3rd-generation ginseng products on sale
By Kim Tae-kyu
For the first millennium fresh ginseng dominated Korea's medical communities while red ginseng ruled the following millennium thanks to its greater benefits against many diseases including cancer.
Red ginseng is created by steaming fresh ginseng, the raw product, at temperatures between 80 and 100 degrees Celsius before undergoing the drying processes. In this way, its disease-fighting power substantially improves.
Currently its third-generation variation has arrived, dubbed ``Sun ginseng,'' which was created in the early 1990s in Korea through applying different temperatures and pressures that significantly raise the ginsenoside components. As a result the herb gains tremendous efficiency in combating many illnesses.
Ginseng Science, a Korean company that holds the exclusive rights for Sun ginseng, has ardently pursued the global markets with their unique ginseng products to chalk up notable successes over the past several years.
The company, which was established in 2001 amid the venture boom here, started to export its products in 2003 and the outbound shipment reached the $1 million mark in just one and a half years.
Currently, its products are exported to such countries as the United States, Taiwan and Canada. It strives to enter the China market, the world's most populous country where ginseng is widely popular, in the not-so-distant future.
The Seoul-based company claims that Sun ginseng has much more positive effects by preventing certain diseases and senile dementia even more so compared to wild ginseng, which is usually regarded as the best of the varieties.
In recognition of such functionalities, Ginseng Science looks to apply the product in the treatment of diseases with seven substances extracted from Sun ginseng.
Seoul National University Hospital carried out clinical tests on dementia patients with those substances to discover that they are by far more efficient compared to previously prescribed medication.
Now, the company is ready to fight against human's most-feared killer, cancer.
``With the substances from Sun ginseng, we commissioned animal tests to ward off cancers. We asked the government to allow clinical tests on humans,'' Ginseng Science CEO Kim Bok-deuk said.
``If the Seoul administration gives the nod midway through this year, we will be able to immediately start clinical tests.''
Kim said that the clinical tests against cancers were already conducted in Vietnam to find encouraging results that they are better than existing drugs.
``Typically, cancer sufferers struggle to eat. But those who take Sun ginseng can eat properly. Hence, health and certain factors improve in patients,'' Kim said.