AUSTIN, Texas (May 6, 2019) — The American Botanical Council (ABC) welcomes BOTALYS’ adoption of Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) through ABC’s Adopt-an-Herb botanical research and education program.
BOTALYS’ adoption supports ABC’s extensive HerbMedPro database, ensuring that this unique research and educational resource remains up to date for researchers, health professionals, industry members, students, consumers, and other members of the herbal and dietary supplements and natural medicine communities.
HerbMedPro is a comprehensive, interactive online database that provides access to important scientific and clinical research data on the uses and health effects of more than 265 herbs, spices, medicinal plants, and fungi.
According to Gaelle Stockman, marketing communications manager of BOTALYS, the company’s adoption of Asian ginseng constitutes “a great opportunity to increase the scientific knowledge” about this important plant. “We did not choose ginseng as a key botanical by coincidence,” Stockman wrote. “It helps people adapt to our challenging 21st-century lifestyle.”
She added that Asian ginseng has many health benefits. “Ginseng not only mildly stimulates the central nervous system, but it also modulates the immune and endocrine systems. It also works as a stress reliever, helping us live dynamically and serenely,” she wrote.
ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal said: “ABC is deeply grateful to the people at BOTALYS for their adoption of Asian ginseng on ABC’s robust and unique HerbMedPro database. Asian ginseng has a long reputation as a major herb in traditional Chinese medicine and also in the West in the past 50 years as a premium tonic and adaptogenic herb. The adoption by BOTALYS will enable ABC to provide increased benefit to the international herb and medicinal plant community by ensuring that the HerbMedPro database is constantly maintained to reflect the most recent scientific and clinical publications on ginseng.”
About Asian Ginseng
Asian ginseng is a slow-growing deciduous perennial that is native to eastern Asia, primarily China and the Korean Peninsula, where it has been used for at least 2,000 years. It is now rare in its original range but is cultivated extensively in China, Japan, Korea, and Russia. Panax ginseng is one of about a dozen species in the genus Panax, all but two of which are found in Asia.
The genus name Panax, derived from the Greek pan, for “all,” and akos, for “cure,” reflects the 18th-century Western perception of the plant’s traditional use, though it was not actually used as a “cure-all” or panacea, according to Harvard University botanist Shiu-Ying Hu, PhD (1908-2012). Instead, the use of ginseng root was limited and specific in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). The species name ginseng loosely means “essence of the earth in the form of a man” or “man essence.”
The earliest known written record of Asian ginseng reportedly is from The Divine Husbandman’s Classic of Materia Medica (Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing), which was written during the Han Dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE). Centuries later, Pierre Jartoux (1669-1720), a French Jesuit missionary, provided the first account of Asian ginseng by a Westerner, after he encountered the plant on a mapping expedition in China in 1708 and 1709. He wrote: “Nobody can imagine that the Chinese and Tartars would set so high a value on this root, if it did not constantly produce a good effect. Those that are in health often make use of it, to render themselves more vigorous and strong.” His account propelled European interest in the plant and led to the European discovery of American ginseng (P. quinquefolius).
Ginseng roots traditionally have been used as a tonic and adaptogen (a substance that increases the state of non-specific resistance to stress). It is suggested their greatest value may be their normalizing, restorative effects on the whole body, rather than effects on specific body organs/systems or for specific diseases. Most of Asian ginseng’s effects are attributed to a mixture of saponins called ginsenosides.
Based in Ath, Belgium, BOTALYS was established in 2011 as Green2Chem, a consulting company that specialized in food and biotechnology and conducted preliminary research on vertical farming cultivation methods to produce hydroponically grown plants. In 2018, with its new large-scale indoor vertical farm, in which plants are grown in stacked layers, the company changed its name to BOTALYS. It produces botanicals and ingredients for the food supplement, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical industries. It also values preserving the environment.
The company produces HRG80ᵀᴹ, which it claims is a pure and highly bioactive powder of P. ginsengroot that contains 12% total ginsenosides, of which 80% are claimed to be bioactive. BOTALYS cultivates ginseng hydroponically in a sterile environment using a new vertical farming method. According to the company, this method enables it to grow bioactive plants that are difficult to grow with traditional agricultural methods. Ginseng plantlets are grown in a water solution, and, after harvesting, the roots are steam-cooked (with no extraction solvents) and then air-dried and ground into powder.
This cultivation method combines ancestral Asian knowledge with state-of-the-art technology, according to the company. BOTALYS controls the process from beginning to end and claims it can ensure full traceability for each batch of ginseng produced. It also certifies that HRG80 is completely free of GMOs, irradiation, and contaminants (e.g., pesticides, mycotoxins, and solvents). According to the company, its production capacity will increase from 500 kg of Asian ginseng in 2018 to 2.2 metric tons by the end of 2019. For more information, visit Botalys.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Adopt-an-Herb and HerbMedPro
BOTALYS is one of 58 US and international companies that have supported ABC’s educational efforts to collect, organize, and disseminate reliable, traditional, and science-based information, including clinical studies, on herbs, medicinal plants, and other botanical- and fungal-based ingredients through the Adopt-an-Herb program. This program encourages companies, organizations, and individuals to “adopt” one or more specific herbs for inclusion and ongoing maintenance in the HerbMedPro database. To date, 64 herbs have been adopted.
Each adopted herb is continuously researched for new scientific articles and botanical, chemical, pharmacological, toxicological, and clinical studies, ensuring that its HerbMedPro record stays current and robust. Access to the studies is conveniently organized by publication type, with each study condensed to a one-sentence summary with a link to the study’s official abstract on PubMed (the US National Library of Medicine’s free-access database) or other publicly accessible database.
HerbMedPro is available to ABC members at the Academic level and higher. Its “sister” site, HerbMed, is available to the general public at no cost, with access to 25-30 herb records from the larger HerbMedPro database. In keeping with ABC’s position as an independent research and education organization, herb adopters do not influence the scientific information that is compiled for their respective adopted herbs.