Riley, Susan Bull_ higher resolution ginseng photo3.jpg

American Ginseng Publications and Research

For over a decade, the now-inactive website hosted by the McGraw lab at West Virginia University served as an important reference for practitioners to some extent, and scientific researchers to a much larger extent. However, there still existed a real need for the translation of ginseng science for a broad stakeholder audience that stretched beyond researchers. The easily-digestible information that has been translated in the rest of this website is derived from the foundational scientific papers found on this page.

Displayed here is a lengthy, but by no means comprehensive, body of work performed on American ginseng by researchers worldwide. This website hosts all of the referenced and listed publications throughout this website in an easily searchable list and database for the public. We hope to make this American ginseng science more accessible and user friendly. 

Publications                          Searchable Database (coming soon)


Below is a list of peer-reviewed scientific studies of the ecology and conservation biology of wild American ginseng. No attempt is made to list studies of medicinal aspects of ginseng use, nor is this list an attempt to assemble all publications on growing ginseng through one of the many methods of cultivation. For the latter purpose, we suggest the following groups: MTSU's International Ginseng Institute, United Plant Savers, and Appalachian Beginning Forest Farmers Coalition.

In addition to the publications listed, the McGraw lab has made the data from its original census of 30 American ginseng populations widely available. These census data represent the hard work of the PI and dozens of trained undergraduate and graduate student research teams from 1998-2016. The metadata and dataset (CSV) are available below.



Anderson, R. C., Fralish, J. S., Armstrong, J. E., and P. K. Benjamin. 1993. The ecology and biology of Panax quinquefolium L. (Araliaceae) in Illinois. American Midland Naturalist 129(2): 357-372.

Arik, M., Gao, Y., Graves, B. (2020). Implications of changing supply chain dynamics of global ginseng trade: A pilot study. Journal of Strategic Innovation and Sustainability.15(1).

Burkhart, E. P. 2013. American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) floristic associations in Pennsylvania: guidance for identifying calcium-rich forest farming sites. Agroforestry systems 87(5): 1157-1172.

Burkhart, E. P. and M. G. Jacobson. 2009. Transitioning from wild collection to forest cultivation of indigenous medicinal forest plants in eastern North America is constrained by lack of profitability. Agroforestry systems 76(2): 437-453.

Burkhart, E. P., Jacobson, M. G., and J. Finley. 2012. A case study of stakeholder perspective and experience with wild American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) conservation efforts in Pennsylvania, USA: limitations to a CITES driven, top-down regulatory approach. Biodiversity and Conservation 21(14): 3657-3679.

Burkhart, E.P., Nilson, S.E., Pugh, C.V., and Zuiderveen, G.H. 2021. Neither wild nor cultivated: American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) seller surveys provide insights into in situ planting and trade (pdf). Economic Botany 75(2): 126–143.

Carlson, A. 1986. Ginseng: America’s botanical drug connection to the orient. Economic Botany 40: 233–249.

Carpenter, S. G. and G. Cottam. 1982. Growth and reproduction of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) in Wisconsin, USA. Canadian Journal of Botany 60: 2692-2696.

Chamberlain, J. L., Prisley, S., and M. McGuffin. 2013. Understanding the relationships between American ginseng harvest and hardwood forests inventory and timber harvest to improve co-management of the forests of the eastern United States. Journal of Sustainable Forestry 32:605-624.

Chandler, J. L. and J. B. McGraw. 2015. Variable effects of timber harvest on the survival, growth, and reproduction of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.). Forest Ecology and Management 344:1-9.

Chandler, J.L. 2017. A slow opportunist: Physiological and growth responses of an obligate understory plant to patch cut harvesting. Oecologia 183: 677-687.

Chandler, J.L. and J. B. McGraw. 2017. Demographic stimulation of the obligate understory herb, Panax quinquefolius L., in response to natural forest canopy disturbances. Journal of Ecology 105: 736-749.

Charron, D. and D. Gagnon. 1991. The demographic of northern populations of Panax quinquefolius (American ginseng). Journal of Ecology 79: 431-445.

Cruse-Sanders, J. M. and J. L. Hamrick 2004. Spatial and genetic structure within populations of wild American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L., Araliaceae). Journal of Heredity 95(4): 309.

