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Xi Yang Shen
Click below for info…
[ Also known as
] [ Chinese Energetics ] [ People use it
for (indications) ]
] [ History ] [ Botanical
Description & Cultivation ] [ Part Used ]
[ Therapeutic Action
] [ Chemical Constituents ]
Mechanism of action ] [
& Contraindications ]
[ Adverse Reactions
] [ Interactions
with herbs foods or supplements ]
[ Interactions with
Drugs ] [ Interactions
with lab tests ]
with Diseases or Conditions ]
Panax Quinquefolius (L)
American Ginseng, Anchi Ginseng, Canadian Ginseng, Ginseng, North American
Ginseng, Ontario Ginseng, Red Berry, Ren Shen,
Sang, Tienchi Ginseng, Wisconsin Ginseng, Five fingers,
Cherokee root, Jinshard, Garantogen,
Ninsin, Manroot, Sei Yang Sam, Fa Kei Sam, Seiyojin
Top of the Document
sweet, bitter, cooling,
moistening, restoring, raising, relaxing, nourishing
Heart hand shaoyin, Kidney foot shaoyin,
Lung hand taiyin
1. tonifies the Qi (Lung,
Spleen/Stomach/Intestines- digestive function)
2. nourishes Yin (Lungs)
3. clears Fire from Lung
4. moistens via generating
- Yin deficiency with Heat
(dry cough with blood tinged sputum, insomnia, irritability, night sweat,
anxiety, flushed cheeks, loss of voice, wheezing).
- after a febrile disease
the Yin is usually damaged
- poor appetite, fatigue,
weight loss (emaciation), dyspnea, hot flashes, general weakness, stress,
- Pulmonary Tuberculosis
resistance to environmental stresses, general tonic, stimulant, diuretic,
digestive aid, anemia, diabetes, insomnia, neurasthenia, gastritis,
impotence, fever, hangover, immune function, attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder (ADHD), pseudomonas infections in cystic fibrosis, aging, stamina,
blood and bleeding disorders, atherosclerosis, loss of appetite, vomiting,
colitis, dysentery, cancer, insomnia, neuralgia, rheumatism, memory loss,
dizziness, headaches, convulsions, and disorders of pregnancy and childbirth.
Traditionally- 2.5-9g is often cooked
separately from other herbs in a double boiler. Good quality is hard, light weight, and
aromatic with dense striations on the surface.
breaks of several days, it can be administered continuously for maintenance
in people who tend towards Qi and Lung Yin deficiency.
Science today- young healthy people
0.25-0.5g twice per day, elderly 0.4-0.8g twice per day, children with ADHD
200mg twice daily with Ginkgo Biloba, for reducing
postprandial glucose levels in type 2 diabetics 3-9g no more than 2 hours
before a meal (this helps avoid potential hypoglycaemia).
Some recommend to take the root for 15-20 days then taking 2 weeks off,
repeating as desired.
Xi Yang Shen (American Ginseng) was actually discovered in 1716
just north of Montreal Canada by a missionary
named Francois Lafiteau.
In Folk medicine
it was used primarily by the Native American tribes; Senecas,
Cherokees, Menominees, & Penobscots
as a restoing, relaxing, and strengthening tonic.
Once it was
adopted by Eupoean Folk settlers & the Chinese,
its use expanded to improving stress resistance, preventing aging, improving
stamina, blood and bleeding disorders, atherosclerosis, loss of appetitie, vomiting, colitis, dysentery, cancer,
insomnia, neuralgia, rheumatism, memory loss, dizziness, headaches,
convulsions, chronic illness, lung tuberculosis conditions, and disorders of
pregnancy and childbirth.
Today it is used
in some soft drinks, soaps and cosmetics.
The older the
root, the greater the medicinal properties and price. The shape is also of utmost importance to
the Chinese, a good root is said to be the shape of a young healthy strong
man walking tall & comfortable.
