Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) is commonly thought of as a root. While roots come to mind most often in describing ginseng, all parts of the plant contain the active ingredients known as ginsenosides.
Ginseng root has been used in Chinese medicine for more than two thousand years. Ginseng has been reported to have antidiabetic, antiaging, antifatigue , anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties. Ginseng has been widely used as a tonic food and health-care product, in a variety of commercial health products; ginseng tea, ginseng honey, ginseng milk, ginseng capsules, ginseng candy, and cosmetics have been developed
Ginsenosides are the unique and bioactive components in ginseng. The main root, fine roots, stems, leaves and berries contain these active ingredients.
In 2019, scientists at the School of Food and Advanced Technology, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand together wth collaborators from Alpha Nutraceuticals quantified the ginsenoside content of different parts of the ginseng plant. The plants were supplied by KiwiSeng and were grown under pine forests in the Central North Island.
A total of 102 ginsenosides were found. In line with overseas research, the New Zealand research team found that the content of ginsenosides is higher in the leaf and fine root and much lower in the stem than in other parts of P. ginseng.
All parts of a ginseng plant contain ginsenosides - the active ingredientsThe ginseng contents of plants tested generally increased with age although there was no consistent pattern in terms of ginseng concentration. The plants ranged in age from 6 years to 13 years. It would be expected that plants aged 20 years or above would have significantly higher ginseng concentrations.
Number of unique ginsenosides and ginsenoside contents different parts of 13 year old wild simulated ginseng plants grown in New Zealand.
Different parts of the plant have active ingredients and so more parts of the plant can be used to produce products. Ginseng tea is a very popular drink made from the leaves. The leaves can be harvested annually. The market for ginseng beverages is growing rapidly worldwide. There are many well-known health drinks globally that incorporate ginseng in their ingredients list. All parts of the plant can be combined to create ginseng extract or to develop supplements in powdered or capsule form. KiwiSeng produces a range of ginseng products, including supplements.
Original research paper... https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1226845319300041