Ginseng tea has held great importance in Asian cultures, being held above gold and traded for silk. The demand for Ginseng was great causing it to become an import for the Chinese from Korea. Soon, the wild Ginseng ran out thus giving way to commercialized growth. It is believed however that wild Ginseng holds more medicinal value than that of the commercialized cultivated plant.
The root of the Ginseng plant resembles that of human form therefore being referred to as Ren Shen by the Ancient Chinese which means man root. Today, Ginseng is grown in many different regions making a variety of different Ginseng. Indian Ginseng is considered Ashwagandha and is found on the Indian Sub-Continent. Asian Ginseng, the most popular of the Ginseng variety, is known as Panax and is found in China, Japan and Korea. Japanese Ginseng which is also knows as Panax is of course found in Japan. Siberian Ginseng is otherwise known as Eleutherococcus Senticosus and grows in China, Japan, Korea and Russia. This is not truly considered a Ginseng however as it has a wood like root rather than the fleshy root found on the Ginseng plant and contains the chemicals Eleutherosides instead of Ginsenosides. Southern Ginseng is also knows as Jiaogulan and is found in China, Southern Japan and Southern Korea. Prince Ginseng is otherwise known as Pesudostellaria Heterophylla and is found in the specific Chinese provinces of Shaanxi, Shandong, Jilin, Liaoning, Hebei, Henan, and Zhejiang. Brazilian Ginseng which is of course found in Brazil is called Suma Root and Para Todo. Peruvian Ginseng, also called Maca, is found in the Ande Mountains as well as both Peru and Bolivia. American Ginseng is found in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Georgia, Oklahoma, British Columbia and Ontario. It is notable that the Chinese variety is known for it's stimulating affects and the North American variety is known for the opposite reaction of a calming sensation.
Even though Ginseng Tea has been around for over 5,000 years, few studies have been completed as to the true health benefits and side effects of the tea. Ginseng Tea is one of the most controversial teas as debates continue on the medicinal and health benefits the beverage may have. While no study has been conclusive, supporters credit Ginseng Tea with aiding to increase appetite, aiding with digestion and respiration. Additionally, it is said to rejuvenate and eliminate fatigue, reduce physical and mental stress, offer the immune system a healthy boost, act as an aphrodisiac, alleviate arthritis pain, relieve asthma, counter diabetes, reduces the risk of cancer, helps treat the symptoms of Crohn's Disease, help to lower bad cholesterol levels, relieve headaches, cures stomach ulcers and relieves diarrhea. Lastly, Ginseng Tea is suppose to be good for blood circulation. Most teas do not have a grouping of side effects, though Ginseng Tea is thought to cause, in some consumers, an inability to sleep, nausea, diarrhea, euphoria, headaches, high blood pressure and low blood pressure.
Ginseng Tea drinkers would describe the bright yellow beverage as strong, sharp and coppery with a pungent aftertaste. Chinese people usually refer to the taste and color as golden. Others refer to the taste as sweet yet slightly bitter and warm. Ginseng Tea is unique in that each person who tries it may experience an entirely different taste. This may be because there are so many different varieties.
For whatever reason, either for taste, health benefit or tradition, Ginseng Tea has been around for a long time and becomes more popular in more countries every year. Ginseng Tea can be found in most retailers and grocers with the popular brands of traditional brewed, bagged and iced teas now making a Ginseng product. Most of the Ginseng Tea consumed today is cultivated, not wild. Ginseng Tea is a fad found in almost every home of avid tea drinkers everywhere.
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