Ginseng has been used for centuries as a medicinal root. It was believed to be an integral part of a person’s recovery from illness and was often used as part of an overall treatment regimen for those with chronic illnesses.
Nowadays, this plant is commonly taken in the form of infused teas, tonics, and capsules to help with stress, fatigue, inflammation, and more. It is important, however, to properly store your ginseng in order to preserve all of the nutrients and compounds found inside the plant. Without proper storage, ginseng’s beneficial compounds can degrade over time and become less effective. Below are some tips for keeping your Canadian ginseng potent and getting the most out of it.
The Source Matters
Buying ginseng from a reliable source, such as a local farm, licensed partner, or certified seller, is important for ensuring quality and authenticity. You can find certified retailers on the Ontario Ginseng Grower’s Association (OGGA) website from which you can purchase high-quality, authentic Canadian ginseng. While buying ginseng from any of the stores listed on the site ensures the purity of your product, it must still be stored properly to ensure longevity.
Storing Fresh Ginseng Root
There is a difference in storing fresh versus dried ginseng, much like storing fresh and dried herbs. When you buy fresh groceries, you will want to keep them at a cool temperature and away from sunlight and oxygen to prevent spoiling.
Placing the ginseng root in an airtight container and then into the refrigerator will prevent it from growing mold and preserve its freshness. Ideally, you should store ginseng in a glass jar since the seal is more reliably airtight than plastic bags or containers. This way, your fresh ginseng will usually last you a few weeks at peak quality.
Storing Dried Ginseng
You may choose to buy dried ginseng if you do not use it as often and want a product that has a longer shelf life than fresh ginseng. Luckily, when stored properly, dried ginseng can last anywhere from three to five years.
Similar to fresh ginseng, you will need to keep dried ginseng away from excess sunlight and oxygen to keep its compounds in check. Unlike fresh, however, dried ginseng does not need to be refrigerated and should be kept in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dry place such as a pantry or cabinet for optimum freshness.
Ginseng can be a great way to enhance your overall health and buying the highest quality will make certain you receive those benefits.
At the Ontario Ginseng Growers Association (OGGA), we’re passionate about educating consumers about high-quality, North American ginseng. Visit our website to learn more about this amazing plant—including some recipe ideas for adding ginseng into your daily routine!—or reach out to learn more about how you can get involved.