Panax Quinquefolius, a member of the Araliaceae family, is native to the woodlands of the Eastern United States and Southern Canada, including the Appalachian Mountains, west to the Ozarks of Missouri. Ginseng is perhaps the most well known of all medicinal plants, the Muhammad Ali of herbs. Shen Nong, considered the father of herbal medicine in China, described ginseng this way, ”The root of ginseng vitalizes the five organs, calms the nerves, stops palpitations due to fright, brightens vision, improves one’s intellect, removes “evil energy”, and with prolonged use, prolongs life by slowing aging and making one feel young.” This poetic description perfectly describes the manner by which all of the tonic herbs restore energy and vitality to our bodies and minds over time in a deep yet, broad spectrum manner. American ginseng is the North American relative of the Asian species, Panax ginseng, and is the famed tonic of Traditional Asian medicine. Both are highly revered tonics for body and mind, the main difference being that American ginseng is considered to have a more cooling, moistening nature that is quite well suited for the wired and tired form of depletion uniquely characteristic of the modern American. This is better suited for daily use, compared to the hotter more Yang energizing Asian variety. American Ginseng helps the body adapt to stress through a variety of mechanisms, among them moisture balance, and energy production. Rare and endangered in the wild, American ginseng is now sustainable only as a cultivated crop. Fortunately, there are amazing organic forest grown sources that are made available to us by skilled growers in various regions in the United States.

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