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, who are the principal consumers of this root.
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 believed that even better results could be obtained when the root was dug up at midnight during a full moon. Eastern 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 appetite. Shen-Nung, one of the first Chinese emperors who practiced alchemy and continence (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. Another way to take Ginseng is in the form of a very expensive Chinese wine called kaoliangwhich contains ginseng roots soaked in a cask for at least three years. As strong as vodka, it is usually sipped as a nightcap.
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 believed in the importance of balancing male (yang) and female (yin) elements in the act of love. They considered that if the lovers were in harmony, it would nourish both of them, 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 may continue for several days. In order to maintain their vigor, they sought to remain in a state of philosophical calmness. By not striving for a climax and by remaining detached and cool, they used their concentration to increase sensitivity in every part of their body. This awakens the most subtle sensations in a slowly unfolding process.
In the West, the orgasm is considered to be 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. However, an evening of Taoist lovemaking might restore some sacredness to your relationship. If 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.
REVIVE YOURSELF BY SIPPING SOME GINSENG TEA AND MAKE LOVE LIKE THE TAOISTS!