View Full Version : Ginseng - Ren Shen

03-14-2001, 07:35 AM
From the information i got that Korean Ginseng (panax Ginseng) actually for a kungfu practioner is not good it lowers your chi and robs you of your blood so you shouldnt take it unless your ill is this true?.. and that TienChi ginseng is the way to go... i also wanted to ask is licorice root a detoxifier? i have heard some people say it is and some people say its not...

What is the color of that which you love?

03-14-2001, 12:21 PM
I have heard that Panax gives you a really good boost, but it is a really sudden boost whereas American ginseng gives you a more gradual boost.

I don't know about lowering your chi or robbing your blood, but I do know it is and anti-coagulant and a blood thinner. I once spoke to a doctor who did a lot of work with heart transplants who said that they had a lot of problems with Asian patients who took ginseng to try and strengthen themsleves before the heart operation, only to find the operation had to be postponed because of the anticoagulant properties.

Guns don't kill people, I kill people

Fish of Fury
03-14-2001, 04:09 PM
Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) and Indian ginseng (Withania somniferum) may be of more use (esp. long term) for training.
siberian particularly is used for stamina in the medium/longish term.(probably best to avoid taking anything ALL the time unless you REALLY need it)
my personal experience is that flakes of american ginseng in some green tea during training really helped balance out my energy, but i only ever use it intermittently.
opinions vary on Panax, but i tend to agree it can be overkill in young/healthy people.
licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is an adrenal tonic (so it can act to raise energy like a mild "ginseng" effect), also used for coughs, antiviral (and has been used topically on coldsores) and soothing/demulcent (can be useful for stomache ulcers, with other herbs)
also, many chinese herb formulas use licorice to "balance" the formula and reduce the possibility of toxicity.
it's not particularly a detox herb as far as i know, except in the above context.( i guess it detoxes formulas, but other herbs are used to cleanse and detox the body...like liver herbs eg. dandelion root, st. mary's thistle and also the depurative herbs like Burdock, Rumex etc.)

[This message was edited by Fish of Death on 03-15-01 at 06:19 AM.]

11-23-2007, 09:40 AM
I've been given some Red Koean Ren shen can anyone tell me the best way to use it?

11-23-2007, 10:12 AM
Is it a raw herb or is it suspended in liquid? Why are you taking it?

Ren Shen can be toxic if treated improperly and even taking large amounts of treated Ren Shen by mistake can be dangerous. Most people think that it's a general tonic - but it's not for everyone. Specifically, if you have a tendency to "run hot" with a history of headaches, hypertension, hot flashes, anxiety, etc., you probably shouldn't be taking Ren Shen. Ren Shen is best used when prescribed by a Chinese herbalist in combination with other synergistic herbs.

In terms of Chinese medicine it treats "Qi Deficiency" of various kinds. Properly prescirbed and used, Ren Shen in small amounts can regulate the nervous system, function as a mild stimulant, and help the immune system.

If Ren Shen is not a issue for you, one easy and common way to take it during colder weather is to simmer small amounts (a Chinese herbalist can tell you how much) of the smaller roots with some honey-fried licorice (Zhi Gan Cao). This is readily available from Chinese herbal stores and on-line. Then pour both into a thermos and drink small amounts (1-2 oz.) during the day. Ask a Chinese herbalist if this is appropriate for you.

I would stay away from coffee or even tea if you're going to drink a Ginsing-based decoction and stop if you notice any side-effects.

All you wanted to know was how to use Ren Shen! There are some caveats, however, and the best advice I can give you on a public on-line forum is to see a Chinese herbalist.



Doc Stier
11-24-2007, 12:32 AM
The two traditional favorite Chinese methods of using Ginseng Root are to simply eat one small piece of good quality root only, usually cut from a #1 or #2 Grade root with a heavy cleaver or cut with a heavy metal slicer.



Alternately, many Chinese herb wholesalers and herb shops sell various grades and varieties of ginseng root already sliced in 1 pound packages. It is recommended that the root piece be eaten at or just prior to the time of day during which an energy slump is regularly experienced, unless this time period falls later than sunset, in order to avoid insomnia.




Additionally, many people enjoy using Ginseng Root Extract, which is sold in liquid extract form. Typically, the end of a clean chopstick is dipped into the extract bottle, then stirred into a cup of freshly made green or black tea. It can also be added to a cup of coffee, too, for an added energy boost. And again, as with eating the raw root, the extract should not be ingested past sunset unless the extra energy is neede to work a night-shift job, or a hot date is planned for later in the evening. Otherwise, the Ginseng is likely to prevent sleep in most cases.



