Ginseng komt vooral uit Zuid- Korea en China
Ginseng uit het noorden van China: goed van
kwaliteit en meestal niet zo duur.
Deze ginsengwortels worden verbouwd in een groot
bergachtig gebied dat grenst aan Noord-Korea. De wortels hebben 6 jaar
gegroeid en worden na de oogst gestoomd om een betere verwarmende kwaliteit
te krijgen. Hierdoor ontstaat een rode kleur. Daarna wordt er een extract
Niet alle ginseng is dezelfde. De eigenschappen
worden bepaald door de streek, klimaat en levensduur. Sommige zijn sterk
stimulerend en maar minder opbouwend en daardoor minder geschikt voor verzwakte
mensen en zieken. De ginseng uit deze streek heeft uitstekende opbouwende
kwaliteiten voor zowel de energie, het bloed als de afweer.
Een werkzame hoeveelheid ginsengextract begint
bij 500 mg per dag. De dosis kan opgevoerd worden tot 4 gram per dag. Kleinere
hoeveelheden zoals u die vindt in sommige vitaminepreparaten hebben
een verwaarloosbaar effect.
Het extract van de wortel van de Panax Ginseng
levert goede diensten bij algehele uitputting, bij chronische
ziekte, bestralingen, chemotherapie, alcoholmisbruik. Het stimuleert
de functies van long en maag en verstekt de afweer, de hormoonhuishouding
en het zenuwstelsel en levert goede dienst bij slapeloosheid, overgangsklachten,
aderverkalking, chronische maagklachten en slechte spijsvertering.
Ginseng kan beter niet tesamen met gewone thee
worden ingenomen. Het hierin aanwezige looizuur remt de opname van ginseng.
Uit het goede Amerikaanse boek over belangrijke Chinese kruiden van
Ron Teagarden " Chinese Tonic Herbs " 7e druk 1992 ISBN 0-87040-551-9 Uitvoerig
en goed onderbouwd.
GINSENG "The King of Herbs" (Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer)
Panax Ginseng is one of the most famous and valued herbs used by mankind.
It has been used by the Oriental people since the dawn of their civilization
and has a rich and extensive history. Ginseng is becoming widely known
and used in the West, and like any powerful herb, must be understood in
order to be wisely and appropriately used.
Chinese name : Renshen
Atmospheric energy : warm energy
Flavor : sweet and slightly bitter
Meridians : mainly Lung and Spleen ; but also to
some degree, the Kidney,
Heart, Liver, and the six Yang organs.
Tonic action : energy tonic
Qualities Attributed to the Root:
In the first Chinese Materia medica (actual date unknown, but written
more than two thousand years ago), Shen Nung said of ginseng: "Ginseng
is a tonic to the five viscera, quieting the animal spirits, stabilizing
the soul, preventing fear, expelling the vicious energies, brightening
the eye and improving vision, opening up the heart bfenefiting the understanding,
and if taken for some time will invigorate the body and prolong life."
Ginseng has maintained its reputation for over 2,000 years !
The root is said to replace lost Chi to the meridians and organs. It
is used to
benefit all the Ch'i so that one may live a long and happy life. As
Louise Veninga says in her excellent book The Ginseng Book: "As far as
I have been able to determine, ginseng does possess 'non-specific' restorative
qualities which strengthen the stress mechanism and, by balancing the body's
metabolic equilibrium, increases its efficiency. Those undergoing great
physical or mental exertion highly praise ginseng's effect, offering them
an alternative to 'pep' pills or caffeine .... Many who are spiritually
oriented use ginseng while fasting as a valuable aid in obtaining effective
spiritual progress. It is for the mind and spirit as well as the body."
Ginseng has been long revered not only by the populace at large, but
by spiritual seekers as well. They maintain that ginseng clears perception
so that one can understand the deep meanings of the changes which take
place. Sages say that ginseng develops the "Center" (the Earth element),
gives staying power and stamina, and benefits the three Vital Treasures:
Ching, Ch'i and Shin. Because it provides all three of the Vital Treasures,
ginseng is revered as a spiritual entity by the Taoists. Ch'an (Zen) Buddhists
have said that ginseng speeds up one's karma, and eases the path of spiritual
progress. Because ginseng enhances the power and control of the breath
and the clarity of the mind, it is invaluable to one who meditates, performs
yoga, studies a great deal or performs other like activities.
