Ginseng Tea History and Uses

Picture of Ginseng Tea

Ginseng Tea

For thousands of years, people have been making and drinking herbal tea. Ginseng tea is very probably the most well known of all herbal teas in the world. Ginseng tea is not made from the leaves, as are other teas. This healthy tea is made from the plant’s root only.

Korean ginseng can be found growing in many parts of Asia, such as China and Korea. American ginseng comes mostly from Wisconsin.

Korean ginseng is considered the more “warming” of the two. American ginseng is “cooling” in nature. Korean ginseng is more energizing and stimulating and shouldn’t be taken daily for long periods of time without a break. American ginseng, on the other hand, is more suitable for taking on a long term basis.

Modern science has confirmed what people have known for ages. Ginseng is good for you. The root contains natural chemicals that are called ginsenosides. These ginsenosides are very potent adaptogens. Adaptogens are herbs or plants that are known to cause the body no harm, and be balancing to the entire body and mind. They also have the ability to protect against physical and mental stresses of any type.

It is believed by historians that the ginseng plant was first discovered in the mountains of Manchuria in China about five thousand years ago. It was most likely used as a staple food before a medicine. After consuming the root of the plant, it was most likely that people discovered that it had medicinal properties, such as increasing strength and stamina.

Not long after it’s medicinal value was discovered, ginseng became a very valuable commodity. In ancient times, it was often traded for expensive items such as silk. At several times in history, ginseng was worth more than it’s weight in gold.

These high prices were for wild ginseng root that was over six years old. The older it is, the more potent and sought after it is. Because of it’s high value, wild ginseng has been extremely over-harvested. It is now illegal to pick wild ginseng in many parts of the world without a special permit from the government.

The ginseng consumers buy and consume now a days is mostly grown on ginseng farms. Artificial shade tents are put over the crop to shield if from the direct rays of the sun.

There are two primary colors of ginseng. Red ginseng is made by steaming the unpeeled root which turns them a dark reddish color. White ginseng is made from peeled root and then immediately dried in the sun.

You may consume your ginseng in many different forms. You can slice and eat the raw root or make tea from it. You can use the dry or powered root for tea or taken in capsules. I suggest using the raw, undried root whenever possible as it is believed to offer the most health benefits.

If you take it as tea, you may mix other teas into it to improve it’s taste. Or you can add a bit of honey to sweeten it up a bit.

No matter how you decide to consume your ginseng, you can expect many health benefits from using it. It has traditionally been used as a general tonic for overall wellness but also has specific uses.

Historically, ginseng had been used to boost the appetite, improve digestion, treat respiratory problems, increase strength and endurance, strengthen the immune system and more.

Ginseng has withstood the test of time. Discovered 5,000 years ago and it’s still being used today. This tells me that ginseng truly offers many benefits for those who take it.

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