Ginseng cultivation October 20th 2013
These are stratified ginseng seeds
I grow ginseng from my own seeds so I know they have good germination quality .
In the early days I purchsed seeds from many differerent countries and found to my dismay that most of the sellers I delt with sold dead seeds please be aware of this .
Below are basic care and planting instructions for growing ginseng seeds and roots .The seeds on the left into their second year and need planting out
Do not let the seeds dry out
Do not let the seeds freeze
While in the refrigerator examine seeds regularly to
prevent the spread of moulds
Plant seeds 30mm deep this is the most efficient depth
Also keep a close eye on any signs of germination like the seeds on the left that have sprouted while still in the polybag at the bottom of the fridge
When the seeds have sprouted and forming good leaves make sure the compost is kept moist
The picture shows the results of letting the compost dry out .I only watered half the plant the compost dried out on the half I missed It killed all the seedlings on the left of the pot .Thats how delicate the seeds can be .Keep compost moist never wet .
I have visited ginseng websites read books and looked at hundreds of vids .The more I do it the more confused I get .The ideas about growing ginseng are many and mostly different often in direct oposition to each other
Ginseng soil mixes
I wanted to show you some soil experiments I have been doing the compost on the left is a 50 50 mix of john innes soil and peat .The one on the right is a much more open mix with larger pieces of straw sticks and other pieces of material .See how it has dried out much quicker than the compost on the left .This year I had a very poor showing of seedlings many rotted in the ground .The compost on the right fared a great deal better.
Having said that many American growers have had a
catastrophic year some have only produced enough seeds to break even
Planting roots in the woods
In the picture on the left is a lovely old ginseng root ready for planting .It is about eight years old .You can tell by the notches on the neck of the root
Roots can be planted from september until the ground freezes
Plant in a shaded area 70 to 80 % shade well drained soil in hardwood forest conditions If you can find a north facing slope mores the better
Plant the ginseng root approximately 75mm below the surface
Planting roots under artificial shade
Plant in raised beds in well drained soil
Raised beds should face east to west with wooden laths or non porous material shading out 80% of direct sunlight
Ginseng is found only in the Northern Hemisphere, in North America and in eastern Asia (mostly Korea, northeast China, Bhutan, and eastern Siberia), typically in cooler climates. Panax vietnamensis, discovered in Vietnam, is the southernmost ginseng known. This article focuses on the series Panax ginsengs, which are the adaptogenic herbs, principally Panax ginseng and P. quinquefolius. Ginseng is characterized by the presence of ginsenosides.
Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is in the same family, but not genus, as true ginseng. Like ginseng, it is considered to be an adaptogenic herb. The active compounds in Siberian ginseng are eleutherosides, not ginsenosides. Instead of a fleshy root, Siberian
The English word ginseng derives from the Chinese term rénshēn (simplified: 人参; traditional: 人蔘). Rén means "Person" and shēn means "plant root"; this refers to the root's characteristic forked shape, which resembles the legs of a person. The English pronunciation derives from a southern Chinese reading, similar to Cantonese yun sum (Jyutping: jan4sam1) and the Hokkien pronunciation "jîn-sim".
The botanical/genus name Panax means "all-heal" in Greek, sharing the same origin as "panacea", and was applied to this genus because Linnaeus was aware of its wide use in Chinese medicine as a muscle relaxant.
Besides P. ginseng, many other plants are also known as or mistaken for the ginseng root. The most commonly known examples are xiyangshen, also known as American ginseng 西洋参 (P. quinquefolius), Japanese ginseng 东洋参 (P. japonicus), crown prince ginseng 太子參 (Pseudostellaria heterophylla), and Siberian ginseng 刺五加 (Eleutherococcus senticosus). Although all have the name ginseng, each plant has distinctively different functions. However, true ginseng plants belong only to the Panax genus.[[PASTING TABLES IS NOT SUPPORTED]]
Ginseng is called Gunasingi in Tamil.
