Panax Ginseng

Last Updated: November 15 2022

Panax ginseng is commonly referred to as “true Ginseng”. It appears to be effective for mood, immunity, and cognition, but is subpar for erectile function, testosterone, and exercise performance.

Panax Ginseng is most often used for

What is Panax ginseng?

Panax ginseng is a plant used in traditional Chinese medicine for a wide variety of preventative purposes. It belongs to the ginseng family of plants and is the most commonly used species of the Panax genus for medicinal purposes.[86] It is typically used for its effects on mood, cognition, and immunity.

What are Panax ginseng’s main benefits?

Some studies have found that Panax ginseng has a dose-dependent calming effect on mood,[87] but other studies utilizing the same dose as the previous study did not note significant improvements in mood.[88] A different study conducted over a period of 8 weeks found that supplementation with Panax ginseng resulted in significant improvement in mental health at the 4-week mark.[89] It could be possible that Panax ginseng’s effects on mood are short-lived, and that acute use does improve mood.

Panax ginseng may potentially improve overall cognition. This claim is based on the results of a few studies that evaluated various measures of cognition, but this effect is still unproven.[90] Studies evaluating the effects of ginseng on reaction time and accuracy noted some improvement, but further studies are required to confirm these effects.[87][91][92]

Ginseng seems to amplify the effects of a vaccine response in cows when administered at the same time.[93] Other animal studies suggest it works synergistically with aluminum hydroxide to further enhance the efficacy of vaccines.[94][95] Ginseng extract appears to reduce the occurrence of the flu in humans when taken alongside flu vaccination. One study noted that ginseng significantly brought down the rate of flu occurrence.[96]

What are Panax ginseng’s main drawbacks?

Panax ginseng supplementation is considered generally safe. A systematic review assessing the safety of ginseng use in humans described low incidence of harm. Side effects, if any, were related to gastrointestinal upset and included diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and cramps.[97]

How does Panax Ginseng work?

Panax ginseng contains ginsenosides, the main active component of ginseng that gives the plant its pharmacological benefit.[98] Panax ginseng also has other active ingredients, including ginsenosides, polysaccharides, peptides, phytosterols, polyacetylenes, polyacetylenic alcohols, and fatty acids that assist in producing its pharmacological effects.[98]

What else is Panax Ginseng known as?
Note that Panax Ginseng is also known as:
  • True Ginseng
  • Ginseng
  • Panax
  • Mountain Ginseng
  • Wild Ginseng
Panax Ginseng should not be confused with:
  • Siberian Ginseng
  • American Ginseng
  • Chinese Ginseng
  • Pseudoginseng
  • Desert Ginseng
  • Black Ginseng
  • Cistanche spp
Dosage information

Panax Ginseng tends to be taken in doses of 200 to 400mg daily for general 'preventative' medicine, although some studies on the inclusion of Panax Ginseng in a multivitamin suggest doses as low as 40mg might be bioactive. The 400mg dose appears to confer most cognitive benefit.

These doses refer to standard 'Ginseng Extract' which is around 2-3% total Ginsenosides, and is a once daily dosage.

Trials using Korean Red Ginseng extract for erectile health and libido enhancement tend to use 3g of total KRG extract daily, in three doses of 1000mg.

Join our supplement information course

Become an Examine Insider for FREE and get a full five-day mini course on supplements. 100% backed by science, we take an independent and unbiased approach to figure out what works (and what's a waste of time and money).

    The only 100% independent company. While everyone sells supplements, we only analyze research.

    Examine Database
    What works and what doesn't?

