American Ginseng Monograph

Scientific name of American Ginseng:
Panax quinquefolius L.

Action of American Ginseng:
Increased alertness and energy production

American Ginseng is used for these common wellness concerns:
A lack of focus, mental sharpness, concentration or memory functions caused by everyday stress; decresed immune system response due to physical and emotional stressors; low energy levels

Find American Ginseng in these Clarocet blends:

An Overview of American Ginseng

American Ginseng belongs to the genus Panax and is similar in chemical composition to Asian Ginseng. Early Western botanists and medical writers noted that the root of American Ginseng increased energy and alertness. Traditionally, American Ginseng is recognized for its adaptogenic properties, meaning it naturally increases the body’s resistance to physical and emotional stress.

In clinical study, the active components of American Ginseng have been shown to provide positive support for:

  • Focus, concentration, memory, mental sharpness and other healthy cognitive functions
  • Mental and physical fatigue caused by emotional stress
  • Occasional overactive behavior
  • Healthy immune system function

American Ginseng is well tolerated and maintains an excellent safety profile. Research shows that with continued use, American Ginseng may even help to promote brain health.

Science and Pharmacology of American Ginseng

American Ginseng has been shown to affect biochemical neurotransmitter processes in the brain,,exhibiting a neuroprotectant role on the dopaminergic system and anti-stress activity on acetylcholine receptor sites. Studies involving both single-herb and combination-herb preparations suggest that American Ginseng supports cognitive functions such as response time, accuracy, focus and general memory improvement.

In clinical analysis, American Ginseng has been identified as an adaptogen, which means it increases the body’s resistance to a wide range of chemical, biological and physical stressors. Scientists explain that American Ginseng likely affects multiple body systems to promote emotional wellbeing, physical endurance and mental sharpness.

American Ginseng Safety and Usage

American Ginseng maintains an excellent safety profile when used as directed. A dose of 75 to 300 milligrams daily is recommended to promote healthy cognitive functions such as focus, concentration, memory and mental sharpness.

What are the potential side effects of American Ginseng?

Side effects are rare and have been documented as mild to moderate in clinical studies. They may include headache, gastrointestinal discomfort and nervousness. In the event that you experience an adverse reaction, discontinue use of this herb. American Ginseng does not cause withdrawal or discontinuation effects.

Is American Ginseng safe for children?

Clinical study data in children is limited and American Ginseng should not be administered without the supervision of a professional healthcare provider.

Does American Ginseng adversely interact with prescription drugs?

Taking American Ginseng in combination with prescription medications such as benzodiazepines, SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) or SNRIs (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) may cause drowsiness. If you are taking a prescription medication, it is recommended that you consult with your prescribing doctor before making any changes or additions to your current treatment plan.

What precautions should I take before beginning American Ginseng?

Consult with your healthcare provider before beginning a wellness plan that includes dietary supplements like American Ginseng.

  • Do not take American Ginseng if you are pregnant or nursing
  • Do not take American Ginseng if you are currently taking a prescription MAOI
  • Do not take American Ginseng if you are currently taking a protease inhibitor for HIV/AIDS
  • Do not operate vehicles or heavy machinery until you know how American Ginseng affects you

American Ginseng Clinical Studies

1. American Ginseng - Panax quinquefolius
Foster S.
American Botanical Council
Copyright: 2002

2. Chemistry and Pharmacology of Panax.
Shibata, S., 0. Tanaka, J. Shoji, and H. Saito.
In H. Wagner, H. Hikino and N. R. Farnsworth (eds.)
1985 ; Economic and Medicinal Plant Research. V1 Orlando, Fla: Acad. Press. pp. 218-84.

3. Ginsenosides Rb1 and Rg1 effects on mesencephalic dopaminergic cells stressed with glutamate.
Radad K, Gille G, Moldzio R, Saito H, Rausch WD.
Institute for Medical Chemistry, Veterinary Medical University, Vienna, Austria
Brain Res. 2004 Sep 17;1021(1):41-53. PMID: 15328030 [Read the Abstract]

4. Proof of the mysterious efficacy of ginseng: basic and clinical trials: suppression of adrenal medullary function in vitro by ginseng.
Tachikawa E, Kudo K.
Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Iwate Medical University, Japan
J Pharmacol Sci. 2004 Jun;95(2):140-4. PMID: 15215636 [Read the Abstract]

5. Effects of Panax ginseng on quality of life.
Ellis JM, Reddy P.
School of Pharmacy, University of Connecticut, USA.
Ann Pharmacother. 2002 Mar;36(3):375-9. PMID: 11895046 [Read the Abstract]

6. A double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study on the effect of a standardized ginseng extract on psychomotor performance in healthy volunteers.
D'Angelo L, Grimaldi R, Caravaggi M, Marcoli M, Perucca E, Lecchini S, Frigo GM, Crema A.
J Ethnopharmacol. 1986 Apr-May;16(1):15-22. PMID: 3528672 [Read the Abstract]

7. The memory enhancing effects of a Ginkgo biloba/Panax ginseng combination in healthy middle-aged volunteers.
Wesnes KA, Ward T, McGinty A, Petrini O.
Cognitive Drug Research Ltd, Reading, UK.
Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2000 Nov;152(4):353-61. PMID: 11140327 [Read the Abstract]

8. Differential, dose dependent changes in cognitive performance following acute administration of a Ginkgo biloba/Panax ginseng combination to healthy young volunteers.
Kennedy DO, Scholey AB, Wesnes KA.
Division of Psychology, University of Northumbria, UK.
Nutr Neurosci. 2001;4(5):399-412. PMID: 11842916 [Read the Abstract]

9. Acute, dose-dependent cognitive effects of Ginkgo biloba, Panax ginseng and their combination in healthy young volunteers: differential interactions with cognitive demand.
Scholey AB, Kennedy DO.
Human Cognitive Neuroscience Unit, Division of Psychology, University of Northumbria, UK
Hum Psychopharmacol. 2002 Jan;17(1):35-44. PMID: 12404705 [Read the Abstract]

10. Antistress and antifatigue properties of Panax ginseng: comparison with piracetam.
Banerjee U, Izquierdo JA.
Acta Physiol Lat Am. 1982;32(4):277-85. PMID: 6892267 [Read the Abstract]

11. Effect of the herbal extract combination Panax quinquefolium and Ginkgo biloba on attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a pilot study.
Lyon MR, Cline JC, Totosy de Zepetnek J, Shan JJ, Pang P, Benishin C.
Oceanside Functional Medicine Research Institute, BC.
J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2001 May;26(3):221-8. PMID: 11394191 [Read the Abstract

Related online research destinations

Last Updated: February 2015 [PHMF-03-0]