I have hunted sang almost all my life and have dibbled in little patches in my backyard from sang i got out in the hills. Thinking the seed that i planted from the wild sang would also in return be wild. But ever since I started researching and talking to the people that i have bought seed from say that once we intervene with mother nature and plant the seeds ourselves it no longer is wild sang. Even though if you use the wild simulated method you can not tell them from wild roots. So this leads me to the big question if that is the case wouldn't most sang we dig out in the hills be tame. Think about this for a minute, our grandfathers and forefathers that dug sang planted the seed back that they fount from plants and even though the seed is in the wild they still took mother nature out of the picture and put those seed in the ground. In return supposedly making the new sang something other than wild sang. I know myself i have dug a many of patches where my papaw told me to go from where he could remember planting a bunch of berries in the past. In return i sold it for wild. This is just very confusing to me a new ginseng farmer. Any input would greatly be appreciated.
Yah it's sad that our governing bodies are so uneducated and make rules based on some university students paper.I have the same problem here in the great white north.label it what ya will... it's all in what ya can sell it fer that matters.
I agree with both of you on this. People have been digging sang since the seventeen hundreds and, unless someone comes up with s two or three hundred year old root, I would guess that most of what is being dug now, is the result of what someone has planted.
It comes down to what the buyer is willing to pay and what the seller is willing to sell for. Is organic grown corn \"really\" better nutritionally then \"regularly grown corn\", or is it just the perception of the buyer that warrants the higher price?
Nice points from all of you. Let me add in a buyer's perspective. The \"true\" wild sang by Chinese definition would be what Hillbilly said: plants with no human intervention in all their generations. I belive this is due to the fact that people in ancient China had no ideas about conservation back them, hence the depletion of wild ginseng stocks now. People buy wild sang because of the age, and \"potency\" as it sat in the \"wild forest\" absorbing all the \"good stuff\" from the natural soil under them for hopefully hundreds of years.
Once we introduce measures of conservation we get into a gray area, namely replanting the seed. When you walk in the forest, and you help spread some seed by it being stuck on your jeans or boots, I tend to believe those plants spreaded by your action are still \"wild\" as long as you don't tend to them later. So I think if you didn't fertilize, pesticide and do all the artificial things to help'em grow, they should be considered wild...hence wild simulated perhaps should be wild if NOTHING except planting the seed was done for the plant. This may include tilling.
Are wild ginseng deserving such premium than artificially cultivated ones? I tend to think it's like growing any fruits or veggies. Your wild ones are smaller and probably less robust. Supposedly it contains the same amount of ginsenosides. I tend to think robust fruits have more stuff, but we can debate on that. So theoretically you have the market paying high premium for old chinese belief or a Chinese pricing structure of paying for ginseng hunters' work in hunting down these rare stuff in China vs. farmers planting them.
I try to buy \"wild\" ginseng cause I understand that pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers, rat poison and even experimental chemicals have been used to cultivate this stuff on a regular basis. So I try to buy as wild of ginseng as I can as it defeats the purpose if my \"healthy stuff\" has traces of bad chemicals in them.
So, for me as a small time user and buyer of ginseng. If you plant them, and do nothing else, I'd buy them as wild if they are old enough. I buy old \"wild\" stuff cause I think it doesn't pay to sit on woodsgrown plants for 30 years when they can be sold in 15. So the older ones are more likely wilder/untended to. (Yes, we still get into the debate about them growing in your backyard vs. virgin forest...etc). Then there's the concept of dropping some fertilizers on your \"wild\" patches to \"help them survive.\" That I think is cheating and have seen supposedly wild ginseng with rings and all looking like big fat turnips. That ain't right. But that's only my opinion.
there's a huge difference between wild and cultivated,even a blind man could tell the difference,the smell,the taste,root nodes,shape, nevermind the obvious rings and neck. Try a wild turkey vs a store bought farm raised one, and there ya go.
We do need to distinguish between wild and wild simulated though, cause down the road in the not to distant future wild will be classed as an endangered species, and if they look the same then yer outa luck. This is what is happening in the country above ya'll now.
And don't think fer a minute that any ginseng you find is truley wild like said previous. Back 200 years ago it was dug 24/7 by dam near every one, they flooded China with tons of poorly dried young roots when it was hard to find good root. This type of unregulated harvest of the root would have made it extinct by now if the seeds were not planted and gardens made in the bush by your great greats. Just think about the wild Turkey it ain't wild just a reintroduction, the salmon, the elk and on and on.
If it looks like shit tastes like shit it must be shit.
Local seed scattered in the woods and left to do it's thing with no interference is wild, same genetics, same growing conditions. No matter if an animal poops out the seed after eating the berry or you scatter it.
The real question will come into play, for diggers and growers, when and if the Feds outlaw the exportation of \"wild sang\". Then you will have to label, and maybe prove, your sang is \"wild simulated\" and not \"wild\".
There is a lot of mystery as to what animals actually do spread sang around. Penn State has done studies and ruled out deer and turkey. I find sang growing close to old brush piles so, maybe chipmunks hiding seeds? Bear may scatter it. I don't know if that angle has been looked at.
I would think whatever animals eat the berries and poop them out would be the ones...that would incriminate the deer and turkey...unless the research isn't able to detect that due to the fact ginseng is such a rare plant so you don't usually find them in the digestive systems of these animals. I guess probably human spread would be most likely according to guys like Bob Beyfuss.
On another note... am still not able to distinguish the difference between woods grown and wild. I saw a drum of 6 year old ginseng that are light and skinny, with lots of deep horizontal rings, irregular branching, and doesn't taste bitter like the cultivated ones. They were being sold at a local oriental ginseng shop (in a drum) for $35 a pound. That baffled me as I had a difficult time telling this bunch.
Any advice on telling woodsgrown and wild plants would be appreciated!
Wild ginseng has an airy texture to the root, you can see this by examining a snapped root closley, woods cultivated is denser.
If you get 200 roots of wild and woods grown all the same size the wild would weigh less.
The neck scars of wild will not be even in size, colour of the roots is another give away, wild are dark brown, smell of wild is stronger and similar to the smell of a forest after rain, and the easiest way of all is, if ya see a drum of six year old wild roots ya can bet there either woods grown or wild simulated cause to get a drum of wild roots all the same age would take a life time of collectin, as fer the lower price.
Wild has a strong bitter sweet flavour,the more cultivated the root the sweeter and less fresh dirt flavour it will have , field grown has a chemical flavour to me. If ya eat real country grown veggies without chemicals the taste pops right out, like the taste of chlorene in water, no city folk taste it but the contry folk wouldn't drink it.
Hoped this helped some,experience will make the difference clearer.
Guy, thank you for your expertise. It's a shame what they did in Canada. I believe \"wild\" sang will always be around cause people propagate the seeds, and make sure they have enough to harvest year after year....hopefully.
I agree with you, field grown tastes like chemical to me and I don't touch that stuff. The difficulty is telling between a wild plant, a wild one that has been transplanted and fertilized and woodsgrown. I have seen fat \"wild plants\" that the dealers had no shame in fertilizing them to look like fat turnips and telling me that they are wild. But it's really hard to tell woodsgrown plants of different ages vs wild plants especially when they are fresh. Right now I am going by the neck rings, but always appreciate more information on this.