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Thread: American ginseng

  1. #1

    American ginseng

    Is American ginseng (Panax Quinquefolius) safe to take on a daily basis if one tends to be a bit (kidney) yin deficient? I'm referring to a daily dose of a couple of grams (dried) steeped in hot water 2-3 times then eaten.

    I need a relatively inexpensive general tonic. I'm in OK shape overall, but I have tendency towards qi deficiency. I practice taiji somewhat regularly. Should I combine the ginseng with some other herbs to balance things out?

  2. #2
    nobody?

  3. #3
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    Kidney Yin Xu?

    Where on earth did you get that Idea from. If you already have Kidney Yin Xu then adding extra heat in the form of Ginseng will not exactly help it, but if your Kidneys are fine then a) You don't really need Gindeng and b) they will actually add more strength to them. Older people take Ginseng because they ARE KIDNEY YIN XU!!!!!!
    " Don't confuse yourself with someone who has something to say " - The Fall

    " I do not like your tone/ It has ephemeral whingeing aspects " - The Fall

    " There are twelve people in the world/ The rest are paste " - Mark E Smith

  4. #4
    "Where on earth did you get that Idea from. If you already have Kidney Yin Xu then adding extra heat in the form of Ginseng will not exactly help it, but if your Kidneys are fine then a) You don't really need Gindeng and b) they will actually add more strength to them. Older people take Ginseng because they ARE KIDNEY YIN XU!!!!!!"

    Which idea? What I gather from your post is that it's not the best idea to take ginseng if your are kidney yin xu (which I assume to mean deficient), but old people take it because they are kidney yin xu...so is it good or bad?

    I read that the American species of ginseng is a lot cooler than Asian ginseng. I figured it'd be safer to take than warm asian/korean ginseng for someone like me with deficient kidney yin and overall jing/qi deficiency.

    I appreciate your help. I'm not trying to fiddle with my system too much, but I can't afford to see a TCM doctor for a while, and like I said I wanted a relatively inexpensive tonic that was safe for me to take.
    Last edited by looking_up; 07-21-2003 at 10:29 AM.

  5. #5
    Tony,

    I must have missed the thread where you suggested this to someone.

    Please elaborate on your advice, I am curious as to why qigong is better for someone under 40.

    I have been slacking big time on my training....boo

    Thanks.

  6. #6
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    Distance

    Traditionally distcance from the source deenoted how serious a problem was in TCM, so having do some qi-gong therapy or qi projection was needed for when some was mildly unwell, then the next stage for worsening disease was acupuncture and then if someones life was threatened they would go internally and give then herbs to ingest. Do you really need herbs to correct yourself? How bad are the symptoms? to be honest even learning some basic acupressure with qi-gong would probably be the best route.
    By the way who diagnosed your Kidney Yin Xu? and what level was it diagnosed? How bad is it? Sometimes merely making lifestyle changes can bring it back into balance without direct treatment.
    " Don't confuse yourself with someone who has something to say " - The Fall

    " I do not like your tone/ It has ephemeral whingeing aspects " - The Fall

    " There are twelve people in the world/ The rest are paste " - Mark E Smith

  7. #7
    My TCM doctor diagnosed the kidney yin xu. He did not say how bad it was, probably because he didn't want to freak me out. I was having a lot of anxiety at the time.

    I'll try doing qigong and make sure to get enough rest, eat well, all that.

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by looking_up
    My TCM doctor diagnosed the kidney yin xu. He did not say how bad it was, probably because he didn't want to freak me out. I was having a lot of anxiety at the time.

    I'll try doing qigong and make sure to get enough rest, eat well, all that.
    I understand the American Ginseng is the yin variety unlike the Korean Ginseng. If you take it, you will feel cooler. I use it during the summer somtimes.

    Instead of ginseng, I will suggest food treatment. I will suggest you to pick up some pork kidney or sheep/goat kidney (even better, but taste much worst and the smell is horrible). Some US market carries these. Steam it, boil it, whatever, just don't frying it. Add whatever flavoring needed for you to eat it. Although it won't taste very good (downright nasty), it will help with kidney issue as long that you don't have an extremely serious problem which require hospitalization. Your should take some once a day for four weeks.

    Most people can't handle it, but it will be much cheaper.

    Avoid spicy stuff and sweets. get plenty of sleep and approriate exercise. avoid stress.

    not medical advise, but just some TCM food treatment suggestion. but if your problem get serious, do consult "western" medical science.

    good luck.

    wm

  9. #9
    WM,

    I appreciate your suggestion for dietary treatment. I am interested in the dietary side of TCM too.

