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A Book on Korean Ginseng Industry and an Ethnobotany Memoir Receive ABC James A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Awards

AUSTIN, Texas (March 31, 2022) — The American Botanical Council (ABC) has presented its 2022 ABC James A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Award in both the reference/technical and consumer/popular categories. The recipient of the award in the reference/technical category is A History of the Korean Ginseng Industry (Korea Ginseng Corp.) by Il-Moo Chang, PhD, and the recipient of the award in the consumer/popular category is The Plant Hunter: A Scientist’s Quest for Nature’s Next Medicines (Viking) by Cassandra Leah Quave, PhD.For the first time, ABC also is naming an honorable mention in each category to reflect the large number of excellent works considered for the award. In the reference/technical category, the honorable mention is Herbal Formularies for Health Professionals, Volume 5: Immunology, Orthopedics, and Otolaryngology (Chelsea Green Publishing) by Jill Stansbury, ND, and in the consumer/popular category the honorable mention is Medicinal Herbs of California: A Field Guide to Common Healing Plants (Falcon Guides) by Lanny Kaufer.ABC gives the Duke Award annually to books that contribute significantly to the medicinal plant-related literature and the fields of botany, taxonomy, ethnobotany, pharmacognosy, phytomedicine, and other related disciplines. The award was created in 2006 to honor the late economic botanist and author James A. Duke, PhD (1929–2017). Duke’s prestigious career achievements in economic botany and ethnobotany included decades of work as the lead medicinal plant expert at the United States Department of Agriculture and the authorship and co-authorship of more than 30 reference and consumer books. Among his many other activities and positions, he was also a co-founder of ABC and served on its Board of Trustees.Chang is professor emeritus of the Natural Products Research Institute in the College of Pharmacy at Seoul National University. As the former director of the Korean Ginseng Research Institute, he is a leading international authority in the field of traditional Asian medicinal plants, particularly Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng). His extensive historical treatise on Asian ginseng in Korea spans from the root’s first recorded use as a traditional food to today’s large international ginseng industry.The book details the importance of Asian ginseng root in Korean history and culture. As the text describes, the government of the Republic of Korea has developed and supported Asian ginseng with extensive scientific research on its cultivation, harvest, quality control, chemistry, extraction, pharmacological and toxicological effects, and clinical benefits. This is particularly true of Korean “red” ginseng, the name given to ginseng roots that are steamed according to a traditional process that changes the roots’ color from beige to dark auburn. This steaming process also changes the roots’ chemistry.In his pre-recorded acceptance speech, Chang said, “I am highly honored to accept the ABC Duke Award, and now I feel that a wonderful dream can come true.” Rian Lee, CEO of Korea Ginseng Corp. USA, accepted the award on Chang’s behalf at the ABC Celebration and Botanical Excellence Awards Ceremony.The Plant Hunter, Quave’s engaging memoir that recounts her global journeys, is a personal and insightful look into the importance of ethnobotany, which is the study of how people of a particular culture or region use local plants. Quave is an associate professor in the Department of Dermatology in the School of Medicine at Emory University and the curator of the Emory University Herbarium. She has authored or co-authored more than 100 scientific publications. She is also a past president of the Society for Economic Botany, recipient of several academic awards, and host of the “Foodie Pharmacology” podcast, which discusses the connections between food and medicine.Upon being notified of the award, Quave told ABC: “I am absolutely thrilled to be recognized with the ABC James A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Award. I wrote The Plant Hunter with the goal of sharing the amazing science behind botanicals in an accessible form, through the story of my own journey to becoming an ethnobotanist. This award is especially meaningful to me as I met Jim more than 20 years ago in the Peruvian Amazon. I so admired his books and thoroughly enjoyed discussing the amazing medical potential of plants with him. It is such an incredible honor to come full circle back to that moment with this award.”Mark Blumenthal, ABC founder and executive director, congratulated the awardees. “I believe that Jim Duke would wholeheartedly approve of these two books that received the 2022 ABC awards in his name,” he said. “So would our late friend and colleague Steven Foster, who was an integral part of the Duke Award committee’s selection process since we started granting this award in 2006, when Jim was still alive. In fact, Steven and I discussed both of these books as candidates before his unexpected passing in January.“Both books excel in communicating some essential elements related to the value of medicinal plants,” Blumenthal continued. “On behalf of all of us at ABC, our heartiest congratulations to Professors Chang and Quave for their important contributions to the world’s medicinal plant literature.”Previous ABC Duke Award recipients include Christopher Hobbs’s Medicinal Mushrooms (2021); Flora of the Voynich Codex (2019); Ethnopharmacologic Search for Psychoactive Drugs, Vols. I and II (2018); Chinese Medicinal Plants, Herbal Drugs and Substitutes (2017, reference/technical category) and Joseph Banks’ Florilegium (2017, consumer/popular category); Handbook of Essential Oils, 2nd edition (2016); Clinical Aromatherapy, 3rd edition (2015); Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge (2014); Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy, 2nd edition (2013); Medicinal Plants and the Legacy of Richard E. Schultes (2012, reference/technical category) and Smoke Signals (2012, consumer/popular category); and American Herbal Pharmacopoeia: Botanical Pharmacognosy (2011, reference/technical category) and Healing Spices (2011, consumer/popular category).The 2022 Duke Awards were presented at the 17th annual ABC Celebration and Botanical Excellence Awards Ceremony on March 9, 2022, in Anaheim, California, which took place during Natural Products Expo West.The process of choosing and granting the ABC Botanical Excellence Awards was generously underwritten by these sponsors from the US and international medicinal plant industry and community: Alkemist Labs, Amin Talati Wasserman LLP, Applied Food Sciences, Brassica Protection Products, ChromaDex, Euromed, EuroPharma, Herbalife, Horphag Research, Indena USA, Informa, MegaFood, Natural Factors, New Chapter, NOW Foods, PlusPharma Inc., RFI, RT Specialty, United Natural Products Alliance, and Verdure Sciences.