Thursday, June 6, 2024

Magical and Medicinal Uses of Ginseng

Magical and Medicinal Uses of Ginseng

Gender: Masculine
Planet: Sun
Element: Fire
Powers: Beauty, Health, Love, Lust, Protection, Wishes
Magical Uses and History: Ginseng comes in several varieties, including American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Asian Ginseng (Panax ginseng). All varieties have been used in similar ways throughout history, but also have unique attributes depending on what type of ginseng you are using. 

The name ginseng is derived from the Chinese rénshēn or schinseng, which translates to "person plant root," which refers to the human-like shape of the roots that sports arm- and leg-like branches similar to that of mandrake. Because of its human-like qualities, ginseng has long been associated with magic and medicine, being used across multiple cultures all over the globe. One of the earliest records of ginseng can be found in Pharmacopoeia by Shen Nong. This Chinese text, which dates back to 169 AD, details the medicinal uses of ginseng in China, where it has been used for more than 2000 years. It is widely considered a cure-all, said to strengthen the body's five digestive organisms, remove bad energies, and calm the mind. In North America, American ginseng was used in similar ways by Indigenous tribes, with the root being used to make an eyewash by the Iroquois, steeped in water and drunk to alleviate sores, or pulverized and smoked to treat asthma. When ginseng first made its way to Europe, it was looked upon with disdain and fear, often confused with the toxic mandrake. It was banned for quite some time until it was reintroduced during the Renaissance through trade. Once it became widely accepted among European countries, the use of ginseng as a health aid spread. As such, ginseng can be used in healing and health spells, especially those for unknown ailments that afflict the body. According to the Doctrine of Signatures, ginseng is considered a cure-all as it is shaped like a man and, therefore able to aid in curing any ailment possessed by humans. Use the whole root to represent the sick person, add to healing sachets and bags, or burn as incense to promote health and wellbeing.

Despite its long history in medicine, ginseng is most commonly associated with love and lust, its warming properties attributing to increased blood flow, flushed skin, and sexual arousal. In traditional Chinese medicine, ginseng powder was used to treat erectile dysfunction and increase libido. Among the Meskwaki women of North America, ginseng was used to obtain and attract a husband when combined with mica, gelatin, and snake meat. The Pawnee also used ginseng as a love charm, while in the Penobscot tribe, ginseng was used to increase fertility in women. These practices were passed onto the colonists who arrived in the Americas and began creating their own aphrodisiacs. Some more common methods included adding ginseng to moonshine or mixing it with other herbs to make an infusion, while others called for ginseng to be soaked in Holy Oil which was then used to anoint male genitalia to increase sexual performance. Among practitioners of Hoodoo, ginseng root is often used to enhance male sexual prowess and to increase longevity. As such, ginseng can be used in spells for love and lust. Carry ginseng root to attract love, ensure sexual potency, enhance your beauty, or otherwise bring sexual desire. Burn ginseng powder to attract love, add to teas and potions to enhance libido or give to a lover to increase sexual desire or fertility. 

As Asian ginseng numbers dwindled due to high demand, harvesters switched to American ginseng. in the 1800s, the market for American ginseng boomed, driving prices through the roof. This increase in price associated ginseng with luck and wealth, and therefore can be used in spells for such purposes. Place ginseng in your purse or cash register to attract wealth or add to money drawing bowls or jars for the same purpose. In Hoodoo, the first dollar earned from a new business is wrapped around a ginseng root and tied with a red thread to ensure future financial success. Wishes can also be carved into ginseng root and tossed into a river to ensure your wish comes true. Due to overharvesting, American ginseng is now protected under CITIES, and harvesting is highly regulated to prevent future loss of the species, so be mindful if you are wildcrafting.

Ginseng can be used in a number of spells including:
    Love Spells
    Lust Magic
    Prosperity Magic
    Wealth Spells
    Glamour Magic
    Healing Spells

Medicinal Uses: Despite its long history of medicinal uses, ginseng has only been found to scientifically aid in certain ailments, certainly not all. American ginseng has been found to have anti-aging and anti-hyperglycemia effects in humans, while Asian ginseng has been found to increase blood flow and decrease fatigue. Some studies suggest both types of ginseng are anti-inflammatory as well as help stimulate the nervous and digestive systems, meaning it can be used to treat digestive issues, depression, and fatigue. While it has long been used as an aphrodisiac, studies show it has a mild effect, at best.

Preparation and Dosage: To create a decoction, combine 1/2 teaspoon of powdered ginseng root with one cup of water and bring it to a boil. Simmer gently for 10 minutes. Drink up to three times a day. Ginseng root can also be chewed for the same purpose. As a tincture, take 200-400 milligrams by mouth twice daily.

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Magical and Medicinal Uses of Ginseng

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1 comment :

  1. This is a very informative post on ginseng, and I would like to highlight this sentence: "Due to overharvesting, American ginseng is now protected under CITIES, and harvesting is highly regulated to prevent future loss of the species, so be mindful if you are wildcrafting." I would urge anyone who finds ginseng in the wild to leave it alone and let it grow.
    My grandmother and her sisters used to harvest ginseng in the mountains of western N.C. and sell it to supplement the family income. This was a common practice; they certainly weren't alone. But by the time I came along, there was no "sang" to teach me to find--and there still isn't. Please just bless any "sang" you see and move on down the trail!


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