Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) has been an important component of Chinese medicine for thousands of years and is suggested to protect the brain from the effects of certain types of stroke. Found in only the Northern Hemisphere in North America and Asia, ginseng’s root is the most often used part, typically available in dried form. Ginseng has been linked to benefits for cognitive function and performance, as well as working memory. An active protein found in ginseng root also showed signs of protective support against stroke, with potential benefits on other degenerative diseases, according to 2011 research published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. Recent news reports shed light on the possibility of ginseng becoming extinct (or at least its numbers and genetic diversity severely decimated) in the North America because of factors such as poaching and overharvesting.