Ginseng, the Divine Root: The Curious History of the Plant That Captivated the World

Ginseng, the Divine Root: The Curious History of the Plant That Captivated the World

by David A. Taylor
     
 

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The story behind ginseng is as remarkable as the root itself. Prized for its legendary curative powers, ginseng launched the rise to power of China's last great dynasty; inspired battles between France and England; and sparked a boom in Minnesota comparable to the California Gold Rush. It has made and broken the fortunes of many and has inspired a subculture in rural… See more details below

Overview

The story behind ginseng is as remarkable as the root itself. Prized for its legendary curative powers, ginseng launched the rise to power of China's last great dynasty; inspired battles between France and England; and sparked a boom in Minnesota comparable to the California Gold Rush. It has made and broken the fortunes of many and has inspired a subculture in rural America unrivaled by any herb in the plant kingdom.

Today ginseng is at the very center of alternative medicine, believed to improve stamina, relieve stress, stimulate the immune system, enhance mental clarity, and restore well-being. It is now being studied by medical researchers for the treatment of cancer, diabetes, and Parkinson's disease.

In Ginseng, the Divine Root, David Taylor tracks the path of this fascinating plant—from the forests east of the Mississippi to the bustling streets of Hong Kong and the remote corners of China. He becomes immersed in a world full of wheelers, dealers, diggers, and stealers, all with a common goal: to hunt down the elusive "Root of Life." Weaving together his intriguing adventures with ginseng's rich history, Taylor uncovers a story of international crime, ancient tradition, botany, herbal medicine, and the vagaries of human nature.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
"Taylor here traces the commercial complex surrounding the ancient herb ginseng. He profiles his guides through the hierarchy of the ginseng business, from collecting it in America to its sale in China, its main market....Including discussion of the medicinal benefits attributed to ginseng, as well as interesting historical arcana-the Jesuits, the Qing dynasty, and Daniel Boone oddly have ginseng in common-Taylor's adventurous tour should tap into the root's rising popularity with herbal-product consumers."
Booklist
Boston Globe
"It's amazing how much folklore, history, and science Taylor has managed to pack into this fantastic book. Ginseng, the Divine Root is one of those rare works that remind us what an endlessly surprising place the world is by revealing the drama concentrated in the past and present of one plant."
Boston Globe
From the Publisher
"It's amazing how much folklore, history, and science Taylor has managed to pack into this fantastic book. Ginseng, the Divine Root is one of those rare works that remind us what an endlessly surprising place the world is by revealing the drama concentrated in the past and present of one plant."
Boston Globe

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781565127449
Publisher:
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date:
06/23/2006
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
308
File size:
5 MB

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