Guide to Harvesting Wild American Ginseng

Ginseng root is well-known for its medicinal properties and it is both grown commercially and harvested from the wild. Actually, there are 11 different species of ginseng and they have a similar appearance. The ginseng that most people in the world are acquainted with is probably the one that is alternately called Asian, Korean or Chinese ginseng and it grows mostly in eastern Asia, in cooler areas. Asian ginseng has been used for medicinal purposes for several thousand years. American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) is a species that is native to North America and some herbalists claim that it is stronger in action than the Asian counterparts. American ginseng has been used medicinally by Native Americans for about the same length of time that Asians have been using Asian ginseng. Before thinking of harvesting wild American ginseng, you should be aware that some states don’t allow harvest. It is important to check with the US Forest Service in your location to find out if you can legally collect it. According to the US Fish & Wildlife Service, American ginseng can be collected in 17 states; Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin. In several other states, it can be grown for harvest, but wild American ginseng can’t be legally harvested. What American ginseng looks like American ginseng grows about a foot tall, with erect stems. The stems normally have three leaves, each leaf being divided into five leaflets. Continue Reading →

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Hidden Medicine in Your Kitchen Cupboards – Oregano

Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is one of the most well-known and often-used culinary herbs in the world today. Italian sauces just don’t taste right without some oregano and naturally, since the herb originated in Greece and still grows there wild, it is heavily featured in Greek dishes as well. The fact is that it is so well liked that it is grown and used in almost every country in the world today. As widely as it is used, though, many people don’t realize that this herb has some really good medicinal properties, too. The name of this herb comes from the Grecian words ‘oros ganos’, meaning “mountain joy”. The plant grows in nutrient-poor and rocky soil and the herb is quite hardy, so it is easy to see why it was named oros ganos. It is a member of the mint family, so it isn’t surprising that some of the components in oregano that make it medicinally valuable are the same ones that make the other mints good additions to the medicine cabinet, too. Among them is thymol, which is similar to menthol and is also found in thyme. Because of the thymol and other chemicals the plant contains, oregano is highly aromatic. Oregano is quite high in fiber, vitamin E, calcium, iron, manganese and this is part of the healthy aspects it gives to foods that it is used to flavor. It is perhaps less well-known that this herb is also high in anti-oxidants. This makes it valuable in preventing Continue Reading →

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