Ginseng radix

Authors: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer, Prof. Dr. med. Martina Bacharach-Buhles

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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Ginseng root; Panax root; Power Root; Samroot

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Ginseng Radix is a drug extracted from the ginseng root. Ginseng Radix is one of the adaptogens, a group of substances that is said to increase the body's resistance.

To obtain the extract, the root systems of 4-7 year old ginseng plants are used (note: the concentration of active ingredients increases with the age of the plant: the older the plant, the higher its quality).

A distinction is made between red and white ginseng, which are not different species, but are processed in different ways:

  • White ginseng is dried in the sun and thus keeps its natural colour.
  • Red ginseng gets its colour by treating it with steam before drying.

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2% to 3% of a mixture of saponins composed of at least 10 individual glycosides, the ginsenosides (also called panaxosides) All ginsenoids belong to the group of bisdesmosides, glycoside compounds to which the sugar is bound to 2 different OH groups of the aglycone. Other ingredients: 0.05% essential oil with sesquiterpenes (see terpenes below) and polyins, about 5% mono-, di- and polysaccharides and high polymer peptidoglycans (panaxanes).

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Ginseng radix lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, influences the gonads (gonadotrophic effect), dilates vessels and stimulates the synthesis of proteins. It is also said to have a stimulating effect on concentration disorders. Ginseng is also recommended as a stimulant, geratricum, roboran and aphrodisiac.

Limited indication
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It should not be used during pregnancy and lactation.

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The commercially available American ginseng root is cultivated over a period of 6 to 7 years. The extracts obtained are mostly used in the form of infusions. The application period should not exceed 3 months. An overdose of more than 9 g dry extract per day can lead to insomnia, high blood pressure and oedema. Interactions with the blood clotting agent warfarin are also possible.

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Cosmetics: Under the INCI designation "Panax ginseng extract" ginseng root extracts are also used as antistatic agents in cosmetic formulations.

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  1. Becker LC et al,,,(2015) Safety Assessment of Panax spp Root-Derived Ingredients as Used in Cosmetics. Int J Toxicol 34 (3 Suppl):5S-42S.
  2. Chung SI et al.(2016) In Vitro and In Vivo Antioxidant Activity of Aged Ginseng (Panax ginseng). Prev Nutr Food Sci 21:24-30.
  3. He JM et al(2016) Variation of Ginsenosides in Ginseng of Different Ages. Nat Prod Commun 11:739-740.
  4. Ivanov DA et al (2016) The chemoattractant potential of ginsenosides in the ginseng - Pythium irregulare pathosystem. Phytochemistry 122:56-64.

Outgoing links (4)

Aglycone; Bisdesmoside; Saponins; Terpenes;