Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ginseng--An Interesting Plant

In Asian and alternative medicine cultures, ginseng has been thought to have medicinal properties. The plant is from the Panax genus, and has fleshy roots. There are several types of ginseng, including American ginseng, Siberian ginseng, panax ginseng and Korean ginseng. American ginseng utilizes the roots of the Panax quinquefolium. The dried roots, after being ground into a powder, are used for making a purportedly stress-relieving tea. In Asian medicine traditions, this product is thought to be cooling and soothing, and the highest grades come from eight-year old organic roots. Siberian ginseng comes from a different plant genus than what is known as ginseng. Its latin name is Eleutherococcus senticosus, and although a different plant it has been used in Russian and Korean traditional medicine, where it is thought to be an aid for improved memory, better endurance, as well as anti-inflammation qualities. Panax ginseng comes in two main forms: white and red. The white form is air dried, which reduces the amount of water in the root. The red form is steam cured and then dried afterward. The red form is also known as Korean ginseng, since the plant whose roots are used for this product is grown in Korea. This red type has been used in Asian medical traditions, where it is thought to help with male erectile dysfunction. It may also help with those who desire greater energy and stamina, and may help to relieve stress. Traditional medicine also thought that ginseng was an aid that might increase vigor after a debilitating illness, as well as boost the immune system. The roots of ginseng are prized, and they take a long time to cure. Herbalists can take the roots and allow them to dry for many years at a time, and the length of time can also have an effect on the price of the product.Ginseng comes in a variety of different forms, and several parts of the plant can be used. A cut and sifted leaf form is available, as is a powder variant. Extracts and root powders are available, and you can find this plant as an ingredient in gum, candy and drinks. Roots may also be purchased whole. Tea made from panax and red roots is also available from quality herb merchants online. You may find it an an ingredient in personal care products such as soap.As with any herbs, you will want to contact your physician to ask for the best medical advice in terms of your current health, because herbs have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be taken as a cure or as treatment for any disease. --As an herbalist who spends her time learning about the properties of organic herbs and spices, Anne Harvester has a thorough knowledge of ginseng and its uses. Anne's advice for purchasing american ginseng can save you time and money.Source:

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