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Infestation of natural drugs with fungi or other microorganisms

... I have two questions: Can I ginseng and chew or suck? I did so with ginseng from Thailand on a friend's advice that brought it to me and it was OK. And yet another: How do I know that ginseng remains untouched by molds or other micro-organisms ... in other words, it is fresh, unsweetened? ... Ondřej z Varnsdorfu

Dear Mr. Ondrej,

1.) Chewing and sucking ginseng of course you can. It is slightly bitter but very aromatic.

2.) It is wise to be interested in molds because molds and mycotoxins (aflatoxin, ochratoxin, fumonisin, zearalenon, moderate patulin from rotten apples, etc.) in food and dried natural materials are a huge problem.

He was told by Prof. Váňa from the Department of Botany of the Faculty of Science of the Charles University, who had the habit of placing a lecture on lower plants on the experience of molding Moldovan goods in the Czech and Slovak Republics. If my memory served, he said that mycotoxins are virtually everywhere. The most dangerous food is said to be peaches (and roasted!), Then coffee (also roasted and unsalted!), Grain and bakery products ... Prof. Váňa talked about the case when they called him to the full force of the "trapped" grain, and when he asked them to destroy the question, "so can not" the answer. Soy beans and soy products such as tofu often suffer. And neither dried herbs, including ginseng, are spared.

I have read many publications dealing with the dangers of mycotoxins in ginseng roots ( Trucksess2008mbd etc.). Compared to conventional foods, mycotoxin findings in herbs are relatively fewer, but they occur. In ginseng, red ginseng ( radix ginseng rubra , prepared) is slightly more resistant than white ginseng ( radix ginseng alba , sun dried). But when choosing herbs, you have to follow the advice of a doctor or practitioner of the TCM, not by considering the likelihood of mycotoxins. Dial a reliable source , although quite frankly, there is no absolute certainty. Ginseng and other herbs should be stored in a sealed container after purchase or self-suction to avoid moisturizing.

If I look away from mycotoxins, I can see the words "fresh" and "unsweetened" in your query. Goods are not only microorganisms but also storage. The main problem is the oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids (hence the buttermilk) and the main defense is the minimization of storage time. In particular, ginseng is particularly resistant to other herbal products. The ginseng active substances (panaxosides) are naturally resistant to both temperature and oxidation due to their chemical structure (steroid skeleton + glycosidic coupled sugars), so the ginseng drug retains virtually full effect over a long period of time.

-boris-

| 4.11.2008

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