    I think I have a pretty mature palette and can eat a lot of "exotic" foods. I've even taken some Chinese herbal medicine and I didn't think it was too bad. But the thought of eating pork kidney sound pretty gross maybe I need to get some recipes for kidney pie from the Brits...

    Are there any other foods that you might recommend that can help to strengthen the kidneys?


    Thanks!

  10. #10
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    Looking Up

    American Ginseng (xi yang shen) is classified as an Herb to Tonify Yin. It is sweet, slightly bitter, and cold, and enters the Heart, Kidney, and Lung channels. It benefits the qi, generates fluids, and nourishes the yin.

    American Ginseng is a great herb for yin deficiency. Repulsive Monkey is correct in that generally speaking, most Ginseng will heat you up, but not American Ginseng. It is cooling and actually generates fluids. I highly recommend it for Americans (who tend to be too hot anyway). However, I'm not sure if that's what I would prescribe for someone with anxiety...

    However, if your TCM doc told you to take it, he/she must be seeing something in your pattern that dictates it.

    The food therapy advice is good, but impractical to most people. Just take the Ginseng-it's affordable and convienent, and works wonders.

    Jack
    "Do not follow in the footsteps of the men of old, seek what they sought"

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by looking_up

    Are there any other foods that you might recommend that can help to strengthen the kidneys?
    Sorry, I have basically shared everything I know about the dietary therapy for kidney issue.

    about the preparation: the point of eating pork kidney is because it is made of the similar protein material which human kidney is made up. So, one is basically providing his body with the proper parts to repair his own kidney. boiling/steaming won't damage the protein structures in the pork kidney. frying would and I am not sure about baking in oven b/c it tends to dehydrate the whatever is being cooked.

    I would also advise you to stay away from spicy stuff. sweets is okay but in only moderation.

    Keep yourself hydrated (drink enough water). Sometimes, people take in too much minerals (like calcium resulting in kidney stones) and other artificial chemical which place the kidney under stress. Water will help dilute mineral/chemicals and purge it from your system.

    stay away from over-stimulation (porn and excessive mental activities) which also put kidney under stress.

    basically, if a person want to return his body to a healthy state, he must re-evaluate multiple aspect of his life-style (there's is no magic bullet and I find western medical thinking overly dependent on taking pills or medicine. but in acute case, western medical service should be sought because it is superior in this apsect.).

    that's my rant.

    good luck.

    wm
    Last edited by WanderingMonk; 08-03-2003 at 06:30 AM.

  12. #12
    I get the feeling that American ginseng will probably not hurt me, but I think I'll focus on eating the right kinds of foods and doing my zhan zhuang and taiji every day. I'll use the ginseng sparingly as a supplement. Avoiding too much mental stimulation will be hard, as my job is basically nothing but mental work.

    Thanks to everyone who responded.

  13. #13
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    From a western medical perspective. American Ginseng like its brothers is a adaptogen and has been used for combating stress, increasing mental function, stamina and vigor.

    It is the standardized components in ginseng called ginsenosides that stimulate the immune system to fight fatigue and improve the above stated attributes.

    I take Siberian and Korean Ginseng together on cycles. I am not sure what you are asking as I am not a believer in TCM but there are a lot of good benefits backed by scientific study for American ginseng use such as diabetes, high blood pressure, diminished sex drive and infertitlity and of course combating stress.

    Koeran gingseng would also include Chronic fatigue symdrome, anxiety, menopause related problems, and even hangover. Siberian seems to be more focused on the impotence and diminished sex drive adaptogenic effects.
    Regards

  14. #14
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    Hmmm

    There is a lot of good sicentific back from a TCM perspective for the non-use of Ginseng in Yin Xu conditions.

    Fair enough if you don't advocate TCM but that doesn't negate the caution one should take with a warming herb for a condition that should have any extra heat added to it.
    I think you'll find that any model of medicine would say that that was a good idea.
    " Don't confuse yourself with someone who has something to say " - The Fall

    " I do not like your tone/ It has ephemeral whingeing aspects " - The Fall

    " There are twelve people in the world/ The rest are paste " - Mark E Smith

  15. #15
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    illegal ginseng

    Poached too early.

