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Ginseng, the Divine Root

Cover of Ginseng the Divine Root book shows ginseng plant botanical drawing

Ginseng, The Divine Root uncovers an epic tale of herbal medicine and the plant prized for centuries by emperors, healers, and smugglers. Collected by Daniel Boone, ginseng was one of North America’s first major exports to Asia. The book tracks the plant through one season, following its wild ride from remote forests in Appalachia to markets in China, a journey laced with crime, myths, gourmet cuisine, pop culture, and continental drift.

Praise for ‘Ginseng, the Divine Root’



A “fascinating tour… a master storyteller.”

Library Journal

“An engaging cultural history.”

The Brooklyn Eagle

“An excellent job. I would highly recommend this book … reminds me of Michael Pollan, author of The Botany of Desire and The Omnivore’s Dilemma.”


“An intelligent, wide-ranging account.”

Publishers Weekly

Read other reviews in the Boston Globe and on Goodreads and add your own!

Related Articles, Ginseng Facts and Recipes

  • Ginseng Fact Sheet
  • Ginseng Recipes
  • Author’s Smithsonian article about the fight against ginseng poaching in the Great Smoky Mountains and one poacher’s cautionary tale.
  • NPR’s Kojo Nnamdi Show, Good Food, Here on Earth, and A Chef’s Table featured David in author interviews