In 1976 a four
hundred year old root was found on an island off the shore of Korea- it sold for
$10,000an once. Its total weight was
fourteen and one-half pounds which meant that its total value was no less
than 1.32 million US dollars! These
crazy prices happen through tales of herbalists living healthy lives of over
Xi Yang Shen (ginseng) is a perennial herb propagated by seed
only. Seedlings appear about the last
of April or the first of May. At
first, they somewhat resemble newly sprouted beans. They send up the two cotyledons with a stem
bearing three green leaves, seldom rising more than two or three inches above
the ground. The work of the plant
during the first year is to develop the bud at the crown of the root, which
is to produce the next season’s stem and leaves. In the autumn the stem dies and breaks off,
leaving a scar at the side, which is the bud for next season. In the spring of the second year this bud
produces a straight erect stem, at the top of which from two to three leaf
stems appear and from five to eleven leaflets. Occasionally a stem root will send up more
than one stem, each developing a top.
The flower stem does not appear the first year, and with but few
exceptions does it appear until the third year. The seed stem which puts forth from the
middle of the stem, the first year reaches about an inch in length,
increasing until it reaches the extreme height of from four to eight inches.
the stem bears an
umbel of small greenish-yellow flowers on little stalks, from one-half to an
inch long, the whole forming a compact cluster or umbel. The number of flowers on each umbel varies
from three to more than one hundred.
Like everything else, with this plant, there is a great variation in
the number of flowers with the individuals, with age, and with environment. The flower stem appears soon after the
plant unfolds, but it matures the bloom from the first of June to July. Berries form on each stem of the umbel, and
ripen sometimes as early as the latter part of July, continuing on up to
berries are a bright crimson with a shiny surface, and each berry is from one
to four seeded. The fruit is edible
and has a taste similar to the root.
Xi Yang Shen (American ginseng) is a very shy plant and possesses
many peculiar traits. It loves
seclusion, and hence is found mostly in unfrequented locations. It is found growing almost entirely in the
shade. Direct sunlight seems to be
nearly always fatal. The seed s germinate in eighteen months instead of six, as is the
case with ordinary plants. The
berries, on the same umbel, vary greatly in time of ripening, number of seed
and shape of berry.
The root when
deprived of it’s top or bud will lay in the ground
all summer forming a new bud for the next spring growth. The roots may be divided at the neck and
treated the same as budless plant, and in the
following spring, each will send up a new tip. the plant is very
hardy and may be cultivated with profit, but must be grown in the shade.
location is a northern slope, though most any may be used. Soil should be thoroughly enriched by
stirring in leaf mould, stable manure, compost, etc., as the amount of ground
occupied by a nursery would be very small.
You can take almost any soil and give it the proper qualities, but the
deeper the soil, the better, as it will hold the moisture longer and drain
itself better. Moisture is necessary
to the plants, but a heavy, clay, water soaked soil will not do, and a hard
subsoil of clay is likely to stay too wet in the spring and too dry in the
After you have
your beds prepared and planted, you have but a little cultivation to do,
except keeping the weeds pulled out and see that no enemies bother, such as
man, beast, or insects, and notice that your plants are kept in healthful
Roots for market
should be dug in the fall, as they are not so full of sap, and will lose less
in weight. After plants get seven or
eight years old, other roots start from near the top that take the strength
from the old roots, which soon become soft and
spongy and of little value for drying.
The small top roots can be cut off and used and will grow good plants.
In digging be
careful not to break or bruise the roots.
Use a spading fork or some similar tool. After they are dug, wash immediately before
the dirt becomes dry and hard.
They can be
dried in or around the stove or in open air.
If roots are not thoroughly dried, they mould and spoil.
After drying put
in a clean box and ship away to market.
In every large city you will find dealers in Ginseng.