In combination with other herbs, ginseng can be either a stimulant
or a sedative, but will always be tonic. Ginseng is beneficial to both
men and women and is used commonly by both. It is a Western myth that ginseng
should only be used by men. This is absolutely incorrect. As an energy
tonic, it is excellent for women, just as it is for men. Stories about
ginseng causing moustaches to grow on women are absurd. Beautiful feminine
women take ginseng to maintain their vitality and sparkle, qualities that
only enhance a woman's beauty. Ginseng is an excellent tonic to the reproductive
systems of men and women alike.
Taoists say that ginseng has the strongest ability of any herb to absorb
the energy from the earth. It absorbs the five elemental energies, which
are then available in abundance to anyone who consumes ginseng. It becomes
a storage vessel of the three Vital Treasures.
Ginseng is capable of extending the powers of adaptability to any who
consume it. Those who use it wisely can become radiantly healthy beings,
with an adaptive freedom unsurpassed by other men and women.
Varieties and Grading:
Ginseng has been the most renowned of Chinese herbs for thousands of
years. There are numerous varieties of this herb on the market and innumerable
products of which it is an ingredient. The quality and effects vary considerably
according to the source of the ginseng, its age at harvesting, and the
method of preservation.
Basically, there are three main sources of ginseng: China, Korea, and
Japan. There is also a variety of ginseng grown in America, but we will
not be discussing that herb here.
Wild Manchurian Tung Pei ginseng is considered to be the finest of
all ginseng, though Korean wild is in the same category. This Chinese variety
is fat and white and bears a striking resemblance to the human shape. A
wild ginseng root may be up to 200 years old and may be 20 to 30 cm. in
length. These roots are of enormous value and sell in China for $3,000
to $10,000 an ounce. Of course, these are now very rare and hardly ever
leave China. These wild roots grow only in rugged old mountains in slightly
radioactive soil, and are said to glow in the dark. Consume one, it is
said, and you are guaranteed a long and healthy life.
However, this is not the herb generally used in Chinese tonic herbalism.
The cultivated variety is generally all that is available on the market.
The cultivated varieties were, of course, derived from the wild Tung Pei
and are in some cases quite excellent, but in other cases, useless.
China produces three main types of ginseng: 1. Yi Sun Ginseng. 2. Shiu
Chu Ginseng, and 3. Kirin Ginseng.
Yi Sun ginseng is found growing wild, but is young. So it is transplanted
into forest beds very similar to their wild habitat. When old enough, they
are picked and sun-dried. These are very close in appearance and quality
to true wild Tung Pei roots and cost about $35 per gram. These are available
in America from a number of Chinese herb shops and specialty herb dealers.
Shiu Chu is the next grade and these roots are both common and excellent.
These ginseng roots are cultivated on ginseng farms from superior stock.
They are harvested after six years and preserved by steaming and soaking
in date sugar and other herbs. The familiar reddish-brown color is lighter
than that of preserved Korean ginseng roots. It is graded according to
the size of the roots. The number of roots per "catty" (1.3 Ibs.) determines
a root's grade. Thus a Shiu Chu 16 root is larger than a Shiu Chu 35 root,
because only 16 roots fit into a catty box. The larger the root, the more
valuable. At the current time, a Shiu Chu 16 root retails at around $50
per root in the United States. Chinese Shiu Chu ginseng tones up the Yin
energy and sedates the Yang. In particular, it is said to sedate "false
fire" which manifests as anger, high blood pressure, tension headaches
and excessive sexual desire.
Kirin ginseng is the lowest grade of Chinese ginseng, but is still
of fine quality. These roots are the least expensive and are generally
used in patent herbal tonics and commercial extracts, which are often quite
useful. The roots are inexpensive and extracts are abundant on the open
market. Kirin ginseng, like Shiu Chu ginseng, tonifies the Yin energy and
sedates "false fire."
Korean Ginseng: Korean ginseng is not considered to be an import
from China. The variety found in Korea appears to have been indigenous
to that land and has somewhat different qualities than Chinese ginseng.
Korean ginseng is of the utmost quality and in many cases is even superior
to Chinese ginseng.
Wild Korean ginseng still can be found in the "old and wild" mountains.
In South Korea, where "mountain men," the old Taoist hermits, still survive,
these roots are still to be found and used. Wild roots found in these remote
regions are virtually priceless in the city marketplaces of the Orient,
especially if found by one of these hermits. Wild roots found in less rugged
mountains are less valuable, but are still expensive and very effective
in their actions.
The Koreans cultivate large amounts of high quality ginseng. This ginseng
is sold throughout the world. There are two varieties: red and white. The
best roots are'steamed and preserved, which turns them a dark reddish-brown.
White ginseng roots have been peeled and sun dried without further steaming
or preservation. Korean roots are graded into three main categories: 1.
