Ginseng has been prized for centuries for its health benefits, and red ginseng is very much in demand today
GINSENG has long been known for its remedial effects and is synonymous with the Chinese community whose ancestors have used it as a tonic and restorative medicine for thousands of years.
“Traditionally, ginseng has been taken for a range of medical conditions and was often referred to as an elixir to improve one’s health and wellbeing, says Park Jin, senior manager of department for the Korea Ginseng Corporation.
Depending on the state of processing, the unprocessed ginseng becomes red ginseng when it is repeatedly steamed and dried until it has a brown or red hue.
It preserves well as it is easy to store for a long time without affecting its quality.
Red ginseng is believed to boost the immune system, helps with the recovery from fatigue, supports blood circulation, enhances brain activity and acts as an antioxidant.
Dr So Seung-Ho, efficacy and safety research team leader at KGC’s Laboratory of Fundamental Research, R&D Headquarters, explains that generally, Korean red ginseng is an exceptional root-packed with vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and other essential nutrients that support health and wellbeing.
The Chinese have lauded Korean ginseng as the “elixir of life”, citing its legendary benefits, he adds.
Ginseng contains various pharmacological components, including a series of tetracyclic triterpenoid saponins (ginsenosides), polyacetylenes, polyphenolic compounds and acidic polysaccharides.
The extracts produce antimicrobial compounds that work as a defence mechanism against bacterial and viral infections where they are believed to help boost the immune system.
The proactive effect of ginsenosides helps to improve concentration and overall brain functioning by stimulating brain cells.
It may also improve blood circulation by inhibiting thrombus formation, and can prevent cardiovascular diseases.
KNOW YOUR GINSENG
Unprocessed ginseng, harvested on a field.
Mostly four- to five-year-old fresh ginseng which has been peeled and dried.
Mostly six years old.
Light yellowish brown to light reddish brown in colour.
Has new ginsenosides and other ingredients.
Source: Korea Ginseng Corporation
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR
GINSENG is a very difficult plant to cultivate and, in fact, many pesticides are used during its cultivation. Therefore, safety is very important and it is important to choose products that you can trust.
One should look for mature, six-year-old Korean red ginseng roots which contain up to two times the functional health components of younger roots. That’s because Korean red ginseng takes that long to unlock its maximum strength and the optimal amount of ginseng saponins.
In other words, a six-year-old Korean red ginseng root is mature and has maxed out its capacity to harness health components. No additional benefits will result from growing the root for more than six years.
Source: Korea Ginseng Corporation
THE word ginseng is actually a general term that includes about 12 different species of plants belonging to the Panax genus.
This plant with its large fleshy roots (where lies its main source of nutrients) is usually found in North America and certain parts of Asia where the weather is cooler.
There are different types of genus, some of which have woody roots, while others are fleshy.
The root is the most valuable portion of the plant and consumers can buy it dried, either whole or sliced.
Ginseng can be included in energy drinks, beverages, tea or even supplements.
Ginseng is said to make our metabolism and immune system more flexible, which is why it remains very much in demand around the world.
Source: Adapted from “10 impressive benefits of ginseng” — www.organicfacts.net
118 YEARS OF LEGACY
AIMING to create awareness on Korean red ginseng and how it benefits health and wellbeing, KGC spearheaded Malaysia’s first CheongKwanJang Seminar last year with the support from its local partner, KMT Trading Sdn Bhd as well as the Korea Trade & Investment Promotion Agency.
KGC sees the importance of educating local traditional Chinese medicine store owners and fellow distribution partners on the benefits of Korean red ginseng on our overall health, says Park Jin, senior manager of department for KGC.
“Traditionally, ginseng has been taken for a range of medical conditions. At Korea Ginseng Corporation, we aspire to showcase our 118 years of legacy in producing clean and intact raw ginseng through our systematic ginseng cultivation and processing methodology,” he says.KGC was established as Sam-Jeong-Gwa (Ginseng Management division) within the royal palace of Korea’s Daehan Empire in 1899. Its signature brand name, CheongKwanJang, dates back to the early 1940s.