Panax notoginseng

Last Updated: April 17, 2024

Panax notoginseng, commonly referred to as Chinese ginseng, may have some cardioprotective properties. However, further research is required to fully understand its potential effects and side effects.


Panax notoginseng is most often used for

What is Panax notoginseng?

Panax notoginseng (Chinese ginseng) is a perennial plant that belongs to the Araliaceae family. It primarily grows in the Wenshan mountain area of Yunnan province (China), but it can also be found in Vietnam at altitudes ranging from 1200 to 2000 meters (4,000–6,500 feet).[2]

The roots (whether raw or processed), fruits, flowers, and leaves of Panax notoginseng are still widely used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for medical purposes.[3]

What are Panax notoginseng’s main benefits?

Interestingly, although Panax notoginseng has been traditionally used for its hemostatic properties (its ability to stop bleeding), there are no randomized trials in humans to prove this benefit.

Panax notoginseng appears to exert some cardiovascular benefits. In one meta-analysis, people with unstable angina pectoris (UAP) who were treated with standardized oral or injectable preparations of P. notoginseng alongside traditional medicine showed a lower risk of cardiac morbidity as well as reduced symptoms and frequency of angina pectoris compared to the control. However, there was no decrease in the risk of cardiac mortality.[3]

However, it's important to interpret the results from these meta-analyses cautiously. The injectable and oral preparations used in the aforementioned studies typically contain Panax notoginseng as the main active ingredient as well as extracts from other plants. This complicates the determination of whether the observed results can be solely attributed to Panax notoginseng.

What are Panax notoginseng’s main drawbacks?

There is currently limited clinical (human) data available on the safety profile of Panax notoginseng.

Cases of skin rash have been observed following intravenous administration of Panax notoginseng.[4] Furthermore, other studies have reported cases of nausea, vomiting, and dry mouth.[5]

Additionally, Panax notoginseng is a CYP1A2 inducer, which means that it may interact with medications or other substances metabolized by this enzyme class.[6]

How does Panax notoginseng work?

Panax notoginseng contains over 200 constituents, including saponins, flavonoids, cyclopeptides, sterols, and polyacetylenes. However, the main bioactive compounds used to assess the quality of Panax notoginseng are ginsenosides (saponins) Rg1, Rb1, and R1.[3] Ginsenoside Rg1 is predominantly found in the roots and rhizome, while Rb1 can also be found in other parts of the plant.[2] Importantly, the composition of P. notoginseng can vary based on factors such as the region where it is cultivated, the growth duration, harvesting time, and processing methods used.[6]

What are other names for Panax notoginseng?
Note that Panax notoginseng is also known as:
  • Chinese ginseng
  • Notoginseng
  • Tiánqī (田七)
  • Tienchi ginseng
  • Sānqī (三七) or sanchi
  • Three-seven root
Panax notoginseng should not be confused with:
Dosage information

Most studies on Panax notoginseng use standardized injectable preparations (e.g., Xuesaitong injection, Xueshuantong injection) or oral preparations (i.e., Xuesaitong soft capsules) that contain Panax notoginseng as the main ingredient as well as extracts from other plants.[1]

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Overall, Panax notoginseng may have cardioprotective properties, but we don't have a great understanding of how it might work and it's potential side-effects.

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