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Though snow still covered the crops that Zhao Youjun grew at the foot of Changbai Mountain in northeastern Jilin province, he knew the ancient herb would attract a great deal of

traders to his small county in just a few months.

The prized herb that Zhao believes could bring huge profits is ginseng, the bitter roots that have long been used in traditional Chinese medicine - chewed raw or cooked into meals for their health-enhancing properties.

He said it is the faith in its tonic power that has spurred the growth of ginseng's commercial production as Chinese people buy more health and wellness products.

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