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Ginseng Education

Learning about the life cycle, history, and mystery that is Wild American Ginseng is just one side of the story! Laws regulating the harvest and sale of Wild American Ginseng exist for a reason and it is essential for everyone to understand why these international, federal, and state laws are important to the future of ginseng as a species. 19 states and one Tribal Authority have ginseng programs, and each one is different. Four states allow cultivated ginseng only, with no wild harvesting. If you plan on digging (or growing), please learn about the laws in your state and practice good stewardship.
 

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Good Stewardship

Good stewardship starts with you and is crucial to the future of Wild American Ginseng. While the laws address what is legal and what is not, stewardship is a way of interacting with smaller populations of ginseng in order to have a positive impact and to help ensure the next generation of wild American ginseng. Ginseng laws and seasons exist to put into place a basic level of stewardship, but real stewardship goes beyond the laws. 
 
Good stewardship is something that anyone can do at any time. Things like counting the generations of ginseng in a group, keeping track of how many seeds were planted each season, noting natural elements like deer and weather, learning and observing the plants intricate life-cycle, helping with protection if needed, and conservation are just a few ways to be a good steward!The best thing you can do for wild American ginseng populations is to carefully hand plant the seeds in a well spaced area around the mature plant.

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Ethical Harvest

Using the principals of good stewardship, ethical harvest can be a way to harvest wild American ginseng and other woodland botanicals like it while minimizing the impact on a specific plant population, selectively harvesting only the oldest roots (allowing for the rest to mature and continue seeding), and ensuring future generation by carefully hand planting every seed. 
 

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Conservation through Cultivation

Conservation through Cultivation is important to the future of ginseng because instead of harvesting wild populations, it is possible to intentionally and sustainably grow ginseng. Field-grown, forest-grown, and wild-simulated are three ways to grow ginseng. 
 

 
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Conservation through Protection

Many places like parks and public lands, nature reserves, private property as well as State Parksand National Forests forbid the harvest of Wild American Ginseng. These protected places notonly preserve nature for all to enjoy but also serve as an important place for rare species likewild American ginseng.
 

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Conscious Consumerism

For those who use ginseng as a tonic herb, medicine, or in products, it is important to learn a bit about the company who makes it and how they source their ginseng (and other at-risk botanicals). Supporting "sustainably sourced", "forest farmed" or "ethically harvested" practices does a world of good for everyone: for the consumer getting a good product, the company or herbalist making the products, the person growing or harvesting, right on down to the plants and every little seed that means so much to the future of that plant. If a plant is important and valuable enough to doall of that, it's important enough to steward for the future.