Alternative Medicine/Ginseng


QUESTION: I am trying to better understand the differences between ginsengs and their properties, simply and in a nutshell.  I am a little confused.  It is my understanding that there are 3 kids of Ginseng.  American, Korean and Siberian.  I'd like to know what their other names are (for cross reference).  If I know that then I can probably look them up myself but I am totally confused about which is which and the botanical names, common names, chinese names, etc.  Can you assist me with the names of these herbs so I can cross reference them?  Thank you!

Yes,very easily to be confused.
The first two are true ginsengs:
American is Panax quinequifolium "Anchi Ginseng"
Korean is Panax ginseng - has several names, "Sheng Shai Shen" "ren Shen"  or "hong shen"
Siberian ginseng is not a true one at all but is related - it is Eleutherococcus senticosus
then there is also Panax notoginseng - known as "san qi", "tian qi" or "tien chi"

Good luck with your research!

Kind regards

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you very much!  Simple and too the point, that was exactly what I needed.  So, there are 4 basic ginseng's then (including the non ginseng).  tien chi being the 4th one?  
Are there any places on the internet you'd recommend as being good for further basic reading and research, and cross referencing?  
Thanks again!!

Hi Ray
It depends very much on what you want to know.  Best suggestion is to go to Google Scholar and search by latin name and the criteria you are looking at.  
You could also look at the American Botanical Council - here's a link to a report on American Ginseng
Another option is to use the references cited on the ginseng page on Wikipedia to go to the original authors.

Good luck in your quest.

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Sharon Erdrich


Any health related question, particularly those related to an holistic approach, using nutrition, herbal medicine, aromatherapy and lifestyle options.


30 years as a registered nurse, Private health consultant and experienced educator of complementary medicine practitioners.

NZAMH, NZ Nursing Council., AIMA (Associate member), Naturopaths of NZ.

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