    Unlock the full potential of Examine

    Get started

    Don't miss out on the latest research

    Become an Examine Insider for FREE to stay on top of the latest nutrition research, supplement myths, and more

      References
      3.^Yun TKBrief introduction of Panax ginseng C.A. MeyerJ Korean Med Sci.(2001 Dec)
      6.^Kitagawa I, Yoshikawa M, Yoshihara M, Hayashi T, Taniyama TChemical studies of crude drugs (1). Constituents of Ginseng radix rubraYakugaku Zasshi.(1983 Jun)
      7.^Wang CZ, Aung HH, Ni M, Wu JA, Tong R, Wicks S, He TC, Yuan CSRed American ginseng: ginsenoside constituents and antiproliferative activities of heat-processed Panax quinquefolius rootsPlanta Med.(2007 Jun)
      8.^Banskota AH, Tezuka Y, Le Tran Q, Kadota SChemical constituents and biological activities of Vietnamese medicinal plantsCurr Top Med Chem.(2003)
      9.^Yang JP, Yeo ISA study on the true nature of "Chinese jinseng"Uisahak.(2003 Dec)
      10.^Liu CX, Xiao PGRecent advances on ginseng research in ChinaJ Ethnopharmacol.(1992 Feb)
      12.^Konoshima T, Takasaki M, Ichiishi E, Murakami T, Tokuda H, Nishino H, Duc NM, Kasai R, Yamasaki KCancer chemopreventive activity of majonoside-R2 from Vietnamese ginseng, Panax vietnamensisCancer Lett.(1999 Dec 1)
      17.^Li C, Cai J, Geng J, Li Y, Wang Z, Li RPurification, characterization and anticancer activity of a polysaccharide from Panax ginsengInt J Biol Macromol.(2012 Jun 30)
      18.^Kuo YH, Ikegami F, Lambein FNeuroactive and other free amino acids in seed and young plants of Panax ginsengPhytochemistry.(2003 Apr)
      21.^Wang JY, Li XG, Yang XWGinsenine, a new alkaloid from the berry of Panax ginseng C. A. MeyerJ Asian Nat Prod Res.(2006 Oct-Nov)
      22.^Park S, Shin WS, Ho JFructus panax ginseng extract promotes hair regeneration in C57BL/6 miceJ Ethnopharmacol.(2011 Nov 18)
      25.^Assinewe VA, Baum BR, Gagnon D, Arnason JTPhytochemistry of wild populations of Panax quinquefolius L. (North American ginseng)J Agric Food Chem.(2003 Jul 30)
      27.^Chang YS, Seo EK, Gyllenhaal C, Block KIPanax ginseng: a role in cancer therapyIntegr Cancer Ther.(2003 Mar)
      31.^Jung HJ, Choi H, Lim HW, Shin D, Kim H, Kwon B, Lee JE, Park EH, Lim CJEnhancement of anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive actions of red ginseng extract by fermentationJ Pharm Pharmacol.(2012 May)
      43.^Hasegawa H, Sung JH, Matsumiya S, Uchiyama MMain ginseng saponin metabolites formed by intestinal bacteriaPlanta Med.(1996 Oct)
      44.^Wang J, Li S, Fan Y, Chen Y, Liu D, Cheng H, Gao X, Zhou YAnti-fatigue activity of the water-soluble polysaccharides isolated from Panax ginseng C. A. MeyerJ Ethnopharmacol.(2010 Jul 20)
      45.^Shin HY, Jeong HJ; Hyo-Jin-An, Hong SH, Um JY, Shin TY, Kwon SJ, Jee SY, Seo BI, Shin SS, Yang DC, Kim HMThe effect of Panax ginseng on forced immobility time & immune function in miceIndian J Med Res.(2006 Aug)
      47.^Zhang XR, Zhao YL, Wang JB, Zhou CP, Liu TS, Zhao HP, Ren YS, Yan D, Xiao XHDifferences between cold and hot natures of processed Radix ginseng rubra and Panax quinquefolius L. based upon mice temperature tropismZhonghua Yi Xue Za Zhi.(2009 Jul 28)
