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  • Useful and medicinal properties of ginseng

    Synonyms: panax, ginseng, human root, ginseng present.

    Description. Perennial herbaceous plant of the Araliaceae family( Araliaceae).The root is yellow, rod-shaped, fleshy, up to 20-25 cm long, 2.0-2.5 cm thick, with two or six large branches( branches), which in shape sometimes resemble a human figure. In the soil, the roots are inclined, sometimes the horizon

    is thalassic. The height of the stem is 30-80 cm. The stem is thin, straight, cylindrical, green or brownish-red, single. The rosette consists of three to five leafy leaves, located on the top of the stem. Five-petioled long-petioled leaves predominate. The length of the middle leaf is 4-15 cm, and the width is 2.2-4.0 cm. Inflorescence is a simple umbrella. The length of the peduncle is 18-24 cm. The flowers are plain, bisexual, with greenish-white petals. The fruit is a bright red berry, with one or two flat seeds. The flesh of the fetus is poisonous.

    Medicinal raw materials: roots.

    Biological features. In natural conditions, ginseng slowly grows and develops. Seeds of wild ginseng, sown soon after ripening, sprout after 22 months, and the first flowering occurs only after 8-10 years;The commercial value is represented by the roots of ginseng weighing no more than 30 g. for the 20-25 year of culture. On the contrary, in the conditions of culture, with the proper preparation of seeds, their germination appears already in the first spring;plants begin to blossom in the third year of life, and the commercial value is represented by roots weighing about 25 g. already on the fourth-fifth year of culture. Ginseng is a shade-loving plant, but not as much as it was thought before. It has been established that the slow growth and development of ginseng in nature is largely due to insufficient lighting. In addition, it is established that ginseng does not tolerate direct sunlight in the same way as waterlogging the soil.

    In natural conditions, ginseng is very rare. For hundreds of years it was almost completely destroyed. The maximum mass of roots of wild ginseng reaches 300-400 g at the age of 150-200 years, but such roots are extremely rare. The natural reserves of ginseng are becoming more and more exhausted. Ginseng was preserved only under conditions favorable to it, therefore, it belongs to relict plants.

    Distribution. In its wild form, ginseng is found in Korea, China, in the south of the Khabarovsk Territory and in Primorye.

    grows in deaf and shady places, in coniferous and mixed forests, in gorges, deep mountain valleys

    on loose humus soil. Most often it grows in groups in mixed broad-leaved and cedar forests on well-drained soil.

    Cultivation of ginseng in culture was known back in antiquity. Cultivation of it has long been practiced in China, Japan, Korea and other eastern countries.

    In Russia, ginseng was first tested in the St. Petersburg Botanical Garden in 1905. At present, it is distributed in the Far East( in the southern regions) and in the Transcaucasus.

    Chemical composition. The main active substances of ginseng are: triterpene glycosides( panaxosides A, B, C, D, E, F, G), essential oil, pectic substances, micro- and macro elements.

    Application. Ginseng has long enjoyed great popularity among Oriental peoples. The Chinese, for example, use wild ginseng in the treatment of many diseases, including tuberculosis. Various preparations made from ginseng and alcohol tinctures are used for nervous exhaustion and atherosclerosis as a tonic and stimulant that acts on the central nervous system. Preparations of ginseng increase the physical and mental performance of a person. The biological activity of cultivated ginseng is half the torus-two times lower than that of wild-growing ginseng. The flesh of the fruit is poisonous, causes vomiting and inflammation of the mucous membrane.

    Agrotechnics of cultivation. Site selection. Ginseng is grown in culture either under the forest canopy or in open areas. When cultivating it under the canopy of the forest, plantations are recommended to be placed on not sloping slopes. It is established that dry broad-leaved forests are most favorable for ginseng, in which coniferous trees are found( the latter pritenjayut ginseng before the appearance of leaves).

