Could One Question be All That's Stopping You
From Living a More Youthful, Healthier
and Energised Lifestyle?
"Here's many of the commonly asked questions and our answers to them. If you
still have some pressing questions that haven't been answered below, please do
not hesitate to contact our office immediately and we will try our best to help
you!" - Sue Armstrong
1. What is American Ginseng?
2. Why should I choose Simply Ginseng products?
3. Why should I choose organic ginseng?
4. How does ginseng work?
5. What are the active substances in American ginseng?
6. Why should I take American Ginseng?
7. What are the traditional uses of American ginseng?
8. How does American ginseng help with stress?
9. Can American ginseng strengthen my immune system?
10. Can American ginseng help the brain?
11. Can American ginseng help with normalising blood glucose levels?
12. Does American ginseng improve male sexual function?
13. Can American ginseng help with for menopause?
14. Who should take American ginseng?
15. How much and how often should I take American ginseng?
16. How quickly does American ginseng work?
17. What is the best way to take ginseng - roots or capsules?
18. Can I take too much or too little American ginseng?
19. Is there any reason that I should not take American ginseng?
20. What is your reference list for Blood Glucose information?
Question 1: What is American Ginseng?
American ginseng (Panax quinquefolium) is a small plant originating from
the deciduous forests of North America. It is a true ginseng, being in the Panax
genus and containing the full range of bioactive ginsenosides that result in
ginseng's unique effect. Initially prized by Native Americans, it is now
recognized as one of the world's most remarkable and valued medicinal herbs.
American ginseng should not be confused with herbs sold as Siberian, Indian and
Brazilian ginseng - these are not from the Panax genus and do not contain any of
ginseng's bioactive substances or botanical characteristics.
Question 2: Why should I choose Simply Ginseng products?
"Simply Ginseng" products are unique in that they are made from
ginseng roots that are grown using organic or biodynamic methods. This ensures
that there are no chemical residues in our products. We grow all our fresh roots
and dried root slices on our Demeter-certified biodynamic farm in Australia. Our
Ginseng 500 capsules contain pure dried root powder from a single certified
organic grower in Canada. They are manufactured in Australia in a facility that
is licensed with the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
The way we operate means we take full control and responsibility for all phases
of production - this ensures our products are safe and pure. Our capsules
contain 500mg of pure American ginseng - nothing else. We specialise in American
ginseng - we grow, import, manufacture and sell it. We market direct to our
customers, and place a high value on customer service and satisfaction.
Question 3: Why should I choose organic ginseng?
Ginseng is a very valuable crop that takes 5 to 6 years to gain a high
medicinal value. Because it is susceptible to fungi and other pathogens, most
growers around the world spray their ginseng with chemical pesticides many times throughout the growing
A recent study of Korean and American ginseng published in the Journal Food
Additives and Contaminants found pesticides in 80% of samples tested. Further,
43% of all samples tested did not comply with the maximum residue limits (MRL)
for several chemical pesticides. Almost all ginseng sold today is grown using
Using organically grown ginseng means these chemicals will not be present.
Question 4: How does ginseng work?
Ginseng is an adaptogen - which means it acts to normalize body
functions. It contains over thirty bioactive substances, and thatís why it can
help with many different areas of our body. Ginseng does not improve an already healthy body,
but helps to maintain health in the face of illness, stress, and chemical or
It can therefore help protect us from the negative effects of carcinogens,
radiation, and chemicals. It helps guard against infections by strengthening the
immune system. It also helps balance disturbances in metabolism, including blood
glucose. Its actions on the nervous system are well documented and result in a
range of beneficial effects.
Question 5: What are the active substances in American ginseng?
The main active components of American ginseng are a group of over 30
different saponins known as ginsenosides. An additional bioactive substance is
an acidic polysaccharide known as "Ginsan", which has marked immune-stimulating
activity. Some ginsenosides have complementary actions, and these are believed
to be responsible for the remarkable balancing Yin and Yan effects of ginseng
that have been appreciated by the Chinese for many centuries.
Question 6: Why should I take American Ginseng?
American ginseng helps maintain and improve your health. It is widely
used to enhance the overall feeling of wellbeing and vitality, and for its
preventative and restorative functions. It helps the body cope with stress,
boosts the immune system, relieves fatigue and helps maintain normal brain function. It is also useful in helping to regulate various
metabolic disturbances including blood sugar and lipid levels.
