It would seem that everyone knows the fact that the medicinal raw material of ginseng is its root, but modern science has proven that the aerial part of the plant is no less useful and important. That is why, for a long time, its stems, leaves, and even flowers and seeds have been used in folk medicine in China, Korea and the Far East.
The earliest mention of this amazing plant is found in medical manuscripts of the Celestial Empire dating back to the 1st century AD. The book is called “Shen Nong Ben Xiao Jing”, which in translation means “The Classical Provisions on Medicinal Substances of the Divine Farmer”.
In China, ginseng is called “man-root”, believing that its value depends on the similarity with a human figure: the stronger the similarity, the greater the benefit. In the East, they believe that the healing properties of a plant in each of its parts are different. The middle part of the root has a stimulating effect, and the processes of the root have a depressing effect. In autumn and winter, the effectiveness of herbal treatment increases. It is not so difficult to find it in the virgin broadleaf-coniferous forests.
In the wild, ginseng grows and develops very slowly, its age limit reaches 100 years or more. Despite the fact that the plant is listed in the Red Book, it is becoming less and less common. In Europe, this healing herb was first known, oddly enough, only at the end of the 17th century, after the ambassadors of the King of Siam presented its root as a gift to Louis XIV. The missionary Zhartu, who preached in China, in 1709 told the whole world about this amazing plant, describing it in detail and supplementing the reference book with illustrations.
It is known that the Canadian missionary Joseph Francois Lafitte once discovered in America a North American variety of ginseng, the so-called American ginseng. At the beginning of the 18th century, the French launched a wide trade in this root of life. In order to better supply their markets with this unique plant, the French were forced to move south, into the possession of the American Indians of the Iroquois, and they just concluded a peace treaty with the British.
This was the reason for the well-known century-old conflict between the French and the British of North America. At the moment, the largest exporter of the roots of this herb is Korea – the first country in the world to establish its mass cultivation. True, ginseng is very depleting of the soil, so its repeated planting can be done only after 10 years. The plant loves the shade very much, the light should be no more than 20-30%. There are four types of ginseng: heavenly, earthly, good, cut.