    In open areas, ginseng is cultivated exclusively under the constant artificial shade with the help of awnings( straw mats, wooden canopies and shields).For this purpose, even fertile areas are selected.

    Ginseng is best grown on brown forest soils, well drained, with a large layer of humus.

    Soil treatment. The site should be well cleaned of scurf, deadwood and stumps. After this, it must be plowed to the full depth of the humus layer.

    Application of fertilizers. Under plowing, when growing ginseng under the forest canopy, leaf foliage is applied at the rate of 40-60 t / ha. When cultivating ginseng in open areas under the main fall plowing it is recommended to make 100-250 t / ha of humus or leaf compost. On clay soils, in addition to organic fertilizers, 100-200 t / ha of coarse sand should be added.

    Reproduction. For the preliminary cultivation of seedlings, under forest canopy, the best areas for fertility and other characteristics in the forest are taken, which are introduced into the digging of forest humus( 60 t / ha) together with large sand( 25 t / ha).Before sowing seeds, the beds in the nursery areas are marked in two directions at a distance of 15x15 or 10x10 cm. At the intersection sites, one seed is sown to a depth of 2-3 cm. After sowing, the wells are sprinkled with a layer of earth 1.5-3.0 cm. If on appearanceshoots, natural shading will not be sufficient, create an additional artificial canopy with a height of 40-60 cm.

    Seedlings are planted in a permanent place in the early spring in the holes to a depth of 10-12 cm with a feeding area of ​​50X40 cm.

    Cultivation of ginseng in open arease is produced by pre-growing seedlings. In this case, from the autumn, seedlings are planted, in which seeds of ginseng are sown under winter( or in spring).On the beds make sheds for shading the shoots. During the summer, the nurseries are loosened as necessary, and with the onset of cold weather they are covered with a layer of leaves and shaded for the winter. Significantly later, shading is also removed in the southern regions( south of the Primorsky Territory and Transcaucasia).In spring, the seedlings are planted on a permanent site( also on beds) in two rows with a feeding area of ​​5040 cm. Above the beds are installed awnings 100-120 cm high on the south side and 120-140 cm from the north. In addition, put the walls for shading from the sides in order to avoid sunlight from 9 to 15 hours.

    Care of plantations consists in systematic loosening of rows, weeding weeds and maintaining the necessary soil moisture( watering).Especially often it is necessary to water ginseng in open areas. To ensure that the root neck of ginseng was covered with earth, in the second half of summer the soil of the ridges is covered with humus 1.0-1.5 cm thick.

    Harvesting. If in the natural conditions of harvesting, the largest root of ginseng weighing about 100 g is the most valuable.old root at the age of about 50 years, in the conditions of culture, the roots must be removed in the fourth to eighth year of life.

    In culture conditions, the roots are removed at the end of summer with small shovels, carefully, so as not to damage and preserve whole root lobes. Depending on the quality of the roots, they are sent for drying or they are handed over in a fresh form to the harvesting station. Often the roots are preserved in sugar syrup.

    In addition to ordinary ginseng, the practice uses the roots of ginseng five-leaf( Panax quinque-folius L.) and ginseng creeping( Panax repens Maxim.).The first is growing in North America, and the second in Japan.

    Seed growing. The harvest of seed ginseng gives from the third to fourth year of culture. Picking berries begins when they get red. The collected berries are grinded with coarse sand, and then washed with running water to get rid of the pulp. After washing, the seeds are dried a little for 2-3 hours in the shade and immediately poured into glass bottles with moist pre-washed river sand. Then the seeds are placed in washed and calcined sand and then put in clay ware, where a certain moisture content is maintained. In this form, the seeds are stored until October-November, i.e.until the appearance of a gap in the greater part of the seeds between the flaps of the outer shell. Seeds with well-opened leaves remain until the spring in dry sand at a temperature of no more than 10-12 ° C, and seeds with poorly opened leaves can be sown under winter in the ground.