samgyetang

Food Stories

The Root of the Solution

By Jeannette Park | May 24, 2012

Photo: eekim

Photo: eekim

“It’s made from concentrated ginseng. Do you know what that is?”

I look at the perky girl behind the beauty counter in amazement and almost laugh into her perfectly made-up face. Had she not even told me the super ingredient in the latest super cream, the distinct smell pervades so many childhood memories it’s hard to miss. “Here, try some,” she says dabbing a bit onto my hand. “It’s called Sulwhasoo and it’s made from ginseng, a plant grown in the Korean Peninsula. Apparently it is one of the most precious medicinal plants around.”

Growing up, sun and sand was always the preferred prescription for whatever ailed me. But with a mother who walked on the shady side of any street to prevent excess sun exposure to her admittedly flawless complexion, her cure-all was ginseng. Used in teas, elixirs and now beauty creams, the ginseng root has been known to reduce mental stress and anxiety, increase mental clarity and alertness, reduce fatigue, and improve athletic endurance. With these kind of benefits it’s a wonder ginseng isn’t more readily used in Western health regimes. But anyone who has experienced the fragrant root can attest to
why it’s not the most popular remedy.  Read More

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