Due to the increasing costs and precious nature of ginseng, we are no longer able to offer a bulk discount on this botanical.
American ginseng has a long history of use by indigenous populations in eastern North America. Today, it is used sparingly in traditional western herbalism. While there is some use of the plant domestically, most American ginseng is exported to Asia where the roots are highly valued. However, the leaves have been largely overlooked and undervalued.
American ginseng supports a healthy response to stress and was traditionally used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as an adaptogen for overall well-being and to help increase energy and stamina.*
Research has shown that Panax quinquefolius leaves have a broader suite of ginsenosides than the roots and therefore can be used in conjunction with, or as an effective substitute for, the roots. Ginsenosides are saponins of the steroidal family found almost exclusively in the Panax genus that may be responsible for some of the plant’s healthful properties. In addition to its healthful properties, the use of American ginseng leaf is a way to promote conservation of the whole plant. Mountain Rose Herbs believes that fostering a domestic market that places a high value on ginseng may help lead to better conservation practices.
We source our wild collected American ginseng leaves from legal, permitted harvesters in the United States and whom are regulated by CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). The permits help to define an appropriate harvest and guide ecological impact measures. It is regulation that ginseng for harvest be no less than five years old. Gathered in late summer and early fall, the leaves are a byproduct of the root harvest that would otherwise be discarded on the forest floor. These leaves are gathered in their natural, native, deciduous forest habitats which are verified as untouched by chemicals through third-party lab testing.
Panax quinquefolius is a slow-growing, herbaceous perennial in the Araliaceae family. American ginseng loves to grow in full-shade deciduous forests; a specialized wooded environment found in southeastern Canada and the eastern United States. The plant has an aromatic root and bears three leaves, each with three to five leaflets and red mature fruits.
There are few plants in the world possessing the rich history and lore of ginseng. Panax ginseng (also known as Asian ginseng, or Korean ginseng) has likely been used as medicine since the dawn of civilization throughout the Asian continent where its first written mention came in the first century B.C.
American ginseng became known to the world in 1711 through the writings of a Jesuit missionary to Beijing named Pere Jartoux. Jartoux had spent some time in eastern Canada and had observed the botanical similarities between the environment there and that of Jilin province in eastern China where Asian ginseng grows. He speculated that if ginseng were to be found anywhere else, it would be in eastern Canada. Joseph Francois Lafitau, a Jesuit missionary based in eastern Canada, was influenced by Jartoux’s writings and set out to find the plant. Legend has it that Lafitau sought counsel with a local medicine woman who walked a few feet away and brought him one of the roots.
At the time of this discovery, the Chinese stock of wild ginseng was becoming rare due to overharvesting, and there was an eager market that was willing to import American ginseng by the ton. However, history has a way of repeating itself, and American ginseng is now at-risk.
United Plant Savers lists Panax quinquefolius on its “at risk” list in part due to loss of habitat, illegal poaching, and over-harvesting. It’s a complex issue, but many of these factors are driven by the root’s popularity in Asia and the high prices it sells for. Efforts are underway to create a sustainable means of harvesting American ginseng and to foster a knowledgeable, conscious, domestic market that recognizes the embedded and inherent value of this special plant. These efforts are stewarded by conservation-minded nonprofits such as United Plant Savers, industry partners such as Mountain Rose Herbs and ecologically focused growers, land-owners, conservationists, herbalists, and harvesters.
American ginseng leaves can be steeped as tea, incorporated into herbal formulations, tinctured and added to herbal smoking blends.
The use of warfarin and American ginseng may reduce the efficacy of warfarin and should be used under the supervision of a qualified healthcare practitioner. We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. For educational purposes only.