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Rita say’s  ”I bet you miss this too if you are not in west virginia”
Rita Jones-here is a pic of some yellow roots i dug today serena
here is a pic of some yellow roots i dug today serena if you want a pic of this for you web site
  • Nancy Martin Davis Rita Jones, what is yellow root used for? Is it also for medicinal purposes?
  • Rita Jones yes it for making medicine it is real good for sore throats
  • Serena Adkins Ellison Is there a way you can preserve it? I am not familiar with it.. do you just dry it and it lasts a long time or put it in jars and seal or what? I would love to know more.. I LOVE wv culture
  • Rita Jones i heard of people boiling it and canning the juice but we are not sure we just sell it its goes for $23 a pound dry
  • Serena Adkins Ellison by the way I LOVE your pictures Rita.. thank you for allowing me to showcase them and WV culture on my website.. I have done the ramps, the pickled corn, the kraut, I even bow hunt and make squirrel gravy LOL but without you I would have never been able to post this part of WV culture on the website. I have heard about Ginseng hunting but to actually KNOW someone who does it here is awesome!!!!
  • Brenda Metcalf my dad hunts for ginseng also. my mom actually caught someone on the property looking for it. guy said he was dnr. she told him that there were no trespassing signs up and to gtfo or expect a shotgun shell in his rear end. obviously she was in a mood that day.
  • Jerri Walker I swear I was fully raised in a small coal town in southern West Virginia, but I NEVER HAD GINSENG (‘sang). I heard people talk about it, but we never had it at our house. How was it used?
  • Danny McGraw Jerri Walker, the same here. Now what in the world is Yellow Root and just what is that used for.
  • Trish Meadows Danny Yellow root has been used in folk medicine for mouth infections and sore throat, diabetes, and childbirth, and as an antibiotic. 


    Trish Meadows's photo.


  • Jerri Walker Ohhhhhh, Trish……it’s not a FOOD, then? We really didn’t do folk meds in our house. Thank goodness for the company doctor, which we did use for everything. I’d give anything if my mom had lived longer. I sure would have loved to ask her things over the years. I know she wasn’t really superstitious about anything, and we didn’t use folk meds, but we really never talked about why.
  • Trish Meadows Jerri my grandfather was part Indian and he believed in all the root and herbs. He would go out and get certain ones and make a tonic and in the spring time he would drink it. He was the only one that drank it. I’ve heard about all these roots and herbs but I’ve learned more from this site.
  • Jerri Walker How cool is that, Trish? I’m sure my grandma used ginseng and some of the other folk meds.
  • Rita Jones anyone wanting to look up yellow root to see what it is use for the real name of it is golden seal
  • Trish Meadows Jerri my grandmother was a mid-wife and I think she used all the old folk remedies. My mom said that when one of us was born the first thing my grandmother did was pour a cup of coffee mix sugar and milk in it and give us a spoon full. Funny that is how I drink my coffee to this day. LOL
Ginseng Digging Regulations For WV
Ginseng digging season starts Sept. 1

West Virginia’s ginseng digging season starts Sept. 1. Ginseng diggers, often called “sengers,” will be out in full force searching for the native herb that sold last year for an average of $410 per pound.

On average, it takes about 300 roots to make a pound of ginseng. The price of ginseng per pound fluctuates based on demand and has been recorded to sell from as high as $700 per pound to as low as $200 per pound.

In 2011, according to State Forester Randy Dye, ginseng generated approximately $2 million for West Virginia’s economy.

“People, especially here in West Virginia and in Asian cultures, have believed for centuries in the health benefits of ginseng, which makes the growing and digging of it economically important to the state’s economy and the harvesters’ wallets,” Dye said.

Dye said that 4,920 pounds of ginseng were harvested during the 2011 season, which was a 12 percent decline from the previous season. Robin Black, who has worked with the Division of Forestry’s (DOF) ginseng program for more than 20 years, said she’s not worried about ginseng digging ever ceasing, though.

