The ginseng we use in our Kitchen Table Ginseng Leaf Tea has been locally harvested. The majority of it has come from right here on our land! The green tea we add is full-leaf Numi organic gunpowder green tea.
Wild ginseng has been used for thousands of years by people of the Orient and native Americans in this area. It is believed that ginseng was discovered in the mountains of Northern China (Manchuria) over 5000 years ago. It was probably first used as a food. Records, however, show that ginseng was used for medicinal purposes over 3,000 years ago. The old Chinese Canon of Medicine states that ginseng strengthens the soul, brightens the eyes, opens the heart, expels evil, benefits understanding and if taken for prolonged periods of time will invigorate the body and prolong life. There was also a belief that the ginseng root resembled the human body!
Because Chinese emperors revered ginseng and were more than willing to pay for ginseng with its weight in gold, a flourishing industry sprung up centuries ago, attracting diggers, traders and robbers. China’s demand for wild root afforded Korea the opportunity to maintain a thriving export business that dates back to the 3rd century AD. Unfortunately, this lucrative trade practically wiped out wild ginseng in Asia and eventually came to a halt. In the sixteenth century Korea started began experimenting and cultivated the world’s first farmed root.
Early attempts to cultivate ginseng in America failed until the early 1900’s when many Eastern farmers began cultivating small gardens of the plant. The methods of ginseng cultivation spread West to the farms and woods of Wisconsin. Located in north central United States, Wisconsin has ideal growing conditions that make it a leader for ginseng production. Now known as “home of the World's Finest Ginseng Root” some say they used to be called the “Dairy State!”.
Green tea and ginseng are two of the oldest medicinal beverages, and both have numerous health benefits. You can take them together as a tea for a potent boost in energy and mental clarity. Both have health-promoting antioxidants that help prevent free-radical damage in the body, making ginseng and green tea a delicious and powerful concoction.As a slow growing perennial and a preference for deep forests ginseng became known throughout the world as ‘the plant that hides from man’. Ginseng’s unique properties and incredible popularity have lead to the over-hunting of wild ginseng and makes it hard for the ginseng to hide. In Asia, highly sought after wild ginseng has been hunted and harvested to near extinction.
Ginseng fairs somewhat better in the United States partly due to the passage of protection laws which regulate it’s harvest. Still, there is very little wild ginseng left in America. Currently, 99% of the world ginseng crop is cultivated; grown in gardens and on small farms. A form of cultivated ginseng know as ‘woods-grown’ ginseng is also planted and cared in by farmers under the naturally sheltered conditions.
Green tea is widely recognized as an excellent source of powerful antioxidants called catechins, according to Harvard Health Publications. A number of studies show that green tea may reduce the risk of several cancers, including skin, lung, breast, colon, esophageal and bladder. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, ginseng tea may help lower the risk of developing lung, liver, pancreatic, ovarian and stomach cancers and may slow the growth of tumors. An article published in “Food and Chemical Toxicology” in September 2011 revealed that ginseng increased the levels of key antioxidants such as glutathione.
Both ginseng and green tea support cardiovascular health as well. According to Harvard Health Publications, regularly drinking green tea prevents the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein -- or “bad” cholesterol -- raises beneficial high-density lipoprotein levels, improves artery function and reduces hypertension. Add ginseng to the mix and you get LDL-lowering effects, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Ginseng is controversial for high blood pressure, however, because studies have shown ginseng to both lower and raise blood pressure, depending on the dose and other factors.
Ginseng has been found to improve mental and physical performance, increase stamina, promote sexual health and support healthy aging, according to research published in the August 2000 “Fitoterapia.” Ginseng also seems to support the immune system by improving the number of immune cells in the blood, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Thus, ginseng may reduce your risk for getting a cold and lessen the severity of a cold or the flu if you do get sick. Green tea has been shown to strengthen bones and improve bone mass, according to research published in “Nutrition Research” in July 2009. Green tea may also support oral health and protect the brain, along with it numerous other health benefits, according to a review published in the “Journal of the American College of Nutrition.”
The combination of ginseng and green tea may improve health; however, there are known side effects of both substances. Green tea in excess can cause anxiety, insomnia and irritability due to its caffeine content, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Green tea should be avoided in pregnancy and lactation, and if you have heart problems, high blood pressure, kidney or liver problems, stomach ulcers or psychological disturbances. Ginseng should also be avoided in pregnancy and lactation, as well by those who have bipolar disorder, insomnia and autoimmune disorders. Check with your doctor before taking Asian ginseng if you are taking pharmaceutical medications. High doses of ginseng have been known to cause side effects that may include anxiety, restlessness, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, vaginal bleeding, high blood pressure and nosebleeds.