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OTHER ITA SITES:
5000 Years Of Chinese Ginseng
Chinese herbs and Chinese medicines have been used for thousands of years to help people feel better, more vital and live longer. Many of them have also been used for treating various illness and restoring the normal body functions for hundreds of years, and have proved their effectiveness. One of the most appealing qualities of Chinese herbs therapy is the low risk of adverse reaction or side effects, especially when compared to pharmaceutical drugs.
Ginseng has been a major medicinal herb in Asia for over 5,000 years, and demand for it is likely to remain strong, as long as growers continue to produce high quality roots. Ginseng is the same herb that traditional ginseng hunters have harvested from the wild for generations in Appalachia. Although slight fluctuations in the export market can occur, as with any product, high quality wild ginseng has been selling for hundreds of dollars per pound in recent years, and experts expect it to sell for a high price for years to come.
Connections to the Past, 'Sang hunters have gathered wild ginseng roots and carefully dried them for centuries in the Appalachians. In some areas, it was probably ginseng - not traditional agricultural crops like corn or tobacco that were the first plants to be traded by early pioneers.
Ginseng is the dried root of one of several species of the Araliaceae family of herbs. The most commonly used type is Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng C.A., Meyer), often sold as Panax, Chinese, or Korean ginseng.
Ginseng was gathered directly from the wild like furs and other backwoods commodities. Over the years, ginseng harvest increased and ginseng became known as a reliable source of cash when cash was not otherwise available in some mountain locales. None of this could have happened without the lucrative Asian market for ginseng, which drives the American market. Yet few people are aware of the reasons why ginseng is so highly prized in Asia.
The focus of attention is on two different species of ginseng, one in Asia (mostly in China and Korea), called Panax Ginseng, and its North American counterpart, called Panax Quinquefolium or American Ginseng. In the wild, the two species closely resemble one another, having glistening red berries, peculiar five pointed leaflets, and gnarled roots that are often shaped like a tiny person.
The only major difference between the Asian and American species is a slightly different chemical composition, which is said to give American ginseng a slightly more soothing effect than Asian ginseng. Both species of ginseng are said to produce an overall stimulating effect when consumed, however and both are said to contain "adaptogens," believed to help the body develop all-around resistance to stress and disease. Both species are found in deep forests and are difficult to locate.
The wild roots of both bring immensely high prices, especially in the Chinese marketplace.
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Travel Part B