any of several plants of the genus Panax, especially P. pseudoginseng, of eastern Asia, or P. qinquefolius, of North America, having an aromatic root used medicinally.
the root itself.
a preparation made from it.
Also, genseng.

1645–55; < Chinese (Wade-Giles) jên2 shên1, (Pinyin) rén-shēn, equivalent to rén man + shēn name for a kind of herb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
ginseng (ˈdʒɪnsɛŋ)
1.  either of two araliaceous plants, Panax schinseng of China or P. quinquefolius of North America, whose forked aromatic roots are used medicinally
2.  the root of either of these plants or a substance obtained from the roots, believed to possess stimulant, tonic, and energy-giving properties
[C17: from Mandarin Chinese jen shen, from jen man (from a resemblance of the roots to human legs) + shen ginseng]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1691, from Chinese jen-shen. First element means "man," but the meaning of the second is obscure.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Among others at risk: wild ginseng, orchids and the crocodile newt.
The restaurant offers unique flavors, from blackberry and raspberry sushi, to
  ginseng tuna sashimi.
Ginseng's green leaves and shiny berries light up the shady forest floor.
Information for ginseng dealers, harvesters and growers.
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