Hidden just below the soil’s surface in Marathon and surrounding counties lies an international gem. Grown for generations in the central part of the state, American ginseng roots have been cultivated in Wisconsin for more than 100 years. Each ginseng root grown in the state of Wisconsin is tended with care by farmers that have many years of experience. Nationally, and even more so internationally, ginseng grown in Wisconsin is the gold standard for high quality American ginseng.
Historically, ginseng has been grown and used as a key ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine to increase energy and relieve pain. Currently in the United States, there are ongoing studies to assess the impact of Wisconsin ginseng on energy levels, immune systems and other health factors.
In 2012, a phase III clinical trial completed by the Mayo Clinic, evaluated the impact of Wisconsin ginseng on the fatigue levels of cancer patients. 364 patients were divided into two groups; one group received a placebo and the other received 2,000 milligrams of Wisconsin ginseng each day for two months. At the start of the study, both groups ranked their fatigue, on average, 40 out of 100. After eight weeks, the group who took Wisconsin ginseng reported a statistically-significant 20-point increase in energy levels, reported higher vitality levels and less interference with activity due to fatigue.
Ginseng can be consumed in a variety of ways. Traditionally, ginseng is sold as a whole root to be used in cooking. Once thoroughly washed, a root can be added whole or sliced to a soup similar to any Wisconsin vegetable or to hot water to make tea. Small roots can also be used in a salad to add a unique Wisconsin taste.
Additionally, ginseng roots can be milled and put into capsule form. This is the most convenient form of ginseng on the market, and is perfect for a busy lifestyle. Capsules can be swallowed whole, or opened up and added to oatmeal in the morning.
My suggestion for adding ginseng to your diet? Try it in a smoothie! Add a half teaspoon of ginseng powder to your next berry smoothie, and blend in completely. Powder is the most versatile form of ginseng, and can be used in numerous smoothie, soup, and tea recipes.
For more ginseng recipe inspiration visit heilharvest.com/ginseng-recipes.