Edible Prairie On-Line linked to a bunch of articles in the Jan/Feb edition of The Walrus, including this interesting article on former tobacco farmers growing American ginseng in Canada.
Growing up, ginseng was one of those cure-all medicines that my mother believed in (even though she generally doesn’t pay much attention to Chinese herbal remedies). When I had a cold, I had to drink ginseng tea. When I was tired or weak-feeling, I had to drink ginseng tea. But, I was told, don’t drink Korean ginseng because it would increase my blood pressure and maybe give me a heart attack. Ooookay.
I have to admit though, when I feel a cold coming on I still make myself a cup of (American) ginseng tea and pop some echinacea. And it usually works too. They are, after all, two main ingredients of Cold fX.