Saving American Ginseng, a Guest Post by Madison Woods

Madison Woods, Naturalist

Madison Woods, Naturalist

By Madison Woods

First of all I want to thank Pam for inviting me to post this on her blog. My name is Madison Woods, and as a naturalist and person with a strong connection to nature in general, I’m keenly interested in the plight of one of our native plants, American ginseng.

Sustainable American Ginseng 

With the release of a television series called “Appalachian Outlaws,” there’s been a huge flux of interest in ginseng and I’ve been getting a lot of visits to my website because of it. The plant is already endangered and poaching has always been a prime threat. Because of this television program, I worry that people will only see the plant as potential cash and not realize that indiscriminate digging of it hurts the odds of its survival. My hope is that with the information I’m providing, many of these same people will become interested in becoming good stewards.

My passion for many years has been Ozark medicinal plants and ginseng is one of my favorites. I’ve been collecting information and photos and recently wrote a small book called SUSTAINABLE GINSENG. I want to encourage people to grow and harvest it in a way that enables and encourages the plant’s survival, and to discourage people from seeing it as merely a means to a profit.

The book is only 56 pages long. It needs reviews to gain more exposure. If you are interested in how ginseng can be stewarded by landowners who have the proper habitat, or if you’re just interested in ginseng in general, please consider buying a copy from Amazon (it comes in paperback and Kindle) and leaving a review.

If funds are an issue, I’ll be happy to email you a PDF copy. You won’t be able to leave a review at Amazon (I don’t think), but if you like the book you could talk about it or mention it on your blog. And if you don’t like it, then please send me your feedback in an email so I can improve it for the next edition.

Available at Amazon

Available at Amazon

American ginseng is one of my favorite medicinal plants and I know on our own land, it’ll survive. I’d really like to encourage and teach others how to help it survive on their own properties too, and I need help to get the word out.

Author Bio

Madison Woods is one-half of the creative team at Wild Ozark™, LLC.  We offer a variety of ways to help people reconnect to the land and Nature. We do this through stories, information, and sharing our lives in the wild Ozarks of northwest Arkansas. As time allows we’ll also begin offering handcrafted items made in the Ozarks. Find out more by visiting our website:

SUSTAINABLE GINSENG can be purchased through Amazon: or at our website:

Articles and books about ginseng are available at our online store:

7 thoughts on “Saving American Ginseng, a Guest Post by Madison Woods

    • It’s on the CITES list, which regulates export, so the government does try to keep an eye on how much is exported. Aside from poaching, there’s a lot of habitat destruction with logging, too, and it only grows in very particular places to begin with.

        • I think if people were responsible and took more of a stewardship role, it could be safely harvested in the wild, too. But greed is more prevalent than that mindset, unfortunately. Studies have shown that if the seeds are replanted at the time of digging, and only 25% of a colony is harvested, then the colony will sustain just fine.I think I’d seen studies where even more could be harvested as long as seeds were replanted. What happens though is that people in it only for cash will clean out spots they find, not thinking of the future harvests. Most of the old-timers out here who dig the wild ginseng do replant the seeds and they do concern themselves with being able to harvest from year to year. It’s the new breed of diggers spawned by television shows that glamorize the greed that worry me. And surely (hopefully) there are many new ones who come to the woods full of love and excitement and wanting to do the responsible thing.

          So glad to see you here philosphermouse 🙂

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