American Ginseng at $153.63 a pound, which was then turned around and was resold by the ginseng brokers in Hong Kong for as much as $25,000 per root! This American Ginseng is said to be more yin, sweeter, cooler and slightly more bitter than the Asian variety.

Growing Info: As its natural habitat is on the floor of forests, Ginseng grows best when it has about 75 to 80% shade. Grows best when in a mixed planting. In nature, you'll find it growing next to plants like goldenseal, bloodroot and wild ginger. Prefers dry, rather than wet, rich soil with a good amount of organic material. Grows to about 1 foot.

Standard Uses: Although Ginseng can be an attractive ornamental plant for forest like settings, its medicinal values have tended to far outweigh that possible use.

Medicinal Uses: While it is best known for its anti-fatigue, energy-giving properties, very few people know that it must be taken for a while in order to gradually build up greater physical endurance. Those expecting anything sudden to happen from only short-term use will be disappointed. A superior tonic was made in ancient China by combining both Ginseng and Codonopsis that was said to replenish vital energy.

Millions of people around the world also consider Ginseng to be the world's number one, ultimate aphrodisiac. There has been some clinical research in this area that seems to verify this claim to a certain extent. Japanese scientists have already identified sex hormone activity in ginseng preparations given to both male and female rodents alike.

Sexual activity was increased in the animals under the influence of Ginseng when compared to the control group without the benefits of the plant. For this purpose, the best ginseng preparations are those in liquid form which have the root in the bottle with it. Drink 4 fluid ounces twice a day for at least a week in advance of your next romantic interlude.