Cover of a 1979 report on tien-chi ginseng.
Tien-chi Ginseng (Panax pseudoginseng) is a unique type of ginseng plant that grows in southwestern China; mainly cultivated in Yunnan and Guangxi Provinces. The main part of the tien-chi plant used as a health product is the root, which is valued for regulating blood circulation, as detailed in a 1979 report (cover pictured here). The flower is used somewhat differently, as a "heat clearing and toxin cleansing" herb, given to reduce inflammation, feverish feeling, skin eruptions, and sore throat.
All parts of the ginseng plants contain the saponins-known as ginsenosides-that have been shown to be responsible for most of ginseng's beneficial effects. Additionally, the flowers contain flavonoids that contribute to the cooling and detoxifying action. The flowers have a mild, pleasant taste, and subtle aroma. In China, the flower tea is a favorite summer drink, used to compensate for the hot weather of the central and southern regions. The flowers are collected in early summer and then extracted and concentrated onto cane sugar to yield an instant tea granule, manufactured by Shenbao Corporation of Guanxi Province.