Ginseng Panax ginseng, Panax quinquefolius, Eleutherococcus senticosus There are actually three different herbs commonly called ginseng: Asian or Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng), American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), and Siberian "ginseng" (Eleutherococcus senticosus). The latter herb is actually not ginseng at all, but it is usually sold under that name, and is said to have similar properties. We discuss all three herbs in this article. Numerous studies have evaluated the effects of oral Panax ginseng or Eleutherococcus senticosus on animals under conditions of extreme stress. The results suggest that ginseng increases physical endurance and causes physiological changes that may help the body adapt to adverse conditions.6â€“12,92 In addition, studies in mice found that consuming Panax ginseng before exposure to a virus significantly increased the survival rate and the number of antibodies produced.13,14 However, many of these studies fall far beneath modern scientific standards, and none involved humans. Evidence from human trials are discussed under the separate headings below. Source:http://healthlibrary.epnet.com/GetContent.aspx?token=88a4eeeb-f78d-4522-b3c7-3e4ecb98dd7c&chunkiid=21536 Asian ginseng is a perennial herb with a taproot resembling the shape of the human body. It grows in northern China, Korea, and Russia; its close relative, Panax quinquefolius, is cultivated in the United States. Because ginseng must be grown for 5 years before it is harvested, it commands a high price, with top-quality roots easily selling for more than $10,000. Dried, unprocessed ginseng root is called "white ginseng," and steamed, heat-dried root is "red ginseng." Chinese herbalists believe that each form has its own particular benefits. Ginseng is widely regarded by the public as a stimulant, but according to everyone who uses it seriously that isn't the right description. In traditional Chinese herbology, Panax ginseng was used to strengthen the digestion and the lungs, calm the spirit, and increase overall energy. When the Russian scientist Israel I. Brekhman became interested in the herb prior to World War II, he came up with a new idea about ginseng: He decided that it was an adaptogen.