"Dr. Ginseng" Jiang Mingtao: Planting the roots of dreams

[Exclusive report from the Asian American News Bureau (AANB)] After 6 a.m. on October 9, just after dawn, Jiang Mingtao was driving on his way to attend the event. The moist cold wind blew against his face, and the woods on the hillside rustled, and the leaves were dyed with yellow, green, and red. He had no time to appreciate the scenery of early autumn, because today was a very important day for him - the 10-acre new ginseng field was about to be sown. .

Jiang Mingtao has been walking this forest road south of Wausau, Marathon County, Wisconsin for more than seven years. This doctor of cardiac physiology and cardioprotection research expert "abandoned medicine and became a farmer". He walked out of his study and returned to nature. He found his own paradise in this fertile soil for preserving essences - the hometown of American ginseng, and reclaimed the land of Chinese Americans. A new world.


Dr. Jiang Mingtao has 20 years of experience in heart research. He is known as "Jiang Bo" and it is true. In 1988, after receiving a master's degree in children's heart from Shandong Medical University, he went to Canada to obtain a doctorate in cardiac physiology. He came to the United States in 1996 and worked as a postdoc at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and as an assistant professor at the State Medical College. His research on cardiac protection mechanisms has been highly praised by the industry. The American Journal of Physiology once praised his research results as a "milestone discovery".

2009 was a turning point for Jiang Mingtao's family. His wife was employed at a hospital in Wausau, Marathon County, and the family moved there while he temporarily found a job in insurance investing. After 20 years of heavy scientific research, Jiang Mingtao's body became weak and he became ill. Traveling around the country day and night for consultations became increasingly overwhelming. He often fainted due to hypoglycemia after breakfast and had to take sick leave.

In desperation, he thought he was in Marathon County, the American ginseng capital, so why not use American ginseng to supplement his health? So I bought a 20- to 30-year-old wild American ginseng and made two bowls of black-bone chicken soup. I drank one bowl that day and felt my blood boiling all over. I drank another bowl the next day and woke up early the next morning. He felt as light as a swallow and the wind was blowing under his feet. He even ran a mile happily after being ill for a long time.


"It's so amazing, American ginseng saved my life!" Jiang Mingtao still remembers this extraordinary experience. Personally experiencing the strange effects of Wisconsin American ginseng, as a doctor of medicine, he couldn't help but be curious about the elf that the Chinese regarded as the "King of Herbs" thousands of years ago: "What exactly produces such a curative effect? ​​What if? She can save me, and she can also save more people!" Jiang Mingtao came up with the idea of ​​starting a ginseng industry.

From then on, his "love" with American ginseng was unstoppable. He purchased land, researched the ginseng industry, opened up the market, and founded the "Wisconsin Marathon Participation" in 2010 (pictured below), thus embarking on the "abandonment" journey. The entrepreneurial path of "medicine followed by agriculture".

How to reach your beautiful country you

From a doctor of medicine to an expert in the ginseng industry, Jiang Mingtao's path has not been easy. There are nearly 200 ginseng farms in Marathon County, and 95% of American ginseng is produced here. Here, one more ginseng farm means more competition, and it is difficult to learn the "secret recipe" of growing ginseng from other ginseng farmers. Most of them require self-study and hard work.

Jiang Mingtao was lucky. As soon as he arrived in Marathon County, he met David (pictured below, left), the third generation descendant of Monk Garden. The Mengke family comes from England and has been growing ginseng in Marathon County for more than a hundred years. David, who graduated from the West Point Military Academy, went to the front lines in the Middle East three times. This colonel had the magnanimity and righteousness of a soldier. He and Jiang Mingtao hit it off and became good friends.

"David was my guide in getting started in the ginseng industry. He gave me a lot of help and advice. We became friends and partners. It can be said that Meng Hakka is my first 'noble person'!" Recommendations are like getting a "passport" to the ginseng industry. Jiang Mingtao got started smoothly and got to know more experienced ginseng farmers.

