💊 Chemical information

Ginseng radix; Ginzenggyökér; Jintsam; Ninjin; Panax; Pannag; Renshen; Schinsent; Všehojový kořen; Ženšeniu šaknys.


Ginseng is the dried root of Panax ginseng (P. schinseng) (Araliaceae). Other varieties of ginseng include Panax quinquefolius (American Ginseng) and P. pseudoginseng. The root commonly known as Siberian or Russian ginseng belongs to the same family, Araliaceae, but is an entirely different plant, Eleutherococcus senticosus. Brazilian ginseng is reported to be derived from another unrelated plant, Pfaffia paniculata. Ginseng contains complex mixtures of saponins termed ginsenosides or panaxosides. At least 13 saponins have been isolated from extracts of P. ginseng roots.


In Chin., Eur., and Jpn. Also in US (as Asian Ginseng and American Ginseng). US includes additionally powdered forms of these two varieties of ginseng. Jpn also includes Red Ginseng, the dried root of P. ginseng which has been steamed. Chin. and Jpn also include Rhizoma Panacis Japonica from Panax japonicus. Eur. also includes Notoginseng Root from P. notoginseng. Chin. also includes Radix Notoginseng from P. notoginseng, and Rhizoma Panacis Majoris from P. japonicus var. major and P. japonicus var. bipinnatifidus.

Ph. Eur. 6.2

(Ginseng). The whole or cut dried root of Panax ginseng. It contains not less than 0.4% of combined ginsenosides, Rg1 (C 42 H 72 O 14 ,2H 2 O = 837.0) and Rb1 (C 54 H 92 O 23 ,3H 2 O = 1163.3), calculated with reference to the dried drug. Protect from light.

USP 31 (Asian Ginseng). The dried roots of Panax ginseng (Araliaceae). It contains not less than 0.2% of ginsenoside Rg 1 and not less than 0.1% of ginsenoside Rb 1 , both calculated on the dried basis. Store in a dry place at a temperature of 8° to 15°.

USP 31 (American Ginseng). The dried roots of Panax quinquefolius (Araliaceae). It contains not less than 4.0% of total ginsenosides, calculated on the dried basis. Store in airtight containers. Protect from light and heat.

💊 Adverse Effects

The stimulant effects of ginseng were confirmed but there was also a high incidence of adverse effects including 47 cases of morning diarrhoea, 33 of skin eruptions, 26 of sleeplessness, 25 of nervousness, 22 of hypertension, 18 of euphoria, and 14 of oedema. The ‘ginseng abuse syndrome’ defined as hypertension together with nervousness, sleeplessness, skin eruptions, and morning diarrhoea was experienced by 14 subjects who took ginseng orally in an average daily dose of 3 g. Abrupt withdrawal precipitated hypotension, weakness, and tremor in 1 user. About 50% of the subjects had stopped the use of ginseng within the 2 years. Oestrogenic effects have also been reported from the use of ginseng,2-4 and a case of Stevens-Johnson syndrome has also occurred.5 A systematic review6 of some of these and other studies and case reports concluded that single-ingredient preparations of ginseng were well tolerated when data from clinical studies were examined. Adverse effects were generally mild and reversible, the most common being headache, sleep disturbances, and gastrointestinal disorders. It was more difficult to determine causality from the evidence given in isolated case reports; likewise, interpretation of data involving combination products was difficult.
1. Siegel RK. Ginseng abuse syndrome: problems with the panacea. JAMA 1979; 241: 1614–15
2. Palmer BV, et al. Gin Seng and mastalgia. BMJ 1978; 1: 1284
3. Punnonen R, Lukola A. Oestrogen-like effect of ginseng. BMJ 1980; 281: 1110
4. Greenspan EM. Ginseng and vaginal bleeding. JAMA 1983; 249: 2018
5. Dega H, et al. Ginseng as a cause for Stevens-Johnson syndrome? Lancet 1996; 347: 1344
6. Coon JT, Ernst E. Panax ginseng: a systematic review of adverse effects and drug interactions. Drug Safety 2002; 25: 323–44.

💊 Interactions

For details of an interaction between warfarin and ginseng. For a suggestion that ginseng may interfere with digoxin assays.

💊 Uses and Administration

Ginseng is reported to enhance the natural resistance and recuperative power of the body and to reduce fatigue. It is available commercially as roots, powdered roots, tablets, capsules, teas, oils, or extracts.

