Panax Ginseng

Panax Ginseng

The Panax Ginseng C.A. Meyer, is one of 11 species of slow growing perennial plants with fleshy roots, belonging to the Araliaceae family, commonly known as ginseng. Panax Ginseng is Korean (or Asian) Ginseng.

Systematic –
The Panax Ginseng systematically belongs to the Eukaryota Domain, the Kingdom Plantae, the Magnoliophyta Division, the Magnoliopsida Class, the Asteridae Subclass, the Apiales Order, the Araliaceae Family, the Aralioidae Subfamily and then the Genera Panax and the Ginseng Species.

Etymology –
The Panax epithet is a term derived from Latin (panax, panacis) which in turn originates from the Greek παν ἀκέια, pan (all) akèia (cure, remedy), from which also comes the Latin and Italian words panacea, panaceae remedy all ills ). The term ginseng originates specifically Chinese 人蔘 / 人参, (pinyin: rénshēn), that is man’s plant or plant for man.

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
This plant grows in the northern hemisphere of East Asia (especially Korea, North China and Eastern Siberia) in North America, typically in colder climates. Depending on the area where it grows, the various species of this plant grow predominantly. Ginseng habitat is a cool climate with a temperate climate, with broadleaved forests and annual rainfall of between 50 and 100 cm. In fact, the largest ginseng crops are found in the northwestern, central and northeast regions of the USA, southern Canada and the mountainous regions of southern USA.

Description –
Ginseng grows wild in groups, propagating from seeds fallen from the mother plant. If this plant grows naturally, the seed has a very long germination time. Sprouts early in the spring, after being left underground for 18 to 21 months. Growth times are also long: in the first year, the sprout remains only 5 centimeters from the ground and only brings three small oval and dotted leaves. In autumn the stem and leaves fall, leaving a sort of scar on the plant’s rhizome.
Ginseng rhizoma is a sort of underground stem, which in ginseng is called “neck”. To determine the age of the plant, just count the number of scars on the root neck.
The root of ginseng is fleshy and fusiform; it has straw yellow color, with a characteristic bitter taste; this root is characterized by having various forms that can be identified from time to time with a dragon, a child or a man; the latter is considered the most prized.
It should be noted that the root of panax ginseng is edible, such as carrots or radishes.
Among the Ginseng species the most precious species is Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer (jen-Sheng), from China.
Other species, such as Korean Panax Ginseng or Panax pseudoginseng Wall, are known to them. (seven leaves), which can be found in Nepal, Himalayas and Japan.
Other existing species are Panax bipinnatifidus, Thailand and Burma, and Panax Americano quinquefolium in America.

Cultivation –
Before proceeding with this examination, it is immediately clear that cultivating ginseng takes time and patience, as well as economic availability and is therefore a “private” culture for those who really have passion and patience for the “fruits” of the earth. Patience, however, leads in the end to good cheating.
Cultivation generally takes 7 years before the root reaches full ripeness, but the end result will be a very valuable product.
The method to use is the natural one that allows to produce high quality ginseng, reducing the risk of disease and mold.
High quality ginseng roots can also be worth EUR 100 per kilo, so growers prefer to follow the method described and collect so large quantities.
In addition to having to verify at least the climatic conditions of the place where you want to cultivate ginseng, you must also know whether local legislation allows its cultivation free or requires permits.
To cultivate ginseng: Avoid places where there are shrubs, bogs and dense undergrowth to prevent the most nutrients from taking the soil out; it is preferable to have a place where there are old trees from the large branches that can thus create the natural shade that serves for ginseng.
The site must have a suitable soil to drain the water quickly. However, ginseng needs moist soil to grow.
It is very rare to find wild ginseng seeds, so it is best to order them in the summer for autumn, stratified (beware of who sells them at an affordable price) then put them in a plastic bag in the fridge, spraying them once a week with a little water to dampen them.
If some should sprout, plant them immediately, otherwise, at the time of sowing, a mold prevention operation must be done, soaked in 9 parts water and a bleach for 10 minutes, remove those that float, rinse and plant.
Usually, ginseng sowing takes place in autumn, who sells them first has low quality seeds: even if the plants are present for 7 years, it is best to plant them every year for new ones. The soil must be full of leaves but not ice-cold, so that the leaves are made from mulching and that the seeds are used to the cold.
The distance between the recommended ginseng seeds is 20 cm from each other, to prevent the spread of any mold or disease. Also be sure to cover the area with mulch or foliage.
The natural of the natural method is that it does not require anything more than removing the weeds, eliminating or transplanting the plants too close to each other and harvesting the red berries to obtain the ginseng seeds.
The root of ginseng will grow every year without any problems. Beware of pests that eat the plant, make sure you have a deterrent against thieves, moles and deer, who also eat the root (for example a guard dog to put into the area or ultrasonic marching).
After the seventh year you can pick up the roots of ginseng. They can safely continue to grow, but do not let them get over 10 years.
To pick up ginseng you have to be very careful, take the roots out of the ground, dip them into a bucket of cold water to remove the ground and place them in a wooden tray to give a quick rinsing with the tap of the tap or the rubber tube to irrigate. Let them dry in a ventilated environment of 21 to 32 degrees, turning them once a day. The ginseng roots are ready when they break. It is better to take a sample ginseng root and make the experiment, otherwise it will ruin the crop.

