Ginseng Facts

Ginseng Facts
Ginseng is flowering plant that belongs to the ginseng family. There are 11 species of ginseng that originate from eastern Asia and North America. Ginseng grows on the slightly acidic soil, in the shadow of tall trees (it prefers moist forests). Ginseng is part of traditional Chinese medicine at least 5.000 years. Asian and American ginseng are two best known and most commonly cultivated types of ginseng today. More than 80.000 tons of ginseng are harvested each year for the manufacture of herbal remedies that are available around the world. China, Korea, Canada and USA are the greatest manufacturers of ginseng in the world. Number of American ginseng in the wild is drastically reduced due to uncontrolled harvest of this plant.
Interesting Ginseng Facts:
Ginseng has smooth, erect stem that can reach 1 to 2 feet in height.
Ginseng develops 3 large, palmate leaves composed of 4 to 5 (occasionally 3 to 7) oblong or lance-shaped leaflets with toothed edges.
Ginseng produces yellow-green flowers arranged in umbels (umbrella-shaped inflorescence). Flowers grow from the axils of leaves and contain both types of reproductive organs (perfect flowers).
Ginseng blooms from June to July. Flowers are fragrant and they attract bees and syrphid flies, which are responsible for the pollination of this plant.
Ginseng starts to produce flowers and fruit four years after planting.
Fruit of ginseng is red berry filled with two seed. Fruit ripens during the autumn.
Ginseng propagates via seed and division of the root and rhizome.
Birds eat berries and facilitate dispersal of ginseng (seed) in the wild.
People used fresh root of ginseng (they chewed the root) to cool themselves during warm summer months in the past.
Scientific name of ginseng is Panax. It originates from Greek words "pan" which means "all" and "akos" which means "cure". Name refers to the application of ginseng in treatment of various disorders.
Ginseng has spindle-shaped, slender root which resembles the human body. Ginseng is known as "len seng" in Mandarin, which means "root of man", because of the unusual morphology of the root.
Root of ginseng is used to improve general health, to relieve stress, increase libido and in treatment of hypertension, common cold, diabetes and cancer. Ginseng is often mixed with other plants and consumed in the form of tonic, tea, pills and tablets.
Native Americans used American ginseng in treatment of fevers, gastrointestinal disorders, colic, dysentery and to relieve nausea, vomiting and headache. Certain North American tribes used ginseng for the preparation of love potions.
Ginseng is very popular and frequently used among athletes because of its ability to accelerate recovery of muscles after intense training, increase oxygen uptake in muscles and improve performances.
Ginseng is perennial which means that it can survive more than 2 years in the wild.

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