    Wednesday, September 17, 2014
    Record amount of poached W.Va. ginseng seized
    By Anna Patrick
    Staff writer


    District 4 Natural Resource Police Officers (from left) Zachary Mills, Joshua Toner and Marshall Richards examine illegally picked ginseng. The endangered roots were yanked out of the ground before the season officially began on Sept 1. The DNR says ginseng poaching is tied to the illegal drug trade.



    With enough ginseng roots to fill a conference room, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Law Enforcement revealed Wednesday the largest seizure of illegal ginseng in the state’s history.

    Approximately 190 pounds of the lucrative root, prized in many parts of Asia for its natural healing qualities, covered the District 4 DNR Law Enforcement conference room floor and filled paper bags lining the room.

    District 4’s Lt. W.W. Brogan III said, based on the average market value for a pound of ginseng in 2013, the seized “sang” is worth $180,000.

    The district covers eight counties in Southern West Virginia. All of the ginseng was seized in Wyoming, McDowell, Fayette and Raleigh counties before Sept. 1, when ginseng season officially began. Any digging, possession or selling of ginseng before Sept. 1 is a criminal offense.

    So far, 11 citations have been issued to 11 people in the four counties, and Brogan said it is highly likely that additional arrests will follow soon. Because all the cases are ongoing, officers would not release names Wednesday.

    Brogan said all first-time offenders will face a $100 to $500 fine and second-timers face $500 to $1,000 in fines and/or six months in jail, to be determined by each county’s magistrate.

    In addition to the ginseng, DNR police officers seized two illegal hand guns and multiple scales used to weigh the root. They also seized $30,000 in cash collected from people illegally purchasing the root out of season and without a proper dealer’s license, which is issued by the West Virginia Division of Forestry.

    Brogan said ginseng dug out of season is often tied with other illegal acts, including the sale and purchase of illegal drugs, especially prescription drugs.

    “These roots are almost like carrying cash now days,” said District 4 Natural Resources Police Officer Zachary Mills. “Ginseng has a higher value than the pills, and it is less traceable … . They are trying to get one on us.”

    District 4 officers confirmed that many prescription drug dealers will buy the ginseng for practically nothing and then hold on to the root until they can sell it for a much higher price when it is in season.

    In 2013, one pound of ginseng sold for an average of $780, according to Robin Black, ginseng coordinator for the Division of Forestry.

    These arrests are the result of the district’s 15 police officers pursuing yearlong investigations. Officers said 90 percent of their leads came from the general public calling in and reporting illegal activity. All complaints filed are kept anonymous.

    “Public input is paramount to getting anything done … . If they see something, they need to say something,” Richards said.

    He added, “The ginseng thing has always been a tradition of the state, and that’s something people always did for extra money. It was a heritage type of thing. It’s gotten to where, now, people are using it as another source of income and using it to fuel the drug trade.”

    Brogan added that The History Channel’s “Appalachian Outlaws” hasn’t helped the cause. Officers say the show has generated greater public awareness to make the sport more alluring.

    As the four officers and Lt. Brogan examined the 190 pounds of ginseng, all agreed that the amount seized is just the tip of the iceberg in the illegal ginseng business.

    Mills said, “190 pounds. That’s just barely touching it.”

    “We think this is going on all over the state,” Brogan added.

    At the end of August, District 5 DNR Capt. Kaven Ransom said about 18 pounds of ginseng was seized before Sept. 1.

    The Division of Forestry regulates harvesting of the plant. To maintain American ginseng’s sustainability, Forestry requires that all plants dug are at least 5 years old and have at least three prongs. When a plant is harvested, all of its red berries, which indicate that the plant is ready to germinate, must be planted into the soil where it was found. This ensures that the plant will reproduce.

    Looking at the seized ginseng, Officer Joshua Toner said, “Every single root you see here will not reproduce. It was dug prior to the season.”

    Toner said he attended a tri-state meeting on ginseng and learned that, “if it is dug at the current rate, in about 25 years, there may not be any more wild American ginseng.”

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considers ginseng a threatened plant, and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora [CITES] monitors the sale and exportation of all ginseng from the United States.

    Richards said illegal diggers are “killing the ginseng population” and hurting the efforts of legal diggers who rely on the plant for income.

    “The way it is going right now, we could be out of ginseng in several years,” District 4 Capt. Larry Case said. “I hope we are doing more than scratching the surface ... . These guys [DNR officers] have done an excellent job. Nobody in the state works on ginseng like these guys do. If we, the DNR law enforce section, don’t do this, nobody else is working on it to protect this resource.

    “These guys have come through.”

    Reach Anna Patrick at anna.patrick@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5100.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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