Korean ginseng is a deciduous perennial herb that reaches a height of 60 to 80 cm, with typical light colored fleshy root. The taste of the Korean ginseng root is sweetish at first but with a bitter aftertaste . The leaves are dark green colored and oval shaped. Each leave consists of five leaflets, the three terminal leaflets are larger than the two lateral ones. The ginseng stem is erect and deep red colored. Korean ginseng gives small red berries.
Korean ginseng grows on moist and shaded mountainsides in China, Korea and Russia. The root is long and slender and sometimes resembles the shape of the human body. In China, the ginseng roots are called Jin-chen, meaning like a man.
The total ginsenoside content of a 6 year old root varies between 0.7 and 3%.