Sources and Chemical Composition

Korean ginseng, Asian ginseng, Oriental ginseng, Chinese ginseng (7), Japanese ginseng, American ginseng (8). Note that the term "ginseng" can refer to the species of the genus Panax, as well as to Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian or Russian ginseng) (8). Unless otherwise noted, the information in this monograph refers specifically to species of the genus Panax. Depending on the particular botanical reference, there are three to six different species of Panax ginseng, and three with purported medicinal benefits: P. ginseng (Chinese or Korean ginseng), Panaxpseudoginseng (Japanese ginseng), and Panax quinquefolium (American ginseng) (8). In this chapter, the term "Panax ginseng" will be used to refer to these species, and "Siberian ginseng" will be used to refer to E. senticosus. The chemical composition of Siberian ginseng differs from that of P. ginseng (8); thus, the distinction between the two is important in a discussion of therapeutic and adverse effects.

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