Welcome to the International Wisconsin Ginseng Festival!
This weekend guests from near and (very) far gather in Wausau, Wis., to celebrate cultivated ginseng. Ginseng is an important crop here in Wisconsin as this state ranks number one in the nation for the production of cultivated ginseng as we produce 95 percent of the nation’s crop.
The festival consists of many educational and recreational events. Today we went Heil Harvest were we “Dug our Own Roots” and had the chance to learn more about ginseng and how it is grown. Marathon County, (also known as the capital of the ginseng industry) ginseng cultivation began in the late 1800s at the turn of the 20th century in Marathon County by the Fromm Brothers, but has been used in eastern cultures for its healing properties for over 5,000 years! There are over 185 ginseng producers in the county.
The rolling hills, virgin soil and cool summers grow unique roots very high in ginsenosides. Wisconsin Ginseng contains very high levels of ginsenoside, the active ingredient in ginseng. When compared to other ginseng grown outside of the United States, Wisconsin ginseng generally averages higher levels of ginsenoside and also offers the highly-desired bitter taste. Ginseng grown in Wisconsin can be recognized by a trademarked seal that ensures the product is of the highest Wisconsin quality.
At the root of the name, no pun intended, is the genus name Panax meaning “heal-all” in Greek. Ginseng is known for its balancing health benefits that help to boost immunity, increase stamina, and decrease stress. A study performed at Mayo Clinic also found that ginseng aids in reducing fatigue for cancer treatment patients. American Ginseng and its relative Asian Ginseng correlate with the ancient “Yin and Yang” philosophy. The American variety takes on the “Yin” characteristics and has a cooling effect that calms and refreshes while the Asian Ginseng is known for its “Yang” characteristics that have a warming effect that stimulates and energizes.
Wisconsin is so proud to host this event and together we can learn more about ginseng and sample many products. We’re proud to showcase this special crop and spread the news about ginseng and its many benefits!