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Ginseng is glorified by almost one-quarter of the world's population. For more than 2,000 years, the roots of this slow-growing plant have been valued in Chinese medicine. It is from the plant family Panax, pan "all" and akos "heal", which literally means panacea, a remedy for all ills or difficulties. Ginseng comes from the chinese word "jen-shen" which means "man root" (referring to the root's characteristic forked shape, resembling the legs of a man). The two most commonly used species are Asian ginseng ( Panax ginseng C. A. Meyer), which is almost extinct in its natural habitat but is still cultivated, and American ginseng ( P . quinquefolius L.), which is both harvested from the wild and cultivated.

Abundant in ancient times, now you will rarely come across a cultivation of ginseng. Ginseng grow in the Northern Hemisphere in eastern Asia (mostly northern China, Korea, and eastern Siberia), typically in cooler climates. In China, where it used to grow in the wilderness, Ginseng plants have practically disappeared due to massive deforestation.

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