East Meets West: Cultivation of American Ginseng in China

in HortScience
Authors:
John T. A. ProctorDepartment of Horticultural Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ont. N1G 2W1, Canada

Search for other papers by John T. A. Proctor in
ASHS
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Tie-Sheng WangSpecial Wild Economic Animal and Plant Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science, District of Zou Jia, Jilin City, The People's Republic of China

Search for other papers by Tie-Sheng Wang in
ASHS
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
William G. BaileyDepartment of Geography, Simon Fraser University Burnaby, B.C. V5A 1S6, Canada

Search for other papers by William G. Bailey in
ASHS
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close

Abstract

Oriental ginseng (Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer) to the Chinese “… is the medicine par excellence: the dernier resort when all other drugs fail; reserved for the use of the Emperor and his household, and conferred by Imperial favour upon high and useful officials whenever they have a serious breakdown that does not yield to ordinary treatment, and which threatens to put a period to their lives and usefulness” (14). Although written in 1578, these claims are still held by traditional Chinese healers. Westerners do not hold ginseng in such high esteem (9). However, the discovery of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolium L.) growing in Canada in the early 1700s lead to the establishment of trade in ginseng between North America and the Orient, which continues today (3, 4, 8).

Contributor Notes

Received for publication 1 Oct. 1987. J.T.A.P. is indebted to the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science for an invitation to participate in a lecture/study tour of China. He is grateful to the many administrators, scientists, and ginseng growers who went to great trouble to make the visit interesting, enjoyable, and rewarding. Ruth Knight is thanked for technical assistance during preparation of this manuscript. The cost of publishing this paper was defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. Under postal regulations, this paper therefore must be hereby marked advertisement solely to indicate this fact.

  • Collapse
  • Expand