Wisconsin Ginseng: Benefits, Uses, and Cultivation

Wisconsin Ginseng is the gold standard for American Ginseng. It’s prized throughout the world as the best that money can buy. American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) is a wild plant native …

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Written by: Daniel Powers, MS
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Wisconsin Ginseng is the gold standard for American Ginseng. It’s prized throughout the world as the best that money can buy.

American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) is a wild plant native to Wisconsin’s fertile forests. Since Ginseng grows slowly and draws nutrients from its habitat over several years before harvest, the right growing conditions are essential.

Wisconsin’s deep, rich soil, cool summers, pure waters, and fresh air make it an ideal growing region to produce Ginseng of unsurpassed quality.

Wild grown or cultivated, Wisconsin Ginseng has a high level of ginsenosides, which is what makes it so effective at fighting stress.

We’ll dig into the specifics of Wisconsin ginseng cultivation and harvesting below.

benefits of wisconsin ginseng

Benefits of Wisconsin Ginseng:

Researchers have found that Ginseng may help to boost the immune system, reduce cholesterol, and strengthen the nervous system.

It’s also known as an adaptogen, or an herb that helps your body adapt to stress.

Ginseng may also work to increase blood circulation to the brain, which can improve memory and concentration.

You can click here to read more about the benefits of American Ginseng.

How Does Ginseng Grow?

Ginseng grows in shade, which means it requires lots and lots of trees. This plant thrives in soil that is acidic, deep, rich with organic matter, and well-drained.

Ginseng is a “perennial” plant, which means that the same plant grows for multiple years. In fact, Ginseng is said to be able to grow up to 100 years.

Generally, roots that are 3-5 years old are large enough to be harvested.

Why is Wisconsin so Good for Growing Ginseng?

A lot of it has to do with the soil climate.

Wisconsin’s soil is deep and rich in nutrients which help to produce plants that are healthy enough to be harvested as Ginseng roots.

The summers in Wisconsin tend to be cool, which creates an ideal environment for Ginseng.

Where Does Ginseng Grow in Wisconsin?

Wild Ginseng grows throughout Wisconsin. In particular, you can find it in rich woodland areas. Wild Ginseng prefers to grow on shady forest floors under a hardwood tree canopy.

Within the deep forests of Wisconsin, you can find old-growth Ginseng. The more difficult it is to get to a section of forest, the more likely it is to have established Ginseng plant colonies.

Wild Ginseng can be hard to spot in the wild, as it blends in with other foliage until autumn when the leaves turn yellow and the bright red berries are hard to miss.

That said, from an agricultural standpoint, cultivated Wisconsin Ginseng is primarily grown in Marathon County, which is located in the center of Wisconsin.

Marathon County is part of the Superior Upland Region of Wisconsin. The way that the glaciers receded in this area of Wisconsin left the soil rich with a variety of minerals and other nutrients that are perfect for growing Ginseng.

This combination of fertile soil and a cool climate provides the perfect conditions for growing Ginseng.

In fact, an estimated 95% of the American Ginseng in the United States is grown in Marathon County, Wisconsin.

All of these factors lead to the fact that Wisconsin Ginseng is world-renowned and highly sought after.

Harvesting Wild Ginseng in Wisconsin:

Wild Ginseng is considered an endangered resource in Wisconsin. As such, harvesting wild Ginseng without a license is against Wisconsin state law (even if it grows wild on your property).

If you want to harvest wild Ginseng in Wisconsin, you must get a Wisconsin Wild Ginseng Harvest license. You can learn more about this on the Wisconsin state Department of Natural Resources website.

Ginseng Harvest Season:

For Ginseng hunters with a valid harvest license, ginseng is generally harvested between September 1st and November 1st.

Roots plants are harvested in the fall due to the fact that the plants start to put their energy back into the root as they prepare to hunker down for the winter. During the spring/summer season, plants are focused on growing leaves and other foliage above ground so that they can harvest as much sunshine as possible during the warm months.

In the fall/winter season, they put all of that energy back into the root (below ground) so that they can last till next year. This is also when the plant is at its medicinal peak.

Buying Wisconsin Grown Ginseng:

Cultivated Wisconsin Ginseng is difficult to grow and labor-intensive to process which makes it valuable. 

Knowing where to buy Wisconsin Ginseng isn’t as simple as it sounds. Many suppliers falsely advertise their Ginseng as being “Wisconsin Grown”. Simply put, that’s not always the case.

As with all herbs, having a valid source is vital.

That’s why buying from a trusted source like Baumann Wisconsin Ginseng is the best way to go.

They are the largest growers of Ginseng in Wisconsin with an estimated 40% share of the market. They are also family-owned and operated.

Baumann has a verified sourcing program called Rootwise® that gives consumers confidence in knowing that they are buying verified Wisconsin-grown Ginseng.


Ginseng is a medicinal plant that has been used for centuries to help with a variety of health complaints.

Buying Wisconsin-grown Ginseng, either wildcrafted or cultivated, will ensure that you are getting the highest quality Ginseng. Look for the Rootwise® stamp of approval on your Wisconsin Ginseng supplement to ensure that it is a genuine product of Wisconsin.

If you plan on harvesting your own, make sure you read up on the Wisconsin state regulations and get your harvest license prior to going out and foraging.

Musick, F. (2014). How To Grow Ginseng: Make Money By Growing Ginseng.  Kindle Edition. 

Scholey, A., Ossoukhova, A., Owen, L., Ibarra, A., Pipingas, A., He, K., Roller, M., & Stough, C. (2010). Effects of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) on neurocognitive function: an acute, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Psychopharmacology, 212(3), 345–356. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-010-1964-y

Szczuka, D., Nowak, A., Zakłos-Szyda, M., Kochan, E., Szymańska, G., Motyl, I., & Blasiak, J. (2019). American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolium L.) as a Source of Bioactive Phytochemicals with Pro-Health Properties. Nutrients, 11(5), 1041. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11051041

Wallin, C. (2020). Growing Ginseng for Profit. Headstart Publishing. Kindle Edition.

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About Daniel Powers, MS

Daniel has a master's degree in herbal science from the Maryland University of Integrative Health. He has a passion for herbal medicine and how it can be used to support everyday health & wellness.

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