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Herbal Story

Herbal Story

Chinese Ginseng (Ren Shen)

Author: Chi Institute/Tuesday, May 20, 2014/Categories: TCVM Articles

It was in later autumn when two brothers made their way to the Chang Bai Mountain for hunting. A senior kindly reminded them that the fall was nearing an end and snow was coming soon. He warned them of the possibility of the road home becoming closed off, making it impossible for them to go back to their home. But the two young brothers did not want to listen to the senior’s advice; they thought they were strong and had a lot of energy. They brought their arrow, bow, knife and big fork and entered the mountain.


They hunted many wild animals after they entered the mountain. During hunt, snow gradually began falling. Soon, the road was closed. With no way to go back home, they found a cave to stay in. Besides eating the wild animals they hunted, they also harvested some plants and wild vegetables located around the cave to fill their stomachs as well as improve their appetites. They found out in a short time that there was a plant that tasted very sweet and was shaped like a man. They then dug more of these man-shaped plants to eat as fresh fruit. They found out that this plant could boost the body’s energy but could also cause nosebleeds if one eats too much of it. Therefore, they ate a little daily and avoided eating too much. Sometimes, if the weather was good enough and sunny, they were out of their cave for hunting even though there was still very thick snow.


It turned from winter to spring. The ice and snow were melting. These two brothers carried the meat they gained from hunting and stalks of the man-shaped
fruit and went back to their village.


The villagers did not believe they were alive. When they were seen in such good health, white and fat, villagers were so curious and asked them what they could eat in the Chang Bai Mountain. The two brothers had showed the villagers the stalks they had brought from the mountain. After taking a look, villagers thought that they looked like men, but they had no name for the fruit. A senior with white hair and beard with a high moral character and reputation, said smiling “it looked like man. You two brothers relied on it for survival. Let’s call it as “Ren Shen” (Man’s Birth).

Later, it changed its original name from Ren Shen (Man’s Birth) to Ren Shen (Man’s Root).

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