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Ginseng has long been used in Asian and Western herbal medicine for everything from reduced stress to increased stamina. It’s anti-inflammatory and contains antioxidants. Cell studies demonstrate its potential cancer-fighting capabilities. Some people find ginseng overly energizing when taken in high doses or in the evening, and health experts advise against long-term use, especially in high doses.

There are two main types of ginseng: Asian ginseng () and American ginseng (). Siberian ginseng () is a completely different plant. In the 1700s, wild American ginseng was Canada’s second most important export after fur. Due to the over-harvest, only cultivated Canadian ginseng can now be sold. Look for sustainable versions online or in health food stores or Asian herbal medicine stores.

Ginseng has a slightly bitter taste and is traditionally dipped in a tea with honey and lemon or boiled in soup. This simple breakfast or snack recipe reinvents the pairing of ginseng and honey (and is even better enjoyed with a cup of lemon herbal tea).

Ginseng honey toast

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