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What is Ginseng?
Known as the 'miraculous medicine,' Ginseng is Korea's representative medicinal crop. In the olden days, Korean produced ginseng was called 'Goryeo Ginseng' and used widely around the world as a way to recover health, strengthen the body, and calm the mind.
Korean Ginseng
What kind do you buy?

When buying ginseng, consider the health 'type' of the person that the ginseng will be consumed by, the quality of ginseng, and the type of ginseng. The reason why the health 'type' must be considered is because ginseng is usually not recommended for people with excessive body heat. The quality of ginseng is determined by its weight and the quality of its roots. In Korea, there is a custom where ginseng resembling the human form is most valued, and thought to be more potent. Ginseng is categorized by its processing methods, and the main varieties are 'susam,' baeksam,' and 'hongsam.' 'Susam' is unprocessed ginseng in its natural form, 'baeksam' is dried ginseng, while 'hongsam' is unpeeled ginseng that has been steamed before drying. 'Susam' is over 75% water and therefore hard to keep for lengthy amounts of time, but the dried 'hongsam' can be kept for over 10 years, making it popular with many tourists. Recently, ginseng has been used in a wide variety of products, making it easy to consume- ginseng candy, ginseng tea, ginseng jelly, ginseng health supplements, and more.

Where are the best places to buy?
Ginseng can be purchased at the Gyeongdong Yaknyeong Market, Naemdaemun Market, duty free shops, and the stalls that set up shop during regional ginseng festivals. The Gyeongdong Yaknyeong Market is highly recommended, because the area is full of eastern medicine wholesalers and eastern medicine doctors- there is a wide variety of ginseng to be had here at competitive prices. Another good idea is to wait and take advantage of the many ginseng festivals, when ginseng goes on sale- the Seoul Yaknyeongsi Festival, Daegu Yaknyeongsi Festival, and the Jirisan Eastern Medicine Herb Festival are great resources.

Related Shopping Districts
Seoul Medicine Market Geumsan Ginseng Town Major Shopping Districts: Namdaemun

Related Articles
- Goryeo Ginseng
- Finding Goryeo Ginseng
- Punggi Ginseng Festival




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