The active principle in Panax ginseng are thought to be a group of around 30 triterpenoid saponins called ginsenosides, which can be found in the leaf stem and berries of the ginseng plants. However, many other phytochemicals are present in ginseng including sulphur containing amino acids, vitamins, minerals and the flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol. Ginseng is useful in the treatment of mood disorders, probably because the ginsenosides it contains are able to modulate the stress response and protect the consumer from chronic stress. However, a secondary action in this regard may be the ability of ginseng to inhibit free radicals and oxidative stress through the presence of antioxidants. Panax quinquefolius is often referred to as North American Ginseng, and has been compared to Panax Ginseng in terms of its uses and pharmacology. Evidence suggests that Panax quinquefolius has significant antioxidant potential and may provide significant health benefits in this way.
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