“Black cohosh: WNC’s next cash crop?” Article

This is an interesting article from Asheville Citizen Times about Black Cohosh & it’s potential for international  value as a botanical pharmaceutical.

http://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2016/09/11/black-cohosh-wncs-next-cash-crop/89775504/

Fresh Wild American Ginseng ~ Ethically Harvested in Small Batches

 

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Bat Cave Botanicals is now offering Ethically Harvested, Fresh Wild American Ginseng! The way we do this is by pre-selling custom small batch quantities of very quality fresh wild ginseng roots. Once the order is placed, we carefully hand harvest the largest roots from a healthy wild ginseng population, in accordance with ethical harvest guidelines as well as our own stewardship standards. This allows us to offer the best quality product without ‘over-consuming’ a precious limited resource.

4 oz of Small Batch Fresh Wild American Ginseng

8 oz of Small Batch Fresh Wild American Ginseng


Bat Cave Botanicals ETSY Shop

Bat Cave Botanicals @ EBAY

 

 

Bat Cave Botanicals complies with all Federal & North Carolina regulations concerning the harvest, certification & sale of Wild American Ginseng.

 

Chanterelles ~ Queen of the Forest

 

IMG_20160820_170433 (Copy)It might be argued that certain areas of the southern Appalachian mountains, could meet the qualifications of a temperate rain forest. Rainfall, canopy cover, and a few other aspects make some of the more densely forested portions of WNC an interesting place for mushrooms!

In the Spring, if you get very lucky, you might find some morels if you look really hard, but few things equal the sight of the ground ‘on fire’ with gorgeous golden orange ‘fragrant chanterelles’. After a moist summer with almost daily rainfall, these beauties can be quite prolific, although they are totally & utterly wild, and must be foraged & wild crafted. Lucky for us they have a relationship with the roots of certain hardwood trees, and come back in the same place year after year.IMG_20160819_135855429 (Copy)

When it comes to collecting any wild mushroom for eating, making an absolutely positive ID is crucial. Once an ID is 100% positive, it still doesn’t stop there, because when it comes to large patches of mushrooms, you have to check each & every one as you harvest them to make sure that you you don’t accidentally mix in a look alike, which often tend to grow in the same areas.

Once you get past all the necessary mushroom disclaimers, positive IDs, & correct harvesting procedures, it is time to clean them & cook them, and in this particular case, the taste even better then they look!

 

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For more info on “Fragrant Chanterelles (Craterellus odoratus)” check out these links below!

http://blog.crazyaboutmushrooms.com/tag/craterellus-odoratus/

http://blog.crazyaboutmushrooms.com/north-carolinas-top-10-edible-wild-mushrooms/

http://blog.crazyaboutmushrooms.com/chanterelle-hunting-north-carolina/

http://www.mssf.org/cookbook/chanterelle.html

 

Bat Cave Botanicals IndieGogo Campaign

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Check out out new IndieGogo Campaign for Bat Cave Botanicals! We would appreciate it if you shared with anyone who might be interested!

Bat Cave Botanicals is a small business located in Bat Cave, NC. We steward & ethically harvest Wild American Ginseng, and offer these very special roots to customers who demand ethical practices. We also focus on public awareness & ginseng education. We have created this campaign to ask for your help with funding to make Bat Cave Botanicals a self supporting small business that shows the world that it is possible to have a profitable business model based on ethical principals.

We have created this IndieGogo campaign for Bat Cave Botanicals to seek financial help with crucial funds needed to continue & expand our small business, and to further the reach of our educational resources.

Because of the current high market value of ginseng & resulting threat to the wild ginseng population , it is important to us to offer a product that places value on a superior & ethically harvested product, as opposed to the current short sighted over-harvesting of a rare, valuable & endangered botanical resource.

With the assistance of contributors like you, we can achieve a higher level of public awareness & become a profitable self sustaining small business.  By offering superior quality wild american ginseng, we hope to demonstrate to other sellers that ethical harvest techniques are more profitable as well as sustainable. By our success we hope that other sellers will adopt a more respectful  ‘Good Stewardship’ ginseng policy.

