Chang Il-moo, who formerly headed the Korea Ginseng Corporation (KGC) research department, won the 2021 Duke Award for “A History of the Korean Ginseng Industry.” Photo courtesy of KGC

Chang Il-moo’s work on Korean ginseng recognized globally

The Korea Ginseng Corporation (KGC) recently announced that its former research chief Chang Il-moo had won the 2021 Duke Award, the highest prize granted by the American Botanical Council (ABC).

Erstwhile Seoul National University Prof. Chang, who also led the R&D department of the KGC, came up with “A History of the Korean Ginseng Industry” to delve into the country’s herbal medicine.

Earlier this month, Chang attended the award ceremony at the Anaheim Natural Products Expo West 2022 in California.

The ABC, also known as the Herbal Medicine Institute, is a U.S. nonprofit organization designed to support researchers and scientists around the globe in developing medicinal plants.

The outfit established the Duke Award in 2006 to honor economic botanist James A. Duke whose prestigious career achievements included decades of work across the board.

“A History of the Korean Ginseng Industry” is an English-language edition that was translated from the original Korean-language edition published by KGC in 2018 and updated with the latest content.

This work is highly valued for being a rare English-language book on ginseng. 

“A History of the Korean Ginseng Industry” sheds light on the history of the Korean ginseng market starting from the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).

In the book, Chang proves that Joseon farmers were the first in the world to artificially cultivate ginseng and store it in the form of red ginseng.

Red ginseng is made by steaming and boiling fresh ginseng.

“‘History of the Korean Ginseng Industry’ describes the industrial history of Korean ginseng, a specialty and economically important crop of Korea,” Chang said.

“This award reflects the international acknowledgment of the history, industrial significance, and values of Korean ginseng.”