Panax ginseng (Asia)
Panax quinquefolia (North America)
The English word ginseng derives from the Chinese term rénshēn; Rén means “man” and shēn means a kind of herb; esteemed by the Chinese as a omnipotent herb, and has given rise to many legends. It was also the Chinese answer to the mandrake, for the man-shaped roots were believed to cure all the ills of man- or ‘gin’ in Chinese-hence the name. The word Panax derives from the Greek; panakos, a panacea.
Known as the “king of herbs,” ginseng is considered to be nutritious and to have great medical value in traditional Chinese medicine. It has been used as a tonic in TCM for over 3,000 years.
Panax ginseng is native – although not abundant – to the shady mountain forests of eastern Asia; it grows in an area extending from Nepal to Manchuria, (it is a native of the mountainous forests of northern China.) Bhutan, and eastern Siberia, typically in cooler climates. Ginseng is found only in the Northern Hemisphere, in North America and in eastern Asia.
Panax ginseng is a low perennial herb of the Ivy family. It bears umbellate green flowers on a round purple stalk about 30-80cm in height . The long-stemmed whorls usually bear five dark green, elongated, egg-shaped leaves of 7 to 20cm in length. 15 to 30 of the greenish white androgynous flowers form one to three umbels from which grow rounded, pea-sized, bright red, smooth shiny berries containing two seeds. The top of the yellow spindle-shaped root is divided to form hands and sometimes resembles the human. The plant reaches maturity between 6-7 years before the roots are then harvested. During in which the time it absorbs all the minerals, nutrients, and very valuable trace elements from the soil. Draining everything and barely leaving anything behind. The next crop would be only able to get sown after 10-15 years in that same section of soil.
Panax quinquefolia; closely related to the asiatic ginseng; (the American ginseng) which is being cultivated in Canada and is far less efficacious than the wild. Has minimal domestic use and gets exported to China and the Far East. The aromatic root resembles a small parsnip that forks as it matures. The plant grows 6 to 18 in tall, usually bearing three leaves, each with three to five leaflets two to five inches long.
Ginseng is any one of 11 species of slow-growing perennial plants with fleshy roots, belonging to the genus “Panax” of the family Araliaceae.
Panax vietnamensis, discovered in Vietnam, is the southernmost ginseng known.
Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is in the same family, but not genus, as true ginseng. Like ginseng, it is considered to be an adaptogenic herb too. The active compounds in Siberian ginseng are eleutherosides, not ginsenosides. Instead of a fleshy root, Siberian ginseng has a woody root.
Panax Ginsengs which are the adaptogenic herbs, principally Panax ginseng and P. quinquefolius. Ginseng is characterized by the presence of ginsenosides.
The plant is cultivated in northern China, Manchuria, in the Ukraine, Korea and Japan. Its cultivation requires great care. A year after seeds having been sown on dry clay soil; the strongest shoots are then planted out in plantations where no ginseng has grown for a period of at least 10 to 15 years, in order to prevent rotting of the roots. Moreover, the plants need to be protected continually from sun and pests and must also be well and diversely fertilized. The roots are harvested in autumn between the fourth and seventh year of growth. In North America (Canada) the slightly less potent type of ginseng, P. quinquefolius, is cultivated.
The most commonly known examples are xiyangshen, also known as American ginseng (P. quinquefolius), Japanese ginseng (P. japonicus), crown prince ginseng (Pseudostellaria heterophylla), and Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus). Although all have the name ginseng, each plant has distinctively different functions. However, true ginseng plants belong only to the Panax genus.
Aroma and Flavour
Ginseng is sweet and slightly bitter in flavour, aromatic much very much earthy base notes.
Health Benefits of Ginseng
By folk medicine practices, American ginseng and Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) roots may be taken orally for diverse supposed benefits, such as for aphrodisia, stimulants, type II diabetes, or for sexual dysfunction in men.
The Original Qi (also known as the Yuan Qi) is the vital energy with which we are born. When we have Yuan Qi, we are alive. When it’s gone, life is gone.
Additionally, Panax ginseng (Asiatic ginseng) has been proven to extend endurance, making it a favourite of many athletes.
The legendary power of ginseng to boost sexual performance has never been proven, and is in fact, unknown to Chinese medicine. Korean ginseng is noted for its high quality, but the fact is that both Chinese and Korean ginseng can be of varying quality.
Ginseng acts on the heart, spleen and lung channels. It can strongly invigorate the original Qi (yuan qi), quickly restore collapse and slowly tonify the deficiency. It is the first important herb to treat collapse due to extreme deficiency of original Qi caused by overwork. It invigorates spleen-qi and lung-qi, promoting the production of the body fluids s. When the original Qi is invigorated the nervous system is calmer. Therefore Panax ginseng (Ren Shen) can tranquilize and can treat palpitations and insomnia. Large doses of Panax Ginseng can raise blood pressure. Very small doses have a mild sedative effect.