Cruse-Sanders, J. M. and J. L. Hamrick. 2004. Genetic diversity in harvested and protected populations of wild American ginseng, Panax quinquefolius L. (Araliaceae). American Journal of Botany 91(4): 540-548.

Cruse-Sanders, J. M., Hamrick, J. L., and J. A. Ahumada. 2005. Consequences of harvesting for genetic diversity in American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.): a simulation study. Biodiversity and Conservation 14: 493-504.

Fountain, M.S. 1982. Site factors associated with natural populations of ginseng in Arkansas. Castanea 47: 261–265.

Furedi, M. A. and J. B. McGraw. 2004. White-tailed deer: Dispersers or predators of American ginseng seeds? American Midland Naturalist 152:268-276.

Grubbs, H. J. and M. A. Case. 2004. Allozyme variation in American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.): Variation, breeding system, and implications for current conservation practice. Conservation Genetics 5: 13-23.

Guo, Y., Kuruganti, R., Gao, Y. (2019). Recent Advances in Ginsenosides as Potential Therapeutics Against Breast Cancer.  Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry. 19(25), 2334-2347.

Hackney, E. and J. B. McGraw. 2001. Experimental demonstration of an Allee effect in American ginseng. Conservation Biology 15(1):129-136.

Hruska, A. M., Souther, S., and J. B. McGraw. 2014. Songbird Dispersal of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius). Ecoscience 21(1):46-55.

Jochum, G.M., Mudge, K. W., and R. B. Thomas. 2007. Elevated temperatures increase leaf senescence and root secondary metabolite concentrations in the understory herb Panax quinquefolius (Araliaceae). Journal of Botany 94(5): 819-826.

Kauffman, G. 2006. Conservation assessment for American ginseng Panax quinquefolius L. USDA, Forest Service, Eastern Region. Asheville, North Carolina.

Lewis, W. H. and V. E. Zenger. 1982. Population Dynamics of the American Ginseng Panax quinquefolium (Araliaceae). American Journal of Botany 69(9): 1483-1490.

Lewis, W. H. and V.E. Zenger.1983. Breeding systems and fecundity in the American ginseng, Panax quinquefolium (Araliaceae). American Journal of Botany 70(3): 466-468.

Liang, J., Chen, L. Guo, Y., Zhang, M., Gao, Y. (2019). Simultaneous determination and analysis of major ginsenosides in wild American ginseng grown in Tennessee. Chemistry & Biodiversity.

Liu, H., Burkhart, E.P., Chen, V.Y-J., and Wei, X. 2021. Promotion of in situ forest farmed American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) as a sustainable use strategy: opportunities and challenges (pdf). Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 9:652103

McGonigle, T. P., Hovius, J. P., and R. L. Peterson. 1999. Arbuscular mycorrhizae of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) in cultivated field plot: plant age affects the development of a colonization lag phase. Canadian Journal of Botany 77(7): 1028-1034.

McGraw, J. B. 2001. Evidence for decline in stature of American ginseng plants from herbarium specimens. Biological Conservation 98:25-32.

McGraw, J. B. and M. A. Furedi. 2005. Deer browsing and population viability of a forest understory plant. Science 307: 920-922

McGraw, J. B., A. E. Lubbers, M. Van der Voort, E. H. Mooney, M. A. Furedi, S. Souther, J. B. Turner, and J. Chandler. 2013. Ecology and conservation of ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) in a changing world. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences: The Year in Ecology and Conservation Biology. DOI 10.1111/nyas. 12032.

McGraw, J. B., M. A. Furedi, K. Maiers, C. Carroll, G. Kauffman, A. Lubbers, J. Wolf, R. Anderson, R. Anderson, B. Wilcox, D. Drees, M. E. Van der Voort, M. Albrecht, A. Nault, H. MacCulloch, and A. Gibbs. 2005. Berry ripening and harvest season in wild American ginseng. Northeastern Naturalist 12(2): 141-152.

McGraw, J. B., S. M. Sanders, and M. E. Van der Voort. 2003. Distribution and Abundance of Hydrastis canadensis L. (Ranunculaceae) and Panax quinquefolius L. (Araliaceae) in the Central Appalachian Region. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Club 130(2):62-69.

