The perception of ginseng in England and America, 1600-1800

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This paper aims to redress serious imbalances in the research on ginseng. Most accounts of ginseng treat it as an exclusively East Asian commodity, and are dominated by the natural sciences. Ginseng, however, was much discussed in England and America in the early modern period: the discussion encompassed not only botanical and medical interests, but also discourses on the commercial marketability of ginseng; ginseng was also an item that embodied European prejudices, symbolizing perceived 'differences' between the West and East. As such, ginseng was an 'indigenous' item of 'the East' that was much discussed in 'the West', but one that resisted assimilation into its systems of knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-308
Number of pages36
JournalKorean Journal of Medical History
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Aug

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Korean Society for the History of Medicine.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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