Invigorating Qi, treating collapse, reinforcing the spleen, nourishing the lung, promoting the production of the body fluid, quenching thirst, tranquilizing the mind and improving intelligence.
Panax quinquefolia (American ginseng) for invigorating Qi and nourishing Yin, and bitter and cold for clearing heat and fire, as a heat-clearing tonic with tonification as well as purgation, it is indicated for deficiency of Qi and Yin with pathogenic fire.
Both American ginseng root and Panax Ginseng have the effects of invigorating Qi and nourishing Yin and are indicated for deficiency syndrome of Qi and Yin. However, patients with cold of deficiency type in the spleen and stomach are contraindicated to use American ginseng root; while patients with fire of excess type in the interior are contraindicated to use Panax Ginseng which is slightly warm in nature.
Invigorating Qi, nourishing Yin, clearing heat and promoting the generation of the body fluid.
Ginseng is a wonderful herb with many fine properties.
The first description of ginseng appeared in the legendary Chui zhang, the Chinese depiction of the Creation story. In Korea, China and Japan the root has been held in the highest esteem for over 2,000 years. According to the principles of Chinese medicine, the root strengthens kidney ”Qi“ (fortifies and prolongs life), cools fire (fever), multiplies the earth (strengthens the spleen and stomach), produces gold (supports the lungs), opens the heart, increases knowledge, causes blocked mucous to flow and is a panacea for all illnesses
Buying and storing Ginseng
The root is most often available in dried form, either whole or sliced. Ginseng leaf, although not as highly prized, is sometimes also used; as with the root, it is most often available in dried form.
Ginseng may be included in small doses in energy drinks or tisanes. ( There are many on the market)
It may be found in cosmetic preparations, as well, but has not been shown to be clinically effective.
Two types of ginseng root exist: white or red, depending upon how they are prepared for the market. For white ginseng, the freshly harvested roots are washed and scraped and then dried in the sun or artificially at temperatures of 100°C to 200°C. During this procedure the dark outer layers of bark surrounding the root are shed.
• Ginseng roots gathered from the wild are far more costly than those cultivated on a farm.
Wildcrafted roots will not contain traces of the fungicides which are used on cultivated
• Roots that resemble a human form are more valuable than those that do not.
• Big roots are better than small ones. Thick roots are preferable to thin roots.
• Old roots are more prized than fresh ones.
• Strong characteristic taste and smell also indicate the strength of Ginseng roots.
• Siberian ginseng is cheap, and should cost only a fraction of what Oriental or American
In China and Japan, red ginseng is officially monographed. Here, ancient methods of conservation involve steaming the freshly collected roots at a temperature of between 120°C to 130°C for two to three hours and then drying them. After the roots have been dried they are red, semi-transparent and horny in appearance. The reddish colour comes from steaming, which brings about the “Maillard reaction” (a reaction between reducing sugars and amino-acids).
For your own herb garden both Asian and American partially germinated ginseng seeds can be bought.
Ginseng berry is from fruit of panax ginseng, fruit is a small berry, nearly drupaceous, and red when ripe. Besides all the ingredients of ginseng root, such as ginsenosides, protein, amino acid, polysaccharides, etc, it contains berry ginsenosides especially re abundantly bioactive factors that aid diabetic & obesity.
1. pharmaceutical raw materials
2. food and drink for health care
3. food additive
packing detail: packed in paper-drums and two plastic-bags inside.
storage situation:stored in a cool and dry well-closed container, keep away from moisture and strong light/heat.
shelf life: two years under well storage situation and stored away from direct sunlight.
Ideas with cooking with Ginseng
Ginseng can be chewed, brewed, swallowed or stewed. No matter if it is taken as a tea, lozenge, pill, powder, or food, it is always best to use a good quality roots and berries.
Though China‘s health authority had previously restricted the use of the plant to medicines only, people used to use ginseng as an ingredient in chicken, porridge and soup recipes or soaked it in liquor.
For ginseng tea/coffee. Using the dried ginseng root is best. First cut it into dime sized slices; ginseng will slice easily after it has been warmed in the oven for a few minutes or in the microwave for a few seconds (alternatively, you can buy it already sliced). The slices can now be chewed or brewed. Sucking and swallowing slices of Ginseng provides a quick method of dosage and oral satisfaction. To brew tea with Ginseng, use 3-9 grams per person. Double boiling is preferred. Slow boil herb slices for about one hour, and drink the tea on an empty stomach.
Panax Ginseng is sometimes steamed with aconite or other herbs to enhance its strength. This is called red ginseng. It has a warm nature. Also available is White Ginseng. This is unprocessed Panax Ginseng. Milder White Ginseng is more appropriate when the user has too much heat. Its cooler nature won’t aggravate hot or inflammatory conditions.