Ginseng is one of the most extensively researched botanical medicines in the world.
Ginseng has been widely used as a traditional Chinese Medicine for over 5,000 years. Ginseng is well documented and has been shown to have a wide range of therapeutic functions. It is not considered a medication so much for specific conditions; rather, it is a tonic for improving overall energy and sense of well-being.
Traditionally, the root of ginseng is considered to be the only effective part used to treat various conditions, but through pharmacological research, its other parts including the flowers, leaves and fruits have also been discovered to have possible health benefits.The pharmacological efficacy of ginseng identified by modern science includes improved brain function, pain-relieving effects, preventive effects against tumours as well as anti-tumour activity, enhanced immune system function, anti-diabetic effects, enhanced liver function, adjusted blood pressure, anti-fatigue and anti-stress effects, improved sexual functions, as well as anti-oxidative and anti-ageing effects.
Dry ginseng root is used worldwide to treat diabetes, cancer-related fatigue, cardiovascular disease, stroke and other diseases. Accumulating evidence has shown that ginsenosides exert antidiabetic effects.
Since the use of traditional Chinese herbs for medicinal and dietary purposes is becoming increasingly popular in Western countries, ginseng is becoming one of the best-selling herbs in the world.
Ginseng and health...
Studies about NZ grown ginseng
Ginseng has been used in natural medicines for thousands of years.
Over 200 substances have been isolated from ginseng to date. Recent studies have discovered a variety of potent components in all parts of the ginseng plant including ginsenosides, alkaloids, phenolics, phytosterol, carbohydrates, polypeptides, ginseng oils, amino acids, nitrogenous substances, vitamins, minerals, and certain enzymes.
Ginsenosides are the main bioactive components. They are affected by the growing environment, age of the plant and processing. Unlike farmed ginseng in other countries, ginseng in New Zealand is grown under a pine tree canopy which closely simulates growth in a wild environment.
A published Massey University study compared ginsenosides from KiwiSeng NZ-grown ginseng with those of its original native locations (China and Korea). The average content of total ginsenosides in NZ-grown ginseng was 40.1 mg/g, which was significantly higher in concentration than that of China grown ginseng (16.5 mg/g) and Korean-grown ginseng (21.1 mg/g).
The Massey University research has proven that our forest-grown Panax ginseng contains nearly 100% higher ginsenoside concentration compared to the average of Chinese and Korean origin Panax ginseng.
Apart from the similar growth conditions including the cold winter, temperate summer, and weakly acidic soil to that ginseng’s natural habitat in Northeast of China and Korea, the volcanic pumice soil and high-intensity light radiation may have contributed to the higher ginsenoside content of the New Zealand grown ginseng.
Photosynthetically active radiation, soil, and water potentially can have a great impact on ginsenoside accumulation in ginseng roots. The volcanic pumice soil can provide an excellent environment for root growth because of its unique properties such as dark soil colour, unique consistency, low bulk density, and high water holding capacity. Additionally, during the Southern Hemisphere summer, NZ receives, on average, 7% more radiation compared to a comparable latitude in the Northern Hemisphere summer.
Publication: Chen et al. 2019. Analysis of Ginsenoside Content (Panax ginseng) from Different Regions. Molecules 2019, 24, 3491; doi:10.3390/molecules24193491. Link