Ginseng: cultivation in the garden, medicinal properties and contraindications
The herbaceous perennial ginseng (Panax) is a member of the Araliaceae family. In nature, they can be found in North America and Asia (Tibet, Altai, the Far East and China). For a long time, mankind has known that such a culture has healing properties, it is most often used as a tonic and adaptogen. Ginseng root in Korea and China is used in cooking. Representatives of official medicine in China are confident that this plant can prolong life and give strength.
The root of ginseng is a rod branching spindle-shaped, it reaches 25 centimeters in length and 0.7–2.5 centimeters in width. One root has 2–5 branches. A neck with traces of annual shoots is located in the upper part of the root, you can find out the age of the bush by their number. The color of the surface and cut of the root is whitish yellow or white. It has a specific aroma, and the taste is sweetish. The height of the stem can vary from 0.3 to 0.7 m, at its apex there is a whorl, consisting of 2-5 palmately complex leaf plates with long petioles. Umbrellas grow during flowering, consisting of greenish star-shaped flowers. A flower arrow grows out of the middle of the leaf whorl. The fruit is a drupe of red color, whose length is about 10 mm, inside it there are 2-3 wrinkled seeds of yellow-gray color.
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Growing Ginseng in the Garden
Plants on which tomatoes, potatoes and cucumbers grew are not suitable for planting ginseng, since it is highly likely that it will be infected by infections preserved in the soil, to which these vegetable crops are not resistant. When choosing a place for planting, one must also take into account the fact that such a plant reacts extremely negatively even to short-term stagnation of moisture in the root system, in this regard, groundwater must lie very deep in the selected area, the soil must be permeable and well drained, and it should be located on the northeastern or northwestern slope, which is illuminated by the sun only in the evening or morning. The bush reacts negatively to both direct sunlight and the shadow, in connection with this we need to figure out how to shade it. Experts advise you to choose a site under the lace shade of trees for planting, but keep in mind that they should let in 20 to 25 percent of the sun. Before planting ginseng, the soil on the site must be prepared, since it must meet the requirements of this culture. The composition of the soil should be similar to taiga soil, namely: be neutral (5.7-7.0 pH), air- and moisture-permeable, loose, and even its composition should include a sufficient amount of organic matter and humus. Experts advise you to prepare a suitable soil mixture yourself. It can include leaf humus, soddy soil, biohumus, litter from deciduous forest, peat, rotted sawdust, coarse sand, lake silt, ash, soot, rotten fine wood dust or chopped eggshells.
Preparation of the garden bed, whose height should be 0.3-0.4 meters, and width - up to 1 meter, should be 3-4 months before the day of planting. The length of the bed may be as you need, but you need to remember that it should be placed from west to east. Sowing material requires mandatory pre-sowing preparation, while it includes 2 periods of stratification, and the duration of each is from 4 to 5 months. First, the seed is stratified by heat (from 18 to 20 degrees), and then by cold (from 1 to 2 degrees).If the seller from whom you purchase seeds is responsible, then he is engaged in pre-sowing preparation himself, such seed should only be sown. The purchased seeds should be well considered, so if they went through all the stages of stratification, there will be cracks on the surface of the seeds, but if they are not there, this means that the seed was not prepared.
On the prepared bed, you need to make grooves with a depth of 50 mm, while the distance between them should be about 100 mm. During sowing, a distance of 20 to 30 mm should be observed between the seeds. When planting ginseng seedlings in the ground, the distance between the bushes should be from 10 to 15 centimeters, and the width between the rows should be 20 centimeters, while the kidney should be buried in the soil by no more than 50 mm. Each plant should be laid in the ground at an angle of 45 degrees with the head to the east. When seedlings are planted or seeds sown, the garden should be well watered. Expect that the seedlings will appear soon, is not worth it, sometimes this happens after a few months.
Ginseng Care in the Garden
If the seedlings appear in spring, then return frosts can harm them. To prevent this, the plant should be protected, for this, special metal arcs are installed over the bed, on which the covering material is pulled. This design will come in handy later, when young bushes will need to be protected from direct sunlight. During the first year of growth, only one leaf plate with 3 leaves will form in the bush, in a plant that is 4 years old, it can have 3 or 4 leaf plates with 4 or 5 leaves. But from the age of five, the number of foliage does not increase.
On average, the garden is watered once every 7 days, while for every one square meter of the plot, 2 to 3 liters of water should go. Only water heated in the sun and well-settled water should be used for irrigation, while potassium permanganate must be poured into it each time so that the liquid turns pinkish. During the first year of the life of the bushes, it is necessary to manually loosen the soil surface and remove weed grass from the beds. During the summer period, at least 10 cultivations will need to be carried out. In order to reduce the amount of watering, the surface of the bed should be covered with a layer of mulch (sawdust, humus or needles).