Uses and Traditions –
Its use dates back thousands of years ago and its effectiveness is attested by numerous scientific studies, although there are some counter-research. However, there are many of its virtues: from increasing physical strength and recovery capabilities, for example, following sports activities, to improving circulation, through increased memory and resistance to negative environmental factors. Overall, it reduces stress and neurosis, improves adaptation to daily life stimuli, boosts physical and mental performance, strengthens immune defenses, and lowers the risk of contracting several diseases.
Ginseng, known for its proprietary properties or as a coffee substitute, actually gives many other benefits that are known to Chinese Traditional Medicine since ancient times. Let’s see them in detail. Ginseng is perhaps the best known and used adaptogen. With the word adaptogen, it is defined as the category of elements that can bring the organism to an ideal state, helping it to find balance in psycho-physical stress situations. The used part of the plant is the root of ginseng. It can be used fresh or dried, powdered or amalgamated to create remedies and for culinary use. From the root is extracted the powder or extract of ginseng. The most important active ingredients in the root are phytochemical compounds called “ginsenosides”. It also contains saponins, essential oils, polysaccharides, phytosterols, B vitamins and minerals. The synergy of these components gives ginseng properties suitable for acting on physiological functions, normalizing them according to the needs of the organism. The intake of this plant helps eliminate physical and mental fatigue, increasing energy levels and memory, reducing the effects of age and stress, acts as an immunostimulant and improves performance in the male sexual sphere by acting on erectile dysfunctions. Let’s look at the properties of ginseng now in detail.
Chronic Fatigue: Commonly called asthenia can be fought with the use of the Ginseng extract that is able to increase the body’s resistance to psychophysical stress by favoring adaptation to external and internal variations that solicit it, thus improving vigilance , the state of general well-being and physical endurance, helping in the production of adrenaline.
Hypoglycemic Properties: In the case of diabetes, Ginseng has proved to be a non-indifferent aid, it works by reducing the blood glucose concentration by increasing the production of insulin. This benefit of ginseng makes it a useful remedy as hypoglycaemic.
Cholesterol-lowering properties of ginseng root: Ginseng’s use helps reduce fat in the blood and fluidize it. Circulation is so good by acting as a cholesterol-lowering agent.
Immunostimulant property: According to some studies, Red Ginseng acts by helping produce some immune system cells called T lymphocytes that act by fighting against colds and flu. Being immunostimulant, it is advisable to take red ginseng before the cold season to begin increasing immune defenses.
Antioxidant Properties: Its action reduces the formation of free radicals, due to skin aging. Acting as an antioxidant limits cell damage due to premature aging, this is why ginseng extract is often used to create creams for the face and body.
The main uses of Ginseng are therefore against asthenia; against chronic fatigue syndrome it is recommended to use in the form of a dry extract to take 2 or 4 tablets a day, never in the evening. However, keep the dosage indicated on the package, which varies depending on the concentration in mg per tablet. To strengthen the defenses of the organism in the presence of debilitating states or to reinforce it before winter, it is helpful to intake for a consecutive month of dry extract or soft red ginseng extract. Do not exceed the month of administration and discontinue in the event of the side effects indicated. Ask your doctor for possible medication intake. To strengthen the hair; in this case you use the ginseng powder added to a neutral shampoo. It nourishes and strengthens the hair, thanks to its benefits on the circulatory and cellular system.
Ginseng drink helps keep awake and stimulate the brain so it is often consumed by students preparing for school examinations.
Use for intense sports activities that require a high level of energy; you can find ready-made beverages on the market, or you can add 30 to 60 drops of mother’s tincture in half a liter of water to sip before exercise. In the case of physical activity, which is followed by a physician, it is necessary to ask for its opinion before administration.
In the case of a slimming diet for acting on sugars and fats, you can take 2 tablets at breakfast and 2 tablets after lunch.
Ginseng administration regardless of its shape is to be avoided in the evening time as it can cause insomnia unless it is a night work that can require its use to stay awake and have a high level of concentration. It is not advisable to use it in case of allergies to the Araliacee family, in case of nervousness, pregnancy, in nursing children, in the presence of psychic illness or hypersensitivity to one or more components. If you are taking medicines you should ask your doctor for advice before using it. Among the side effects caused by ginseng exists the form of “ginseng abuse syndrome” which manifests itself with tachycardia, insomnia, tremors, hypertension, headache, irritability. These side effects occur in case of high dosage and in combination with neurostimulants (coffee, alcohol, sinphrin, etc.).
Ultimately ginseng is a nootropic or adaptogenic plant that promotes a behavioral attitude that is more responsive to reactivity and activity, resulting in a feeling of subjective well-being. This condition of activity and well-being would, in turn, produce an incentive for the organic activities involved in the circulatory, muscular and therefore also immune system and, with full reflection, the same nervous system.
It is important to consider, especially in traditional Chinese medicine, the strong symbolic connotation that usually takes place, often as a placebo, for the patient’s well-being considered individually. (In summary: it is important that “that” patient has a feeling of increased well being regardless of pharmacological activity). In such an interpretation, ginseng takes disproportionate importance for factors that are unrelated to the true pharmacological range, as is commonly scientifically understood.
By simple example, the ginseng plant is cultivated to produce roots of “human form”, or organs, that is, with ramifications suggesting the shape of the limbs, the head, the sexual attributes of the two sexes, etc .; farmers who are able to better reproduce these shapes are able to come to the fullest price. Such forms would in fact be able to carry out the healing activity for the “represented” parts, according to the intentions of the patient.
If this activity is considered as “medical” in the sense of improving the patient’s perceived positive sensation, it is not, however, from a pharmacological point of view, as is normally understood.
The used parts of Ginseng are the root harvested during the fall. The roots, which can live up to 100 years, are harvested after the sixth year of life, as they seem to contain a large number of active components.

