Ginseng is Totally Good

The legends are quite marvelous. Ginseng hunters refer to the plant as chang-diang shen, “the root of lightning,” because it is believed that it only appears on the spot where a small mountain spring has been dried up by a lightning bolt. After a life of three hundred years the green juice turns white and acquires a soul. It is then able to take on human form, but it never becomes truly human because ginseng does not know the meaning of selfishness.

It is totally good, and and will happily sacrifice itself to aid the pure in heart.

— Barry Hughart