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Ginseng leaf.

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Underused medicine: ginseng leaf.

You can use the aboveground parts of many (not all) root herbs for the same purpose as the root. The tradition of using only the roots of these plants has its roots (heh) in the old herb trade, where crude herb was kept in burlap bags in warehouses for years on end; leaf cannot take that kind of treatment, root can.

The leaf of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) is as good as the root. It's also much cheaper, but next to nobody sells it because next to nobody knows about it.

So if you grow ginseng: pick the leaf, too, and make it into a tasty tea or tincture. Yum! The taste is a lot like licorice, and it's as strengthening to adrenals and as good for the general stress response (= as good an adaptogen) as the root is.

I know of only one outfit that sells ginseng leaf in the USA. From their catalogue:

Ginseng Leaf, wildcrafted, Panax quinquefolius: 1-4 lbs 30.25 $/lb
Ginseng Root Whole, Panax quinquefolius:
- American Wild, Premium, wildcrafted: 1-4 lbs 825.00 $/lb
- American Wild, Average, wildcrafted: 1-4 lbs 770.00$/lb
- American Wild, Woodsgrown, organically grown: 1-4 lbs 163.35 $/lb

... see? There's an enormous difference in price. Get the herb, not the root. It's cheap enough that you actually get ginseng, not an adulterant. Which is why Blessed herbs sells whole root, of course: so you can be sure to get the real thing. It's almost certain that any ginseng products at your local health food store have never even seen ginseng... real ginseng, be it American or Chinese (Panax ginseng), is simply so expensive that adulterant rot creeps in, somewhere along the line, in almost all cases.

Of course, there is a lot of cheating in the "organically" grown woodsgrown ginseng, as well. You hear horror stories where they grow ginseng with all the needed *cides and other poisons for 3 years (ginseng is very prone to fungi and other trouble when grown in fields under shade cloth), then dig the lot up and replant it in forest, only to dig it up again a year or two later, selling that as organically woodsgrown... I have no idea how well Blessed herbs checks their growers' plantations, sorry.

And of course, the price of wild American ginseng is so high because it's under pressure in the wild. Better to get organically grown - you'll just have to find a grower/trader that you can trust.

Blessed herbs also have Korean Ginseng Powder, Panax ginseng, at 49.50 $/lb for 1-4 lbs - but I'd stay away from all and any ginseng powders. These, too, are too often adulterated, and of course, with powders, it's bottom-of-the-barrel stuff that gets ground up, not premium root.

If you know of another outfit that sells ginseng leaf, please let me know. I'd prefer to buy from a bulk herb house that hasn't jumped onto the parasite cleansing bandwagon; and I'd prefer to buy ginseng leaf from organically grown ginseng, not from wildcrafted herb.


I think I have found wild ginseng root on my land. The land tilled it use to be just forrest till I started tilling and removing trees. I have tried to match the root to the stuff / pics on the internet. However, the domesticated ginseng looks a little different the wild stuff. It fit all the description and looks like a man, has circle rings but looks like a deformed worst than turnip.

Any suggestions on how to tell what this really is? Please let me know.

Taste the leaf. Licorice? Bingo. Not licorice? Spit it out, you have no idea what the plant is.

that sounds like ginseng. I wouldnt tast it, however. Send or bring it to the local extension office of department of agriculture office to identify it. I have found a stand on our land. Wild, hasnt been touched since we know we have been there, since 1954.

I have read up on how to haarvest and dry ginseng. I wwant to find out where and how I can sell it before the time to harvest it. I am in Virginia, near Richmond. Does anyone know how and where to go to sell it??

Anyone have experience using the berries?

I ordered some of the "wildcrafted" dried ginseng leaf from Blessed Herbs a few years ago. Being skeptical that whoever supplies them their ginseng could come up with such large amounts of truly wild ginseng leaf and sell it at such a cheap price, I wrote to them to ask them about the concern that some sellers of "wild" ginseng leaf are actually cultivating ginseng for a few years, spraying lots of chemicals on it, then replanting it in the woods somewhere and digging it up a year later. They acted as if they'd never heard of such a thing and responded defensively with a terse email saying that they felt their suppliers were people of integrity and they trusted they would never do such a thing. So it seems to be simply a "they take their suppliers' word and I should take their word" thing, without any real verification, since there doesn't seem to be any real official certification of the product being chemical input-free.

OK, scratch that one as being in any way verified.