Preparation Method –
Ginseng also applies in the kitchen. Culinary use sees the whole ginseng root used to be grated or in the powder version, to be added boiled in the chicken board, put into the liqueur and aged for a few months will then have a flavor similar to that of licorice, added to sweets, to hot chocolate or to create a great energizer.
Ginseng drinks, whether ginseng powder or infused, are now well-known for the many beneficial properties of ginseng and its stimulating effects on the body’s vitality, on the concentration and on the physical and mental balance of those who take it.
The ginseng root is present on the market in various forms: powdered as ginseng soluble, in the form of tablets or capsules or in infusion bags.
Ginseng is easy to preserve: Ginseng spraying eliminates any particle of water inside it, extending considerably the retention times of the precious root. Baking preserves, moreover, guarantee a hermetic environment and therefore extremely protected against powdered ginseng, thus eliminating the risk of aggression by external agents. For a product that maintains all of its aroma, we recommend that you opt for ginseng sachets in a protected atmosphere, a solution that preserves the unmistakable fragrance of ginseng and its extraordinary properties.
Sputtering ginseng clearly reduces the volume it occupies. The result is a very thin, extremely lightweight ginseng sachet, which occupies an almost null space. It will therefore be very easy to carry many bags where you want them, or to store them in a simple and orderly manner in the pantry of your own kitchen or office, for the pleasure of a ginseng drink always at your fingertips.
Ginseng can be taken whenever you want: long storage and ease of transport guarantee a ginseng always available. Whether you are on a trip or whether you are working with your colleagues or at home with your friends or relatives, the ginseng drink is ready to wait for you to be sampled with simplicity and comfort.
Finally, do not underestimate that ginseng powder is very easy to prepare. A ginseng coffee bag is ready right away: just pour it into a cup of hot water and mix, and here’s the beneficial drink just waiting to be enjoyed.

Guido Bissanti

Sources
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– Treben M., 2000. The Health of the Lord’s Pharmacy, Tips and Experiences with Medicinal Herbs, Ennsthaler Publisher
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora d’Italia, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (eds.), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.

Caution: Pharmaceutical applications and surgical uses are indicated for information purposes only; they are not prescription-related in any way; Therefore, no liability is accepted for their use for any aesthetic or food purpose.




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