Four Generations of American Ginseng Cultivation

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Dear Reader,
My family has been cultivating Panax quinquefolious in Wisconsin since 1909. When my great-great-grandfather Johann Burmeister came to America with my then-infant great-grandfather, Julius, he founded the town of Hamburg WI, which co-incidentally is where the Fromm brothers settled. They are in American history books as the first to successfully cultivate American ginseng. For over 200 years people had been trying unsuccessfully, only to have their crop die before harvest; there are a lot of tricks to it. Elsewhere in the country you would be lucky to find a pound of this wild under a tree in the woods. Julius was working for the Fromms when they made the discovery. He took the secrets of how to cultivate this very sensitive plant back to our farm and the Burmeisters have been growing American ginseng ever since…my great-grandfather being one of the very first. Today, we collectively harvest tons of what many consider to be the best ginseng in the world.
My career in ginseng (if you don’t count picking weeds in the garden since I was a toddler) started as a class project at UW-Madison business school some 25 years ago. I was born into a fourth-generation ginseng growing family, so I saw that in order to save the family farm, we needed to develop finished products from our crop. Not just sell it in barrels as low-priced, raw commodity directly to the Chinese. By the time I left college, I was the number one producer of American ginseng tea in the US; processing ingredient for a little US tea company by the name of Celestial Seasonings. Together we developed some of the quality control protocols that are still being used as industry standard throughout the natural products industry today. Many of the major domestic brands of natural products use our WI-grown American ginseng for raw ingredient for that reason. Since then I’ve developed an unparalleled brand of ginseng products including capsules, tea, select roots, root powder, extract, soaps, and the first American ginseng instant tea in the US.
The ginseng ingredient in my brand is cultivated for a minimum of 4 years. This long-lived perennial root becomes more potent with age; more mature plants are better. Also, Burmeister Farms practice what is known as integrated pest management. That means that we do not use chemicals of any kind until something comes along that cannot be controlled by organic methods. Then, and only then, do we turn to biodegradable chemicals to save the plants from disease. We do not use pesticides or herbicides, only organic and biodegradable fungicides and very sparingly. This is not to say we are certified organic, we are not. That would only cost extra and not guarantee the kind of quality that comes with actual chemical testing of the crop. Our ginseng is 3rd-party, HPLC tested and is guaranteed to contain very low to no residues down to below chemical detection limits. I am confident that our ginseng is the cleanest cultivated ginseng you will find. In a time when farmers are using more and more chemicals to boost yield and consumers are demanding health products to be organic, we wish the rest of the agriculture industry would follow suit and embrace organic cultivation practices as well. We are proud to be a green-friendly and bee-friendly operation.
I have seen a marked increase in ginseng consumption in the US since the Mayo Clinic published their groundbreaking study on American ginseng and fatigue in 2012. I could do as many studies as I want but noone would listen to me like they would for Mayo Clinic, arguably the best medical research facility in the world.  They do not often study herbs, concentrating mostly on pharma.  Mayo found a statistically significant decrease in fatigue among their study patients who took 2 grams (2000mg) of WI-grown American ginseng capsules per day.  Most importantly, Mayo figured out how ginseng does what it does. According to the Mayo study, American ginseng root has been shown, “…to reduce cytokines related to inflammation and help to regulate cortisol levels.” (www.mayoclinic.org/news2012-rst/6907.html) There are numerous important positive stress-related implications of reducing cytokine stress hormones regarding longevity, chronic pain, reducing inflammation and damage from chronic stress. The cell damage from cytokines are directly related to aging, RA, MA and Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, reducing those stress hormones is an extremely good thing. Ask any doctor.  Regulating cortisol has to do with modulating the body’s response to stress–reducing the feeling of being ‘stressed out’–which could help with dozens of stress related problems like weight loss, blood sugar, athletic performance, mood and sexual function. American ginseng is nature’s strongest adaptogen, contains no caffeine and is safe to take every day. In 1983 American ginseng officially became a GRAS (generally recognized as safe) food according to the FDA.
I love being in the natural health business. Its incredibly gratifying when people call and write to tell me how my products have improved their lives. Best of health!…From my family to yours. Thank you.
Best regards,
Mike Burmeister
Burmeister Ginseng

We offer a wide variety of products and services.

  • A full line of high-quality American ginseng products.
  • We are a raw ingredient supplier of cultivated Wisconsin-grown American ginseng roots and wild American ginseng.
  • Milling and blending for tea, supplement, or extracts to any ingredient specifications.
  • Root sorting to any desired size.
  • Bulk encapsulation and/or bottling services available.
  • Fluid or standardized extraction, tinctures to any specifications.
  • Potency standardization process up to 20% ginsenosides.
  • Quality control ginsenosides, pesticide residue and microbial tests all available upon request.
  • Ginseng fresh root, leaves, seed and cultivation equipment also available (seasonal only).
  • Quick delivery. Licensed exporter.
  • Convenient purchasing with Am Ex, MC, Visa and Discover accepted.