Growing ginseng is not like growing crops. It requires pure virgin land. The value of American ginseng depends on its age. It takes as little as three years and as many as five or six years to produce a harvest. The longer the time, the higher the value. This first requires strong financial investment.

"When I started my business, my first marketing funds were not turned over in time. When Del, a white ginseng market owner, learned about it, he generously gave me money to advance without saying a word. I had only known him for less than three months at that time." Jiang Mingtao said movedly.


Perhaps in the eyes of these veteran ginseng farmers, they never imagined that a doctor of medicine or a professional physician could come back to farm and become a ginseng farmer. Perhaps it was Jiang Mingtao's natural simplicity and kindness as a descendant of farmers that made them feel trustworthy. In the past few years, Jiang Mingtao often encountered such American "live thunder fronters":

The Merck brothers in the processing factory have been helping him with post-processing. They can be said to be the second "elegant person". They can take away several boxes of processed American ginseng after entering the warehouse and saying hello, and the Merck brothers never rush him. Question: Barney, the ginseng farmer, lent the farmland near his village to him and his company employees to grow vegetables without taking any money; on October 9, the day when the new ginseng field was sown, the old man Cliff who rented it to him (pictured below, right) , not only did he find help, he also went to the field to help sow the seeds, and stayed with Jiang Mingtao until late...

"The ginseng farmers here are so honest and honest, and I feel very at ease when interacting with them." Jiang Mingtao fell in love with the ginseng farmers here and the land here. He believes that like these ginseng farmers, who treat others with integrity and kindness, and treat the ginseng industry with heart, they will naturally Beautiful fruits will grow.

With the help of many "elegant people", Jiang Mingtao's ginseng field has been expanding year by year. He has purchased 60 acres of the century-old Schmidt farm, rented 20 acres of land, and also owns 80 acres of understory ginseng base. The American ginseng brand MonkGarden, which he collaborated with the "No. 1" Monk family, has successfully landed in China and quickly won the market with its high-end quality and unique packaging.


If Jiang Mingtao was a scholar and a doctor of medicine 8 years ago, then he now has another reputation - "Doctor Shen"; and this "Doctor" was "sown" on the farm with his face turned to the loess and his back to the sky. 

Ginseng is commonly known as "Gnome", a small stick. It likes moisture and is afraid of waterlogging and sunlight. It wants to capture all the essence of the land and has extremely high requirements on the soil. Therefore, growing ginseng is a very delicate systematic project. It takes a long time, is slow to produce results, and suffers a lot of losses. The risk is high, and it depends on the weather.

Dr. Jiang cultivates intensively and cooks with care. First, he must choose virgin land that has never been planted with ginseng and high-quality land with good drainage; second, he must feed the land with organic fertilizers such as soybeans and oats; third, he must cover wheat straw and build awnings after sowing to prevent direct sunlight.

After sowing every year, setting up the awning is the most strenuous work: 168 wooden stakes with a thickness of 15 centimeters (more than 6 inches) must be driven into each acre, and a frame is set up with a steel wire rope more than 300 meters long and weighing 1 ton to fix the light transmission. Rainproof awning. "The first year is the most important. Half the success is when the ginseng seedlings are unearthed and strong." Dr. Jiang is always personally involved in the process to ensure that every link is successful. Exposure to the wind and sun in the fields and the exhaustion of running around also built up his strong and strong body.

In addition to doing the hard physical work himself, Jiang Mingtao also made good use of the thinking methods of doctoral research to study hard.

He has done a lot of soil analysis and plant analysis and found that supplementing trace elements such as calcium and boron in the ginseng soil is very valuable for the healthy growth and medicinal effect of American ginseng. He uses oats and soybeans as soil organic fertilizers to make the ginseng "eat well". Better than anyone else.”

