A Doctor’s Diary: Ginseng and Other Remedies

[PureInsight.org] One day an old Chinese medicine doctor said that one of his patients had told him Chinese medicine couldn’t keep up with today’s herbal remedies. Some remedies have dozens of ingredients in them, while many Chinese medicine prescriptions, such as ginseng, have only a single ingredient.

A translator who had been doing oral translation for many years felt a deficiency in his vital energy and was often weak, even to the point of having trouble speaking. He had taken many remedies but had not seen any improvement. He then went to a Chinese medicine doctor who told him to put a piece of ginseng in his mouth. With that his symptoms were gone.

Why is it that remedies containing numerous ingredients were not able to do as much as a single piece of ginseng?

According to Shen Nong' s Herbal Classic, ginseng is, “Sweet, and slightly cold. Especially good for vital organs.” Modern science can analyze the ingredients in Chinese medicine, but still not reach its true essence. In fact, the essence and ingredients of Chinese medicine are inseparable. The essence of Chinese medicine refers to the nature of Yin and Yang (cold, cool, warm, or hot) and its taste (sweet, spicy, salty, acidic, or bitter). Each taste can be further divided by nature and functionality. For example, a sweet taste can remove extravagated blood, improve blood circulation, and improve vital energy.

The nature that ginseng possesses has to do with the environment in which it grows. Wild ginseng typically grows on the slopes of mountains at a height of 500 to1,100 meters (1,640-3,600 feet). It is generally found growing in the Changbai Mountains and Xiaoxinganling Mountains in northeast China. The Chinese character for “mountain” comes from the sign of “gen” in the Eight Trigrams. This sign possesses more Yin than Yang and corresponds to the cold and shadowy nature of a mountain. Therefore, ginseng has a slightly cold nature. But ginseng grows on the sloped part of a mountain, which is the Yang side of a mountain, so ginseng therefore has a slightly Yang nature. In addition, the gen sign belongs to the element “Earth” which is slightly sweet, and thus ginseng is slightly to the Yang side of sweet. Among our organs, the spleen and stomach belong to the element Earth, which is believed in Chinese medicine to be the root of energy. Therefore, the Yang side of sweetness in ginseng can fortify the Yang of the spleen and stomach, thereby sending energy throughout the entire body.


The gate at the entrance to the base of Changbai Mountain (from Wikipedia).

This is why other remedies cannot beat the healing effects of ginseng. But of course, at a deeper level, ginseng and other elements of Chinese medicine are effective because they were taught to humans by Gods. Chinese medicine is God’s gift to humans.

December 5, 2008

Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2008/12/5/56389.html