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South Koreans pay homage to health-giving herb FEATURE 09/11/2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

South Koreans pay homage to health-giving herb

FEATURE

09/11/2010
GEUMSAN — “Look! It’s huge!” shouts a muddy but beaming Han Myung-Ja, 52, plunging her hoe into the soil to unearth a giant ginseng root.

Han fills a basket with the man-shaped root as she collects seasonal presents for family and friends — one of dozens of people doing the same at South Korea’s biggest ginseng festival.

The herb, known to Koreans as the “root of life” for its purported health-giving properties, grows wild in deep valleys and on shaded hillsides and has also been cultivated on the peninsula for 1,500 years.

Devotees say the herb increases resistance to stress and fatigue, has an aphrodisiac quality and acts as a stimulant, although it has proved difficult scientifically to prove some of the claimed benefits.

Last year South Korea produced 27,460 tons of ginseng roots, worth about $700 million including exports valued at more than $21 million..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100911com3.html

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