Dr. Andrew Weil on Ginseng • High Times

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For this week’s edition of Flashback Friday, we’re bringing you a valuable primer on the effects of ginseng by none other than Dr. Andrew Weil, originally printed in the October, 1980 edition of High Times magazine.


The root of life. It was said to restore sexual potency and cure syphilis. It could bring the still-warm corpse back to life. Always expensive and difficult to obtain, its rarity fed the myths of its supernatural powers and the myths fed the demand. In turn-of-the-century China, the market value of ginseng topped the price of gold.

Although it has not kept pace with the price of gold, ginseng is still one of the world’s more costly botanicals, and trade in it has become very big business in North America, the Soviet Union and the Far East. One estimate places the number of regular users in the United States alone at more than five million, many of them drawn by claims that it is a supertonic, promoting health and longevity, not to mention sexual vigor. But…

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