1. How to consume Korean red ginseng and fresh ginseng
1) How can one consume Korean red ginseng?
*There are two ways to consume red ginseng: One is to boil down red ginseng and consume it, which is a traditional way of consuming red ginseng, The other is to consume red ginseng in the form of tea, extract, and powder (capsules) products, It is easy and convenient to consume most of the red ginseng products, with the exception of red ginseng roots which keep their original shape.
*In terms of the different ways of consuming Korean red ginseng, it is taken either in the form of ‘doksamtang’ (a ginseng soup made by boiling down only the ginseng) or in the form of packs of prepared herb medicine, in which ginseng is used as one of the ingredients. As it is difficult to use large red ginseng roots as they are, it is common to cut the red ginseng roots into slices and boil them down. Cutting ginseng into slices is designed to make ginseng ingredients come out well. There is also secondary purpose for slicing which is to help consumers in Southeast Asia confirm the histological quality of ginseng, which is high-priced product.
*In order to make red ginseng slices, red ginseng, which is very hard, unlike white ginseng, and is thus difficult to slice thinly, is put into a toaster or a heating plate and slightly heated for about two minutes. When the red ginseng becomes tender, every single root is cut thinly with a medicine cutter or knife. As general households may not have tools to cut ginseng, it is more convenient to get assistance with this from Korean ginseng stores or Oriental medicine shops. When slicing red ginseng at home, one is advised to remove the red ginseng from the canned packaging, wrap the amount one wishes to use with gauze or mesh, and heat it in a pressure cooker at high temperatures with steam to make it easy to slice.
*When taken in the form of ‘doksamtang’, in the case of long-term consumption to promote health, one is advised to put red ginseng (12~20g), 3~4 jujubes (10g), 1~2 ginger pieces (3g) and 0.9 liter of water into a herb extractor and gradually boil them down for about two hours until the water is reduced to one-third. One may take it 2~3 times daily between meals (Table 6). In the case of short-term consumption to boost overall physical weakness after illness, one is advised to use 50~60g of red ginseng. Depending on symptoms, the dosage and consumption frequencies may be increased or decreased in a timely manner (Table 7). When red ginseng is put into oriental herb mixture, the amount may be adjusted depending on the prescription.
Table 6. When consumed on a long-term basis to increase energy and promote overall health
Ingredients: Korean red ginseng
Remarks: 1 root (10~40 pieces package) or 2 roots (50 or more pieces package)
Remarks: 3~4 pieces
Remarks: Large : a 1/2 root, small : one root
Weight: 0.9 L
Table 7. When taken in the short term to improve weaknesses after diseases
Ingredients: Korean red ginseng
Remarks: 2 root (10~20 pieces package) or 5 roots (30~50 pieces package) or 8 roots (60 or more pieces package)
3Remarks: g 3~4 pieces
Remarks: Large : a 1/2 piece, small : one piece
Weight: 0.9 L
*It is also possible to consume red ginseng by putting red ginseng slices into a ceramic cup and pouring hot water over it to make the ingredients soak out. In red ginseng, starch is in a gelatinized state, so unlike white ginseng, components of red ginseng red ginseng are well dissolved in hot water.
*There is also a way of consuming red ginseng by putting red ginseng slices into a bowl of water (about 150ml) and mixing them with a small amount of Chinese matrimony vine and warming them up in a double boiler. One can eat red ginseng slices by sucking or chewing them.
*When ginseng is used for cooking, mostly, mostly soup-type food is possible. The main ingredients for ginseng soup include chicken, pork, and occasionally shark’s fin.
2) One should be careful not to use iron containers or utensils.
*Since ancient times, iron containers or utensils have not been used in boiling, Consuming or cutting. Therefore, when removing the skin in processing white ginseng, bamboo knives are used. It is known that this is attributable to the fact that phenolic substances, which are contained in ginseng and anti-oxidant activity substances, combine with iron to become inactive. 1)
*In modern times, stainless steel is used safely for food production facilities and containers. Stainless. Steel is a safe material in which oxidation of red ginseng (ginseng) components, which takes place in combination with iron, does not take place.
3) How can fresh ginseng be consumed?
*White ginseng may be consumed raw or in form of juice after grinding it in a blender. If it is difficult to eat it raw, corn syrup, honey, or sugar may be added. As in white ginseng, fresh ginseng may be consumed by boiling down or it can be used in cooking food such as ‘samgyetang’ (chicken ginseng soup), ginseng soup), ginseng fried ginseng, and ginseng preserved in honey.
2. Side effects and caution in use
*In general, there are no medicinal products that have no side-effects at all and even food consumed daily may cause allergic reactions, depending on the individual concerned. Korean ginseng has been traditionally classified as an excellent, vitalizing herb in Oriental medicine which can be consumed on a long-term basis and is nontoxic, so it has been long used for herb medicines and health food. However, such side-effects as diarrhea, rashes, and mild gastrointestinal symptoms have been reported. 2) In traditional Chinese medicine it is recorded that taking ginseng may cause headaches, insomnia, palpitation, and high blood pressure, but when stopping taking ginseng, these symptoms disappear. 3)
*Meanwhile, G. Rg1, one of the major saponins of Korean red ginseng is endogenous pyrogen, yet it has been proved in laboratory experiments that the saponin maintains homeostasis by inhibiting increase in body temperature and behavioral disorder that occur when the body is placed in a high-temperature environment. 4) The result may serve as scientific evidence to support Korea’s traditional way of consuming ginseng taking ginseng in order to overcome hear in the summer or when one’s energy-level is low due to the heat.
*There has been some concern about taking ginseng due to perceptions that Korean ginseng is a drug that raises the body heat. However, as stated above, Korean ginseng exerts a complementary effect in a high-temperature environment, while saponins in ginseng have an effect of preventing a drop in body temperature under cold conditions. 5) From these study results, it may be understood that ginseng has an effect of normalizing the body in non-physiological condittons, rather than under normal conditions.
*Results of a number of clinical of clinical studies on Korean red ginseng conducted in Korea and Japan indicate that although Korean red ginseng is taken as a daily dosage (3~6g in the case of red ginseng powder) for a long term, there are no addictive or notable side-effects. However, if one reduces the dosage or stops taking Korean ginseng, depending on side-effect symptoms that may vary according to persons, there is no serious problem.
*As examined above, ginseng is considered to be a medicinal product with very little possibility of addiction or side-effects, compared to other such products.
1) Han, B.H., Park, M.H., Y.N. : Kor. Biochem. J. 18, 337-340 (1985).
2) 28(1), 113 (1994).
3) 303 (1993).
4) Fukagawa, K. and Sakata, T. The Ginseng Review 21, Japan-Korea Korean Ginseng Corp., 12
5) Bombardelli, E., Cristoni, A. and Lietti, A, : Proc, 3rd International Ginseng Symp., Seoul, Korea,
Korea Ginseng Research Institute, 9 (1980).