Panax pseudoginseng Wall

Family ► Araliaceae.

Habitat ► Western Himalayas, Pithoragarh district of Uttaranchal.

English ► Indian Ginseng, Indian Pseudoginseng.

Ayurvedic ► In Indian medicine, Panax quinquefolium Linn. and

Panax schinseng Knees have been equated with Lakshmanaa.

Action ► Adaptogen, digestive relaxant, old-age revitalizer. Sustains nerves and immune system in physical exhaustion and during convalescence. Antiarrhythmic (used for angina). Activities comparable with Korean ginseng.

Indian pseudoginseng, including subspecies himalaicus and its varieties, variety angustifolius and variety bipinnatifidus, has been found to be a rich source ofoleanolic acid saponins, while dammarane saponins (panaxa-diol and panaxatriol) are present in minor quantities. Panax burkillianus Bennet & Viswan and P. sikkimensis Banerjee are also related to the commercial ginseng.

Panax quinquefolium (American Ginseng) has been introduced into India in the Kashmir valley during 1983. It is rich in dammarane saponins. The air-dried roots of the plant, introduced in India, contain total saponin content of 11.5%. The saponins isolated include ginsenosides Rb1, Rb2, Rb3, Rc, Rd, Re, Rg1, pseudoginsenoside F11 and chikusetsu saponin V; the major saponin being ginsenoside Rb1. The saponin fraction of the root yielded panaxadiol, panaxatriol and oleanolic acid.

Ginsenosides Rb and Rc are 'diols', while Rg is a 'triol'. ('triol' group is arousing, 'diol' is sedative.) In American ginseng 'diols' predominate.

Panax pseudoginseng, equated with Himalayan ginseng (Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 2007), is believed to dilate the coronary vessels, re-

Panicum miliaceum Linn.

duce vascular resistance and improve the coronary collateral circulation. It increased blood flow while reducing blood pressure.

Panax schiseng, synonym P. ginseng Mey. (Asiatic or Chinese Ginseng) is cultivated in northern China, Korea and Japan.

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