In autumn and spring, fertilizing the bushes is carried out, for this, wood ash is applied to the soil (150-200 grams per 1 square meter of the plot). The roots begin to gain mass only after the fruits are formed. Therefore, from August after ripening, the bushes will need daily sunbathing, but the rays must be oblique. In late autumn, the surface of the site should be covered with a two-centimeter layer of vermicompost, thanks to this the bushes will not only be protected from frost, but they will also receive nutritious nutrition.
Diseases and pests
Ginseng is not highly resistant to harmful insects and diseases. Due to the fact that the garden is regularly watered with a weak solution of potassium permanganate, this helps to protect the bushes from damage from fungal diseases. But experts advise that regularly at the beginning of the spring period and in the late autumn, the site and row-spacings should be treated with a solution of Bordeaux mixture (1-2%), and throughout the season, plants should be sprayed on the foliage with a pinkish manganese potassium solution (1 gram of substance per 100 liters of water) , while it will be necessary to wash it off the sheet plates with clean water.
For this culture, pests such as slugs, mice, bears, aphids, moles, wireworms, and also May larvae are especially dangerous. To deal with these pests, it is necessary by the method of manual collection with their subsequent destruction. Infusions prepared on marigolds, tobacco, needles, garlic, wormwood, dandelions or wood ash will help briefly protect the bushes from insects.It is recommended to pour a small amount of liquid soap for stickiness into the infusion.
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Ginseng collection and storage
Ginseng roots reached commercial quality only by 5–6 years. At this point, their mass may be equal to 20-100 g, and in some cases more. When there is a crescent moon left before digging out the roots, it is necessary to stop watering the plants completely, thanks to which it will be much easier to pull the bushes out of the soil. The dug roots should be thoroughly washed under running water using a brush, while trying to remove the remaining soil, then they must be dried. Fresh raw materials can be folded into a plastic bag and placed on the shelf of the refrigerator, where they can lie for several weeks. However, only dried roots are suitable for long-term storage. If the roots are small, then they can be dried whole, while large roots should be cut into plates, the thickness of which can vary from 0.5 to 0.7 cm. In room conditions, the roots can be laid out on central heating radiators or put into an electric dryer, where they are dried at a temperature of 50 to 60 degrees. For storage, the finished raw materials are placed in glass jars, which are tightly closed and put away for storage in a dry and dark place. It retains its beneficial properties for no longer than 5 years.
Foliage is carried out in September. Only bushes older than three years are suitable for this. Raw materials should be spread out in a thin layer in a shaded place for drying. Dry foliage is poured into cardboard boxes or paper bags, where they will be stored for no longer than 1 year.
Types and varieties of ginseng with photos and names
Of all types of ginseng, only two have healing properties, namely:
Ginseng (Panax ginseng)
A description of this type can be found at the beginning of the article. Every year in natural conditions it can be met less and less, but in culture it is very widespread.
Five Leaf Ginseng (Panax quinquefolium)
Or American ginseng, or pearl ginseng. Homeland of this kind is North America and the Himalayas. Under natural conditions, it is also not very widespread, but it is grown in France, China and Wisconsin. This type differs from the rest in that it has a cooling effect.
Ginseng properties: harm and benefits
The healing properties of ginseng
The fact that ginseng has incredible healing power, there are many legends. They say that it contributes to the return of youth, getting rid of all diseases, and can even raise hopeless patients to their feet. In these legends there is some truth, and such a healing power of this plant due to its unusual composition is explained. So, the composition of the root includes resins, alkaloids, sulfur, phosphorus, tannins, macro- and microelements and vitamin C. Ginseng has a tonic and analgesic effect, it also helps to improve gas exchange and the endocrine system, normalize blood pressure, increase efficiency, conclusion spent bile, lowering blood sugar. Use it as a tool that relieves physical and mental stress, as well as stress, and it also has a sedative effect in case of neurosis. Also, this plant helps to improve vision and memory, strengthen the immune system, normalize metabolic processes, and also with the help of it, wounds heal much faster.
If a man has problems with potency, then experts recommend him to use the root of this plant for 8 weeks. At the end of this course, sexual function will be fully restored, and sperm motility will also significantly improve.
This plant is used in the form of tinctures, powders, extracts, ointments and tea.Experts prescribe ginseng extract if weakening of sexual function or hypotension is observed, and it also helps with overwork and restores strength after experienced stress or after a serious illness. In alternative medicine, ginseng tincture is widely used, which has a metabolic, antiemetic, adaptogenic, biostimulating and tonic effect. The composition of such funds includes peptides, saponin glucosides, minerals, vitamins, essential and fatty oils.
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Such a plant, as well as preparations prepared on its basis, is prohibited for pregnant women to use for bleeding, increased nervousness, and various inflammations. It is considered a powerful stimulant, and therefore, in some cases, contributes to the development of headache, nausea, vomiting, and also contributes to the deterioration of well-being in hypertensive patients. Experts do not recommend taking it to people who are less than 45 years old. And even if you do not have any contraindications, before you start taking ginseng, you should definitely consult with a qualified specialist.