Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Indian Ginseng to compete with Chinese, Korean varieties


July 22, 2008
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, July 21: Indian ginseng has now become more powerful and efficacious thanks to a new technology adopted by the North-East Institute of Science and Technology.
Ginseng, the wonder drug of vigour and vitality since times immemorial, has been the most sought-after herbal medication in India, China and other Asian countries for instant strength. But Indian ginseng has often been considered inferior to its counterpart grown in China and Korea.
The NEIST based in Jorhat, Assam, has successfully improved the quality as well as yield of the ginsenoside alkaloid content of the rare wonder herb using the application of bioreactor method and cell-culture. Ginsenoside is the chemical that makes ginseng a powerful and revitalising drug.
NEIST director Dr PG Rao told this correspondent from Jorhat that Indian ginseng could not compete with the Chinese and the Korean ginseng in the international market. "We have also isolated a microbe from the soil in Golaghat district of Assam which can suitably be employed for treating deadly diseases like tuberculosis," he said.

Ginseng is found wildly growing in the North-Eastern states, particularly Assam and Nagaland. The demand for Indian ginseng has been low because of the poor quality.
"Ginsenoside is a very high value natural product which is used for enhancing human vigour and vitality, longevity, as general health tonic, antiageing agent and also as an aphrodisiac. The alkaloid content of Chinese and Korean ginseng is of very superior quality unlike those found in India, which have inferior quality and poor yield," Dr Rao said.
The NEIST carried out research to improve the yield and quality, he said adding that "the institute has been successful to a considerable extent in its efforts".
Though there's no full-fledged scientific evidence to prove the efficacy of ginseng, many people believe that the herb has aphrodisiac properties besides being a nourishing stimulant. It is also used for treatment of diabetes.

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