Ginseng and Chi

Published: 31st January 2012
Views: N/A

Ginseng and Chi
Mark Hamer

Ginseng contains chi (energy or life force) and it has a well-deserved reputation for helping people to overcome physical and mental stress. Taoist legend suggests that Ginseng is the greatest provider of Chi in the plant Kingdom and after using it myself for two years I can certainly say that it has changed my life. References to Ginseng as a miraculous herb date back to 2600BC and is said to be a ‘crystalisation of the essence of the earth’.

There are several varieties of Ginseng available. In UK health stores you will find lots of different extracts, pills and teas. In Chinese supermarkets you may be lucky enough to find real ginseng root in a variety of forms, sweets and candies, sliced and whole roots. But of course the greatest variety of ginseng is now available online and whole or sliced real ginseng root is by far preferable to extracts and processed ginseng.

From the cool and shady forest region of the Changbai Mountains on the borders between Korea and China comes the traditional Panax Ginseng grown for centuries in this region and traditionally the source of the best Ginseng in the world. Ginseng is also grown in North America where there is a real problem of Ginseng poaching!

Older roots are considered the best and Ginseng is traditionally supplied in a variety of grades including ‘Heaven Grade’ which costs hundreds of pounds an ounce, wild Ginseng is also highly prized and traditionally reserved for emperors as it has the greatest amount of Chi. I have been lucky enough to be given three tiny wild Ginseng roots which I am keeping for my old age.

You get what you pay for in the world of Ginseng. Old roots are very highly prized for having great amounts of Chi. A 1000 year old root was recently found in a Buddhist temple in Korea, In 1972 a 300 year old wild ginseng root was sold for $400,000! Most Ginseng root however is farmed and harvested after six years although there are wild ginseng hunters making a living in various parts of the world.

The Species name for Chinese and Korean Ginseng, ‘Panax’ is Greek for ‘Cure All’ and the active ingredients are called ginsenosides which vitalise the body and stimulate nervous and endocrine systems.

Dr James Duke’s fabulous herbal, ‘The Green Pharmacy’ endorses Ginseng as an energy boosting tonic for People with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and ME. And states that it improves athletic performance after about a months use, suggesting a teaspoon a day brewed as a tea.

Since the 1960s dozens of studies into the effects of Ginseng have been carried out, some of them not so scientifically valid but a number of them deeply scientific double blind studies which have showed improvements in intellectual performance, mood and emotional well-being. The German Commission E monograph on herbal medicines suggests that ginseng is used to counter physical weakness and fatigue, impaired concentration and as a general tonic to convalescing patients in a dose of about 1 to 2g per day.

Many traditional oriental foods and practices are said to develop Chi. Acupuncture, Tai Chi, Yoga, Meditation all work directly with Chi and are becoming very popular in our wonderful western culture which absorbs all of the worlds best traditions. If we have a pain in a particular area, or endure lives of stress or anxiety our Chi is said to be blocked. If we have a Chi deficiency we will be subject to depression, fatigue, poor digestion, feeling dull and tired, frequent colds and minor ailments and depressed sexual functioning. Ginseng has been traditionally recommended to treat all of these conditions for centuries and I certainly would not be without my daily Ginseng tea made from real Ginseng roots!

Report this article Ask About This Article

More to Explore