The second method involves simmer cooking the root in a Chinese ceramic or porcelain root cooker, which is essentially a double-boiler. Instructions regarding this method of preparation are as follows:

The best way to prepare ginseng in the opinion of many 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 herb yields a richer final product. 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.

The ginseng cooker has two lids, one flat and one domed shaped which goes on top. Place the ginseng inside the cooker along with enough water (bottled pure water) to cover the herbs (holds 4 cups). Place the cooker with it's contents into a pot of water. The water level in the outer pot should come up to the bottom of the handles. Turn on the burner and and bring the outer water to a boil.

Allow to simmer until the water has half boiled away from the outer pot. The liquid inside the cooker remains just below boiling and, because of the lids, does not evaporate. When half of the outer water is gone, fill back up to original level and continue cook.

This process is repeated several times, depending upon the time available and the strength of the tea desired. The tea, prepared in this manner, will be very rich. Drink as directed and save the remainder of the brew in a jar for reheating later. Meanwhile, the herbs should be refrigerated.

Herbs cooked in a ginseng cooker can be re-cooked several times. If a root such as ginseng has been used, after the first cooking it is wise to break up the root into smaller pieces so that it's inner tissue can be cooked in subsequent cookings. Many feel that it is the second cooking in a ginseng cooker that will yield the most potent tonic brew.

This method has two advantages. First, none of the elixir is lost in evaporated steam; and secondly, since the water remains slightly below boiling, some of the vitamins and enzymes remain intact that might otherwise be broken down during boiling.

In summary, select your ginseng wisely, prepare it with respect and use it properly, and you will experience the full effects of the "King of Herbs".


01-21-2016, 10:22 AM
Innerestin' Back in my college days, I often drank ginseng tea as a hangover cure. It was American ginseng (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?23912-American-ginseng) however. I stopped after I heard that you should save ginseng consumption until you are older, when you really need it. Lately, I've been thinking I AM older, and I should start drinking ginseng tea again. I do enjoy ginseng tea - the good stuff is delicious and fortifying.

http://www.nknews.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/ec3cb50e2ff71c3e81584d04ee44408be273e7d618b1144291 f4_640_alcohol-640x368.jpg

N.Korean ginseng liquor doesn’t cause hangovers: State media (http://www.nknews.org/2016/01/n-korean-ginseng-liquor-doesnt-cause-hangovers-state-media/)
Local media says the ginseng drink, after years of research, is 'suave and causes no hangover'
Leo Byrne January 18th, 2016

A North Korean insam (ginseng) liquor can be drunk without fear of hangover, according to an article from the DPRK’s Pyongyang Times.

The article, oddly entitled, “Liquor wins quality medal for preserving national smack” claims the Taedonggang Foodstuff Factory has been improving the drink for years. The research involved replacing sugar with scorched, glutinous rice which helped eliminate both bitterness, and hangovers.

“Koryo Liquor, which is made of six-year-old Kaesong Koryo insam, known as being highest in medicinal effect, and the scorched rice, is highly appreciated by experts and lovers as it is suave and causes no hangover,” the article reads.

Earlier articles on ginseng liquors from the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) indicate the work on improving the drinks is a multi-pronged effort.

On August 19 the KCNA published an article claiming North Korea’s Koryo Songgyungwan University was working on improving the quality of Kaesong Koryo Insam Liquor. A brief article from 1999 also called it “the elixir of life.”

“I haven’t tried that brand I think, though I have had some other Insam liquors. They’re OK – I associate ginseng with its medicinal properties, though, so am not that keen on it as a tasty treat,” Andray Abrahamian from Chosong Exchange told NK News.

“There are some high quality liquors made in North Korea, though in my experience there is no such thing as hangover-free booze anywhere in the world,” he added.

Ginseng is commonly used in both Koreas on account of its medicinal properties, and the Kaesong area in the DPRK is famous for the product.

Should the claims about hangover-free consumption prove accurate, the drink would likely also prove popular south of the 38th parallel, where drinks purporting to cure hangovers be found in any convenience store. According to a 2012 World Health Organization report, South Koreans drink 12.1 liters of alcohol a year, more than any other country in Asia.

Notably, the curing of hangovers is one of the milder curative properties North Korean media has attributed to ginseng.

Last year DPRK media claimed medical products containing extracts from the plant could cure MERS, SARS and even AIDS.

