American ginseng

noun

: a ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) native to eastern North America having an aromatic root used in herbal medicine
In Asian culture it's believed that Asian ginseng has a heating effect of yang, while American ginseng has a cooling effect of yin.Walter Nicholls, Washington Post, 16 June 2004
Wild American ginseng root is prized in Asia for its medicinal qualities, and so much of it has been harvested over the past three centuries that the plant, Panax quinquefolius, is now a protected species.Henry Fountain, New York Times, 15 Feb. 2005

Word History

First Known Use

1898, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of American ginseng was in 1898

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Cite this Entry

“American ginseng.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/American%20ginseng. Accessed 3 Feb. 2023.

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