We believe in giving back & contributing to the community, so as our small business grows, the more effort we would like to give to public education, outreach & conservation. This is as much a lifestyle as it is ‘a business’ for us.

 

 

How to Age Wild American Ginseng Roots

BCB ~ Ginseng Age Diagram

How to determine the age of an American Ginseng Root

 

There are two widely used methods of determining the age of Wild American Ginseng aka Panax quinquifolius. One method is by counting the leaf prongs (or leaflets) on the live plant at the time of harvest.  This is only used by the harvester to determine if the ginseng plant is legally mature.  This is only a very general method of estimating the the plant’s age. All states require that a plant must have three or more prongs in order to harvest. For more information on the method, please see the official US Fish & Wildlife method & the WildGrown’ Article.

Scar count method

When it comes to dry ginseng roots, the best way to estimate  the minimum age is the ‘scar count method’. This means to count the number of ‘scale scars’ on the rhizome (or neck) of the root. A single ‘bud scar’ is produced every autumn after the yellow plant stem falls to the ground, so for each year the plant produces a top, there is a scar left on the rhizome.

It is a matter of personal preference whether to start at the top of the neck (the stem bud) or the bottom of the neck (the root collar). I find that since ‘bottom to top’ is the way the root grows & develops, it makes sense to me to count it that way too.

These methods are only used to estimate the minimum age of a plant or root. The ‘top’ of the ginseng plant changes from year to year, and may not reflect the size of the root below ground. The ginseng root itself may have a ‘cumulative dormancy’ of many years by the time it is harvested.

Beyond a certain age, it becomes increasingly unlikely that the correct age of the ginseng plant could be morphologically confirmed**

** Anderson, R.C., J.S. Fralish, J.E. Armstrong and P.K. Benjamin. 1993.The ecology and biology of Panax quinquefolium L. (Araliaceae) in Illinois. American Midland Naturalist 129:357-372.


Why is age important?

Ginseng is a very unusual plant in that it really can live to be 50, 80 or even hundreds of years old.* Unlike most other herbaceous perennial plants, most of which have a fairly defined life cycle, the species of Panax (Ginseng) has been known all over the world to reach great lengths of age & longevity. It has been revered for centuries for it’s mysterious ability to stop or reverse aging the folks who are privileged enough to take it. (In the old days, only emperors, government officials & royal physicians could afford it.)

Both traditional beliefs & science say the older the wild ginseng root, the more ‘potent’ it’s active properties. These active ingredients called ‘ginsenosides’ become more concentrated in older roots. These ginsenosides are responsible for the myriad & mysterious health & longevity giving  properties which makes ginseng so renowned. Of these gifts, virility & ‘performance’ are the most publicized attributes in the west, however there are many more far-reaching benefits in the eastern cultures. Like anti aging, mental sharpness, overall vigor, hence the roots popularity with athletes & students alike.

In Chinese Herbal Medicine, there are herbs that help you recover from illnesses, as well as herbs that nourish healthy individuals & promote general wellness. Ginseng is in the unique position of being in both categories.

Consumption or Display

Connoisseurs of wild ginseng consider ‘old’ wild ginseng  to be of the rare & and of the highest value due to it’s rarity. For the purposes of consumption, older wild roots are the pinnacle of the active compounds & benefits, and will impart to the taker the vitality & longevity that the root possesses.

When it comes to collectors who like to display wild ginseng either fresh or dried, collector quality Wild American ginseng is very rare. Especially Wild American ginseng roots in good condition, because the likelihood of an exceptional root reaching the hands of a collector in exceptional condition is fairly slim. Rough handling during the harvesting process & poor techniques used in packing & transporting the roots renders the majority of wild american ginseng roots useless to the collector.

Also because many of these roots are particularly beautiful. Particular shapes like ‘bulby with a long neck’, or man shaped roots are particularly esteemed & high in value.

