How to Purchase Ginseng
The plant which is called by the Chinese "Ren Shen" and means "man root" has traditionally been known as a cure for all human illnesses. Since the time Ginseng was first discovered and used by man it still remains one of the world's highly demanded herbs.
If you want to purchase ginseng, you may be confused by a variety of choices available. So let's first look into the essentials to finally figure out what genuine ginseng is and how to make a sound purchasing decision. By the way, you can buy ginseng at eBay and save on your purchase with eBay discount.
Panax Ginseng (means "Cure-all" in Greek) is the plant that first grew in China and Korea, although sometimes only Korean Ginseng is referred to Panax Ginseng, or Panax Ginseng C.A Meyer.
Panax Quinqufolia is native to North America. This species was first discovered and cultivated in Montreal and Ontario, in the Great Lakes Area. By the way, this area is believed to be ideal for growing American Ginseng and plants that were cultivated there are considered the best in the country.
Nonoginseng or Tienqui Root has nothing to do with a Panax Ginseng that originated in China and Korea and is not considered to be Ginseng at all.
Panax Ginseng has become so famous for its astonishing health properties that other herbs not related to Ginseng have also been called "ginseng". These are: Maca ( lepedium or Peruvian Ginseng), Eulethero- ( Siberian Ginseng) Dang Kuei ( Women's Ginseng) and Ashwaganda ( Indian Ginseng).
White versus Red Ginseng
Some sellers may cheat the customers by saying that they are selling Red Ginseng while they actually sell White Ginseng. So what is the difference between White Ginseng and Red Ginseng? White Ginseng is fresh non-steamed ginseng while Red one has dark reddish-brown color, often with a golden skin covering that indicate age. Red Ginseng is considered more valuable than White Ginseng which lacks some health and healing powers.
White Ginseng is always cheaper and worse in quality than Red Ginseng. In fact, one dry, steamed genuine Red Korean Ginseng Root costs 5 times more than a White Ginseng Root. This is because Red Korean Ginseng is richer in saponins and contains 10 more ginsenosides.
What makes Korean Red Panax Ginseng so unique and powerful is the special steaming process due to which the healing properties of Ginseng enhance even more. Only steamed Red Panax Ginseng has always been used in Asia.
How to Prepare Red Ginseng
Traditionally people steam Ginseng roots using special herbs. Then the roots must be sun-dried. The steamed Red Panax Ginseng Roots are considered the best. Numerous research has proved that steaming has a positive impact on the biochemical composition of the roots. About 3 hours of steaming at 120 degrees Celsius (248 Fahrenheit) not only stops the breakdown of active ingredients but also substantially increases its antioxidant qualities. High temperature amplifies ginsenosides which are known to enhance the valuable qualities of the root and generates others which dried root lack.
Even though ginseng produces an "energizing" effect it never causes addiction or insomnia.
The root of ginseng has a slightly sweet taste. Steamed roots are soft, so they are nice to eat and are digested easily. Red Panax Ginseng is known to regulate the digestion and restore balance in the body's metabolic and physiologic functions. In other words, Red Panax Ginseng will help improve a poor appetite and decrease an excessive one.
The Benefits of Buying Ginseng Whole
For centuries ginseng has been used in its natural form rather than as standardized extracts. The best is ginseng sold as roots and slices. Tests conducted by health food trade journal "Whole Foods " revealed that a quarter of packaged processed ginseng supplements contained no ginseng at all while 60% of them had too little of the plant to produce any effect.
As growing ginseng is costly and time consuming some manufacturers substitute real ginseng by Mandragora officinarum (a poisonous plant), hyoscine bromide, phenylbutazone (a carcinogen), aminopyrine and other substances in their packaged ginseng products. Even if you are lucky to get genuine ginseng from a manufacturer the potency of such supplement is very weak as in their efforts to "standardize" ginseng the manufacturers extract only some of the many ginsenosides contained in the ginseng roots, changing the natural ratio and spectrum of ginsenosides extracted in a natural way. Only purchasing ginseng in root form you can enjoy the full spectrum of ginseng benefits. (read Benefits of Ginseng)
How to Purchase Ginseng
It typically takes minimum 6 years to growing ginseng. The plant requires special organic soil and climate conditions to grow well. The root quality is characterized by age, origin, size, the crown, amount of rootlets or nodes and skin appearance.
The Use of Ginseng
"Panax" is a Greek word which means "cure- all". The name of the plant perfectly characterizes it as a remedy for virtually every illness. It is a non-toxic herb with powerful anti-aging properties. It is widely used to treat practically all chronic illness as well as cancer, diabetes, anemia, effects of radiation, hormonal imbalances, depression, insomnia, and many others.
Ginseng is known to have a positive impact on the nervous system. It also lowers cholesterol, strengthens the memory, restores and enhances sexual functions, increases life expectancy, promotes stamina, improves lipid levels and resistance to various diseases. Ginseng is an antioxidant that enhances immune system and has anti-cancer properties.
In Chinese medicine (read Patented Chinese Medicines) ginseng has been highly regarded as a traditional 'Qi ' tonic (Qi means energy or life force). Long-term use of ginseng benefits the overall physical and spiritual condition of a person and prolongs lifespan.