Business: Crackdown on a Fabled Root

An endangered aphrodisiac?

What has five leaves, grows wild over nuch of the U.S. and is so prized by users round the world that certain varieties sell in unprocessed form for as much as $2,000 an ounce? One clue: it now faces an embargo because concerned Government officials are about to cut out flourishing traffic in the plant between the U.S. and the Far East. Portions of the description might apply to marijuana, heroin or cocaine, but the only product that meets all specifications is ginseng.

For centuries ginseng, a root often shaped vaguely like...

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