Featured Image: Photo by markusspiske on

Leo Byrne is the Data and Analytic Director at NK News and is based in Seoul, South Korea.Follow him on twitter @LeoPByrne

10-27-2016, 10:20 AM
Jail time handed down in illegal ginseng case (http://www.outdoornews.com/2016/10/20/jail-time-handed-illegal-ginseng-case/)
October 20, 2016 by DNR Report


Athens, Ohio — Five individuals were recently charged with ginseng related violations in Muskingum County, according to the Ohio DNR.

In early September, a caller provided information to the Turn-In-A-Poacher (TIP) hotline regarding possible ginseng violations in Muskingum County. The caller believed that several individuals may have been dropped off at Blue Rock State Forest. State wildlife officers Roby Williams and Bryan Postlethwait responded to the area and conducted surveillance. Eventually a female driver returned to the area. The officers were able to contact the driver and four male suspects who were walking out of the woods and getting into the vehicle. The officers interviewed the suspects, who admitted to digging ginseng on Blue Rock State Forest.

A total of 254 ginseng roots were discovered and seized from the suspects. On Sept. 21, all five suspects appeared in Muskingum County Court. All suspects were found guilty of digging ginseng on state property. The suspects paid a total of $2,850 in fines and court costs, were ordered to a total of 120 hours of community service, and a total of 25 days in jail. All are on probation for one year and are prohibited from digging ginseng for two years.

Ginseng harvest season is from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31 annually. Diggers must keep accurate harvest records by county and collection date, and all ginseng must be certified by the DNR Division of Wildlife before it is exported from Ohio. More information about ginseng in Ohio can be found in the publication Ohio’s Green GOLD and on wildohio.gov.

Anyone observing or suspecting that ginseng violations are occurring may report the illegal activity by calling the TIP hotline toll free at 1-800-POACHER.

Defendants, charges, and sentences in the case are:

• Brandon McNutt, 18, Chandlersville – convicted of digging ginseng on state property. Sentenced to five days in jail and ordered to pay $650 in fines and court costs. Placed on probation for one year and prohibited from digging ginseng for two years.

• Russell A Stemm III, 19, Zanesville – convicted of digging ginseng on state property. Sentenced to five days in jail and ordered to pay $450 in fines and court costs. Placed on probation for one year, ordered to complete 60 hours of community service, and prohibited from digging ginseng for two years.

• Michael Wickham, 20, New Lexington – convicted of digging ginseng on state property. Sentenced to five days in jail and ordered to pay $450 in fines and court costs. Placed on probation for one year, ordered to complete 60 hours of community service, and prohibited from digging ginseng for two years.

• Jonathan L. Clark, 26, Zanesville – convicted of digging ginseng on state property. Sentenced to five days in jail and ordered to pay $650 in fines and court costs. Placed on probation for one year and prohibited from digging ginseng for two years.

• Tiffany A Clark, 25, Zanesville – convicted of digging ginseng on state property. Sentenced to five days in jail and ordered to pay $650 in fines and court costs. Placed on probation for one year and prohibited from digging ginseng for two years.

All ginseng seized was forfeited to the State of Ohio.

Cellmate dialog:
shotcaller: Whacha in for?
con #1: Aggravated assault
con #2: Multiple homicide
con #3: Kidnapping and rape
poacher: um...ginseng poaching. :o

10-27-2016, 12:30 PM
When I was in Seoul, some friends had me try a kind of chicken(?) ginseng soup. It was a whole small chicken (or other bird) in a big bowl of soup for one that had a piece of ginseng stuffed into it. I was told it's supposedly good for your immune system. Whatever, it was good, and I felt really good afterwards.

01-10-2017, 11:05 AM
I would post this in Chinese Counterfeits & Knock-Offs (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?57980-Chinese-Counterfeits-amp-Knock-Offs) but it's not Chinese, is it?

Posted : 2017-01-03 15:30
Updated : 2017-01-03 16:13
Critic of candlelit rally hit for selling fake red ginseng

Kim Young-sik, CEO of Chunho Food

By Park Jae-hyuk

Chunho Food has come under criticism again for selling fake red ginseng concentrate. This comes after its CEO Kim Young-sik drew fire in November for disparaging massive anti-Park candlelit rallies held in Gwanghwamun, downtown Seoul.

The health supplement food maker's selling of fake pure red ginseng concentrate, made with starch syrup and caramel coloring, was revealed by the Seoul Western District Prosecutors' Office on Dec. 29.

The prosecutors at that time indicted seven suppliers of the fake ingredients, including the head of the Korea Ginseng Association, and also indicted 18 accomplices without detention.

