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Getting to Know Ginseng

Updated on February 6, 2017

Learn more about Ginseng

The plant known as Ginseng or Ginnsuu (Korean Ginseng) has a long history in some regions in Asia particularly in mainland China.

It commonly grows in the Northern Hemisphere part of Asia mostly in Northern China, Korea and Eastern Siberia which has a typical cooler climates. It is part of Araliaceae or Ivy family which includes 254 trees, shrubs, lianas and perennial herbaceous plant.

The root part of the Ginseng can also be dried and boiled as an energy drink as a tea because of its medicinal benefits according to Traditional Chinese Alternative Medicine.

For those who are interested to know more about the health benefits of this Oriental wonder herb, it is definitely worth your time to learn about these wondrous medicinal plant.

Did you know?

  1. Ginseng is considered as one of the top three herbal products sold in the United States alone.
  2. A typical Ginseng root can be harvested until the plant is four to six years old.
  3. According to the 2002 surveys, Ginseng is one of the most expensive herbs in the world, costing as much as $20 per ounce, or more for red ginseng with the root, which is over 10,000 years old.
  4. The average dosage of Korean Ginseng used in traditional Chinese medicine are given as 2-8 g as a tonic and 15-20 g for acute conditions.
  5. American ginseng are known to be has more cooler properties than Asian ginseng which has heating properties.
  6. The dosage often used in research studies is 200 mg a day of a standardized ginseng extract.
  7. Some traditional herbalists recommend using ginseng for no more than three weeks at a time, followed by a one to two week rest period.

Ginseng is any one of eleven distinct species of slow-growing perennial plants with fleshy roots, belonging to the Panax genus in the family Araliaceae. It grows in the Northern Hemisphere in eastern Asia (mostly Korea, northern China (Manchuria), and eastern Siberia), typically in cooler climates; Panax vietnamensis, discovered in Vietnam, is the southernmost ginseng found. This article focuses on the Series Panax ginsengs, which are the adaptogenic herbs, principally Panax ginseng and P. quinquefolius. Ginseng is characterized by the presence of ginsenosides.

Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is not a true ginseng, but a different plant that was renamed as "Siberian ginseng" as a marketing ploy; instead of a fleshy root, it has a woody root, and instead of ginsenosides, eleutherosides are the active compound. Eleutherosides are classified as another adaptogen.

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Types of Ginseng

Ginseng has been discovered in the vast mountain of Manchuria way back 5,000 years ago that makes it the King of all Herbs due to its higher medicinal valuable. While there are 7 types are known worldwide on the list below. The health benefit of Ginseng depends on the longer and the better variety you chose.

P. quinquefolius (American Ginseng Root) - It is commonly grown in North America particularly in US and Canada. It has an aromatic root resembles a small parsnip when it matures that grows 6-18 inches tall bearing leaves with 3-5 leaflets 2-5 inches long. Chinese doctors believed that American ginseng must be good for Yin, because it came from a hot area.

Health Benefits: promotes Yin energy, cleans excess Yang in the body, and calms the body and reduces influenza in elderly woman

Panax ginseng (Asian Ginseng root) - This variety of ginseng is known as the Asian Ginseng that usually grows in Korea and North East Asia where the lies the colder weather.

Available in 4 forms:

- Fresh Ginseng - the raw product.

- White Ginseng - Usually grown for 4-6 years then peeled and dried to reduce water content to make it less. It is dried in the sun the process that bleaches the root to a yellowish-white color.

- Red Ginseng - It is harvested after 6 years not peeled and steam cured in 100 degrees celsius boiling point making its glossy reddish-brown color.

- Sun Ginseng - It is created through the heat processing method ginsenocide and steaming in a higher temperature than red ginseng.

Health Benefits: promotes Yang energy, improves circulation, increases blood supply, revitalizes and aids recovery from weakness after illness, and stimulates the body.

Red Ginseng (Panax Ginseng)

-It grows naturally in the mountain and left there under natural steaming or sun drying process. Commonly cultivated in South Korea and China.

Health Benefits: Stimulates sexual function and energy.

Wild Ginseng

-It is a type of Ginseng that grows domestically in the woods and in the mountains like in Maine, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia. It has a comparable value like a typically grown ginseng.

Common name: Korean Ginseng, Ginnsuu, Jiaogulan, Ashwagandha, Alaskan, Maca

Family: Araliaceae

Genus: Panax L.

Ginseng Alternatives in Found in Other Countries

• Southern Ginseng - Jiaogulan

• Siberian Ginseng

• Prince Ginseng

• Indian Ginseng - Ashwagandha

• Brazilian Ginseng - Suma

• Peruvian Ginseng - Maca

• Alaskan Ginseng -

• Female Ginseng - Dong Quai

• Panax notoginseng - Known as san qi, tian qi or tien chi

Choosing The Best Quality Ginseng

The best thing to know in choosing the best Ginseng for your especially needs you have to be observant in its appearance that comes in two color varieties: red and white color.

You must be aware to look for its roots that are fairly straight with lots of thinner roots firmly attached to its main body. It must be free of bruises or any discoloration in any part of its body. Having the smooth texture and big strong head in its root are the good characteristics of a the best Ginseng.

When you are purchasing a ginseng if you really want to be sure of its longevity, better ask for the proof origin and certificate of age though it will differ in its prize according to its size in some cases.

In choosing red ginseng, hold the legs up to the light to see its transparent reddish color. For more additional information in choosing the best quality Ginseng you can refer to this link resources.

Ginseng is grown in many parts of the world. The roots are the part of the plant used for all Ginseng products.

Official Site of Korea Tourism Org.: Goryeo Ginseng

How To Grow Ginseng At Home - Gardening Instruction Tips to Help You Get Started

Ginseng and Health

Ginseng has a long history of proven medicinal effects on people in all ages. Research has show that it is beneficial to the circulatory system, central nervous system, and liver function to ease infection and viral toxins in the body. It increases stamina, energy and help the immune system to be resistant in all infections.

It is one of the most healing popular herbs in the world that is also good for diabetes, radiation and chemotherapy protection, colds, chest problems, to aid in sleep, and to stimulate the appetite. It is very efficient for mental stimulation for those people who are easily stressed out. For men it can also be a great sexual stimulants as it helps to balance the body and its circulation and prevents heart disease.

Getting to Know Ginseng Guestbook - Did you learned something new today?

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      GinsengGeek 5 years ago

      Great Lens ! I would read up on site selection if your looking to grow your own Ginseng.... Again Thanks for another Great Lens Naiza.

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      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      Love that picture of ginseng in your introduction. Quite a lot to know about it! Very interesting stuff.