      50.^Fujimoto K, Sakata T, Ishimaru T, Etou H, Ookuma K, Kurokawa M, Machidori HAttenuation of anorexia induced by heat or surgery during sustained administration of ginsenoside Rg1 into rat third ventriclePsychopharmacology (Berl).(1989)
      51.^Karu N, Reifen R, Kerem ZWeight gain reduction in mice fed Panax ginseng saponin, a pancreatic lipase inhibitorJ Agric Food Chem.(2007 Apr 18)
      53.^Mehendale S, Aung H, Wang A, Yin JJ, Wang CZ, Xie JT, Yuan CSAmerican ginseng berry extract and ginsenoside Re attenuate cisplatin-induced kaolin intake in ratsCancer Chemother Pharmacol.(2005 Jul)
      54.^Kang M, Yoshimatsu H, Oohara A, Kurokawa M, Ogawa R, Sakata TGinsenoside Rg1 modulates ingestive behavior and thermal response induced by interleukin-1 beta in ratsPhysiol Behav.(1995 Feb)
      55.^Kim JH, Hahm DH, Yang DC, Kim JH, Lee HJ, Shim IEffect of crude saponin of Korean red ginseng on high-fat diet-induced obesity in the ratJ Pharmacol Sci.(2005 Jan)
      56.^Attele AS, Zhou YP, Xie JT, Wu JA, Zhang L, Dey L, Pugh W, Rue PA, Polonsky KS, Yuan CSAntidiabetic effects of Panax ginseng berry extract and the identification of an effective componentDiabetes.(2002 Jun)
      57.^Etou H, Sakata T, Fujimoto K, Terada K, Yoshimatsu H, Ookuma K, Hayashi T, Arichi SGinsenoside-Rb1 as a suppressor in central modulation of feeding in the ratNihon Yakurigaku Zasshi.(1988 Jan)
      64.^Wang J, Flaisher-Grinberg S, Li S, Liu H, Sun L, Zhou Y, Einat HAntidepressant-like effects of the active acidic polysaccharide portion of ginseng in miceJ Ethnopharmacol.(2010 Oct 28)
      65.^Dang H, Chen Y, Liu X, Wang Q, Wang L, Jia W, Wang YAntidepressant effects of ginseng total saponins in the forced swimming test and chronic mild stress models of depressionProg Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry.(2009 Nov 13)
      66.^Kim NH, Kim KY, Jeong HJ, Kim HMAntidepressant-like effect of altered Korean red ginseng in miceBehav Med.(2011 Apr)
      69.^Liu L, Hoang-Gia T, Wu H, Lee MR, Gu L, Wang C, Yun BS, Wang Q, Ye S, Sung CKGinsenoside Rb1 improves spatial learning and memory by regulation of cell genesis in the hippocampal subregions of ratsBrain Res.(2011 Mar 25)
      71.^Petkov VD, Kehayov R, Belcheva S, Konstantinova E, Petkov VV, Getova D, Markovska VMemory effects of standardized extracts of Panax ginseng (G115), Ginkgo biloba (GK 501) and their combination Gincosan (PHL-00701)Planta Med.(1993 Apr)
      72.^Attele AS, Wu JA, Yuan CSGinseng pharmacology: multiple constituents and multiple actionsBiochem Pharmacol.(1999 Dec 1)
      73.^Tian J, Fu F, Geng M, Jiang Y, Yang J, Jiang W, Wang C, Liu KNeuroprotective effect of 20(S)-ginsenoside Rg3 on cerebral ischemia in ratsNeurosci Lett.(2005 Feb 10)
      74.^He B, Chen P, Yang J, Yun Y, Zhang X, Yang R, Shen ZNeuroprotective effect of 20(R)-ginsenoside Rg(3) against transient focal cerebral ischemia in ratsNeurosci Lett.(2012 Sep 27)
      75.^Choi YJ, Choi H, Cho CH, Park JWRed ginseng deregulates hypoxia-induced genes by dissociating the HIF-1 dimerJ Nat Med.(2011 Apr)
      76.^Kennedy DO, Scholey AB, Drewery L, Marsh VR, Moore B, Ashton HElectroencephalograph effects of single doses of Ginkgo biloba and Panax ginseng in healthy young volunteersPharmacol Biochem Behav.(2003 Jun)
      79.^Ellis JM, Reddy PEffects of Panax ginseng on quality of lifeAnn Pharmacother.(2002 Mar)