Can someone please start a discussion on the BEST WAY TO clean and DRY roots. Do you wash them? Do you scrub them? Do you leave them naturally from the dirt? How do you dry them? Many people have many ways of doing this. I would like to know what the RIGHT WAY IS. Anyone please?
OK this is the best way and the way many of us on here have been doing it for decades.
Carefully take your roots and soak them in the sink or a tub for about an hour. Then wash them off using a sprayer. You can use a sing sprayer or a garden hose too if you are careful not to break off the root hairs and growth bud.
Now after you have soaked them and rinsed them off you are done. Some dirt will still be evident on the root neck or in the grooves, rings and wrinkles and a little dirt is good as long as it is not caked and still clotted on.
When the root drys the dirt will dry too and it almost disappears. The buyers want to see a little dirt on them and this is good. However they are buying roots and not dirt so make sure you spray and rinse them well in the beginning when they are freshly dug and you are soaking and rinsing. Never let your dried roots get wet.
As far as scrubbing them the answer is NO. Do not scrub them!!!!!
The ginseng buyers and the people they sell to do not want white ginseng roots that are white from someone scrubbing them.
Now take the roots once you have soaked and rinsed them and place them on a mesh screen and let them dry in an area that is void of excessive humidity. If you have a climate controlled room in your home I would recommend drying them there. Room temps work fine. Just do not let them dry in direct sunlight. It will ruin them!
Hope this helps.
If you have a 5 gal bucket just put your seng in there and fill over it with water and let it soak a while (30 minutes or hour will work).
That will losen up any dried or stuck on dirt.
Then just pour that off and can use a hose sprayer (not too much force) to remove remaining dirt.
Dont worry about getting them spotless, a little dirt remaining in the stress rings and crevices sort of enhances the color once dry.
I usually just shake the excess water off mine and then let it sit on a towell for a hour or two to air dry a bit then move it to a window screen that I have setup in a small room with air/vent. Spread it out thin so it's not piled on top of other roots.
I just dry mine at normal inside air temp (72-74 degrees) and it takes 4-6 weeks to completely dry larger diameter roots.
Historically seng prices usually reach their peak around Thanksgiving or just before Christmas - so there is no real need to rush up the drying process (unless say you are strapped for cash).
If you needed to speed that up for some reason, you could purchase one of those little fan/forced air heaters at Walmart (with a thermostat) and set it for like 80-85 degrees and let it blow that warmer/dry air in and around your window screen area. That would probably cut your drying time by 1/2 or 1/3.
Don't try to dry it too fast, or expose to excessive heat (say over 90-95 degrees) or to direct sunlight. That can damange the roots, change color, carmalize the inside and seriously reduce the market value.
What you have replied with is exactly how I do it.I wash them off with a sprayer hose and let them dry on a screen table. Never ever do I scrub them.The tiny hairs and roots are important. Just wanted to see what everyone thought as to the \"Proper\" way of doing this. So many times I run into the \"Know it all's\" who think their way is the best way. I think I will stick with the right way. Thank you for replying.
Ps...I would love to know what snake root looks like.
There are a few kinds of snakeroot. The best way to see what you are looking for is to look up images of it on the net or a good botanical book. Where I am, I look for virginia snakeroot, it goes for 50.00 a pound. Takes alot to make a pound.