Panax ginseng, commonly called Asian or Korean ginseng, grows in Northern China, Korea and Russia. A close relative of true ginseng is Panax quinquefolius, or American ginseng, which is cultivated in the United States.
Ginseng is a perennial herb cultivated for its taproot, which can be used to improve digestion, increase energy and support the lungs, according to NYU Langone Medical Center. Ginseng roots must grow for five years before harvesting, making it an expensive herb that commands top prices. Classified as an adaptogen, ginseng is believed to increase physical endurance to prevent stress, disease and illnesss.