Heaven grade, 2. Earth grade, and 3. Man grade. Heaven grade is the highest
grade. "Heaven grade 15" is the best Korean red ginseng available. North
Korean red Heaven 15 is considered to be next only to wild roots, but are
rare in the United States for political reasons. South Korean Heaven 15
roots cost around $50 an ounce. Heaven 20, 25, and 30 are all considered
to be superb roots. Earth grade roots are considered effective, but a small
Heaven grade root is superior to a large Earth grade root. Man grade roots
are of low quality and are rarely used by anyone using ginseng as a tonic.
Smaller Heaven grade roots are fairly reasonably priced and well worth
Korean white ginseng roots are fine for daily use as a light general
tonic and "pick-up." However, many of the "instant" ginseng products available
are suspect. Many of these products have very little ginseng of low quality,
and are often composed primarily of fillers such as lactose. Whole white
roots, on the other hand, are good. White ginseng has a less long-range
tonic effect, but are very good and much less expensive than red ginseng.
Large, Heaven grade white roots are truly excellent.
Korean ginseng is different in its effects than Chinese ginseng. It
is quicker in its action and is generally more blatant. It tones up the
Yang as well as the Yin, so it will increase the fire energy, thus stimulating
sexual drive and assertive, willful behavior. It is therefore not recommended
for people with Yang, hot conditions, but is excellent for those who lack
Japanese ginseng has a bad reputation because of its generally low
quality, though Japanese roots look very good. However, some Japanese roots
are excellent and are prized by ginseng connoisseurs who can recognize
good ginseng. If the ginseng has little taste, it is probably quite weak.
Good Japanese ginseng has the same rich flavor that is associated with
Korean ginseng. Like Korean ginseng, good Japanese ginseng is effective
in toning up both the Yin and Yang.
Selecting a Root: In selecting a root, use your knowledge of ginseng
and Chinese herbalism wisely. Also let your intuition guide you, as a root
that appeals to you will do you the most good. The author generally picks
his roots by source, grade, price and the look on the face of the head
of the root. Some roots have such wonderful countenances, however, that
when you get it home you never want to use it!
In selecting a Korean ginseng root, one must be very careful not to
be sold a counterfeit product. Counterfeit roots are weak roots that are
often quite large.
These are generally sold at "bargain" prices, but are in fact no bargain.
cannot buy a Heaven 15 or 20 ginseng root for $10. If someone tries
to sell you the
one at such a price, look elsewhere. It is imperative that you know
dealer and that the dealer knows his business. The sources listed in
are reputable experts and are thus good sources of ginseng. Many other
sources also exist, but one must always be careful.
Because of ginseng's reputation, considerable research has been conducted
into its chemistry and pharmacology. Most of the claims for ginseng have
Ginseng contains saponin, ginsenin, panoxic acid, panaxin, panaquilon,
volatile oils, vitamins B1 and B2, calcium, potassium, iron, sodium, silicon,-
magnesium, titanium, barium, strontium, aluminum, manganese, sugar, starch,
mucilage, and several steroids.
Saponin affects sugar metabolism. Ginsenin acts somewhat like insulin.
Panoxic acid regulates metabolism and the functioning of the cardiovascular
system, and , helps prevent cholesterol buildup. Panaxin is a direct central
nervous system stimulant and is a cardiovascular tonic. Panaquilon is a
general endocrine tonic and has regulatory actions on the endocrine system,
probably at the hypothalamic and pituitary levels. The volatile oils seem
to be direct stimulants to various brain centers.
The steroids in ginseng are responsible for many of it effects. These
steroids are similar to the human sex hormones testosterone and estrogen,
as well as being closely related to cortisol (cortisone) and other adrenalcortical
hormones. The adrenal hormones regulate many of our most important metabolic
and adaptive functions.
A great deal of research has been done to determine the mechanisms
of action of ginseng. Space does not allow us to pursue this subject in
detail in this volume. There are several excellent books available that
are entirely devoted to ginseng, » and these texts detail a tremendous
amount of scientific research. It is important to emphasize here,
the most interesting finding in this research. Most research conducted
in China, Japan, the United States, the Soviet Union, and elsewhere in
recent years points to ginseng's ability to allow its consumers
i handle stress much more efficiently. Ginseng seems to bolster the
of the adrenal cortex and the central nervous system in their
Ginseng also contains what are known as "ginsenosides." Behavioral
studies in rats have shown that some ginsenosides can decrease fatigue
and promote learning i in rats. Studies done in the U.S.S.R. have shown
that ginsenosides have gona-trophic effects, increasing the weight of the
testes in test animals. Japanese research has shown that ginseng can increase
the number of active sperm. Ginseng has been shown to have beneficial effects
on the adrenals, the thyroid, and in particular the pituitary.
