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Useful Temperate Plants

Panax japonicus

(T.Nees) C.A.Mey.

Araliaceae

+ Synonyms

Aralia repens (Steud. ex Maxim.) Matsum.

Panax angustatus (Makino) Honda

Panax ginseng angustatus Makino

Panax ginseng xanthocarpus Makino

Panax pseudoginseng angustatus (Makino) H.Hara

Panax pseudoginseng incisus (Nakai) H.Hara

Panax pseudoginseng japonicus (C.A.Mey.) H.Hara

Panax pseudoginseng xanthocarpus (Makino) H.Hara

Panax repens Steud. ex Maxim.

Panax schin-seng japonicus T.Nees

Common Name: Japanese Ginseng

No Image.

General Information

Panax japonicus is a herbaceous perennial plant growing from a horizontal tuberous rhizome; it produces a cluster of one or more straight, unbranched stems usually 50 - 80cm tall, with 3 - 5 leaves in a whorl at the summit of the stem[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
1772
Title
Genus Panax L. (Araliaceae) in India
Publication
Pleione 1(2): 46 - 54. 2007.
Author
Arun K. Pandey et al
Publisher
 
Year
2007
ISBN
 
Description
 
]
A very popular medicinal herb in eastern Asia, where it is one of the species that is commonly used as a form of ginseng. The plant is harvested from the wild for local use and trade, and is often also cultivated for medicinal use, especially in Japan, Korea and China[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

Known Hazards

The root contains up to 5% saponins[
174
Title
Atlas of Medicinal Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Kariyone. T.
Publisher
Nihon Rinshosha; Osaka
Year
1973
ISBN
 
Description
A good Japanese herbal.
].
Although poisonous, saponins also have a range of medicinal applications and many saponin-rich plants are used in herbalism (particularly as emetics, expectorants and febrifuges) or as sources of raw materials for the pharmaceutical industry. Saponins are also found in a number of common foods, such as many beans.
Saponins have a quite bitter flavour and are in general poorly absorbed by the human body, so most pass through without harm. They can be removed by carefully leaching in running water. Thorough cooking, and perhaps changing the cooking water once, will also normally remove most of them. However, it is not advisable to eat large quantities of raw foods that contain saponins.
Saponins are much more toxic to many cold-blooded creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish and make them easy to catch[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Botanical References

58
Title
Flora of Japan. (English translation)
Publication
 
Author
Ohwi. G.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution
Year
1965
ISBN
-
Description
The standard work. Brilliant, but not for the casual reader.
,
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.

Range

E. Asia - Korea, Japan

Habitat

Forests, forests in valleys; at elevations from 1,200 - 3,600 metres[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].Woods in mountains all over Japan[
58
Title
Flora of Japan. (English translation)
Publication
 
Author
Ohwi. G.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution
Year
1965
ISBN
-
Description
The standard work. Brilliant, but not for the casual reader.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitPerennial
Height0.60 m
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details


Requires a moist humus rich soil in a shady position in a woodland[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
The roots of all the various Panax species are used medicinally. They are considered to be most effective if harvested when around 6 - 7 years old[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
].
This species has 24 chromosomes, which makes it quite distinct from Panax ginseng which has 44 chromosomes[
174
Title
Atlas of Medicinal Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Kariyone. T.
Publisher
Nihon Rinshosha; Osaka
Year
1973
ISBN
 
Description
A good Japanese herbal.
].

Edible Uses

The roots are used as a flavouring in teas and liqueurs[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

Medicinal

The roots of all the various species in the genus Panax are known to be rich sources of a range of medicinally active compounds, especially saponins. All of the species, especially those in eastern Asia, are highly valued for their medicinal virtues. The best-known species in the genus (Panax ginseng) has a history of medicinal use going back many centuries. The other species are also valued in their own right, as well as often also being used and labelled as ginseng.

A decoction of the root is expectorant, febrifuge, stomachic and tonic[
61
Title
A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Publication
 
Author
Usher. G.
Publisher
Constable
Year
1974
ISBN
0094579202
Description
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
,
174
Title
Atlas of Medicinal Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Kariyone. T.
Publisher
Nihon Rinshosha; Osaka
Year
1973
ISBN
 
Description
A good Japanese herbal.
,
218
Title
Medicinal Plants of China
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S.
Publisher
Reference Publications, Inc.
Year
1985
ISBN
0-917256-20-4
Description
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
].

Other Uses

The root contains up to 5% saponins and it might be possible to utilize them as a soap[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

An extract of the root is used as an ingredient in commercial cosmetic preparations as an emollient, hair conditioner, skin conditioner and tonic[
1243
Title
CosIng
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/cosing/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
CosIng is the European Commission database for information on cosmetic substances and ingredients.
].

Propagation

Seed - sow in a shady position in a cold frame preferably as soon as it is ripe, otherwise as soon as the seed is obtained. It can be very slow and erratic to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a shady position in the greenhouse or frame for at least their first winter. Make sure the pots are deep enough to accommodate the roots. Plant out into their permanent positions in late summer.
Division in spring.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2022-08-15. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Panax+japonicus>

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