Chunho Food, which received the fake ingredients from them, has been ordered by the food authorities to halt sales of its four red ginseng products and recall the products expiring this year.

The company offered no apology for the fake ingredients until after several news outlets reported on it.

The company posted an apology to its consumers on its website on Monday for promoting that the products were made with red ginseng concentrate and purified water only, but it denied the allegations of deceiving consumers on purpose.

"Chunho Food has strictly controlled quality for our products and followed government standards, such as GMP and HACCP, when we choose suppliers," the company wrote on its official website. "However, visual inspections and chemical experiments aren't enough to screen for fake ingredients, when suppliers add such ingredients in small quantities on purpose."

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, which ordered Chunho Food to recall the ginseng products, refuted the company's claim.

"Chunho Food should have stricter control over its ingredients," an official of the ministry said. "If the company considers itself a victim, it should file a suit against the government."

The Busan-based medium-sized company had been in the spotlight among consumers for its cornus fruit juice TV commercial, which showed the CEO saying "Cornus fruit is really good for men, but there's no way to explain it."

The CEO, however, came under fire again in November for posts in an online forum criticizing anti-Park candlelit rallies and political declarations by professors.

"I hate to watch the news these days. I don't know why people keep talking about old stories like the candlelit rally," he wrote on the forum. He also posted a video made by a conservative group.

Some consumers boycotted products of Chunho Food at that time.

01-13-2017, 12:51 PM
Time to invest?

Good Growth Opportunities in Ginseng Market Till 2026 (http://satprnews.com/2017/01/13/good-growth-opportunities-in-ginseng-market-till-2026/)

Ginseng is a perennial plant primarily found in North America and Eastern Asia. It is largely cultivated in China, Bhutan, and Korea. Ginseng has been traditionally used for its therapeutic benefits, and today, it is used as a medicine for improving cognitive function, cancer prevention, and anti-inflammation. Ginseng is widely available in seed and root form.

Ginseng Market Segmentation

Global ginseng market has been segmented on the basis of form into powder, liquid, and capsules. Among these, demand for ginseng in powdered form is quite substantial. The growth of this segment is attributed to rising consumption of ginseng as energy booster. Demand for ginseng in capsule form is also witnessing steady growth, owing to its application in the pharmaceutical sector.

The global ginseng market is also segmented on the basis of application into personal care, dietary supplements, food, pharmaceutical, and oral care. Among these, dietary supplements is the leading application segment in terms of revenues. Dietary supplements is sub-segmented into heart health, weight loss, sports nutrition, and immune health supplements. The global dietary supplements market was valued at over US$ 123 billion in 2015, and is poised to increase at 7.4% CAGR through 2025. Demand for ginseng from the dietary supplements sector will continue to remain strong throughout the forecast period 2016-2026.

Personal care and pharmaceutical sector are other key end-use application segments for ginseng. Personal care segment is further sub-segmented into skin care products and hair care products. In addition food segment is also sub segmented as tea and chocolate.

On the basis of distribution channel, the ginseng market is segmented into hypermarket/supermarket, pharmacies/drugstore, health/beauty store, online retailing, and direct selling. Among these, pharmacies/drugstore account for bulk of ginseng sales, followed by health/beauty store. The growth of pharmacies/drugstore for ginseng market is supported by increased usage of ginseng in drugs and cosmetics products.

Ginseng sales are also growing through online retail, owing to increasing internet penetration and rising consumer preference for convenience purchasing

The ginseng market has been further segmented on the basis of region. North America is expected to be the major market for ginseng products. Increasing demand of dietary supplements containing ginseng is expected to drive the market growth across the region. The U.S. will continue to be the largest market for ginseng in North America.

The ginseng market in Europe is expected to witness steady growth during the forecast period. Focus on health and wellness is influencing F&B manufacturers to introduce organic ingredients in their offerings, giving a boost to overall demand for ginseng.

The Asia Pacific ginseng market is dominated by China, which remains a leading producer and consumer globally as well. Production and export of ginseng has witnessed a steady growth since China Health Ministry approved its use in food products in 2012.

Ginseng Market: Drivers

Increased consumption of dietary supplements and cosmetics products, which are specially formulated and contain ginseng as an ingredient is expected to support global demand. Moreover, increasing usage of ginseng in pharmaceutical products to mitigate the risk of various diseases, such as heart disease, erectile dysfunction, hepatitis C, fatigue, and high blood pressure is also expected to fuel market growth over the forecast period.

