Image for Ginseng (American ginseng, Asian ginseng, Chinese ginseng, Korean red ginseng, : spp., including  and , excluding )
Ginseng (American ginseng, Asian ginseng, Chinese ginseng, Korean red ginseng, Panax ginseng: Panax spp., including P. ginseng and P. quinquefolius, excluding Eleutherococcus senticosus)
While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy.

Related Terms

  • 2-Furanmethanol, 20-(R)-R, (20S)-protopanaxadiol-3-O-(6-O-malonyl-beta-D-glucopyranosyl(1-->2)-beta-D-glucopyranoside-20-O-beta-D-xylopyranosyl(1-->3)-beta-D-glucopyranosyl(1-->6)-beta-D-glucopyranoside, 20-(S)-Re, 28-glu-oleanolic acid ester, acetylenic alcohol, acidic polysaccharides, adenosine, aglycones, Allheilkraut (German), alpha-maltosyl-beta-D-fructofuranoside, aluminum, American ginseng (AG), American wild ginseng, antioxidants, Araliaceae (family), Asian ginseng, Asian red ginseng, Asiatic ginseng, calcium, capsaicin 4-O-(6-O-beta-D-xylopyranosyl)-beta-D-glucopyranoside, capsaicin 4-O-beta-D-glucoside, ceramide, chikusetsu ginseng, chikusetsusaponin IV, chikusetsusaponin IVa, chikusetsusaponin-L8, chitinolytic enzymes, chosen ninjin, citral, class I chitinase, cobalt, copper, CPPQ (coarse polysaccharide from Panax quinquefolius), CVT-E002, dae-jo-hwan (DJW), dammarane-type glycosides, dammarane-type triterpene ketone (panaxadione), dammarane-type tetracyclic triterpenoid saponins, dwarf ginseng, fatty acids, five-fingers, five-leaf ginseng, G115®, ginsan, ginsenan PA (phagocytosis-activating polysaccharide), ginseng acidic polysaccharide, ginseng radix, ginseng saponins, ginseng tetrapeptide, Ginsengwurzel (German), ginsenoside, ginsenoside F1, ginsenoside F2, ginsenoside F3, ginsenoside F4, ginsenoside Ia, ginsenoside R0, ginsenoside Ra1, ginsenoside Ra2, ginsenoside Rb1, ginsenoside Rb2, ginsenoside Rb3, ginsenoside Rc, ginsenoside Rd, ginsenoside Rd2, ginsenoside Re, ginsenoside Rf, ginsenoside Rg1, ginsenoside Rg2, ginsenoside Rg3, ginsenoside Rg5, ginsenoside Rg6, ginsenoside Rh1, ginsenoside Rh2, ginsenoside Rh3, ginsenoside Rh4, ginsenoside Rk1, ginsenoside Rk3, ginsenoside Ro, ginsenoside Rs3, ginsenoside Rs4, ginsenoside Rs5, ginsenosides compound (shen-fu), GTTC (ginseng and tang-kuei ten combination), hakusan (Japanese), hakushan, higeninjin, hong shen (Chinese), hua qi shen (Chinese), hungseng, hungsheng, hunseng, insam (Korean), iron, Japanese rhizome, jenseng, jen-shen, jinpi, kao-li-seng, king herb, Korean ginseng, Korean red ginseng (KRG), Kraftwurzel (German), limonene, magnesium, malonylginsenoside Ra3, maltol, manganese, man root, memory enhancer, minjin, molybdenum, mountain ginseng, mountain ginseng pharmacopuncture, nhan sam (Vietnamese), ninjin (Japanese), ninzin, niuhan, North American ginseng, notoginseng, notoginsenoside, notoginsenoside-Fe, notoginsenoside R1, notoginsenoside R2, notoginsenoside R4, oleanolic acid, ophioponins, Oriental ginseng, otane ninjin (Japanese), panajaponin, panax de Chine (French), Panax ginseng, Panax ginseng C.A.Mey., Panax notoginseng, Panaxpsuedoginseng, Panax quinquefolium (common misspelling), Panax spp., Panax trifolius L., Panax vietamensis (Vietnamese ginseng), panaxadial, panaxans, panaxatriol, panaxosides, panaxydol, panaxynol, panaxytriol, pannag (Hebrew), peptidoglycans, phenolic compounds, phosphorus, polyacetylenes, polyacetylenic compounds, poly-furanosyl-pyranosyl-saccharides, poly-hydroxyl octadecenoic acid, potassium, protopanaxadiol ginsenosides, protopanaxatriol, protopanaxatriol saponins, protopanaxatriol (PPT)-type ginsenosides, quinqueginsin, racine de ginseng (French), Re, red ginseng, renshen, ribonucleases, rozu (Japanese), Romanian ginseng, Rumanian ginseng, sang, sanchi ginseng, san-pi, sanqi, saponins, schinsent, sei yang sam, seng, sesquiterpenoids, shanshen, shen-fu (Chinese), shenghaishen, shenlu, shen-sai-seng, shenshaishanshen, siyojin, sodium, sterol glucosides, stress-buster, sun ginseng, superoxide dismutase, t'ang-sne, tartar root, terpineol, tienchi ginseng, to-kai-san, trilinolein, triperpenoid saponins, triterpenoids, true ginseng, tyosenninzin, vanadium, vanillic acid, Vietnamese ginseng, vitamins, volatile oil, Western ginseng, Western sea ginseng, white ginseng, wild ginseng, woodsgrown (wild-stimulated) ginseng root, xi shen, xi yang shen, yakuyo ninjin, yakuyo ninzin, yang shen, yeh-shan-seng, yuan-seng, yuansheng, zhuzishen, zinc.
