Ginsengis featured prominently in a number of energy drinks, tonics and other healthrelated products. This isn’t an accident, as ginseng has been used medicinallyfor thousands of years and is purported to aid a number of ailments. On many ofthese products, the type of ginseng is called Asian or Korean ginseng root. Buthave you thought about growing Korean ginseng yourself? The following Koreanginseng info discusses how to grow Korean ginseng root.
What is Asian Ginseng?
Ginseng has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)for thousands of years, and commercial cultivation of the precious root is ahuge and lucrative industry. Ginseng is a perennial plant comprised of elevenor so species that grow in the cold regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Eachspecies is defined by its native habitat. For instance, Asian ginseng root isfound Korea, Japan and northern China while American ginseng is found in NorthAmerica.
Korean Ginseng Info
Asian, or Korean ginseng root (Panax ginseng) is the original sought after ginseng that has beenused for centuries to treat a plethora of ailments and to maintain overall goodhealth. The root became over harvested and more difficult to procure, so buyerslooked towards American ginseng.
American ginseng was so lucrative in the 1700’s that it,too, was over harvested and soon became endangered. Today, wild ginseng that isharvested in the United States is under strict protective rules outlined by theConvention on International Trade in Endangered Species. These rules do notapply to cultivated ginseng, however, so growing your own Korean ginseng ispossible.
TCM categorizes American ginseng as “hot” and Ginseng panaxas “cold,” each with different medicinal uses and health benefits.
How to Grow Korean Ginseng
Panax ginseng is aslow growing plant that is harvested for its gnarled “man shaped” roots andsometimes its leaves. Roots must mature for 6 years or so before they can beharvested. It grows wild in the understory of forests. Similar conditions mustbe replicated when growing Korean ginseng on your own property.
Once you have acquired seeds, soak them in a disinfecting solutionof 4 parts water to 1 part bleach. Discard any floaters and rinse the viableseeds with water. Place the ginseng seeds in a bag of fungicide, enough toshake around and coat the seeds with fungicide.
Prepare a site for the ginseng to grow. It prefers loamy,clay or sandy soil with a pH of 5.5-6.0. Ginseng thrives in the understory oftrees like walnutand poplaras well as cohosh,fernand solomon’sseal, so if you have any of these plants, all the better.
Plant the seeds ½ inch (1 cm.) deep and 4-6 inches (10-15 cm.)apart in the fall, in rows that are 8-10 (20-25 cm.) inches apart and coverthem with rotted leaves to retain moisture. Do not use oak leaves or plant nearoaktrees.
Keep the seeds just damp until the ginseng germinates, whichcan take up to 18 months. Add another layer of rotted leaves every few monthswhich will provide the plants with nutrients as they break down.
Your ginseng will be ready to harvest in 5-7 years. Whenharvesting, do so gently so you don’t damage the valuable roots. Lay theharvested roots out on a screened tray and dry them at temps between 70-90 F.(21-32 C.) with a humidity of between 30-40%. The roots will be dry when theycan be easily snapped in two, which will take several weeks.
5 Different Types Of Ginseng Root And Their Unique Benefits
There are various types of ginseng root available on the market but though they share one name, not all varieties are created equal.
For years, Asian societies have used ginseng as an energy booster. Certified TCM Practioner Adele Lau, of One Farrer Hotel & Spa, notes that the miracle root is often used to “tonify Qi, which means that it reinforces the body’s life force, and this is highly useful for a stressful lifestyle.” Extensive research shows ginseng is believed to induce relation, help fight cancer and treat diabetes. “For women who are always on the go, trying to balance family and work life, ginseng can be a good choice,” adds Adele.
The Miracle Healer?
The World Health Organisation defines health as a state if complete mental, physical and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease. If we take this to be true, ginseng has already proven itself as a cure-all. Eu Yan Sang’s Resident Physician Anita Pee explains “some literature refers to ginseng as a well-known adaptogen, which means that when ingested it can produce a total body response, which increases resistance against harmful agents and improve the function of many body systems.”
Backed By Science
For all the myths surrounding ginseng’s use in TCM, its true test lies in scientific fact. Thousands of clinical trials have been carried out to investigate numerous claims for the power of ginseng. Through these studies, scientists discovered two groups of compounds that have been proven to have remarkable medicinal properties: Ginsenosides and polysaccharides. Both have antioxidant effects that are healing and restorative.
Everything In Moderation
So should we rush out to buy this miracle root in bulk? Not so fast! “Even herbs that are purported to have wide-ranging health benefits may cause undesired side effects when used inappropriately or taken in large doses,” says Anita. She recommends consulting a registered TCM physician first before consuming any herb, miracle or not.
If you are convinced and would like to try ginseng, read on as we outline the different types available for consumption and their unique benefits:
Cold and flu
It has been said that Asian ginseng boosts the immune system, which might help the body fight off infection and disease. The best evidence is that it may help reduce your risk of getting a cold or flu. Studies have found that ginseng seems to increase the number of immune cells in the blood and improve the immune system's response to a flu vaccine. In one study, 227 people got either ginseng or placebo for 12 weeks, and got a flu vaccine after 4 weeks. The number of colds and flu were two-thirds lower in the group that took ginseng.
Two studies found that ginseng lowered the chance of getting a cold. In one double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 323 people, those who took 400 mg of ginseng daily for 4 months had fewer colds. When they did get a cold, it was less severe and shorter than the colds of people who took placebo.
What is American Ginseng?
American ginseng is native to North America and is said to help fight stress, improve immune health, help you get over your cold faster and protect against certain types of cancer. Many people also use the herbal supplement to manage chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high cholesterol, anemia and nerve pain. It’s also used as a stimulant to improve athletic performance and mental capacity.
However, research on the health benefits of American ginseng has been mixed. While it may be helpful for improving blood sugar control in people with diabetes and helping your fight against a respiratory infection, it may not help you get through your morning run or make you smarter. And there hasn’t been enough research on any of the other recommended uses to say whether it helps.
9. Prince Of Peace Instant Korean Panax Ginseng Tea
A traditional way to ingest ginseng is through tea, which is why we have included the Prince Of Peace Instant Korean Panax Ginseng Tea on our list. Made from authentic Panax ginseng roots, the tea bag can be used in hot or cold water and enjoyed on its own or sweetened with honey or sugar. Providing a caffeine-free way to increase energy levels, Prince of Peace’s ginseng tea may also help to improve brain function and strengthen the immune system.