Ginseng's scientific names are Panax ginseng
and Panax quinquefolius
It is used by humans to increase mental acuity, boost metabolism, improve attitude, purify blood, increase circulation, stimulate the endocrine system, decrease fatigue, and improve vision. It has been used to treat animals with cachexia (extreme weight loss, such as that due to a chronic disease like cancer) or anorexia, depression, nerve disorders, systemic (throughout the body) infections, wounds that will not heal, and cats with leukemia.
It may enhance the release of insulin, thus decreasing the blood glucose levels.
Side effects include sleeplessness, muscle tension, and edema in humans.
It is the root that is used, and it may be found in a variety of forms including fresh, dried, tincture, tea, capsules, and elixirs.