In 2010, nearly all of the world's 80,000 tons of ginseng in international commerce was produced in four countries: South Korea, China, Canada, and the United States. The product was marketed in over 35 countries. Sales exceeded $2.1 billion, of which half came from South Korea. Historically, Korea has been the largest provider, and China the largest consumer. Control over the ginseng fields was an issue in the 16th century.
The root is most often available in dried form, either whole or sliced. Ginseng leaf, although not as highly prized, is sometimes also used; as with the root, it is most often available in dried form. Folk medicine attributes various benefits to oral use of American ginseng and Asian ginseng (P. ginseng) roots, including roles as an aphrodisiac, stimulant, type II diabetes treatment, or cure for sexual dysfunction in men.
Ginseng may be included in small doses in energy drinks or tisanes, such as ginseng coffee. It may be found in hair tonics and cosmetic preparations, as well, but those uses have not been shown to be clinically effective.
Ginsenosides, unique compounds of the Panax species, are under basic and clinical research to investigate their potential for use in medicine.
Much research has been done on Ginseng with varying results. A study showed taking Siberian Ginseng daily can increase the number of white blood cells including activity of the T cells as well as the cytotoxic T cells and natural killer cells that eliminate invading cells and those that have been virally infected. A double blind-study with 93 volunteers with herpes simplex virus 2 (which can lead to genital herpes) found that there was a reduction (of 50%) in the number of outbreaks. Those that did occur were less severe and did not last as long.
Ginseng is known to contain phytoestrogens.
A common side effect of P. ginseng may be insomnia, but this effect is disputed. Other side effects can include nausea, diarrhea, headaches, nose bleeds, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, and breast pain. Ginseng may also lead to induction of mania in depressed patients who mix it with antidepressants.
The common adaptogen ginsengs (P. ginseng and P. quinquefolia) are generally considered to be relatively safe even in large amounts. One of the most common and characteristic symptoms of acute overdose of Panax ginseng is bleeding. Symptoms of mild overdose may include dry mouth and lips, excitation, fidgeting, irritability, tremor, palpitations, blurred vision, headache, insomnia, increased body temperature, increased blood pressure, edema, decreased appetite, dizziness, itching, eczema, early morning diarrhea, bleeding, and fatigue.
Symptoms of gross overdose with Panax ginseng may include nausea, vomiting, irritability, restlessness, urinary and bowel incontinence, fever, increased blood pressure, increased respiration, decreased sensitivity and reaction to light, decreased heart rate, cyanotic (blue) facial complexion, red facial complexion, seizures, convulsions, and delirium.
Patients experiencing any of the above symptoms are advised to discontinue the herbs and seek any necessary symptomatic treatment.
Asian ginseng (root)
Panax ginseng is available commercially in four forms: fresh, red, white and sun ginsengs. Wild ginseng is used where available.
Red ginseng (Hangul: 홍삼; hanja: 紅蔘; RR: hong-sam; traditional Chinese: 紅蔘; simplified Chinese: 红参; pinyin: hóng shēn), P. ginseng, has been peeled, heated through steaming at standard boiling temperatures of 100 °C (212 °F), and then dried or sun-dried. It is frequently marinated in an herbal brew which results in the root becoming extremely brittle. It is more common as herbal medicine than white ginseng. This version of ginseng is traditionally associated with stimulating sexual function and increasing energy. Red ginseng is always produced from cultivated roots, generally from Korea.
A study of ginseng's effects on rats found that while both white ginseng and red ginseng appear to reduce the incidence of cancer, the effects appear to be greater with red ginseng.
Another study showed potentially beneficial effects of a combination of Korean red ginseng and highly active antiretroviral therapy in HIV-1-infected patients.
Fresh ginseng is the raw product. Its use is limited by availability.
