Herbal Exhibition
Radix Panacis Quinquefolii
American Ginseng


The root of Panax quinquefolium L. (Fam. Araliaceae).

Originated in Canada and the U.S.A; introduced and cultivated successfully in northeastern, northern and northwestern China.

Harvest & Processing
Dig out roots in autumn; remove above-ground parts and soil; remove rootstocks, lateral roots and rootlets; wash roots clean; dry under the sun or at low temperatures.

Spindle-shaped, cylindrical or conical. Outer surface light yellowish-brown or yellowish-white; marked with transverse annulations and linear (long and narrow) lenticels, and with fine, dense, shallow longitudinal wrinkles and scars of rootlets. Lower middle part of axial root with one to several lateral roots, mostly broken. In some cases upper end with rhizome; annular (ring-like) nodes prominent; stem scar orbicular (round) or semi-orbicular, with adventitious roots remaining or already broken. Heavy; hard and solid, does not break easily. Transverse section even, light yellowish-white, slightly starchy; cortex with yellowish-brown punctiform (dot-like) resin ducts; cambium ring brownish-yellow; xylem arranged roughly in a radial pattern. Odour: faint but distinctive; taste: slightly bitter, gradually sweet.

1. Chronic cough, haemoptysis
2. Thirst, irritability and debility

Chemical Composition
Mainly contains triterpene saponins such as ginsenosides Rb1,Rb2, Rc, Rd, Re.


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The information and images in this Online Herbal Exhibition is form the book, "An Illustrated Chinese Materia Medica in Hong Kong", edited by Professor Zhao Zhongzhen, School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University. For the complete collection of Chinese Materia Medica compiled by Professor Zhao, please go to this website: http://www.bucmm.org.

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