Citation: A Happy Camper. "Tongtong Ju is Great: An Experience with Ginseng & Alcohol (ID 4110)". Erowid.org. Dec 25, 2001. erowid.org/exp/4110
I guess I should mention that by profession I am a Bodyworker / Kinesiologist and my interest in energy systems within and outside the human body continues to intrigue me. With this line of work, I have tended to become very sensitive to my own reactions as well as others'. I used cannabis regularly as a means of enhancing my regular meditation, physical (combined with stretching) and mental relaxation routines. I recently moved to South Korea and have since been looking at alternative forms of entertainment as alcohol can become very boring after a while. I stumbled on fresh ginseng which is used in various dishes here. Previously, I had only tried Ginseng teas and they had no effect on me whatsoever.
The fist time in ingested fresh ginseng root I was knocked by the power of it. I was in a brightly lit, sit on the floor type restaurant with my husband eating a local specialty, chicken and ginseng soup (Samgye Tang). Only a few minutes after eating it, my body began to warm up considerably, I felt like I was literally expanding out of my skin. This was followed by an intense heat building at the top of my head (around the fontanel on the top of the skull, this point in acupuncture is called the 'Gateway to Heaven', a point that connects you to the universal energy (as it has been explained to me). My head was growing upwards and outwards and it was quite disorientating as well as being a very euphoric experience. This continued for over 30 minutes before subsiding into a simple feeling of wellbeing. As I was in public place, I didn't have the opportunity to use meditation techniques to explore this phenomenon. Walking home from the restaurant, I was light bodied and happy and this feeling of wellbeing stayed with me for the next couple of days.
I didn’t get the same reaction the next few times I ate this soup, just a residual joyous feeling of wellbeing, however, recently I drank another local specialty and had another “hit” of ginseng power. The alcohol was a homemade type of cloudy rice wine (Tongtong Ju) which had raw fresh ginseng chopped up in it. I am a great lover of this alcohol as it gives me a body-buzz similar to the one experienced when I’m stoned. A friend and I were sharing the brew over lunch and we both experienced similar reactions to it, though he mentioned feeling more drunk than anything else. Again I felt the expanding of my body as my temperature rose, and the euphoric sensations. My head was less affected this time, in fact, I was very clear in thinking, and felt very powerful. As a result, I ended up on a 12 hour drinking binge after lunch, with various people and felt I was on a happy high the whole time, no matter how many different types of alcohol I was consuming. I woke up the next morning, totally hangover free (not to mention money free!) and feeling on top of the world, this again lasted for a few days.
As yet I have not bought fresh raw ginseng because of the expense but it is definitely an amazing root to explore if one is sensitive to it! A warning though, if you have high blood pressure or are prone to heart palpitations, give it a miss as you might get a nasty reaction to it.
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