Articles From the July 1995 Unification News
Ginseng and Inner Cleansing
Mrs. Sung Bok Hsu
In the last two articles I explained why our eating and living habits make it imperative that we cleanse our digestive and eliminative systems. It has been said that we are what we eat, however it may be more appropriate to say that we are what we digest and assimilate, and this is the area of greatest concern. Since millions of Americans suffer from digestive and eliminative problems, this is rather easily understood. However, anything that goes wrong in those systems immediately also burdens the river of life in our body-the blood stream.
The small intestine is so constructed that nutrient absorption is most efficient. A large inner surface area is provided by the accordion like folds of the intestinal wall. Lining the wall are fingerlike structures called villi. They project into the interior of the small intestine from all directions where they pick up the small molecular particles of the broken down food. From there, the blood stream and the lymph system bring these food particles to the liver which in turn passes them on to all of the cells in the body.
However, together with nutrients we also pick up toxins, either already present in the food and water we consume, or created when bad eating habits lead to their development in our digestive and eliminative systems. At that stage, what can be done? This is one area where the power of ginseng becomes apparent. Americans have known about ginseng for quite some time now and many people drink it because it gives them more energy, it strengthens their immune system, and it increases their resistance to the effects of stress that take a huge toll on the mental and physical health of Americans.
What allows ginseng to do so many things? Again, it is interesting to compare ancient wisdom with modern research. Taoists say that ginseng has the strongest agility of any herb to absorb the energy from the earth. Modern research shows that ginseng contains up to 72 trace minerals, steroids similar to male and female hormones, vitamins, minerals, and volatile oils. Researchers have also noted that many plants regarded for their health value contain significant amounts of organic germanium. It is believed that germanium in the organic form assists the body in its transport of oxygen and the removal of heavy toxins. Korean ginseng contains more organic germanium than any other plant. The modern scientific method prefers to deal with isolated substances, but with complex food like ginseng, the interaction of the many elements creates a synergistic effect. Thus, the whole root demonstrated a greater impact than any one of its constituents.
One of the results of an unhealthy diet is the formation of high levels of uric acid in the blood. This uric acid is carried by the blood stream to the joints, forming crystals, thereby producing inflammation, swelling and a great deal of pain-arthritis. Ginseng has the power not only to remove toxins and heavy metals from the blood stream, but uric acid as well, producing much needed relief for arthritis sufferers. In addition, excess uric acid can lead to the leaching of calcium from our skeletal structure leading to osteoporosis, one of the most common illnesses of women after menopause.
With the proliferation of ginseng products-teas, capsules, candies, chewing gums, even cigarettes -quality control has become a big concern for many consumers. My personal test of ginseng products always involves observing their cleansing abilities. If the ginseng is true and potent, increased urination should begin right away. By urinating more often, you experience water weight-loss immediately, and that is a good result by itself. Remember, most of the poisons in your blood leave through the kidney-urine. If you are not urinating more, how are you going to release toxins from your blood?
True Panax ginseng is almost extinct in its wild form. Farming cultivated ginseng is very difficult. The roots require very exact conditions and mineral-rich soil. The best quality ginseng comes from six year old roots. During that time the roots extract all of the beneficial minerals from the soil to such a degree that no ginseng can be grown in that soil for a good many years.
Because of the difficulties involved in bringing six-year old mature roots on the market, shortcuts are being made by quite a few growers, saving money in the process but also offering substandard ginseng at a reduced price to the consumer. This is why it is so important to become an educated consumer. In addition, Panax ginseng's rarity has led to other plants being touted as ginseng. Thus you may find tienchi ginseng, pseudo ginseng, Siberian ginseng, and others. Though these may be healthy plants in their own right, they will not provide all of the benefits of authentic Panax ginseng. Only American ginseng, Panax quinquefolium, is closely related. One thing is for sure, you cannot get authentic, high quality Panax ginseng for a low price.
By now a pattern of true health care is beginning to emerge. All of the bodily systems are interconnected. Lack of balance and toxins in one system immediately affect the function of the others. The starting point for true preventive health care as well as rejuvenation of ourselves has to be proper eating habits, on the foundation of a clean, functionable, well-tuned body. I will explain a healthful eating and food combining plan in a future installment of this series. Before that, my next column will address the cleansing of our second circulatory system which is hardly ever thought of by most people-the lymph system.
May God Bless you and be well.
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