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Tag: pharmacopoeia

Ginseng and Its History

by on Jan.18, 2011, under History Facts

Asian ginseng is a perennial herb with a taproot reminiscent of the human form. It grows in northern China, Korea, and Russia, and a close relative  is cultivated in the United States. Because ginseng must be grown for 3 years before it is harvested, it commands a high price, with top-quality roots easily selling for more than $8,000. Dried, unprocessed ginseng root is called white ginseng, whereas a steamed, heat-dried root is called red ginseng. Each is believed to have its own characteristic effects.

Panax ginseng has long been a major herb in the Chinese herbal pharmacopoeia. As with all Chinese herbs, its traditional indications are embedded in the framework of the Chinese medical system, in which ginseng is said to “replenish the original, tonify the lungs, strengthen the spleen, tonify the stomach, benefit yin, generate fluids, benefit Heart, and calm the spirit.” None of these effects is considered unique to ginseng, and for reasons of cost, traditional Chinese herbalists frequently substitute the inexpensive herb pilosulae in ginseng formulas, believing that it offers essentially identical benefits.

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