McGraw, J. B., S. Souther, and A. E. Lubbers. 2010. Rates of harvest and compliance with regulations in natural populations of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.). Natural Areas Journal 30:202-210.

McGraw, J.B. and J.L. Chandler. 2018. Demographic hallmarks of an over browsed population state in American ginseng. Global Ecology and Conservation 15: e00435.

Mooney, E. H. and J. B. McGraw. 2007. Alteration of selection regime resulting from harvest of American ginseng, Panax quinquefolius. Conservation Genetics 8:57-67.

Mooney, E. H. and J. B. McGraw. 2007. Effects of self-pollination and outcrossing with cultivated plants in small natural populations of American ginseng, Panax quinquefolius (Araliaceae). American Journal of Botany 94:1677-1687.

Mooney, E. H. and J. B. McGraw. 2009. Relationship between age, size and reproduction in populations of American ginseng, Panax quinquefolius (Araliaceae), across a range of harvest pressures. Ecoscience 16(1):84-94.

Nantel, P., Gagnon, D., and A. Nault. 1996. Population viability analysis of American ginseng and wild leek harvested in stochastic environments. Conservation Biology 10(2): 608-621.

Obae, S. G. and T. P. West. 2011. Effects of anthropogenic activities on genetic diversity and population structure of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) growing in West Virginia. Journal of Horticulture and Forestry 3(9):270-281.

Proctor, J. T. A., Dorais, M., Bleiholder, H., Willis, A., Hack, H., and V. Meier. 2003. Phenological growth stages of North American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius). Ann. Appl. Biol. 143: 311-317.

Qiang, B., Miao, J., Phillips, N., Wei, K., Gao, Y. (2020). Recent Advances in the Tissue Culture of American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius). Chemistry & Biodiversity.

Robbins, C. S. 2000. Comparative analysis of management regimes and medicinal plant trade monitoring mechanisms for American ginseng and goldenseal. Conservation Biology (15)4: 1422-1434.

Schlag, E. M. and , M. S. McIntosh. 2012. RAPD-based assessment of genetic relationships among and within American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) populations and their implications for a future conservation strategy. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 59(7): 1553-1568.

Schlag, E. M. and , M. S. McIntosh. 2013. The relationship between genetic and chemotypic diversity in American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) Phytochemistry 93(2013): 96-104.

Schlessman, Mark A. 1985. Floral biology of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolium). Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 112(2): 129-133.

Schluter, C. and Z. K. Punja. 2002. Genetic diversity among natural and cultivated field populations and seed lots of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) in Canada. International Journal of Plant Sciences 163(3): 427-439.

Souther, S. and J. B. McGraw. 2011. Vulnerability of wild American ginseng to an extreme early spring temperature fluctuation. Population Ecology 53:119–129.

Souther, S. and J. B. McGraw. 2011. Evidence of local adaptation in the demographic response of American ginseng to interannual temperature variation. Conservation Biology 25(5):922-931.

Souther, S., M. J. Lechowicz, and J. B. McGraw. 2012. Experimental test for adaptive differentiation of ginseng populations reveals complex response to temperature. Annals of Botany 110(4):829-837.

Souther, S. and J. B. McGraw.  2014.  Synergistic effects of climate change and harvest on extinction risk of American ginseng.  Ecological Applications 24(6): 1463-1477.

Turner, J. B. and J. B. McGraw. 2015. Can putative indicator species predict habitat quality for American ginseng? Ecological Indicators 57:110-117.

Van der Voort, M. E. and J. B. McGraw. 2006. Effects of harvester behavior on population growth rate affects sustainability of ginseng trade. Biological Conservation 130:505-516.

Van der Voort, M. E., B. Bailey, D. E. Samuel, and J. B. McGraw. 2003. Recovery of populations of goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis L.) and American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) following harvest. American Midland Naturalist 149:282-292.

Wagner, A. and J. B. McGraw. 2013. Sunfleck effects on physiology, growth, and local demography of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.). Forest Ecology and Management 291:220-227.

Wixted, K. and J. B. McGraw. 2009. A Panax-centric view of invasive species. Biological Invasions 11(4): 883-893.

Wixted, K. and J. B. McGraw. 2010. Competitive and allelopathic effects of garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) on American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius). Plant Ecology 208:347–357.