We will write a custom Essay on Ginseng Products from Korean and Chinese Markets specifically for you
301 certified writers online
Ginseng is a plant. Three major herbs are called ginseng: American ginseng, Asian ginseng, and Siberian ginseng. However, the last type is not true ginseng because it does not contain ginsenosides, typical ginseng components that are considered useful due to their medicinal properties. Ginseng is used for different purposes. For instance, it improves memory and mood and reduces fatigue.
What is more, it is believed that ginseng prevents and treats cold and flu, different types of cancer, diabetes, and many other diseases. There is a mixed variety of ginseng products such as supplements, pills, and drinks. The paper aims to analyze the article by Carla Nappi and the investigation of some forms of ginseng products from Korean and Chinese markets.
Ginseng products are sold at specialized Asian stores. There are a few places where people can buy Chinese and Korean ginseng products in Ontario, Canada. T&T Supermarket and PAT Central market are examples of such places.
T&T Supermarket is located at 222 Cherry Street. T&T Supermarket is an Asian supermarket that offers a wide range of Asian and western groceries and cooked food. Some Chinese ginseng products can be found there, ginseng tea, quaker ginseng drink, and dried ginseng. Chinese ginseng tea comes in packages. There are pictures of ginseng and some Chinese hieroglyphs on the tea box. The Chinese ginseng tea manufacturers state that tea helps prevent cancer and reduces physical and mental stress. Quaker ginseng drink is light-brown liquid poured in a 60 ml bottle. There is the image of ginseng roots on the label. Quaker ginseng drink is a beverage that promises to protect the liver. Dried ginseng represents the dried roots of ginseng. These roots resemble ginger roots. It is not packed, and it is sold by weight. Although there is no mention of what dried ginseng is for and how it is used, it is quite well-known that dried ginseng improves brain function and mood and reduces stress.
Some Korean ginseng products can be found at PAT Central. It is located at 675 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Canada. PAT Central is one store of the chain PAT MART named Canada’s first Korean supermarket. There is a mixed variety of Korean products. Such ginseng products as ginseng extract pill, Korean dried ginseng root, and red ginseng latte are sold there. Korean ginseng extract pills are black pills that contain the active components of Korean red ginseng. These pills are recommended to take to control weight and improve libido and sexual function. The second ginseng product is the Korean dried ginseng root. Although dried ginseng roots are packaged, it can be seen that these roots look like Chinese dried ginseng that is sold by weight. Korean dried ginseng root is 6-year-old ginseng that was dried by the sun’s heat or indirect heat. People make tea from these dried roots to improve immunity, appetite, and mental health. Korean red ginseng latte is another type of ginseng drink. It comes in a box of a few packets. Red ginseng latte is a caffeine-free drink that contains not only the active components of ginseng but also a variety of different vitamins.
All in all, there are no apparent differences between Chinese and Korean ginseng products. The majority of them are presented in various boxes with the images of ginseng roots and different hieroglyphs except for Chinese dried ginseng that is not packaged and sold by weight. The significant similarity between Chinese and Korean ginseng products is health benefits; they are the same. It is worth mentioning that all ginseng products (drinks, dried roots, and supplements) are used to improve mood, mental and physical health and reduce stress.
Ginseng in the Early Modern Period
In the article Surface Tension: Objectifying Ginseng in Chinese Early Modernity, Nappi is concentrated on the Early Modern period, the Ming/Qing dynasties in China, and the Choson period in Korea. Nappi states the “ginseng became one of the most tightly regulated commodities in early modern China, Korea, and Japan, and an extraordinarily important commodity in the contemporary global drug market”1. The author underlines that ginseng is not a stable object; it is continuously in flux. Nappi states that ginseng played a crucial role in Chinese and Korean culture in the Early Modern period. Ginseng was even used as currency.
However, the importance of ginseng and people’s attitude towards it has changed. There are still debates about ginseng within the medical community. A lot of scientists stress that ginseng has been overestimated for centuries. What is more, it is proved that ginseng can be a threat to health in certain circumstances. For example, doctors and nurses advise pregnant women not to use ginseng products. Also, it is quite a typical case when people are allergic to this herb.
To sum up, ginseng is one of the most popular herbs that is thought to improve mood, mental and physical health, reduce stress, and even prevent cancer. There are many ginseng products such as ginseng tea and ginseng drinks, pills, dried ginseng roots, and others that can be found in Asian shops. Ginseng has been widely used as a medical drug for a thousand years, and it played a significant role in Chinese and Korean culture. However, nowadays, ginseng is not considered to be as important as it used to be in the Early Modern period.
Nappi, Carla. “Surface Tension: Objectifying Ginseng in Chinese Early Modernity.” In Early Modern Things: Objects and their Histories, 1500-1800 2013, edited by Paula Findlen, 31-52. London: Routledge, 2013.
- Carla Nappi, “Surface Tension: Objectifying Ginseng in Chinese Early Modernity,” in Early Modern Things: Objects and their Histories, 1500-1800 2013, ed. Paula Findlen (London: Routledge, 2013), 31.