What Is It Ginseng?
There are eleven different species of perennial plants considered to be ginseng. Recognized by their fleshy fork-shaped roots and a long stalk with green leaves, all ginseng plants belong to the genus "Panax" and the family "Araliaceae", and are characterized by the presence of active compounds called ginsenosides.
The word Ginseng comes from the Chinese term "rén shen", which literally translates into "man root". It is thought to have been given this name because the root of the plant looks like the legs of a man.
The two most common forms of the herb are Asian and American ginseng. Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng), grown mainly in Korea and China, has been used traditionally for thousands of years in Asia for its rejuvenating properties.
American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), found in the United States and Canada, has been used by American Indians for centuries as an herbal remedy and aphrodisiac. Legend has it that Indians used ginseng as a “love potion”, rubbing it on their bodies to bring back estranged wives.
Interestingly, Siberian ginseng, also called eleuthero, is in the same family as ginseng, but not the same genus. The active compounds in Siberian ginseng are eleutherosides, not ginsenosides, and instead of a fleshy root, the Siberian variety has a woody root. Therefore, Siberian ginseng isn’t considered “true” ginseng.
This herb is often used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Central to TCM are the concepts of Yin and Yang—opposite, but complementary forces. Yang is thought to be active and “hot” while Yin is passive and “cool”. In TCM, American ginseng is thought to support the Yin force, while the Asian form supports Yang.
Today, the herb is one of the most commonly used herbs in the world. It’s considered an adaptogenic herb, meaning help your body adapt better to stress.
Although, this herb is not naturally present in any foods, you can find it as an added ingredient in some foods and beverages. Many use the root to make their own tea. The herb has a slightly bitter taste. If you find the herb to be too bitter for your liking, a ginger supplement can be a more palatable option.
Ginseng supplementation has been studied and shown to provide benefits to brain health. In one study, Cereboost™, a unique standardized American ginseng extract was shown to support mental focus, memory, recall and reaction time.
Our Memoril formula includes the clinically researched Cereboost, along with other brain nourishing nutrients to help support cognitive performance, memory, and recall.