Displaying Ginseng Roots

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Ginseng holds a lot of value and meaning for many cultures. It is very popular as a gift for family & loved ones, and has so many uses.

Many people eat Ginseng roots for their health & wellness value, but with special roots it is often displayed for its beauty. Especially in Asia, old, wild and large roots are appreciated for their form & beauty, and especially the rare man shaped roots.

Particular roots that are rare & valuable, or roots that have a special meaning can be displayed in a couple of of ways. I have seen some very nice examples of dry displays, and liquid displays.


11月6日,在琶洲的中洲大厦举行了一场吉林长白山参王拍卖会,最高参王以188万被拍得.杨勤摄 黄佩文字

Dry Roots on Display

Some dried roots are preserved in glass top cases for viewing, and sometimes are sewn to fabric on a board. This is a lovely way to display roots if they are properly handled & processed.


Liquid Displays

01c06150e73947e3a49111a18b46ddd5 Liquid displays might be more popular since you can view them, and depending on the alcohol used, have a ‘ginseng wine’ for special occasions.

This is usually done by cleaning fresh roots and submerging them in alcohol. There seem to be a few different methods for this, but anything from pure grain alcohol or strong wine should have enough alcohol to preserve the roots in a sterile environment.

Roots that are preserved in strong wine will look fresh, even though the alcohol dehydrates the roots & replaces the water.

Roots that are placed in pure alcohol will eventually create a ‘tincture’ similar to what herbalists make for medicine. With ‘fleshy’ roots especially it is important to use a very strong proof.

40 Year Old Wild American Ginseng Root

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This is what a 40 year old Wild American Ginseng root looks like! This amazing root has 37+ bud scars, which means it is at least 37 years old, though … Read More

Bat Cave Ice Photography

Crawling through a frozen creek with camera-in-hand can be worth the effort!

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The story behind ‘Bat Cave’ Botanicals…

First and foremost, we live in Bat Cave, North Carolina, which is way too awesome to not use as part of our business name! Our small town is named after the largest known granite ‘fissure’ cave in North America, which, not surprisingly happens to be inhabited by several species of bat, and a few other endangered species.

Second, because I love bats! Bats are amazing creatures who deserve awareness & recognition for the vital role they play in our ecosystem. OK, so maybe also a teeny bit because who doesn’t like a caped crusader fighting against evil doers.

Thirdly, bats have fascinating symbolic meaning in Chinese culture, and since much of my focus with Bat Cave Botanicals includes Traditional Chinese Herbs, it is a little extra cool. In Chinese cultural symbolism, bats are auspicious because the word for ‘bat’ (FU) in Chinese sounds the exact same as the word for luck (FU).  They represent longevity & prosperity, and are often depicted in art motifs with deer & ginseng roots, which are three things we always love to see in these parts!

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Give the Gift of Ginseng

 

 

BCB Holiday Promo 1 (Copy)Wild American Ginseng, that is!

 

Bat Cave Botanicals wishes you and yours a very happy holidays!

To celebrate this special time of year, we are offering some great deals & extras for you this holiday season. We are holding some exclusive deals in both of our shops this year!

We have many new ginseng listings, just for the holidays. Premium roots that are the perfect gift for friends, family, or even yourself! We are even offering special gift packaging as an added bonus.


Bat Cave Botanicals @ ETSY
~ Ginseng Specials
~ Free Gift of Wild Ginseng Leaf with Purchase (quantities are limited)

For the month of December, we will include .25 ounce of wild organic ginseng leaf with your ginseng order {a $25 value}, while supplies lasts. See this listing for more information about Wild Ginseng leaf & it’s uses. This offer is available in our ETSY store only!


Bat Cave Botanicals @ eBay
~ ‘No Reserve’ Ginseng Auctions
~ Ginseng Root auctions starting at $.99

For the month of December, we will be running ‘NO RESERVE’ auctions as well as a few special auctions, only in our eBay store.

 

 

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