Ginseng also acts as an antioxidant, scavenging free radicals in the body - this
has an anti-aging and anticancer effect. American ginseng's popularity as an
aphrodisiac may be associated with its effect on vitality. The Chinese use
American ginseng to benefit the Qi, nourish the Yin and relieve symptoms of Yin
Question 7: What are the traditional uses of American ginseng?
Native Americans used it as an aphrodisiac, and to treat a wide range of
ailments associated with the aging process. Other medicinal uses included
menstrual problems and fertility, nausea, indigestion, stomach problems,
bronchitis, earaches, bleeding, asthma, headaches, and the relief of fevers.
Question 8: How does American ginseng help with stress?
Stress lies at the heart of many diseases. The overproduction of stress
hormones can damage the body, interfere with many body systems and weaken the
body's defenses to a range of diseases. American ginseng works to reduce the
amount of stress hormones that the body produces. This helps alleviate feelings
of stress and reduces the damage to the body caused by excess of these hormones.
Question 9: Can American ginseng strengthen my immune system?
Ginseng stimulates the immune system by increasing the number of white
blood cells and antibodies in the blood. These help protect the body from
disease and fight infection. American ginseng extracts are now sold as
pharmaceutical medicines for colds and flu, and are even added to vaccines to
make them more effective. Please note that all of the substances in these
extracts (and more) are also in pure root powder!
Question 10: Can American ginseng help the brain?
American ginseng helps activate the brain and maintain normal learning
and memory. Its antioxidant effects are useful in combating brain aging. Some
studies have found that it helps protect nervous tissue when the supply of
oxygen is suddenly reduced (as occurs during strokes). A branch of Alzheimerís
disease research is now studying the effects of ginseng on the actions on the
natural chemicals that transmit messages between nerves (especially
acetylcholine) - these are similar to those of some pharmaceutical drugs used
for this disease.
Question 11: Can American ginseng help with normalising blood glucose levels?
Mild and moderate blood glucose problems can usually be managed by a combination of diet,
exercise and daily natural or pharmaceutical medicines if necessary. However the value of two
herbs, American ginseng and Coccinia, are being increasingly recognised. Because
they have different modes of action, they complement each other. Please remember to consult with your health care professional before changing your blood glucose management regime.
American ginseng helps glucose uptake by cells in the body, and may also help
stimulate insulin production. Both of these actions reduce blood sugar. Coccinia enables glucose to
be absorbed from the small intestine over a longer period of time, thus reducing
Question 12: Does American ginseng improve male sexual function?
American Indians traditionally used ginseng for impotency, to
invigorate virile powers, and as an aphrodisiac. This may be due to its
adaptogenic effect - it enhances vitality and helps bring the body back towards
Question 13: Can American ginseng help with for menopause?
American ginseng's main function during menopause is to support the
general wellbeing of the woman. It may bring relief to the symptoms of
depression and mood swings experienced, but it does not influence hot flushes
and other physical changes that occur at this stage of life.
Question 14: Who should take American ginseng?
Ginseng can improve and maintain health in adults of any age. Because of
its action, most people over the age of 40 are likely to benefit. If your health
is good, the preventative and balancing actions of ginseng against such
conditions as heart and circulatory diseases and many others can be helpful,
even if you perceive no direct effect. Its capacity to help protect the brain
from the aging process is of benefit to everyone. A regular course of American
ginseng is particularly recommended for those who are busy and need to cope with
stress, wish to boost their immune system, or are who recovering from an
Question 15: How much and how often should I take American ginseng?
The recommended daily adult dose is 1 gram of American ginseng powder.
This can be increased to 2 grams per day during times of stress or sickness.
American ginseng is perhaps best taken once per day after breakfast with a glass
of liquid. For improved blood glucose control, some studies suggest that the
total daily dose should be between one and two grams (1000mg to 2000mg) per day
and divided into two or three. Thus one 500mg capsule three times per day at the
start (or just before) meals..
Question 16: How quickly does American ginseng work?
Unlike many pharmaceutical medicines, ginseng has a gentle action and
its effects may not be felt immediately. Although some people feel a greater
sense of wellbeing and improved mental clarity almost straight away, most people
do not feel the benefits for several weeks. However, the benefits also appear to
last several weeks after you cease to take ginseng. The more balanced and
healthy your body is to begin with, the less likely you are to feel the effects.
