Wild ginseng, known as elixir, is now cultivated on open mountain and made into easy intake

강진성 기자l승인2020.10.22

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▲ Yangju Wild Ginseng Agricultural Association Corporation / President Park Geom-gyu

Wild ginseng’s medicinal effect is positively received in South Korea. Wild ginseng was regarded as elixir in the past and priceless. Today however there are people who cultivate this precious ginseng and Yangju Wild Ginseng Agricultural Association Corporation is one of them.

There are three kinds of wild ginseng: natural, jangneo cultivated and sanyang cultivated. The natural buds up from seeds excreted by birds, jangneo is cultivated by people spreading the seeds in the wild and collect after a certain amount of time, and sanyang is also cultivated by people spreading the seeds around 700 mountains above sea level. 

Sanyang is known to have 10 times more saponin than ginseng and 4 to 5 times more than red ginseng. It is said to be good for anticancer, antioxidation, cholesterol reduction, ease of high and low blood pressure, prevention of dementia, recovery of vitality, and treatment of rhinitis and menopause symptoms. 

Experts at Yangju Wild Ginseng Agricultural Association Corporation cultivate around 10 million roots of sanyang on a 1,157 square meter land around Homyeong Mountain in Yangju City, Gyeonggi Province. The field 400 to 500 above sea level faces northwest and has more than 80% shade and 25 degree slope which is ideal to grow wild ginseng. 

The corporation president Park Geom-gyu and his team grow it by seeding or scattering the seeds to leave for 4 years to cultivate. Almost a whole ride of the mountain is the cultivation field and this open environment is excellent.

Agricultural tend in South Korea is shifting to 6th industry which covers from production to supply. Gathering his 18 years of experience in this single field, Park is making the most of this agricultural structure and is producing spinoffs such as ginseng tea and ginseng wine in cooperation with Chunsoo Brewery in Goesan County, North Chungcheong Province.

Together, they succeeded exporting 600 bottles to Japan and China in 2017 and increased the number to 10,000 bottles the next year. This year however, the trade came to a halt due to virus spread. 

Park says “As many people struggle amid virus spread, I’m planning to reduce price so that more people can enjoy quality ginseng products at good price. It is notable that wild ginseng strengthens immunity.”


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