In the world, fungicides have been really
misused because people, especially in America that use it under shade cloth, they sell it
to the Hong Kong Chinese and they’re growing it for only three or four years. They’re not
growing it out the full seven years that it needs to grow to get the full complement.
The fungicides that are used are chemical and they’re not good for humans. They don’t
regulate the residues coming into the country and they don’t regulate residues in the country.
It’s kind of this area that you have to be expert in growing that you even know about
it. There’s lots of disconnect between the growers, the middlemen, and the sellers and
consumers. And the consumers really don’t understand. If they understood how the plant
is grown and what is put on the plant, then they would understand that the branding that
all ginseng is the same ginseng and that, in reality, you have two different products.
One comes three years old, has lots of fungicides in it; the other has no fungicides in it and
has to a minimum of seven years old to have full complement. They’re two different products
that are called ginseng but they’re different. Almost every health food store in America
has bad ginseng – residues of fungicide in their ginseng and they sell it because if
they got a good root, and you can tell a difference between a fungicide root and a non-fungicide
root; a wild root and a cultivated root and people pay a lot of money for good ginseng
and there’s not a lot of it. We here in America could be growing for our brothers and sisters
in the Asian Pacific Rim and have a lot of income if we just got under control the poaching
area and all the myths that are associated with ginseng. We did a SARES study in 2000
and we were using goldenseal washes. So a fungus comes for ginseng in like five different
forms. Some of them are in the soil. Some of them are air born. So in the soil we would
use goldenseal washes to get the fungus out when we put the ginseng seeds in. We take
roots or rhizomes of the goldenseal and we put hot water on them and we get a concentrate
and then we put them into watering cans and we add water to them. It’s a concentrate tea.
Sometimes we put the tea out for a day in the sun but then it breaks down and now you
have the goldenseal as a wash, or what I call a wash in a watering can and you wash down
the soil and then you put your ginseng in. For the aerial parts we’ve been using horsetail
and the biodynamic horsetail that’s made up in Virginia, very inexpensive. The negative
to that is that every time it rains, you need to come back and put on horsetail. There are
a number of antifungal herbs that we have not even bothered to research. There’s a number
of ways of doing it without poisoning the plant but the regulations don’t even slap
you on the wrist for poisoning the plant. They just don’t tell anybody about it.