1mass noun A plant tuber credited with various tonic and medicinal properties.
- ‘For this reason ginseng has been called the ‘king of tonic medicine’ in the Orient and a panacea in the West.’
- ‘Read on to learn more about ginseng's amazing healing properties.’
- ‘They have bought a lot of ginseng and other tonics to boost his nutrition intake.’
- ‘American ginseng may possess effects similar to Asian ginseng.’
- ‘Two species of ginseng have shown promise in managing diabetes.’
2The plant from which ginseng is obtained, native to eastern Asia and North America.
Genus Panax, family Araliaceae: several species, in particular the Asian P. pseudoginseng and the North American P. quinquefolius‘Harvest herb roots including bloodroot, chicory, ginseng, and golden seal in the fall, after the foliage fades.’‘Panax ginseng is the herb most people are familiar with.’
Mid 17th century from Chinese rénshēn, from rén ‘man’ + shēn, a kind of herb (because of the supposed resemblance of the forked root to a person).