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Ginseng

Ginseng capsulesGinseng tea. Ginseng gum. Ginseng capsules. Ginseng burgers. Okay, maybe not now, but don't be surprised if you start seeing deluxe burgers with ginseng for extra pep in your step. Ginseng products have made their way into the mainstream. Why, just the other day you came across an entire ginseng display at your grocery store.

This popular herb has many traditional medicinal uses. In Asia, it is often prescribed to tonify the lungs, strengthen the spleen and benefit the heart. But the most common use, especially in Europe and the USA is to increase ones level of energy. In a busy world people feel the effects of it more than ever, and ginseng is a time-honored, attractive, natural remedy to a modern and complex problem.

However, while addressing your own problems, you could be creating others. The demand for both American and Asian ginseng species is now so great that wild plants are fast becoming depleted. Next time you go to the store looking for ginseng -- be it in pill, tea, or burger form -- you would be wise to ask its source. A lot of ginseng is cultivated, and American ginseng is regulated in international trade. So it's best to stick with these kinds of products that are probably not harming wild ginseng populations. Or, you might instead grab one of those so-called power bars or try getting a good night's sleep or eating some chocolate (marshmallow peeps are in season).