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A Traditional Aphrodisiac for Your Senses

Raise Your Virility with Ginseng

WHAT IS GINSENG?: Ginseng is an erect plant growing from 8 to 15 inches in height and bearing three leaves at its summit. Each leaf consists of five thin, stalked leaflets. Six to twenty greenish-yellow flowers are produced in a small cluster during July and August, followed later by bright crimson berries.

Ginseng has a thick, fleshy, spindle-shaped root 2 to 3 inches or more in length and about 1/2 to 1 inch in diameter, often branched. After the second year the root becomes branched or forked, and it is the branched root, especially if it resembles the human form, which finds particular favor with the Chinese, principal consumers of the root.

GINSENG'S HISTORY: The Chinese have been fascinated by the man plant for over five thousand years. Like mandrake, the most potent ginseng roots are said to be shaped like the human body. The Chinese belived that even better results were obtained when the root was dug up at midnight during a full moon. Oriental men have consumed this root daily for millennia in order to retain their virility. An ancient medical manuscript of India says that ginseng "bestows on men both young and old the power of a bull".

A Chinese materia medica of the fourth century presented a list of exotic ginseng recipes that supposedly increased sexual appetites. Shen-Nung, one of the first Chinese emperors who practiced alchemy and the use of sex without ejaculation for rejuvenation, recorded that he felt warmth and sexual desire after chewing some of the root. Ginseng's reputation as an aphrodisiac, however, owes most of its power to the doctrine of signatures, since it has a phallic shape.

HOW CAN I PREPARE IT? Ginseng can be taken in a number of different ways. The best method is to chew a 1-inch piece about the thickness of a pencil. Saliva helps activate its qualities; simply swallowing capsules is not as efficient.

The Chinese make a tea by boiling 1 teaspoon of the root filaments in a pint of water for ten minutes. The pulp is not wasted but is used several more times and is then chewed and swallowed. Ginseng tea should be sipped slowly, thus allowing it to combine with the salivary fluids before swallowing.

A very expensive Chinese wine called kaoliang, with ginseng roots soaked in its cask for at least three years, provides another way of taking ginseng. As strong as vodka, it is usually sipped as a nightcap.

RITUAL USE: Daily intake of ginseng as a general sexual tonic might be considered by some as important a daily ritual as brushing one's teeth. It certainly was an intrinsic part of the Taoist orientation toward sex. Taoist magicians belived in the importance of balancing male (yang) and female (yin) elements in the act of love. They felt that if the lovers were in harmony, it nourished both of the lovers, bringing them closer to the spirit of the universe. When the lovers were in balance, neither strove for pleasure independently of the other. Taoists contended that the "life force" was contained within the by-products of the orgasm (i.e., semen and vaginal fluids). Therefore, in order to maintain balance, they make love without ejaculatory orgasm.

For Taoists lovemaking is a form of meditation that could continue for several days. In order to maintain their vigor, they sought to remain in a state of philosophical calm. By not striving for climax and remaining detached and cool, they used their concentration to increase sensitivity in every part of the body. This awakened the most subtle sensations in a slowly unfolding process.

In the West, orgasm is considered the supreme goal and reward of lovemaking. Aside from certain magical practices, failure to experience sexual release is considered harmful and neurotic. But this attitude contains a cultural bias. We have become obsessed with "achieving" orgasms, the more the better. An evening of Taoist lovemaking might restore some specialness to your relationship. If the lovers attempt to complement and harmonize with one another, both will be nourished. Masters of the more advanced Taoist techniques concentrated on not wasting their essences, devising ways to prolong pleasure and stave off release.

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This site is for your enjoyment, education and entertainment. About Aphrodisiacs takes no responsibility for the efficacy or use of the claims and products suggested here. About Aphrodisiacs can be contacted through John Ryan, Wellington, New Zealand or email © Aboutaphrodisiacs 2001.