6 Things You Need to Know About American Ginseng

American Ginseng is a popular herb among Asians. Growing up, we drink ginseng soups and ginseng teas because mom says “it’s good for you. “ How much do you know about American ginseng? We have summarized a few things that you need to know about American Ginseng.

1. The American Ginseng is Different from the Asian Ginseng
The American ginseng (panax quinquefolius) is actually a different species from the Asian ginseng, which is also called Chinese ginseng or Korean ginseng (panax ginseng). In Chinese theory, the American ginseng is believed to have the Yin (cooling) properties, while the Asian ginseng is believed to have the Yang (heating) properties.

2. American Ginseng Roots are Grown on Virgin Soil
American ginseng roots have to be grown on virgin soil, which means that the soil can only be used to grow the ginseng once. After growing the ginseng roots, the land can be used to grow other crops like corn or potatoes; however, the growers will have to acquire new land in order to grow American ginseng again.

3. It Takes At Least 3 Years to Grow American Ginseng
It takes 3 – 5 years to grow American ginseng. Pest and unforeseen snow storms are the biggest challenges in growing the crops, and the lengthy growing period greatly increases the risk of damage to the crops. This is also why American Ginseng is perceived as a prestigious gift by many and often gifted to family and friends.

4. The Active Ingredient in American Ginseng is Called Ginsenoside
The potency of American ginseng is measured by the level of ginsenoside. Wisconsin of the United States produces the best quality American ginseng roots with the highest level of ginsenoside due to the perfect climate, the rich soil and hundreds of years of growing experience.

5. Most American Ginseng Roots Are Not Grown in the U.S.
Though Wisconsin produces the best American ginseng, most American ginseng is actually grown in Canada and China. Among the roots that are claimed to be Wisconsin American ginseng, less than 15% are actual genuine Wisconsin American ginseng roots.

6. Look for the Red Eagle Seal
It is hard for consumers to differentiate Wisconsin grown American ginseng roots from those that are grown in China by looking at the outward appearance. Therefore, the Ginseng Board of Wisconsin developed a seal program to help consumers identify authentic Wisconsin ginseng.  All genuine Wisconsin ginseng products sold by authorized distributors bear the red eagle seal for identification purposes.

With 300 years of history, the traditional American ginseng root products have evolved into many forms including slice, powder, teas, instant drinks, capsules, candies, etc.