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Panax - C.A.Mey.

Common Name Ginseng, Chinese ginseng
Family Araliaceae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards Side effects include inability to fall asleep, increase in heart rate and blood pressure. Overuse or prolonged use may cause over stimulation (diarrhoea, nervousness, skin eruption). Caution with other stimulants needed. Avoid in patients with psychosis and manic disorders. Not recommended during pregnancy and breast feeding [301].
Habitats Mountain forests[165, 178].
Range E. Asia - China, Korea.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (5 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade
Panax Ginseng, Chinese ginseng


Panax Ginseng, Chinese ginseng

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

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Panax is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.8 m (2ft 7in) by 0.7 m (2ft 4in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

Aralia ginseng. Panax chin-seng. Panax verus.

Habitats

Edible Uses

Root - chewed. This probably refers to its medicinal uses. A tea is made from the root.

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



Ginseng has a history of herbal use going back over 5,000 years[238]. It is one of the most highly regarded of herbal medicines in the Orient, where it has gained an almost magical reputation for being able to promote health, general body vigour and also to prolong life[218]. The root is adaptogen, alterative, carminative, demulcent, emetic, expectorant, stimulant and tonic[165, 176, 178, 218]. It both stimulates and relaxes the nervous system, encourages the secretion of hormones, improves stamina, lowers blood sugar and cholesterol levels and increases resistance to disease[238]. It is used internally in the treatment of debility associated with old age or illness, lack of appetite, insomnia, stress, shock and chronic illness[238]. Ginseng is not normally prescribed for pregnant women, or for patients under the age of 40, or those with depression, acute anxiety or acute inflammatory disease[238]. It is normally only taken for a period of 3 weeks[238]. Excess can cause headaches, restlessness, raised blood pressure and other side effects, especially if it is taken with caffeine, alcohol, turnips and bitter or spicy foods[238]. The roots are harvested in the autumn, preferably from plants 6 - 7 years old, and can be used fresh or dried[238]. A dose of 10ug/ml of ginseng saponins has been shown to be significantly radio-protective when it is administered prior to gamma-irradiation[218]. The leaf is emetic and expectorant[218]. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Panax ginseng for lack of stamina (see [302] for critics of commission E).

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

Requires a moist humus rich soil in a shady position in a woodland[200]. Ginseng is widely cultivated and also collected from the wild in the Orient for its root which is commonly used as a medicine[178]. The root is prepared in a number of different ways, including by steaming it for 4 hours in wicker baskets over boiling water[200].

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Propagation

Seed - sow in a shady position in a cold frame preferably as soon as it is ripe, otherwise as soon as the seed is obtained. It can be very slow and erratic to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a shady position in the greenhouse or frame for at least their first winter. Make sure the pots are deep enough to accommodate the roots. Plant out into their permanent positions in late summer. Division in spring.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Oplopanax japonicus 21
Opopanax chironiumOpopanax01
Panax ginsengGinseng, Chinese ginseng25
Panax japonicusJapanese Ginseng11
Panax pseudoginsengGinseng, Japanese ginseng13
Panax pseudoginseng notoginsengSan Qi15
Panax quinquefoliusAmerican Ginseng13
Panax trifoliusGround Nut, Dwarf ginseng12
Polyscias sambucifoliaElderberry Panax00
Pseudopanax arboreusPuahou10
Pseudopanax edgerleyi 00
Tetrapanax papyriferRice Paper Plant, Chinese Rice Paper Plant11

 

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Expert comment

Author

C.A.Mey.

Botanical References

200

Links / References

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Subject : Panax  
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