Adaptogen – these are
immune system enhancers which help the body adjust and regulate to restore
natural immune resistance to a wide variet of
physical, chemical, and biological stresses. They adapt to what is needed by the
saponin glycosides ginsenoside
and panaxoside 5-7%, essential oil 3%, camphoraceaous substance, resin, arabinose,
mucilage, starch, glucose, polysaccharides, panaxin,
panacic acid, panaquilin,
panacene, ginsenin, sitosterol, 18 amino acids, trace minerals (copper, zinc,
selenium, iodine, manganese).
Panaxin has been shown to stimulate the midbrain, heart and
blood vessels. Panax
acid is a stimulant to the heart and to general metabolism. Panagullin
stimulates internal secretions and panacen and sapogenin (volatile oils) stimulate the central nervous
Gensenin reduces blood sugar and has a general stimulant
effect on the adrenal cortex. It
increases the urine output of corticosteroids, and eosinophil
cell counts drop after administration of Xi Yang Shen.
effective when used orally for reducing post-prandial
blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetics.
At least 3 grams up to 2 hours before a meal can significantly reduce
postprandial glucose levels, however doses greater than 3 grams do not seem
to offer any additional benefit.
effective when used orally for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
(ADHD) with Ginkgo Biloba.
constituents of American Ginseng are known as ginsenosides
or as panaxosides.
It contains primarily ginsenoside Rb-1,
which reportedly lowers blood pressure, is antihemolytic,
antipyretic, antipsychotic, depresses the CNS,
protects the GI from ulcers, increases GI motility, and decreases islet
insulin concentrations. It also decreases
LH (leutenizing hormone) levels and seems to
increase serum ceruloplasmin oxidase
activity (a measure of estrogenic activity in the liver) in animals. Some research says it may reduce breast
cancer cell growth, although some say its estrogenic effects outweigh its
possibility for this use. It may have immunomodulating activity. American ginseng also seems to activate monocytes and induce tumor
necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha.
say that is has a neuroendocrine restorative
effect. Treating cerebral deficiencies
(chronic depression, memory loss, insomnia).
It is also said that it has a adrenocortical restorative action therefore making it
great for the endurance needed by the immune system for stress. Here it is also said that it can help gonadal and estrogen
scientist once stated that this root produces and ‘M-Ray’ which is a force
quite similar to the
force made when cells divide during mitosis.
He concluded that if faulty cell division is a major cause of aging
then this root would prove wonderful for this purpose. Others after him feel that it helps in the
transfer-RNA mobility and DNA coding during protein synthesis.
has a special influence on the endocrine system. It tones the glands and increases their
power and optimal functioning. This
may be why it has been esteemed as an aphrodisiac. Particularly for men, it has a unique
‘increase of male hormone production’ effect on the male androgens and
testes, therefore making it a good choice for impotency and libido. Also, because of this, it
is not recommended for long term use by females as it can induce secondary
male characteristics to develop. Women
should not use it for more than a six week period followed by a six month
Do not use in
cases of Damp-Cold in the Stomach and Intestines.
Do not use with
the Chinese herb Li Lu.
reactions have been reported specifically with the use of ‘Panax Quinquefolius’.
coffee, guarana, mate, & tea all theoretically
can potentiate the stimulant effects of American
Antidiabetic drugs- together with American
Ginseng may induce a hypoglycaemic state, monitor blood glucose levels
closely to adjust herb/drug dosage.
have been reports of this combination causing insomnia, headache, tremors,
outcome of blood glucose tests, because of its
Bleeding conditions- can decrease
Cardiac conditions- may have
negative inotropic and chronotropic
activity and hypotensive effects.
Diabetes- has hypoglycaemic
activity, use with caution.
Hormone sensitive cancers or conditions- because of its
estrogenic effects it should be avoided during breast, uterine, or ovarian
cancer, endometriosis, and uterine fibroids.
Insomnia- it may worsen this
condition in some patients.
Schizophrenia- may cause insomnia or
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