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Related to ginseng: American ginseng
The roots of several species of Panax (family Araliaceae), esteemed as of great medicinal virtue by the Chinese, used extensively as a "nutriceutical"; alleged to improve mental and physical functions.
1. Any of several plants of the genus Panax, especially P. ginseng of East Asia or P. quinquefolius of North America, having small greenish flowers grouped in umbels, palmately compound leaves, and forked roots used in herbal medicine.
2. The roots or preparations of the roots of any of these plants.
Chinese medicine Any of 22 different deciduous plants, mostly of the Panax family—e.g., Panax ginseng—that are native to Southeast Asia; ginseng root contains panaxin, panax acid, panaquilen, panacen, sapogenin, and ginsenin; it is used in Chinese herbal medicine as a tonic and restorative, and said to have immunologic, hormonal, and stress-reducing effects; it has been used for respiratory infections, gastrointestinal complaints including anorexia, bloating, depression, diarrhoea, vomiting, fatigue, impotence, shock, shortness of breath, stress, increased sweating
Physiologic effects Increased testosterone, corticosteroids, gluconeogenesis, central nervous system activity, increased pulse and blood pressure, gastrointestinal motility, haematopoiesis; decreased cholesterol
Toxicity Ginseng should not be used in patients with asthma, arrhythmias, hypertension, or post-menopausal bleeding
Fringe oncology Ginseng’s effect on cancer is inconclusive; weak data suggest it may have carcinoprotective effects. See Unproven methods for cancer management
ginsengPharmacognosy An herb used as a herbal remedy, as an anxiolytic and antidepressant Physiologic effects ↑ testosterone, corticosteroids, gluconeogenesis, CNS activity, HTN, ↑ pulse and BP, GI motility, hematopoiesis; ↓ cholesterol Toxicity Ginseng should not be used in Pts with asthma, arrhythmias, HTN, or post-menopausal bleeding. See Unproven methods for cancer management.
(Panax quinquefolius) Herbal with dozens of purported therapeutic properties (e.g., antidepressant, aphrodisiac, sleep aid, systemic panacea); used worldwide by enormous numbers of people.