|▲ Hajuni Gangwon Ginseng / CEO Jun Ha|
There is a belief in South Korea that those who dreamed of wild ginseng will save a life. Believe it or not, it is true that wild ginseng has been received as one of the most valuable medicines in South Korea from a long time ago. The difference between ginseng and wild ginseng is that the former grows in mountains and known to be more effective than the latter. Wild ginseng has sweet and bitter taste and warm characteristic and is good for stamina, brain activity, diabetes, cancer, blood pressure and liver. Saponin in wild ginseng in particular is known to strengthen immunity, the reason an increasing number of people are paying attention in this time of virus deadlock.
Naturally grown wild ginseng has only been found a few by a few extremely lucky ginseng diggers from long time ago. Even today, it is regarded as elixir for man of wealth only. Jangnaesam, cultivated ginseng, on the other hand, is grown around 700 meter high above the sea level and the look and effect are almost similar. Since 2009, it is called as ‘sanyangsam’ and farmers must pass the quality test of the Korea Forestry Promotion Institute for distribution and selling the ginseng.
Hajuni Gangwon Ginseng
Located on 700 meter high of Yonghwa Mountain (878 meters) in Gangwon Province is Hajuni Gangwon Ginseng farm. It is one of the mountains where naturally grown wild ginseng has been found. The amount of sunshine is low and shades are enough which makes it a perfect environment for ginseng to grow. The farmer CEO Jun Ha of Hajuni Gwangwon Ginseng only uses leaf mould without any agricultural chemicals or fertilizers but by plucking out weeds and removing harmful insects on a regular basis. Thanks to this organic way of growing, Ha recently is enjoying an increased number of inquiries for purchase.
15 years of expertise in ginseng
Ha has 15 years of experience in finding and growing ginseng and is recognized as a veteran in the field. To keep the maximum freshness at all times, he only climbs the mountain to the farm when an order is made. In other words, he climbs the mountain almost every day except winter. He has been doing this for years despite his deteriorating knees.
Nothing is wasted from wild ginseng, Ha says. But the root is the richest and our ancestors somehow knew this as they used it in many foods from Samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup) to seasoned vegetables, or they even ate as raw.
When asked about future plan, Ha said “I’ve focused on growing the best quality ginseng so far. But novel coronavirus has rung a bell with me and that is to make ginseng based medicines for strengthened immunity.”
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