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ginseng

Pronunciation: [JIHN-sing]

The Chinese name for this sweet licorice-flavored root is "human-shaped root" and indeed some have extraordinarily human shapes. This rather amazing plant has been credited for centuries with being everything from an aphrodisiac to a restorative. Recent scientific discoveries have linked ginseng to the treatment of high blood pressure. It's referred to as white ginseng when simply sun-dried. When steamed and dried over a fire or with other heat, it takes on a reddish tinge and is called red ginseng. Ginseng is used in soups, for tea and as a medicinal. It's available in Asian markets and natural food stores.