💊 Preparations

USNF 26: American Ginseng Capsules; USP 31: American Ginseng Tablets; Asian Ginseng Tablets.

Proprietary Preparations

Arg.: Ginsana; Herbaccion Bioenergizante; Juvitan†; Transformal†; Vitagenol†; Austral.: Herbal Stress Relief†; Austria: Ginsana; Belg.: Ginsana†; Braz.: Enerseng; Fortilan; Ginsana; Ginsex; Canad.: Ginsana†; Cz.: Ginsana; Fr.: Gerimax Tonique; Ginsana†; Ger.: Ardey-aktiv; Coriosta Vitaltonikum N†; Ginsana; Hevert-Aktivon Mono†; IL HWA; Orgaplasma; Ital.: Fon Wan Ginsenergy; Gi-Sen†; Ginsana; Malaysia: Ginsana; Mex.: Gincaps†; Raigin†; Rutying; Sanjin Royal Jelly; Pol.: Ginsana; Ginsenol; Panaxan; Port.: Ginsana; Rus.: Gerimax Ginseng (Геримакс Женьшень); Ginsana (Гинсана); Singapore: Ginsana; Spain: Bio Star; Ginsana†; Switz.: Ginsana; Ginsavita†; KintaVital; Thai.: Ginsana; Ginsroy; UK: Korseng; Red Kooga. Multi-ingredient: Arg.: Dynamisan; Energy Plus; Galenic Restaurador Capilar; Ginseng Bioplus Diates; Herbaccion Ginseng Y Magnesio; Holomagnesio Vital; Inteligen Ginseng†; Neuroton; Optimina Plus; Top Life Memory†; Total Magnesiano con Ginseng; Total Magnesiano con Vitaminas y Minerales; Vifortol; Austral.: Bioglan Ginsynergy; Clements Tonic; Extralife Extra-Brite; Ginkgo Biloba Plus†; Ginkgo Complex†; Glycyrrhiza Complex†; Infant Tonic†; Irontona; Nervatona Focus; Panax Complex†; Vig; Vitatona; Austria: Gerimax Plus; ProAktiv; Braz.: Gerin; Poliseng; Canad.: Damiana-Sarsaparilla Formula†; Energy Plus†; Ginkoba†; Chile: Gincosan; Mentania; Nectaday; Cz.: Gincosan; Fr.: Gintonal†; Nostress; Notabac; Thalgo Tonic; Tonactil†; Ger.: Cardibisana†; Doppelherz Ginseng Aktiv†; Ginseng-Complex "Schuh"†; Peking Ginseng Royal Jelly N; Hong Kong: Cervusen; GinsengSure†; Sanjukei Panax Ginseng; Indon.: Armovit; Cerebrovit Active; Ginokan; Hemaviton Brain Nutrient; Hemaviton Energy Drink; Hemaviton Jreng; Instink; Maxirex; Menolia; Neo Hormoviton; Neo Hormoviton Greng; Procur Plus; Proseval; Provital; Provital Plus; Ratax; Sirec; Tr ipid; Tristan; Ital.: Alvear con Ginseng; Apergan; Bioton; Fon Wan Ginsenergy; Forticrin; Fosfarsile Forte; Four-Ton; Ginsana Ton; Neoplus; Ottovis; Pollingel Ginseng†; Jpn: Eki Cabe; Malaysia: 30 Plus; Adult Citrex Multivitamin + Ginseng + Omega 3; Cerestar†; Ginsomin; Imuvit; Total Man†; Philipp.: BSI Medicated Spray; Ginsomin; Homtamin-G Plus; Immuvit; K-A Plus; Korgivit-E; Nutrotal; Pol.: Bioginko; Doppelherz Vital Kapseln; Ginjal; Intelektan; Rus.: Doppelherz Ginseng Aktiv (Доппельгерц Женьшень Актив); Doppelherz Vitalotonik (Доппельгерц Виталотоник); S.Afr.: Activex 40 Plus; Singapore: Gin-Vita; Immuvital; Spain: Energysor†; Esforza†; Redseng Polivit; Ton Was; Vigortonic; Switz.: Biovital Ginseng; Burgerstein TopVital; Geri; Gincosan; Imuvit; Supradyn Vital 50+; Triallin; Vigoran†; Thai.: Imugins; Imuvit; Multilim RG; Revitan; UK: Red Kooga Co-Q-10 and Ginseng; Regina Royal Concorde; Venez.: Hivit; Pharmorat; Sengobil; Vigoran.
Published May 08, 2019.