The "reverse thinking" cultivated through long-term scientific research also gave Jiang Mingtao a lot of inspiration. For example, he heard people say that corn stalks are not easy to rot after several years, so he took advantage of this characteristic and returned the stalks to the fields to increase soil water permeability and prevent ginseng roots from being waterlogged and causing disease.

For another example, he heard people often say that eating ginseng can cause internal heat and cause nosebleeds, and he thought keenly, "Doesn't this mean that ginseng has strong anticoagulant function?" Taking a small amount of American ginseng can not only activate blood circulation and anticoagulant, It can also dilate blood vessels and lower blood pressure; in addition, dilating blood vessels improves microcirculation, which is often said to "open up blood vessels", thereby reducing the side effects of diabetes.

(The American ginseng wine series developed by Shenchang is very popular)

Based on a large amount of comprehensive literature analysis and careful observation, scientific research and reasoning, he finally found the fundamental pharmacology of American ginseng, especially Wisconsin ginseng - it contains ginsenosides and other ingredients, which stimulate the production of nitric oxide NO in the body. 

"This magical small molecule can refresh your mind and fight fatigue, reduce blood viscosity, activate blood circulation and open up the arteries, thereby preventing strokes and myocardial infarction." Dr. Jiang analyzed, "The so-called 'eating ginseng causes internal heat' is basically related to a series of side effects caused by excessive stimulation of NO production." The ancient legend of ginseng's effects finally has a modern scientific explanation in the research of this "Dr. Ginseng".


In Jiang Mingtao's view, the root of American ginseng has a unique "divine nature". It is a gift from the earth, and is full of the meaning of life: it breaks out of the ground in the cold, with green leaves, red fruits and white roots, and is transformed into a unique root after cultivation. The human-shaped root is full of agility like the spirit of nature; it exudes a faint fragrance, with a long-lasting sweetness among the bitterness.

And this seems to be the epitome of Dr. Jiang’s life: after nearly thirty years of hard work and continuous improvement in North America, he finally planted his own roots - the Marathon American ginseng brand raised by his own hands to spread the ginseng culture that combines the East and the West: "Leverage the spirit of the United States to strengthen the body of the Chinese people" and to feed and repay the motherland and hometown that gave birth to and raised him.

Today, after more than 7 years of operation, Jiang Mingtao's marathon has become a unique brand in Wisconsin. It has not only received funding from the United States Department of Agriculture and the Federal Brand Program, but also received support from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture. Ginseng has gained the trust of Tongrentang, a century-old store in China, and invested in it. The high-end brand Mengke American ginseng has also become an official gift for the Wisconsin agricultural delegation to China.

During the first Wisconsin International American Ginseng Conference in 2017, Jiang Mingtao also hosted the first American Ginseng and American Ginseng International Standards and Clinical Application Seminar (pictured below), and has gradually become a leader in the local American ginseng industry. Marathon participation has become a tourist attraction for tourists from all over the world, especially from mainland China.

In the local Chinese community, Jiang Mingtao is a well-known public welfare activist. He participated in the establishment of the Milwaukee Chinese Center and Yi Jianlian Fan Club more than 10 years ago, and founded the first Chinese-language newspaper in Wisconsin, the Mississauga Times. Since 2016, as a director of UCA, the Federation of Chinese Americans in the United States, Jiang Mingtao has enthusiastically promoted Chinese people's participation in politics and community welfare construction. He has generously donated money and helped many times, conveying the positive energy of UCA's "service, leadership, and inspiration" and becoming a deeply loved member of the UCA. "Jiang Bo" is welcomed by Chinese friends.

His biggest dream is not only to develop the ginseng industry market, but also to create a cultural industry with Eastern and Western cultural connotations, and to establish an American ginseng museum that serves the public, covering science popularization, tourism, sightseeing, ginseng picking and the dissemination of ginseng culture. Through ginseng, we can make friends and make heroes in the world, let more friends enjoy the essence of American ginseng, bring health and happiness to people, and also feel the richness of life, and seek the roots of dreams and hopes...



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