Ginseng generic name is Panax. It is belong to Araliaceae family. Ginseng is distinguished by the presence of ginsenosides. The plant grows in rich woods throughout eastern and central North America, basically along the mountains from Quebec and Ontario, south to Georgia. It was used by the North American Indians.
Asian ginseng is native to China and Korea and has been used in miscellaneous systems of medicine for many centuries. Asian ginseng is one of diverse types of true ginseng (another is American ginseng, Panax quinquefolius ). An herb called Siberian ginseng or eleuthero ( Eleutherococcus senticosus ) is not a veridical ginseng. Ginseng grows best under conditions which simulate its organic haunt. It requires 70% to 90% natural or feigned shade.
Ginseng flourishes in a climate with 40 to 50 in. of annual precipitation and an average temperature of 50°F. It requires several weeks of cold temperatures for adequate quiescence. It is a smooth perennial herb, with a large, sarcoid, very slow-growing root, 2 to 3 inches in length (occasionally twice this size) and from 1/2 to 1 inch in thickness. Its main portion is spindle-shaped and heavily circinated (ringed growth), with a roundish summit, often with a slight terminal, projecting point.
At the lower end of this straight portion, there is a narrower continuation, turned tortuously outward in the opposite direction and a very small branch is occasionally borne in the fork between the two. Ginseng roots may be gested or difficult to dig under shallow-rooted trees, and short-lived trees may leave gaps in the canopy as they die. Shallow-rooted or short-lived trees include maples
Some small rootlets inheres upon the lower portion. The colour varies from a pale yellow to a brownish colour. Ginseng can be a remunerative crop, but it requires an enormous commitment of time, money and labor for successful commercial production.
Ginseng beds in Wisconsin are usually cultivated for three years before harvest, unless disease problems dictate earlier harvest. Ginseng contains vitamins A, B-6 and the mineral Zinc, that aids in the production of thymic hormones, essential for the functioning of the defense system. Ginseng was one of the earliest vendable herbs to be harvested in this country. Ginseng root is purported to lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, prevent against stress, enhance strength and promote leisure.
Ginseng generally prefers a loamy, deep (12 in.), well-drained soil with a high organic content and a pH near 5.5. Extensively sandy soil tends to produce long. Most ginseng crops are initiated from seed, rather than roots or seedlings. This is the least expensive way to begin a plantation and may help prevent the introduction of soil-borne disease to new plantations. Ginseng needs 3 to 5 years to produce a merchantable crop from seed. Ginseng seed is generally planted in the fall and covered with mulch till spring. It can also be spring-planted, but if seeding is not finished by May 1, the seed may begin to sprout prematurely.