Asian Ginseng

Jul 12, 2014

7/12/14: This week on The Plant Detective: Asian ginseng, Panax ginseng, helps people with Type 2 diabetes maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Both Asian and American ginseng contain ginsenosides, just in different proportions. Asian ginseng stimulates while American ginseng calms, and in the terms of Chinese traditional medicine, Panax ginseng promotes yang energy and cleans excess yin. American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) does the opposite.

American Ginseng

Jun 21, 2014

6/21/14: This week on "The Plant Detective:"  Even today, many elderly Chinese still prefer a good ginseng root to health insurance. American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) is used to aid digestion, treat diabetes, boost immunity, and balance qi, or life energy.


May 31, 2014

5/31/14: This week on "The Plant Detective:" The rhizome of Zingiber officinale is eaten as a spice, a medicine, and a delicacy. It's an old remedy for nausea, motion sickness, morning sickness, and the common cold. It's also used to help digestion. And although further research is needed, a 2011 review of scientific literature found that ginger appears to be promising for cancer prevention.

Rhodiola Rosea

May 17, 2014

5/17/14: This week on "The Plant Detective:" The harsh living conditions of rhodiola, a plant that grows at high latitudes and elevations, might explain the strong protective compounds it produces. People of the Arctic used it in their folk medicine for everything from increasing endurance and fighting fatigue, infection and depression to increasing fertility, sharpening memory, and reducing the effects of aging and stress.


May 9, 2014

5/10/14: This week on "The Plant Detective:" For centuries, the root of Astragalus membranaceus has been used in Chinese traditional medicine, usually in combination with other herbs, to support the immune system and fight fatigue. Today, researchers are investigating roles for astragalus in cancer treatment and heart disease.

Dong Quai

Apr 25, 2014

4/26/14: This week on "The Plant Detective:" Dong Quai, or Chinese angelica, is sometimes called the "female ginseng" for its role as a balancer of the female reproductive system. It's used for menstrual cramps, abnormal periods, and symptoms of PMS and menopause. Dong Quai is not recommended if you're pregnant or breast-feeding or if you're taking blood-thinning medicine, and it can make your skin light-sensitive.