International Ginseng Institute
In May 2018, Middle Tennessee State University founded an international ginseng institute (IGI) dedicated to the research, education, and outreach of an Appalachian-grown medicinal herb, wild American ginseng. The goal of the institute is to use focused scientific research to develop comprehensive strategies, standards, and sustainable products from wild American ginseng for the benefit of the world and the community we serve. By agglomeration of technology, talent, and resources, the Institute has been successfully studying and addressing key issues affecting American ginseng conservation and industry development.
Wild ginseng has been listed as endangered species by CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) since 1974. Rural Tennessee’s massive forests have continuously provided an excellent habitat for ginseng and income for its community since the first export of Tennessee ginseng in the 18th century. Even today, Tennessee’s wild harvest is perennially among the top three in the United States. IGI is committed to promoting wild-simulated ginseng cultivation and therefore promoting sustainable rural income, industry development, and reliable consumer supply in the state of Tennessee.
Additionally, by collaborating with research and outreach partners in the U.S. and internationally, IGI will develop, apply, and disseminate scientifically sound strategies to improve conservation, introduce new methods of cultivation, and support sustainable product development of this valuable herb for the benefit of the world.