Ginseng & Goldenseal Growing Programs – NC Ginseng & Goldenseal Company
Robert Eidus at an herb festival

North Carolina Ginseng & Goldenseal Company is a state licensed Ginseng Dealer, was formed in 1993, and is located in Madison County.

Our Company has active re-seeding programs for Ginseng and Goldenseal, both “companion” plants often found in the same growing area. We buy and sell Ginseng and Goldenseal. We also help others start growing these plants, and to obtain the proper state permits.

North Carolina Ginseng & Goldenseal Company is dedicated to preservation and propagation of Ginseng and Goldenseal in our natural environment.

Opportunities for Growing

  • Do you have land with a North-facing slope?
  • Want to Harvest On Your Own Private Land?
  • Want to Help Replenish Protected Plant Species?
  • Want Extra Income?
  • Our Program For Small Farms can get you started.
  • Are you looking for an alternative crop to tobacco? See news article >>

Characteristics of Ginseng

American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolium L), has a fleshy root and short stem. It is a perennial. Stem and leaves die in winter but regrow in spring. It is a shade requiring plant, native to hardwood forests, and best adapted to cool, temperate climates. It grows naturally in the western mountains and foothills of North Carolina. Ginseng that grows locally in Madison County has the reputation for being some of the highest quality and potency in the world (see Madison news article). American ginseng root has been exported to the Orient since the early 18th century.

Three Steps to Successful Growing

If interested in growing and harvesting Ginseng or Goldenseal on your land, we can help.

Step 1 – Look at the Growing Site

A Site Visit by one of our company’s representatives may be required to determine if the proper conditions exist for successful growing.

A Site Visit may NOT be necessary if you have determined for yourself the following condition exist at your intended growth area:

1) a well drained North Slope, not in a pasture.

2) a tall, dense deciduous canopy of poplar, beech, maple, dogwood, or oak.

3) the presence of companion plants such as black cohosh, maiden hair fern, jack-in-the-pulpit, trillium, blood root, and false solomonseal, etc.

If unable to determine for yourself that proper conditions exist at the growing site, one of our representatives can conduct a Site Visit, which takes about an hour. This includes a presentation about Ginseng and other medicinal herbs.

Step 2 – Purchase Roots, Seeds or Rhizomes

After determining that you have a proper growing area, our company can provide you with roots, seeds or rhizomes. Visit our online store for more information.

Roots or seeds must be planted in the fall, prior to the first freeze. Ginseng roots can be harvested after 7 years. Goldenseal is harvested after 5 years. The growing site should be monitored at least once per year to check the progress of your crops.

Step 3 – Harvest and Prosper

After your plants have reached maturity, the North Carolina Ginseng & Goldenseal Company will purchase all mature ginseng roots after September 1, when prices for each season are quoted. This is when your farm begins to generate income. At the end of November we will purchase dried or shade dried ginseng roots which have been properly cleaned. Fresh Goldenseal roots are purchased in both the spring and fall.

After harvest, our company will take the “green” roots, individually wash them and air dry them under controlled conditions. When dried, these individual plants are processed for tinctures, capsules, or prized root.

Other Resources

GardenForever.com – information on growing and using herbs

Goldenseal and Ginseng Together

Dr. Jeanine Davis of the North Carolina Extension Agency recommends that Goldenseal be used as a rotation crop with Ginseng. Because these two are often companion plants in the wild, we also recommend planting both at the same time. We also will help you obtain a Permit for Propagation per North Carolina law, if the grower requests this permit.