  • Siberian ginseng synonyms: Acanthopanax senticosus, ci wu jia, ciwujia, devil's bush, devil's shrub, eleuthera, eleuthero, eleuthero ginseng, eleutherococ, Eleutherococci radix, Eleutherococcus, phytoestrogen, shigoka, touch-me-not, ussuri, ussurian thorny pepperbush, wild pepper, wu-jia, wu-jia-pi.
  • American ginseng synonyms: Amerikan ginseng (Turkish), Amerikanischer Ginseng (German), amerikkalainen ginseng (Finnish), anchi ginseng, Aralia quinquefolia Decne. & Planch. (botanical synonym), Araliaceae (family), Canadian ginseng, CVT-E 002®, five fingers, five-leafed ginseng, garantoquen, ginseng, ginseng d'Amérique (French), ginsenosides poly-furanosyl-pyranosyl-saccharides, man-root, man's health, North American ginseng, Occidental ginseng, Ontario ginseng, Panax quincefolius, Panaxquinquefolius, red berry, redberry, sang, shang (traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)), tartar root, western ginseng, wild American ginseng, Wisconsin ginseng, xi yang shen (TCM, Chinese).
  • Panax ginseng synonyms: Aralia (botanical synonym), Aralia ginseng Mey., Araliaceae (family), Asian ginseng, Asiatic ginseng, Chinese ginseng, G115®, Gincosan, Ginsai®, ginseng asiatique (French), ginseng radix, ginseng root, ginsengjuuri (Finnish), guigai, Japanese ginseng, jintsam, Korean ginseng, Korean Panax ginseng, Korean red, Korean red ginseng, kuhuang shenmai injection (KHSM), ninjin (Japanese), Oriental ginseng, Panax, Panax ginseng C.A.Mey., Panax schinseng, Panax schinseng Nees, Panax spp., radix ginseng rubra, red ginseng, ren shen (TCM), renshen (TCM), renxian, sang, schinsent, seng, shen, shengmai, shengmai chenggu capsule, shengmai injection (SI), shengmai san (SMS), shengmai-san, shengmaisan, shengmaiyin, shenmai, shenmai huoxue decoction (SMHXD), shenmai injection (SMI), white ginseng.
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  • The term ginseng refers to several species of the genus Panax of the Araliaceae family. The two most commonly used ginseng species are Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) and American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius). Panax species should not be confused with Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus), which is from a different plant family.
  • The word "ginseng" comes from ren-shen, the Chinese word for the plant, which means "essence of the earth in the form of a man" or "man-root," referring to the root's human-like shape.
  • Panax ginseng has been used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for more than 2,000 years. Its uses include increasing appetite and strength, enhancing memory and physical performance, reducing fatigue and stress, and improving overall quality of life. Shengmai (also called shenmai) is a combination of Panax ginseng, Schisandra fruit, and Ophiopogon japonicus that has also been used in TCM to treat heart and respiratory diseases.
  • American ginseng has been used as a folk remedy by many Native American tribes, as a mild stimulant, digestive aid, and for ailments such as headache, female infertility, fever, and earache.
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The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

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Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Author Information

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Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.