“Ginseng digging is a time-honored tradition, usually passed down from generation to generation. I don’t believe it will ever fade away,” Black said. “In fact, in many areas of West Virginia, digging ginseng provides a second or third income for many families especially during tough economic times. Ginseng digging is a great way for families to get out into the forest together, learn about the importance of sustaining a native species and make some extra money.”

Ginseng plants are ready to harvest when their berries turn red. The plant is dug out of the ground and its roots removed. West Virginia state law requires anyone digging ginseng to replant the berries/seeds from the parent plant in the spot where it was harvested because this helps continue the species. Federal regulations set the minimum age a plant can be harvested at five years. The age of the plant is determined by the number of prongs; only plants with three or more prongs are considered old enough to harvest.

The following laws also apply to the harvesting of ginseng:

• Anyone digging ginseng on someone else’s property must carry written permission from the landowner allowing him or her to harvest ginseng on the property.

• No permit is needed to dig wild ginseng.

• Digging ginseng on public lands, including state forests, wildlife management areas or state parks, is prohibited.

• Diggers have until March 31 of each year to sell to a registered West Virginia ginseng dealer or have roots weight-receipted at one of the Division of Forestry weigh stations.

• Possession of ginseng roots is prohibited from April 1 through Aug. 31 without a weight-receipt from the DOF.

• The ginseng digging season runs through Nov. 30.

Beginning Sept. 1, a list of registered ginseng dealers for 2012-2013 will be available below.

Besides growing naturally in the woods, ginseng also is cultivated, but roots from cultivated plants typically are worth less per pound than those that grow wild. People who want to grow ginseng on their own property must get a grower’s permit and have a determination done on their property before the ginseng is planted. Determinations are done from April 15 to June 15 each year. Contact Robin Black for more information or with questions at 304-558-2788 ext. 51764.

Article taken from WV ENCYCLOPEDIA

WV Ginseng

7574g04_mediumAmerican ginseng, a long-lived herbaceous perennial, is an important forest resource in West Virginia. It exists in all 55 counties but is most prevalent in cool, moist forests having well-drained loamy soils and a moderate to heavy tree canopy with a heavy understory of shrubs and herbs. 

Ginseng grows from ten to 18 inches tall, with occasional specimens as tall as two feet. The plant has a distinctive olive green color which makes it stand out to the practiced eye. The compound leaves, each consisting of five parts, vary in number from one in very young specimens to as many as four in more mature plants. Ginseng diggers, often known as ‘‘sangers,’’ describe ginseng or ‘‘sang’’ by the number of prongs or leaf stems. The older plants have larger roots and more prongs. A four-prong plant will always elicit excitement among sangers.

The Chinese use the root for a wide variety of ailments including fatigue and pulmonary and gastrointestinal disorders. It is also employed as an aphrodisiac. It is mostly used in making a tea, but it is also carried as a dried root to ward off disease and promote good health. Recent biomedical research has isolated active compounds called saponin ginsenosides, which increase the efficiency of the adrenal and pituitary glands. Other active chemicals include panaxin, which stimulates brain function and aids heart and blood vessels; panacene, which acts as a painkiller and tranquilizer; and ginsenin, an anti-diabetic substance.

Ginseng has been harvested as a cash crop in West Virginia for at least 200 years. West Virginia has a harvesting season beginning on August 15 and ending on November 30 of each year. The statute requires diggers to plant the ripe berries (seeds) from harvested plants at the digging site.

Only dealers registered with the state Division of Forestry may export ginseng root from West Virginia. Ginseng sales produce $5 million to $6 million each year, an important income supplement in the southern coalfields and rural communities. Recent ginseng prices have ranged from a low of $175 to more than $500 per pound of dried root. Division of Forestry records indicate an average annual root harvest of nearly 20,000 pounds, with the highest occurring in 1984 at more than 39,000 pounds and the lowest in 1987 at nearly 9,500 pounds. McDowell County, the southernmost West Virginia county, has averaged the greatest harvest with Wyoming, Logan, Mingo, Boone, Raleigh, Kanawha, Greenbrier, Fayette, and Randolph counties completing the top ten.



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