Panax ginseng, known as Asian, Chinese or Korean ginseng is a species of plant whose root is the original source of ginseng. It is a perennial plant that grows in the mountains of Eastern Asia.
Panax ginseng is native to mountainous regions of eastern Siberia, Manchuria, the Korean Peninsula and Japan. It is a protected plant in Russia and China, and most commercial ginseng is now sourced from plants cultivated in Japan, Korea, China and Russia. The plant is a slow-growing perennial and the roots are usually harvested when the plants are five or six years old.
The medicinal properties of panax ginseng are found in both the leaf and its light tan, gnarled root.
There is a distinct difference in the chemical composition of Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng: warming) and American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius: cooling).