Yangju wild ginseng goes global

이승호 기자l승인2018.11.16






▲ Park Jeom-gyu

Yangju Wild Ginseng Agricultural Association Corporation is located in Yangju City on a 400 to 500 meter above sea level with more than 25 degree slope land, 80% shade and northwest front; the ideal condition to grow quality wild ginseng. The president Park Jeom-gyu of the Corporation is a veteran farmer who has walked a single path as a wild ginseng grower for the last 16 years. 

Wild ginseng is known to invigorate energy, protect spleen, helps the functions of lung, quench thirsty, stabilize one’s mind and improve intelligence. It is commonly used for people with bleeding, overthrowing, diarrhea, malaise, loss of appetite and abdominal distension from ancient times.

Every part of wild ginseng from root to leaf has been used for food and medicine but the root is most beloved part. A bowl of samgye-tang, for example, must contain the root of ginseng and it sometimes comes with seasoned root as a side. Some people even chew the root raw in empty stomach in the morning to activate blood circulation. 

As a businessman, Park uses this valuable wild ginseng to make a variety of food: tea, liquor, rice wine, etc. The tea made with the leaves contain rich saponine and ginsenoside and the effect gets increased on boiling. “The tea passed various tests to secure safety and eco-friendliness and consumers, therefore, can feel safe and confident to enjoy it” says Park. 

The liquor and rice wine, on the other hand, are being produced at Chunsoo Brewery in Goesan County through its low-temperature ripening system. 600 bottles were produced last year alone and all of them were exported to Japan and China. “7,000 roots were used to make 600 bottles. What it means is that the liquor is not flavored but made with real wild ginseng.” 

This year, the Corporation already has produced 10,000 bottles and Park has been actively seeking more export channels. Park is a veteran ginseng grower who made a great success in business but he also is a man of generous heart and social responsibility: he has promised to donate the business to the society if he will not be able to carry it on any more in the future; so that the excellence of Korean ginseng must keep spreading to the world. 

이승호 기자  tauton@naver.com
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