What is Organic Ginseng?

Synthia L. Rose

Organic ginseng is an ultra-natural form of the curative ginseng herb that is grown without pesticides, chemical fertilizers, or insecticides. Avoiding chemicals in the cultivation of ginseng allows farmers to protect the environment from alleged toxins and avoid possible poisoning of water and crops. Fungal diseases and destruction of the ginseng crop by vermin, however, are potential risks for farmers who elect to forgo chemicals.

Sea vegetables, which can be used to fertilize organic ginseng.
Sea vegetables, which can be used to fertilize organic ginseng.

A consumer typically pays more for organic ginseng than for its mainstream counterpart, because farmers are able to sell true organic herbs at a higher price, which then affects the market. The benefits of mainstream ginseng, however, may be equal to those of organic ginseng, according to some experts. These benefits include increased energy, correction of erectile dysfunction in men, and lowered blood pressure. Balanced blood sugar is another benefit of ginseng, as is mental clarity. Some alternative medicine practitioners claim organic ginseng can treat hepatitis and mitigate symptoms of menopause.

Ginseng root has been used for a variety of medicinal purposes for thousands or years.
Ginseng root has been used for a variety of medicinal purposes for thousands or years.

Natural fertilizers like dead leaves and decomposed fish are used by organic ginseng farmers to encourage robust growth and hardy roots. Vegetable compost can add nutrients to the soil without fostering root disease as some chemical fertilizers occasionally do. Sea vegetables are another popular natural fertilizer for growing the herb. Organic ginseng farmers have to use natural means, like traps, to protect ginseng crops from insects and rodents, such as rats, rabbits, and moles. Killing weeds without chemical sprays generally requires the physical labor of pulling weeds at least once a growth season as well as using mulch.

Ginseng naturally grows in the forests of Canada and the United States. It also grows in the Asian countries of Korea and China, where it has been used for generations as holistic medicine. Imposter ginseng varieties going by the names Siberian ginseng and Brazilian ginseng are not true ginseng, according to most horticulturalists.

The medical power of ginseng comes from chemicals known as ginsenosides, which are present in the roots of the ginseng plant and can help the body maintain homeostasis and balance. Growing research shows that ginseng can help people avert cancers, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Not only do sick patients use it to recover from viruses and bacterial infections, but athletes also use it for maximum physical performance and stamina. The growing popularity of ginseng as a healing herb has caused people from many nations to begin taking it regularly in teas and supplements.

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