Ginseng Market: Key Players

Key players operating in the ginseng market includes Amway,The Boots Company PLC, Elemis Ltd, Inovital,RFI Ingredients, Starwest Botanicals, and Korean Ginseng Export Corporation.

04-25-2017, 02:00 PM
Intriguing resource for some...

Global Ginseng Extract Market- Boots, Orkla Health, Pharmaton, Allcura Naturheilmittel GmbH, Ginsana (http://registrardaily.com/2017/04/19/global-ginseng-extract-market-2017-2022/)

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Dominant Ginseng Extract Market players: Competitive Insights


1 Boots
2 Orkla Health
3 Pharmaton
4 Allcura Naturheilmittel GmbH
5 Ginsana
7 Oxford Vitality
8 Ortis
9 Vitastore
10 Elemis
11 Molinari
12 Erborian
13 Others

Global Ginseng Extract Market: Application Outlook

1 Pharma & Healthcare
2 Cosmetic & Skin Care
3 Food & Feed Additives
4 Others

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1 Cappsule
2 Tablet
3 Powder
4 Other

Global Ginseng Extract Market: Regional Outlook

1. Europe Ginseng Extract Market(Germany, France, Italy, Russia and UK)
2. North America Ginseng Extract Market (Canada, USA and Mexico)
3. Latin America Ginseng Extract Market (Middle and Africa).
4. Ginseng Extract Market in Middle East and Africa (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa)
5. Asia-Pacific Ginseng Extract Market (South-east Asia, China, India, Korea and Japan).

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Section 4 displays the competitive situation of Ginseng Extract among the top competitive players, with sales, revenue, and market share in global Ginseng Extract Market in 2015 and 2016;

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Section 10 and 11 shows the global Ginseng Extract market by type and application, with sales channel, Ginseng Extract industry share and growth rate by type, Ginseng Extract industry application, from 2011 to 2016;

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Section 13, 14 and 15 describes global Ginseng Extract market distributors, dealers, Ginseng Extract traders, sales channel, research findings and conclusion, appendix and data source.

Sumana Oza has been into market research industry for last 5 years. She has a keen interest and deep knowledge of research industry. She worked as an Research Analyst in GlobeMertix. Her goals in life are simple - to stay happy, healthy and to keep writing as long as she possibly can.

09-11-2017, 09:59 AM
Farm to Fork: Wisconsin's growing power of ginseng (http://www.wsaw.com/content/news/Farm-to-Fork-The--443713203.html)
By WSAW Staff | Posted: Mon 7:42 AM, Sep 11, 2017 | Updated: Mon 8:10 AM, Sep 11, 2017

WAUSAU, Wis., (WSAW)-- The the first year, Wausau will celebrate ginseng with the inaugural International Ginseng Festival.

Ginseng on the wood background

The festival will take place over three days, September 15-17, 2017 at downtown Wausau’s 400 Block city square park and along adjoining streets.

To talk about how it's grown, Sunrise welcomed Kirk Baumann of Bumann's Ginseng.

Ginseng is a prized perennial Herb, in the form of a root, that the Chinese use in their practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The version of Ginseng grown in central Wisconsin is native to North America and is scientifically referred to as Panax Quinquefolious.

Wisconsin has the perfect climate and Glaciated soil conditions that give our Ginseng it's unparalled flavor and active medicinal qualities which are highly sought after by end users in Asia.

The Chinese believe to be healthy the body must be in balance, one commonly hears this referred to as Ying and Yang. It is believed that American Ginseng helps to achieve that goal. In the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine, ginseng is used for a variety of things; to boost your immune system, aid in control of blood sugars, cool the body, deal with stress and is very good for fatigue. American medical research pales in comparison to the research done in China but of recent and of somewhat local nature, was research performed by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Mn, using our Wisconsin Ginseng.

To cook with ginseng, Sunrise 7 was joined by Chef Travis Teska, Culinary Arts Instructor at Northcentral Technical College.

RECIPE: Cardamom Clove and Ginseng Ice Cream

20 each Cardamom pods
5 each Cloves, whole
3oz Ginseng, fresh, washed and sliced

24 oz Heavy Cream
8oz Milk

Heat spices, ginseng, cream and milk just to a simmer. Turn down very low and simmer about 30 minutes. Let rest 30 minutes then add:
1 cup Sugar
Strain through a fine sieve and temper in:
3 each Whole eggs,

Cook over medium heat until 170F, quickly cool in ice bath, etc.
Once cool freeze in ice cream maker.

