Our Story

The Origin of

“Centuries ago in China - and still today - people would pay the equivalent of thousands of dollars in gold for a single root of wild ginseng from the mountains, especially if it was rare and difficult to find.”

“But we found a farm in Korea, in a remote area most Koreans don’t even know about, where they were able to replicate the ideal growing conditions for wild ginseng and cultivate it perfectly.”


If Auragin were the starship Enterprise, my business partner Chris Chung would be Captain James T. Kirk and I, James Duffy, would be Spock. No two ways about it. The company’s success hinges on his maverick personality and my scientific mind. We didn’t build a spaceship and go searching the universe for strange new worlds, but we did boldly go where few Americans have gone before to find the best ginseng in the galaxy.

We were both living as expats in Seoul, where ginseng is a national treasure. Chris was working in the herbal supplements field, and I was thirsting for adventure. But every time we went back home, we saw that ginseng was becoming more popular in the US, too.  It was already a top-10 herb, but now ginseng-fueled energy drinks were taking over shelves at the grocery store.

The problem was that, in a poorly regulated US market, most brands were ignoring the science, while the amount of ginseng in their products was a joke (and sadly, the joke was on you, the consumer). That’s when we decided to take a stand,  and my “inner Spock” came into play. It set us on a learning curve about “ginsenosides” (the active compounds that make ginseng work), followed by months of scouring Korea for the best roots.

Our quest was simple

Find the closest thing to wild ginseng, which is becoming an endangered species in many places due to overharvesting. Along the way, we heard rumours of a farm hidden deep in the Korean mountains with near-perfect conditions (climate, soil, level of shade, etc). But at times we wondered if this place really existed, and got close to giving up.

Eventually we found our “final frontier”. In this case, it was a remote valley, in a place most Koreans don’t even know about. Then we tested the roots, and found the ginsenoside content was off the charts. No other farm was able to reach such high levels, or press the ground roots into tablet form without using binding agents to maintain 100% purity.

We’d hit pay dirt. Now it was time to test our basic hypothesis: if we applied the latest scientific research to source the highest-quality ginseng roots, kept them in their natural state, but adapted for maximum convenience and ease of consumption, would people respond?

We launched Auragin red ginseng on Amazon in May 2013, then sat back and watched. As word of mouth spread that this was “the real deal”, sales hit warp speed, and Auragin became the #1 best-selling ginseng product on the whole site. The gambit had paid off, and we had created a cult of our own.  

The next step is to build a catalog of powerful herbs to take care of more of your health needs.

So stay tuned. Auragin is just getting started.