Blurred Centers/Margins: Ethnobotanical Healing in Writings by Ethnic Minority Women in China

  • Dong Isbister
  • Xiumei Pu
  • Stephen Rachman
Part of the Chinese Literature and Culture in the World book series (CLCW)


This chapter focuses on writings by ethnic minority women in China—with special attention to the connection between healing and the vegetal world in the changing social and natural environments in post-socialist China. We examine “Herbs Living in the Body” (2012) by the Tujia writer Chen Danling and “Snow Lotus” (2012) by the Hui writer Mao Mei to articulate how ethnobotanical healing addresses questions of margins and centers in post-socialist China. The chapter explores the ethnobotanical in the distinct ways that it blurs the concept of margins and centers in geopolitical terms. We argue that the ethnobotanical serves as a source of connection among the environmental, corporeal, and spiritual, and is central to processes of physical or spiritual healing.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dong Isbister
    • 1
  • Xiumei Pu
    • 2
  • Stephen Rachman
    • 3
  1. 1.University of Wisconsin-PlattevillePlattevilleUSA
  2. 2.Westminster CollegeSalt Lake CityUSA
  3. 3.Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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