Wisconsin Fruit Compote

3 each Apples, fresh, peeled and diced
½ each Vanilla bean, split
2 T Butter, unsalted

Cook in butter over medium heat until just starting to soften, add:

½ cup Apple cider
¼ cup Maple syrup
¾ cup Dried cranberries, chopped
3 T Golden raisins
1 cup Water

Next thing you know, there will be ginseng mochafrappachinolattes. :rolleyes:

I used to just chew the root. Straight up, no chaser.

There's a cooking vid behind the link.

11-09-2017, 11:29 AM
Anyone here from Wisconsin?

Ginseng would be Wisconsin's state herb under proposed bill (http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/story/news/2017/11/03/ginseng-would-wisconsins-state-herb-under-proposed-bill/828621001/)
Mark Treinen, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Published 9:52 a.m. CT Nov. 3, 2017

(Photo: Photo courtesy Marathon County Crime Stoppers)

MADISON - Ginseng would become Wisconsin's official state herb under a bill proposed by a central Wisconsin lawmaker.

Senate Bill 248, co-authored by Sen. Jerry Petrowski of Marathon, would elevate the status of a root used for medicinal purposes, primarily in Asia.

Although most of the world's ginseng is grown in China, Wisconsin accounts for 95 percent of the root's production in the United States — with most of the U.S. supply produced in Marathon County in Petrowski's Senate district. About 180 Wisconsin businesses are involved in ginseng production, and the state's agricultural agency reports that the industry generates up to $20 million annually in gross income statewide.

Rep. John Spiros of Marshfield co-sponsored the bill.

“Ginseng is a treasure in our state known nationally for its exceptional quality,” Spiros said in a statement issued Friday. “I’m proud to be shining a spotlight on it and on those who work hard in our state toward the production of ginseng.”

The bill has already passed in the Senate and will be sent to Gov. Scott Walker for his approval.

If Walker signs the bill, ginseng would become the 23rd state symbol, joining four other plants: the wood violet as the state flower, the sugar maple as the state tree, corn as the state grain and cranberry as the state fruit.

01-11-2018, 11:35 AM
Dang. That's a hefty bust. Worse than pot nowadays (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?52089-marijuana-tcm-!-!-!-!!&p=1306761#post1306761).

Shiny, bright-red fruit is a trademark of ginseng, like this kind cultivated in Minnesota. Ginseng also grows wild in parts of Asia and eastern North America. It is the root, not the fruit, that has been credited with possessing medicinal powers for at least 5,000 years, beginning in China. STEVEN FOSTER AP

A Missouri couple bought 115 pounds of ginseng. They face five years in prison (http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article192633654.html)
January 03, 2018 07:00 AM
Updated January 02, 2018 05:46 PM

An Ozarks couple could go to prison for five years for purchasing about 115 pounds of ginseng.

Kermit J. Schofield, 76, and his wife, Sandy Schofield, 73, pleaded guilty last week to illegally trafficking the plant, which is protected from extinction by an international treaty and state regulations that the Schofields violated, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri said in a release.

The couple run a business, Schofield Roots and Herbs, from their home in Theodosia, Mo., near the Arkansas border. Aside from wild American ginseng, they also sold blood root, echinacea, Virginia snake root, and other roots and herbs.

Wild ginseng roots dry in West Virginia. The wild variety commands a higher price than the cultivated, because it supposedly contains more therapeutic qualities. But many doctors question such claims.
Kevin G. Gilbert AP

From 2013 to 2015, the Schofields made multiple purchases of ginseng in Arkansas and transported it to Missouri without obtaining a certification required to do so.

They also purchased the plant outside the six-month window, from mid-September to mid-March, during which Missourians can legally buy it in dried form outside the state.

The Schofields spent about $26,000 on ginseng purchases in Arkansas in 2013 and 2014. They then sold the illicit ginseng for about $42,500 in Missouri.

In 2015, they purchased approximately $22,000 of ginseng, which was ultimately seized by investigators.

When reached by phone, Sandy Schofield declined to comment, citing the pending court case. The couple’s attorney could not immediately be reached.

The plant is protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

Some people use ginseng to treat medical conditions and believe it increases energy and mental faculties, but evidence supporting such benefits is inconclusive.

The Schofields knowingly violated state regulations and falsified records, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Kermit Schofield agreed to pay $65,615 to the Arkansas State Plant Board and a $5,000 federal fine.

The couple will be sentenced at a later date.

Max Londberg: 816-234-4378, @MaxLondberg