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DNR warns against digging ginseng out of season

Photo shows ginseng root. (Provided Photo/DNR)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is reminding residents not to dig for ginseng out of season — and not to trade it for drugs, either.

Conservation officers have dealt with repeated instances of people digging up and stealing ginseng, as well as trading that ginseng for methamphetamine or pills over the last few weeks, according to a Wednesday Facebook post.

Ginseng can be legally harvested from Sept. 1-Dec. 31 and must be sold to a licensed ginseng dealer or disposed of prior to March 31 of the following year. It is illegal to dig ginseng on state property, according to the DNR.

Ginseng roots are believed to provide an energy boost and lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, among other health benefits.

The DNR encourages anyone with information about illegal harvesting to call ICO Central Dispatch at 812-837-9536 or 1-800-TIPIDNR.