Ginseng Info

Ginseng has been used for the past 7,000 years in traditional Asian medicine, and is prescribed for a variety of problems ranging from stress, failing memory, obesity, exhaustion, improving the immune system, fatigue, improving fertility and virility as well as a general strengthening tonic for the body.
Some also believe that it can be used in preventing certain cancers, and because of improved blood circulation, it is also used by people in assisting with Alzheimer's disease.
The root is normally 4 - 5 years old when used, but the best roots are those grown for 60 - 100 years, but are so expensive that they are not used in commercial applications.

Wild ginseng is ginseng that has not been planted and cultivated domestically, rather it is that which grows naturally and is harvested from wherever it is found in it's natural habitat. Wild ginseng is relatively rare and increasingly endangered, due in large part to high demand for the product in recent years, which has led to the wild plants being sought out and harvested faster than new ones can grow. (it requires around five years for a ginseng root to reach maturity)  After the ginseng is harvested and dried it can be sold for anywhere between $300 and $1000 per pound.

Woods grown plants have comparable value to wild grown ginseng of similar age. 
    So, if you plant your seedlings in the woods, just like they grow naturally, then when you harvest them you will be able to sell them at the price of wild ginseng, which is many times higher then ginseng that is grown on a farm.  Farm raised ginseng that is grown with fertilizers and other chemicals will grow faster and will be ready for harvest in about three or four years, but if you are planing on selling your roots then it is good to know that 'farm raised' ginseng will sell for about $10 a lb, where as 'woods grown' will go for between $300 and $1000 a lb!
 
Propagation by Roots --  Transplanting rootlets ensures a more uniform stand than seeding and reduces the time from planting to harvest.  Plant the roots as soon as possible after receiving them. If they need to be held for only a day or two, put them in plastic bags in the refrigerator. Open the bags daily to aerate, check for mold and add a few drops of water if they start to feel dry. For longer temporary storage, cover the roots with four to six inches of damp peat or soil in a container and store in a cool place. If the roots cannot be planted that spring or fall, store outdoors in loose, well-drained soil. Roots can also be over-wintered in damp sphagnum moss in a refrigerator. Store for 3 months or more below 45°F to satisfy the chilling requirement to break bud dormancy in the spring. When the chilling requirement has been satisfied, growth will begin, even if the roots are still in the refrigerator. Therefore, plant as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring.

Planting Roots -- Plant roots at a slight angle (30 to 45 degrees from the vertical) in well-prepared soil with the bud one inch below the soil surface. Plant three to twelve inches apart in rows 6 to 12 inches apart. Cover beds with 1 to 2 inches of mulch (shredded hardwood bark, leaves, weathered bark-sawdust, or straw works well) immediately after planting.


These are  links to a few web pages that are rather informational, and may help you in your ginseng journey, as well as enhance your self sufficient knowledge.
   http://www.ginsengfaq.com     This one has a good variety of information, as well as some archives that you might find helpful.      
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginseng  And we know that Wiki has a good bit information...

and here are a few others...

http://www.kcweb.com/herb/ginseng.htm (some info on the medicinal qualities of ginseng)

http://www.vitaminstuff.com/herbs-ginseng.html ( they also have good info on a bunch of other herbs)


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