One of the potentially most important studies conducted on ginseng
has confirmed that an alcoholic extract of ginseng can increase the anti-radiation
capability in rats. Rats were fed ginseng and then exposed to lethal levels
of radiation. The ginseng-fed rats' survival time was extended 100% as
compared to the control group.
Ginseng has become a prime example of an "adaptogenic" agent. Scores
of research projects have been conducted which have shown that animals
given ginseng as a regular part of their diet are able to function normally,
or more normally, under stressful conditions than animals fed normal diets
but no ginseng. Animals fed ginseng consistently outperform animals not
fed ginseng and can survive under conditions normally intolerable to that
species. Ginseng seems to relieve what is known as the "stress syndrome"
which occurs after prolonged stress of either physical or mental origin.
Laboratory animals given ginseng do not develop enlarged adrenals (a dangerous
sign), high blood pressure, neurosis, or deficiency of ascorbic acid (vitamin
C) in the adrenals even when exposed to stresses that normally would cause
these reactions. Experimental animals fed ginseng have been shown to have
significantly greater physical endurance than animals fed a normal diet
but no ginseng. Laboratory animals fed ginseng have been shown to outlive
animals not fed ginseng by 14 % of a lifetime.
Ginseng has been shown to be an excellent tonic to pituitary and adrenal
deficiency syndromes and is used as a standard therapeutic agent for these
syndromes in Chinese and Japanese hospitals.
Preparation and Dosage: Ginseng may be taken raw or cooked. A
common way to use ginseng is to buy a root, steam it until it is soft enough
to slice and then slice into pieces the thickness of a penny. Suck and
chew on one or several pieces a day.
Ginseng may also be used raw by grinding it to a powder in a coffee
grinder. It should be prepared as above before putting in a home grinder.
The powder may be mixed with other ground herbs or taken alone in capsules,
which can be purchased at the health food or drug store. Take several capsules
a day. Capsules of powdered ginseng are widely available on the market
in a variety of grades. Pills of ground and pressed ginseng are also available,
such as "Four Ginsengs Dragon Eggs" by East Earth Herbs.
Ginseng extracts are also very popular. There are several excellent
brands on the market. "Panax Ginseng Extract" from China is good and is
also inexpensive. Many other excellent extracts are produced in Korea.
Or you may make your own. Place a root in any preferred spirit (wine, vodka,
brandy, etc.). Though not essential, it is considered sound practice to
place several jujube dates in the jar with the ginseng. Allow this to sit
for several weeks, then consume one shot a day at bedtime or in hot water
after dinner. This is a very common and excellent method of consuming one's
daily dose of ginseng. Taoists often perferred alcoholic herbal tonics,
but never abused the method by over-imbibing.
Generally speaking, however, ginseng is usually cooked in combination
with other herbs. Many formulae using ginseng are given in the Chapter
6. Ginseng goes well with many other well known Chinese herbs, such as
Zizyphus jujube (jujube dates), Polygonum multiflorum (Ho Shou
Wu), Angelicae sinensis (Tang Kuei), and Astragalus membranaceus
A very famous formula for ginseng commonly prescribed as a tonic
by Chinese herbalists is a combination of equal parts of the following
herbs: Ginseng, dried ginger, Atractylus, and Glycyrrhizae (licorice root).
This combination, known as "Ginseng Soup," is especially beneficial to
the digestive and metabolic functions and provides warmth and energy to
Ginseng must never be cooked in a metal pot, and actually should not
even be sliced with a steel knife, though this is generally not practical.
Cook ginseng, and for that matter all Chinese tonic teas, in an enamel
or glass pot. Bring two ounces (total) of herbs in four cups of water to
a boil, then simmer for one hour or until one or two cups of brew remain.
Drink while warm, before meals. The herbs may be recooked twice more before
being ground into the dog food or otherwise composted. Many herbalists
feel that it is the second cooking that is actually the most potent; so
by all means, do not waste these valuable herbs by discarding them prematurely.
Actually, the best way to prepare ginseng teas is in a "ginseng cooker,"
which is a porcelain double-boiler unit. No waste occurs with this method.
With a ginseng cooker, good ginseng essence is not lost in steam, and less
of the herbs yields a richer final product. Again, the herbs should be
used over several times. In fact, a "ginseng cooker" is the best way to
prepare practically all of the tonic brews. These"ginseng cookers," which
are quite lovely and reasonably priced, are available from herb suppliers.
In summary, select your ginseng wisely, prepare it with respect and
use it properly, and you will experience the full effects of the "King