asian ginseng
© Steven Foster

An asian ginseng monograph for the home

Latin Name: Panax ginseng

Common Names: Asian ginseng, Chinese ginseng, Korean ginseng, Asiatic ginseng, Oriental ginseng

This asian ginseng monograph provides basic information about Asian ginseng—common names, usefulness and safety, and resources for more information.


Asian Ginseng Basics

  • Asian ginseng is native to the Far East, including China and Korea, and has been used for health-related purposes for at least 2,000 years. Asian ginseng is one of several types of ginseng (another is American ginseng, Panax quinquefolius). The terms red ginseng and white ginseng refer to Asian ginseng roots prepared in two different ways. The herb called Siberian ginseng or eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is not related to true ginseng.
  • In traditional Chinese medicine, Asian ginseng was used as a tonic that was believed to replenish energy. Today, Asian ginseng is used as a dietary supplement to improve general well-being, physical stamina, and concentration; stimulate immune function; slow the aging process; and relieve various health problems such as respiratory disorders, cardiovascular disorders, depression, anxiety, erectile dysfunction, and menopausal hot flashes.
  • The root of Asian ginseng contains chemical components called ginsenosides (or panaxosides) that are thought to contribute to the herb’s claimed health-related properties.

Asian Ginseng in Health Research

  • There have been many studies of Asian ginseng in people, but few have been high quality. Therefore, our understanding of Asian ginseng’s health effects is limited.

Asian Ginseng Research Summary

  • There’s currently no conclusive evidence supporting any health benefits of Asian ginseng.

Asian Ginseng Safety

  • Short-term use of Asian ginseng in recommended amounts appears to be safe for most people. However, questions have been raised about its long-term safety, and some experts recommend against its use by infants, children, and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • The most common side effects of ginseng are headaches, sleep problems, and digestive problems.
  • Some evidence suggests that Asian ginseng might affect blood sugar and blood pressure. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, consult your health care provider before using Asian ginseng.
  • The risk of interactions between ginseng and medications is believed to be low, but there are uncertainties about whether ginseng might interact with certain medications, such as the anticoagulant (blood thinner) warfarin (Coumadin). If you’re taking medication, consult your health care provider before using Asian ginseng.

Asian Ginseng References

PubMed Articles About Panax ginseng

Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)[Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US), National Center for Biotechnology Information; [1988] – [cited 2018 Apr 5]. Available from:

Search query:(Panax ginseng AND diabetes AND (( Clinical Trial[ptyp] OR systematic[sb] ) AND Humans[Mesh]))

Jovanovski, E., Lea-Duvnjak-Smircic, ., Komishon, A., Au-Yeung, F., Zurbau, A., Jenkins, AL., Sung, MK., Josse, R., Vuksan, V., (2020) Vascular effects of combined enriched Korean Red ginseng (Panax Ginseng) and American ginseng (Panax Quinquefolius) administration in individuals with hypertension and type 2 diabetes: A randomized controlled trial.

Type 2 diabetes is known to abrogate the vascular response. Combination of two commonly consumed ginseng species, American ginseng (AG) and a Korean Red ginseng (KRG), enriched with ginsensoide Rg3, was shown to concomitantly improve glucemic control and blood pressure. We evaluated the hypothesis that improvements in central hemodynamics, vascular function and stiffness markers are involved in observed benefits of co-administration.

Vuksan, V., Xu, ZZ., Jovanovski, E., Jenkins, AL., Beljan-Zdravkovic, U., Sievenpiper, JL., Mark Stavro, P., Zurbau, A., Duvnjak, L., Li, MZC., (2020) Efficacy and safety of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) extract on glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in individuals with type 2 diabetes: a double-blind, randomized, cross-over clinical trial.

Despite the lack of evidence, a growing number of people are using herbal medicine to attenuate the burden of diabetes. There is an urgent need to investigate the clinical potential of herbs. Preliminary observations suggest that American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius [AG]) may reduce postprandial glycemia. Thus, we aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of AG as an add-on therapy in individuals with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) controlled by conventional treatment.

Wang, S., Yue, R., Huang, X., Li, L., Xu, C., Liu, L., (2022) Renshen (Panax ginseng) and Huanglian (Rhizoma Coptidis) For T2DM: A protocol of systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials.

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a metabolic disease characterized by high blood sugar caused by impaired insulin action. With an increasing incidence year by year, it has become a worldwide epidemic. Because of its serious, long-term condition, T2DM has a bad impact on the life and well-being of individuals, families and society. Renshen and Huanglian or compound prescription contain Renshen and Huanglian for treatment of T2DM has already been confirmed. However, due to the lack of evidence, there is no specific method or suggestion, so it is necessary to carry out systematic evaluation on Renshen and Huanglian and provide effective evidence for further research.

Jenkins, AL., Morgan, LM., Bishop, J., Jovanovski, E., Jenkins, DJA., Vuksan, V., (2018) Co-administration of a konjac-based fibre blend and American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) on glycaemic control and serum lipids in type 2 diabetes: a randomized controlled, cross-over clinical trial.

Use of polypharmacy in the treatment of diabetes is the norm; nonetheless, optimal control is often not achieved. Konjac-glucomannan-based fibre blend (KGB) and American ginseng (AG) have individually been shown to improve glycaemia and CVD risk factors in type 2 diabetes. The aim of this study was to determine whether co-administration of KGB and AG could improve diabetes control beyond conventional treatment.

Zurbau, A., Smircic Duvnjak, L., Magas, S., Jovanovski, E., Miocic, J., Jenkins, AL., Jenkins, DJA., Josse, RG., Leiter, LA., Sievenpiper, JL., Vuksan, V., (2021) Co-administration of viscous fiber, Salba-chia and ginseng on glycemic management in type 2 diabetes: a double-blind randomized controlled trial.

Viscous dietary fiber, functional seeds and ginseng roots have individually been proposed for the management of diabetes. We explored whether their co-administration would improve glycemic control in type 2 diabetes beyond conventional therapy.