Question 17: What is the best way to take ginseng - roots or capsules?
Either is fine. American ginseng has a uniquely bitter/sweet taste, and
many people prefer to take it in capsule form. Taking capsules containing a
precise amount of root powder is probably the best and most convenient way to
Dried root powder can also be mixed in a small glass of orange
juice or milk. Leave it to stand for about 10 minutes before taking to allow the water-soluble
ingredients to dissolve. If you like the unique taste of ginseng, hold fresh or
dried root slices under the tongue for several minutes before chewing and
swallowing (using one gram of dried or three grams of fresh root). Fresh and
dried root is also frequently used as an ingredient in cooking.
Question 18: Can I take too much or too little American ginseng?
American ginseng has a very high safety margin. However there is usually
little additional benefit in taking more than the recommended dose. Taking too
little ginseng will not produce the desired effect. The recommended dose for
adults is 0.5 to 3 grams per day, and most people find that 1 gram (1000mg)
daily is effective. For blood sugar control please see Question15..
Question 19: Is there any reason that I should not take American ginseng?
Considering its medicinal value, American ginseng has relatively few
side effects and contraindications. It is actually sometimes taken in much
higher doses than those we recommend. Although the American Botanical Council
states that there are no known contraindications for American ginseng, our
research has come up with a few. If in doubt, consult your health care
Good research shows that ginseng has a neutral effect on blood pressure, but
take care, and get specialist treatment, if you have uncontrolled high blood
pressure. Ginseng reduces the effectiveness of warfarin, a blood thinning agent
(and rodent poison). Because ginseng helps reduce blood sugar, you should take
this into account if you need to take oral hypoglycaemic agents or insulin (ie
you might need to lower the dose of these drugs, so discuss with your healthcare professional). We suggest you do not take
ginseng with antidepressants such as phenelzine (however our research shows that
this link is not supported by science).. Although the authorities have
examined and cleared ginseng for use during pregnancy, we suggest you try to
avoid any medicine if you know you are pregnant. Also, don't take ginseng
immediately you come down with an acute illness; wait a few days before starting
a course to support your body in the healing phase.
There is also some evidence to suggest that large amounts of caffeine taken in
conjunction with ginseng may cause nervousness and sleeplessness. Interestingly,
in the absence of high caffeine levels, American ginseng helps ease nervousness
and promotes natural sleep.
Question 20: What is your reference list for Blood
Vuksan V, Stavro MP, Sievenpiper JL, et al, American ginseng
improves glycaemia in individuals with normal glucose tolerance: effect of dose
and time escalation. J Am Coll Nutr 2000;19(6):738-44.
Vuksan V, Sievenpiper JL, Koo VY, Francis T, Beljan-Zdravkovic U, Xu Z, Vidgen
E. American ginseng reduces postprandial glycaemia in nondiabetic subjects and
subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Arch Intern Med 2000 Apr;160(7):1009-13.
Vuksan V, Leiter LA, Stavro MP, et al. Similar postprandial glycaemic reductions
with escalation of dose and administration of American ginseng in Type 2
diabetes. Diabetes Care 2000 Sep;23(9):1221-6.
Vuksan V, Sievenpiper JL, Wong J, et al. American ginseng (Panax quinquefolium
L.) attenuates postprandial glycaemia in a time-dependent but not dose dependent
manner in healthy individuals. Am J Clin Nutr 2001;73:753-8.
Vuksan V, Sievenpiper JL, Xu Z, et al. Konjac Mannan and American ginseng:
emerging alternative therapies for type 2 diabetes mellitus. J Am Coll Nutr
Yeh GY, Eisenberg DM, Kaptchuk TJ, Phillips RS. Systematic Review of herbs and
dietary supplements for glycaemic control in diabetes. Diabetes Care 2003
Luo JZ, Yano N, Luo L. American Ginseng stimulates insulin production and
prevents apoptosis induced by IL-1[beta] in pancreatic B cells. Diabetes 2003;52
Luo JZ, Luo L, Ginseng on Hyperglycaemia: Effects and Mechanisms. Evid. Based
Comp Alt Med. 2008 Jan; doi:10.1093ecam/nem178..
Any scientific information has been assembled by Simply Ginseng from
reputable peer-reviewed scientific journals. We have tried to ensure it is
clear, balanced and without bias. This information should not be construed
as claims for any of our products. Always consult your health care
professional.Use only as directed. Always read the label.