Today I want to talk about the national pride of Koreans, about the most legendary and healing of all medicinal plants – ginseng.
Rhizome ginseng – famous "root of life" — Used for medical purposes from time immemorial. The first of his healing force was opened by the Chinese, and the oldest mention of Ginseng in the works of Chinese doctors refers to the frontier of our era. It is curious that in the most ancient of the Chinese medical treatments preserved to this day, 113 recipes of various drugs are contained, and ginseng is part of 21 of them. Already in those long-standing times, ginseng was collected mainly in the Packtusan Mountains, which are located at the current border between China and Korea. Therefore, it is not surprising that Koreans also rapidly assessed as the healing force of this plant and it, so to speak "Export potential". Already in the middle of the first millennium Korea regularly sent ginseng roots to China as gifts to the court of Chinese emperors.
By the way, in reality, the ginseng is called three related and similar, but different plants. All of them have healing properties, although in varying degrees. Classic ginseng that grows in Korea, Manchuria and the Russian Far East – this is the so-called ginseng Meyer. Besides him there is still ginseng Linna, which grows in North America, and ginseng of Cheng, who is found in some areas of Central China. These three plants are named (I repeat, similar, but different) in honor of those scientists who first amounted to their scientific description.
There are two varieties of Korean ginseng (so we will be further called ginseng Meyer) – the so-called "Red" and "White" ginseng. "Red" It is considered better. The production of red ginseng in Korea is the exceptional monopoly of the state and the sale of this ginseng and drugs from it gives the Korean treasury a considerable income. Special State Corporation Tobacco and Ginseng is engaged in the production of red ginseng drugs. White ginseng can grow and recycle and private firms, it costs much cheaper, but also medicinal quality from him, as it is considered to be. However, even in this case, the production of ginseng is not given entirely to the deposit of a private owner. Ginseng is not only an important export product, but also in a certain sense of the glory of Korea, its symbol, so the state seeks to prevent the appearance of fakes. Even made by private firms from white ginseng drugs are subject to strict inspection, which is carried out by state inspectors, and on any bottle, any box with ginseng products are their stamp or a special paper ribbon-filling.
Often asked what ginseng sold in Korea – wild or plantational? Of course, plantational. Wild-growing ginseng is practically exterminated now, and it is almost impossible to find it, especially in the densely populated South Korea. If such a ginseng goes on sale, it costs it fantastically expensive, and it is also available, perhaps, only the fabulously rich Chinese billionaires, which keep the economy of the countries of Southeast Asia in their hands and for medicines of traditional medicine are ready to lay out from their bottomless pockets any money. Virtually the entire Korean ginseng – and red, and white, in our days on plantations.
Ginseng plantational cultivation began in Korea back in the XVI century. I must say that to make a ginseng of the garden plant was not so easy. It took a lot of time before it was possible to solve the most difficult task – illumination. The fact is that ginseng is a forest plant, and it does not endure direct sunlight. Therefore, ginseng plantations are a very peculiar picture – all the beds are covered with dark tissue canopies, which do not miss direct sunlight, but at the same time leave the plants enough light. Ginseng does not tolerate any mineral fertilizers, and extremely demanding of soil. After the harvest is assembled, again planting ginseng on the same field can not be – to pass at least 10 years, before you can use this section again. Nevertheless, ginseng – – a very common product in Korean agriculture, and its plantations often come across the eyes in Central Korea. Often on the Korean market you can see the peasants who bring entire buckets of fresh ginseng from their garden for sale. Ginseng roots are valued depending on their weight and age. The best of those roots that are on a mass sale – Six-year.
For many millennia, Korean (and, speaking wider, Far Eastern medicine) did not regret the forces and means to study the healing properties of plants. Traditional Korean medicine was (and remains) medicine herbal and organic. Surgery did not receive in the old days in the Far East of Special Development, and therapy was based mainly on the use of numerous medicinal herbs and acupuncture.
Millennium’s experience, continuous experiments of many generations of doctors allowed to identify the medicinal properties of many herbs and fruits. However, although traditional herbal Far Eastern medicine used thousands of plants in the literal sense, none of them could compare with ginseng in their popularity and medical efficiency. For the past two millennia, ginseng remains in the Far East "Drug Plant Number One".
In antiquity, Ginseng most often either came into the medicinal mixtures, either used in the form of a decoction or alcohol infusion. However, now in Korea has developed many drugs based on ginseng. Some of these drugs are not medications in the exact sense of the word. A good example of drugs of this kind is ginseng tea that is sold in any Korean food store. This tea is made of ginseng roots crushed into powder. It is usually sold in the form of small bags, and brewed on the same principle as soluble coffee – ginseng powder from the bag puffs in a cup and poured it with hot water. It turns out a glass of golden-brownish color, with a characteristic earthy taste of ginseng. These bags are inexpensive, the box in 50 packs will cost a dollar in three or four. However, the Koreans themselves are especially serious, this tea is not accepted, and it does not even consider it medicinal. There are, however, and truly medicinal ginseng tea. It costs ten times more expensive, but also the concentration of ginseng powder in it, respectively, where. This high-grade tea, by the way, is made exclusively from the red ginseng, the production and sale of which, as I already told, remains an exceptional monopoly of the state in Korea.
Often sold ginseng and in capsules. These capsules need to simply swallow – they are easily dissolved in the stomach. The contents of the capsule sometimes is the same ginseng powder, sometimes they may have a rather complex composition, in which, except the ginseng itself, includes exhaust from other tonic drugs of traditional medicine – deer Pants, lemongrass, wood mushrooms.
I myself personally prefer concentrated ginseng tinctures that can be bought in any Korean pharmacy. They stand from one and a half to five dollars, and make themselves a tincture of ginseng with all sorts, sometimes – very exotic – additives, type of pants or drawing of medicinal mushrooms. I personally like a vitaminized tincture of ginseng with a lemongrass. All these tinctures have a powerful toning effect, and instantly relieves fatigue, even after a sleepless night, they can bring a person for a while at all time.
I must say that I did not believe in therapeutic properties of ginseng. However, circumstances made me revise the attitude towards this plant. It happened it is 15 years ago, when my friend asked to bring her a bit of ginserals from North Korea. She also offered my mother who suffered many years from blood pressure problems, try one of them. The effect was truly wonderful, and since then, for almost 15 years, I feed my mother with these drugs regularly. I assure you: it helps a lot. Moreover, with my easy hand, ginseng consumers have become and some of my Russian friends, especially those of them, whose work is associated with large nervous loads, nervous and physical overwork.
The main action of ginseng – toning, that is, he relieves fatigue. In addition, the wonder-root helps with hypotension and, sometimes (only sometimes!) – with hypertension, stimulates the metabolism and the work of the internal secretion glands, and also strengthens the body’s immune system.