White ginseng, native to America, is fresh ginseng which has been dried without being heated. It is peeled and dried to reduce the water content to 12% or less. White ginseng air-dried in the sun may contain less of the therapeutic constituents. It is thought by some that enzymes contained in the root break down these constituents in the process of drying. Drying in the sun bleaches the root to a yellowish-white color.
Sun ginseng is created from a heat processing method which increases ginsenoside components such as ginsenoside-[Rg.sub.3], -[Rk.sub.1] and -[Rg.sub.5] by steaming white ginseng at a higher temperature than red ginseng. The herb is steamed for three hours at 120 °C (248 °F). Sun ginseng has increased nitric oxide, superoxide, hydroxyl radical and peroxynitrite scavenging activities compared with conventionally processed red or white versions. The increased steaming temperature produces an optimal amount of biological activity due to its ability to amplify specific ginsenosides.
Wild ginseng grows naturally and is harvested from wherever it is found. It is relatively rare, and even increasingly endangered, due in large part to high demand for the product in recent years, which has led to the wild plants being sought out and harvested faster than new ones can grow (it requires years for a root to reach maturity). Wild ginseng can be either Asian or American, and can be processed to be red ginseng.
Woods-grown American ginseng programs in Vermont, Maine, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia and Kentucky, and United Plant Savers have been encouraging the planting of ginseng both to restore natural habitats and to remove pressure from any remaining wild ginseng, and they offer both advice and sources of rootlets. Woods-grown plants have a value comparable to wild-grown ginseng of similar age.
Partially germinated ginseng seeds harvested the previous Fall can be planted from early Spring until late Fall, and will sprout the following Spring. If planted in a wild setting and left to their own devices, they will develop into mature plants which cannot be distinguished from native wild plants. Both Asian and American partially germinated ginseng seeds can be bought from May through December on various eBay sales. Some seed sales come with planting and growing instructions.
P. quinquefolius American ginseng (root)
According to traditional Chinese medicine, American ginseng promotes yin energy, cleans excess yang and calms the body. The reason it has been claimed that American ginseng promotes yin (shadow, cold, negative, female) while Asian ginseng promotes yang (sunshine, hot, positive, male) is that, according to traditional Chinese medicine, things living in cold places or northern side of mountains or southern side of rivers are strong in yang and vice versa, so the two are balanced. Chinese/Korean ginseng grows in Manchuria and Korea, the coldest area known to many Koreans in ancient times. Thus, ginseng from there is supposed to be very yang.
Originally, American ginseng was imported into China via subtropical Guangzhou, the seaport next to Hong Kong, so Chinese doctors believed American ginseng must be good for yang, because it came from a hot area. They did not know, however, that American ginseng can only grow in temperate regions. Nonetheless, the root is legitimately classified as more yin because it generates fluids.
. P. quinquefolius is now also grown in northern China.
The aromatic root resembles a small parsnip that forks as it matures. The plant grows 6 to 18 in tall, usually bearing three leaves, each with three to five leaflets two to five inches long.
Other plants sometimes called ginseng
These mostly "adaptogenic" plants are sometimes referred to as ginsengs, but they are either from a different family or genus. Only jiaogulan actually contains compounds closely related to ginsenosides, although ginsenosides alone do not determine the effectiveness of ginseng. Since each of these plants has different uses, one should research their properties before using.
Codonopsis pilosula (poor man's ginseng)
Schisandra chinensis (five-flavoured berry)
Gynostemma pentaphyllum (southern ginseng, jiaogulan)
Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian ginseng)
Pseudostellaria heterophylla (prince ginseng)
Withania somnifera (Indian ginseng, ashwagandha)
Pfaffia paniculata (Brazilian ginseng, suma)
Lepidium meyenii (Peruvian ginseng, maca)
Oplopanax horridus (Alaskan ginseng)
Other plants which are referred to as ginsengs may not be adaptogens (although notoginseng is in the genus Panax):
Angelica sinensis (female ginseng, dong quai)
Panax notoginseng (known as san qi, tian qi or tien chi; hemost