Feb. 25, 2018

Asian Ginseng

Asian Ginseng is one of the most economically, and historically important plants. It has been used for thousands of years and appears in the first known Chinese Materia Medica (thought to have been written during the Han Dynasty (220 BCE). Ginseng root is native to the northern mountainous regions of Korea, China, and parts of the Russian Federation. The plant was botanically named, as we now know it by Russian Botanist Carl Anton von Meyer in 1843. Cultivation of Panax ginseng in Korea started around 11 B.C. by transplantation of wild ginseng. Panax ginseng cultivated in Korea (Korean ginseng) is harvested after 4-6 years of cultivation, and it is classified into three types depending on how it is processed: (a) fresh ginseng (less than 4 yr old; can be consumed in it’s fresh state); (b) white ginseng (4-6 yr old; dried after peeling); and © red ginseng (harvested when 6 yr old, and then steamed and dried). For these purposes we will discuss the use of “white ginseng.” Panax is derived from the latin “Pan” or All, and “Akos” or Cure. The sound-Gin stands for the word Man in Chinese, and Seng for the term essence or that which underlies all outward appearances. Ginseng roots physically resemble the human body. According to Chinese beliefs, Ginseng is the representation of the essence of earth that dwells in a root.