High ginsenoside content of NZ grown ginseng
Updated: Jul 9, 2020
A study published by a team of scientists from Massey University found that ginseng grown in the forests of New Zealand had significantly higher levels of ginsenosides than ginseng grown in China or Korea.
Used for more than 2000 years in traditional Chinese medicine, Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) is used as a tonic that was believed to replenish energy. Numerous studies have shown an effects such as anti-aging, anti-stress, anti-tumour, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetes as well as beneficial impact on brain function, liver function, immune function, and sexual function.
Ginsenosides are the major active ingredients of ginseng and are extracted from roots, fruits, stems, and leaves of ginseng. It is believed that wild ginseng has the highest concentrations of these ginsenosides. Knowing the types of active ingredients in ginseng and their quantities is important to describing the overall quality of a ginseng product. If a country, region and growing regime can be proven to have a consistently high quality product, it should be able to command premium prices on the world stage.
New Zealand Ginseng Study
Ginseng was grown by KiwiSeng in radiata pine forests located in the Central North Island of New Zealand. Ten batches of roots were from plants aged between 8 and 13 years of age. These plant ages are younger than the normal harvest age for KiwiSeng’s ginseng – which is usually 18+ years. Although all parts of the ginseng plant contains the active ingredients, in this study, the ginsenosides were determined from the roots and fine root hairs of the plant. The ginsenoside content of the New Zealand grown ginseng was compared with those published in carefully selected studies in China (30 studies) and Korea (17 studies). In this study, 32
"The average content of total ginsenosides from NZ-grown ginseng (40.06 ± 3.21 mg/g, n = 14) is significantly (p < 0.05) 1.4 times higher than that of China grown ginseng (16.48 ± 1.24 mg/g, n = 113) and 90% higher compared with that of Korea grown ginseng (21.05 ± 1.57 mg/g, n = 106). There is no significant difference in the average content of total ginsenosides for ginseng grown in China and Korea." .
NZ-grown ginseng has similar growth conditions including the cold winter, temperate summer, and weakly acidic soil to that ginseng’s natural habitat in Northeast of China and Korea. KiwiSeng's ginseng grows at the same latitude south as wild ginseng grows in the Northern Hemisphere.
This NZ ginseng is grown under planted pine forests where the trees are uniformly aged and managed, with known soil, weather and light conditions. This environment simulates the wild environments of China and Korea. It is likely that the benefit of high-intensity UV rays and highly fertile light volcanic pumice soils allow the roots plenty of room to grow. These factors may help New Zealand grown ginseng to have higher ginsenoside concentrations than Asian grown.
This study provides an important benchmark for the New Zealand ginseng industry. It gives some level of assurance that NZ-grown ginseng has concentrations of active ingredients that exceed ginseng from the two largest producing countries in the world - namely China and Korea. . Link to original research... https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/24/19/3491