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Thus, the historical basis for consuming ginseng is still relevant. C., during the early Han Dynasty, was excavated from a tomb in 1973 at Mawangdui, the "mounds of the horse emperor," near Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province in central China.The basic framework of the traditional Chinese culture that is of such interest to the West coalesced around a group of ideas and practices that matured during the period 500 B. This record suggests that the traditional Chinese medical system was still forming at that time, and had not yet reached the relatively consistent set of theories and rules that emerged soon after.For example, the system of meridians, the channels of the human body that became a central component of the acupuncture system, was different at this time.A scroll listing herb formulas found at the burial site, which has been dubbed Wushier Bingfang (Prescriptions for 52 Diseases), reveals that the early Chinese herb formulas usually employed two to three ingredients, compared to the more complex formulas used later, typically containing from six to fifteen herbs.The traditional Chinese medical system is highly conservative: rather than seeking out innovations, physicians and scholars constantly strive to stay true to the original.Thus, it is essential to know the classical understanding of ginseng to grasp its meaning in subsequent centuries.

Scientific investigations of ginseng are usually aimed at attempting to confirm the validity of the traditional uses. Essential contributions included: development of a uniform writing system based on ideographic characters that are still recognized today; the philosophical systems derived from the trio of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism; solidification of the organizing principles of Yin and Yang and the Five Elements; the medical system incorporating acupuncture and herbal formulas; and institution of the Imperial government system. The oldest medical document of China, buried around 170 B.Further, research aimed at demonstrating the effectiveness of ginseng for several applications is of varying quality; the results can be misleading if study design and reporting are not critically analyzed before accepting the conclusions offered by the authors.This article reviews both the traditional use and evolving modern interpretations of ginseng.Based on the writing style and references to various cultural matters, this book was probably written between 100 B. Ginseng, despite its fame in years to come, is not mentioned.The first book that serves as a compendium of herbal knowledge for the Chinese tradition is the Shennong Bencao Jing (Classic Herbal of Shennong) written around 100 A. Shennong was a mythological figure, the divine farmer, who was said to have tasted 70 different herbs each day, determining which ones were useful for humans.D., Director, Institute for Traditional Medicine, Portland, Oregon The way in which ginseng is used depends on one's understanding of its indications, effects, and proper dosage.Unfortunately, the views expressed in today's popular literature about ginseng rarely reflect either the traditional use of the herb throughout Chinese history or the current consensus of scientific knowledge about ginseng and its active constituents.The taste (wei) of an herb represents how the herb was formed from the basic elements of the universe, what therapeutic properties it has, and what organs it will affect.There are five basic tastes: sweet, acrid (also called pungent or spicy), bitter, sour, and salty.Ginseng's active ingredients have been identified and can be measured in roots, extracts, and finished products; studies have shown marked variation among finished preparations.Many European and American recommendations for use of ginseng-and products made for those uses-involve dosages that are about 10 times less than what is traditionally used in China and Korea.


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