If you have ever needed a quick pick-me-up and turned to an energy drink, more than likely the drink contained an ingredient known as ginseng. The medicinal uses of ginseng date back to Native Americans, where they would use this herb to stimulate the body as well as to help treat headaches and indigestion, according to the University of Maryland. Studies performed indicate that ginseng can be used by the body to help reduce the risk of cancer, support the immune system as well as stimulate metal performance when under stress.
American ginseng, is grown throughout the Americas, and it is identified by a straight stem where leaves grow in a circle around this main stem. While this plant can grow quickly, it is not ready for consumption for medicinal uses until the plant is nearly six years old.
This plant is comprised of polysaccharide glycans as well as ginsenosides. American ginseng does provide some stimulating effects; however, it is commonly noted by researches the effects of these compounds in the body typically produce a more calming effect than its Asian counterpart (Asian Ginseng).
One of the more exciting uses of American Ginseng is to help control the growth of a cancerous tumor. The University of Maryland states that within a particular study, the compounds within American Ginseng were able to help inhibit cancer tumor growth.
Some of the other uses American Ginseng is known for include cold and flu reduction. Two studies, cited by the University of Maryland, state individuals who took a cold product with American Ginseng over a span of four months got less colds than those who did not consume the ginseng product.
American Ginseng has also been used to treat ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) as well as to help enhance the immune system.
There are several different ways you can consume American Ginseng. These include consuming a standardized extract with 4 to 5 percent ginesnosides up to three times per day (100 to 200mg dosages), as well as consuming up to two grams of dried root daily.
Take note, never consume American Ginseng without the consent of your doctor if you are currently undergoing treatments for cancer, HIV/AIDS or some other medical condition. Discuss ginseng with your doctor to determine the appropriate daily dosage to reduce the likelihood of encountering side effects such as insomnia, anxiety, vomiting, breast pain or restlessness.
University of Maryland Medical Center – American Ginseng