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#Know your herb: American Ginseng

Updated: Jan 9, 2021

Tired from watching all the world cup matches? This herb might just be the solution for you to watch all the knockout stage matches. Find out more below!

Only once every 4 years, it is hard not to miss it.

It is now a very exciting time for football fans worldwide – the World Cup 2018 is finally upon us! However, being in a different time zone from the host country of the World Cup means that there are many late-nighters that we need to pull off in order to watch these matches, and the effects of staying up late will spill over to the next few days, for even the best of us. We end up struggling to stay awake at work or school, or wish desperately that the working week was shorter.

Here’s a traditional Chinese herb that can help! With this herb, you can watch the World Cup matches at night, and also stay alert enough at work the next day.

Introducing the Wild American Ginseng (西洋参/花旗参) – which is one of the species in the genus Panax, and native to North America. Although American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolis) looks exactly like its ‘big brother’ Panax Ginseng (人参), their properties are actually quite different. Read below to find out more!


American ginseng roots

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, when we have insufficient sleep, our organs will not have enough time for rest and repair, which results in your organ utilizing relatively more qi and blood than was generated. This can lead to Yin (阴) deficiency. With Yin deficiency, Yang (阳) overtakes and there is an imbalance where the body will have asthenic heat (虚火). This asthenic heat is what makes your body heaty, and your throat dry and thirsty, after burning the midnight oil. Any amount of “Liang Teh” you drink will not help much for asthenic heat as it does not increase the amount of Yin in the body.

So, what can American Ginseng do?

Unlike most Ginsengs, American Ginseng is in fact cooling in nature. This difference is what makes American Ginseng stand out from the rest. This cooling nature helps to remove the asthenic heat by nourishing your body’s Yin. Hence, American Ginseng can help remove fatigue, relieve “heatiness” and replenish your body fluids.

Are there other properties?

Apart from TCM properties, some research has also shown that American Ginseng can lower blood sugar levels, improve immunity, as well as increase mental alertness.

How does one consume American Ginseng?

You can just grab a small handful of dried American Ginseng, add your desired amount of water, boil for around 5 minutes and your American Ginseng drink is ready. If the ginseng taste is too strong for you, you may add fruit juice, e.g. orange or apple, to make it tastier. Not only that, this can add a little dose of vitamin C to your drink!

Things to note:

  • Do not consume tea and/or radish together with American Ginseng as this will nullify its affect.

  • Do seek advice from a TCM physician if you are suitable to consume American Ginseng.

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