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Dec 12

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Ginseng

Known for its health benefits, ginseng has been used in Asia for more than 3,000 years.

  • Ginseng – genus Panax., a perennial plant with fleshy root, found in cooler climates of North America and Eastern Asia.

    Dried ginseng root in the package from China.

    Dried ginseng root in the package from China.

Studies have been done in Asia and Russia to assess the far reaching claims that ginseng as an adaptogen can be used to treat everything from fatigue to cancer, though the studies have been inconclusive and many researchers claim the studies were highly flawed. The two primary compounds said to be responsible for the various health benefits are Ginsenoside and Gintonin. Read this link to learn of the many health benefits attributed to the plant. This link explains the benefits of using ginseng as a natural prosexual herb.

  • Siberian ginseng (genus Eleutherococcus) is a relative of ginseng and said to have many similar benefits, though the roots is more woody than fleshy and it is prohibited from being sold as ginseng in the U.S. The name is reserved for the genus Panax.

In my research I discovered that ginseng can be cultivated in a home garden. This piqued my interest, as it may make for a profitable crop to sell to local health food stores and Asian markets. Further research reveals this source for ginseng seed and ginseng root and this one too.

On my most recent trip to China, I was given a package containing a dried ginseng root. I tried it in tea form and ate the remaining root after brewing, though it was rather woody. Perhaps I should have allowed it to steep long to soften it more. While I was cutting some pieces from the dried root, I was surprised at how dense and hard it was. There was a noticeable scent of soil or dried earth from the root. After ingestion, within 15 minutes, I noticed a slight boost in my mood with a sense of increased energy. December is a time of year when I have very low energy. So, a little pick-me-up is a welcome thing. I plan to purchase some seed and / or roots to plant in my garden next year. Planting ginseng in my garden fits nicely into the permaculture plan too.

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Apparently, competition for hunting wild ginseng has become quite fierce in Appalachia and authorities have stepped in to regulate the harvest of same.

This link provides info on how and when to hunt for wild ginseng in the U.S.

Follow this link to learn how to use dried ginseng root. And this link for how to cook ginseng in a variety of ways.

Permanent link to this article: http://english-speak-english.com/ginseng/

4 comments

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  1. Morning

    Today is a really red-letter day! I have had ONE HUNDRED lessons with my dear Kevin. If I had not taken 3 months of Maternity Leave, this day would have come earlier haha! After more than two year’s learning my second language has improved a lot. Thanks for your superb guidance!
    This is one more amazing article. If you don’t know about ginseng, it will tell you about the different varieties、proven efficacy, cooking methods, etc. through the many links like wikipedia.

    1. Teacher Kevin

      Yes, 100 lessons and it seems like we started only a short while ago. You have made tremendous improvement.
      Thanks for your comment and keep up the good work!

  2. Allen

    I know there are so many benefits from consuming it and many Chinese use it to make the ginseng spirit. It is a mysterious plant to me, as I often get access to information of how valuable it is and how hard to find it in the wild, though it’s a pity that I have never tasted it. In my opinion, it will take years for ginseng to mature, so your plan of planting it requires a lot of patience.

    1. Teacher Kevin

      The claims of ginseng’s benefits to health are many, though I am not certain they have been scientifically proven. You are correct that this plant is both hard to acquire in the wild and the length of time required for the plant to reach maturity is long – about 6 years. However, the former may be an issue of over-harvesting this natural resource and the latter is simply a biological fact and the primary reason for the high cost.

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