Health Notes

Asian Ginseng

Also indexed as:Ginseng (Asian), Panax ginseng, Asian Ginseng Root, Ren Shen
Asian Ginseng: Main Image © Steven Foster
Botanical names:
Panax ginseng


Asian ginseng is a member of the Araliaceae family, which also includes the closely related American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and less similar Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus), also known as eleuthero. Asian ginseng commonly grows on mountain slopes and is usually harvested in the fall. The root is used, preferably from plants older than six years of age.

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Clinically relevant conditions Dosage Indications
Erectile Dysfunction
900 mg of a concentrated herbal extract two or TID 3 stars [3 stars]
Asian ginseng may improve libido and ability to maintain erection.
Athletic Performance, Endurance Exercise, and Muscle Strength
2 grams of powdered root daily or 200 to 400 mg daily of a herbal extract standardised for 4% ginsenosides 2 stars [2 stars]
Some early studies suggested there might be benefits of using Asian ginseng to improve athletic performance. One study reported increased pectoral and quadricep muscle strength in non-exercising men and women after supplementing with the herb.

(Bupleurum, Cassia Bark, Chinese Scullcap, Ginger, Jujube, Liquorice, Peony, Pinellia)
2.5 grams a day of sho-saiko-to or saiko-keishi-to in tea or capsules 2 stars [2 stars]
The Chinese herb bupleurum is included in two herbal formulas, sho-saiko-to and saiko-keishi-to. Both have been shown to be helpful for epilepsy.

(Bupleurum, Cassia Bark, Chinese Scullcap, Ginger, Jujube, Liquorice, Peony, Pinellia)
Take 2.5 grams of sho-saiko-to TID 2 stars [2 stars]
Trials have shown that the bupleurum-containing formula sho-saiko-to can help reduce symptoms and blood liver enzyme levels in people with chronic active viral hepatitis.
Immune Function
100 mg of a standardised extract BID 2 stars [2 stars]
Asian ginseng has a long history of use in traditional herbal medicine for preventing and treating conditions related to the immune system.
Liver Cirrhosis

(Bupleurum, Cassia Bark, Chinese Scullcap, Ginger, Jujube, Liquorice, Peony, Pinellia)
2.5 grams of the Chinese herbal formula sho-saiko-to TID 2 stars [2 stars]
The Chinese herb bupleurum is a component of the formula sho-saiko-to, which was shown in one preliminary trial to liver cancer risk in people with liver cirrhosis.
Male Infertility
4 grams daily 2 stars [2 stars]
One preliminary study found that men who took Asian ginseng had an improvement in sperm count and sperm motility.
200 mg per day of standardised extract 2 stars [2 stars]
One trial found that Asian ginseng helped alleviate psychological symptoms of menopause, such as depression and anxiety.
Take an extract supplying at least 1.6 mg daily of ginsenosides, along with a multivitamin 2 stars [2 stars]
Supplementing with Asian ginseng has been shown to enhance feelings of well-being and improve quality of life in some studies.
Type 2 Diabetes
5 grams of powdered root or an equivalent dose of Asian ginseng extract daily 2 stars [2 stars]
Asian ginseng may help restore healthy insulin sensitivity and improve blood glucose and lipid levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Alzheimer’s Disease
4.5 grams per day for 12 weeks 1 star [1 star]
A preliminary trial suggests that taking Panax ginseng may significantly improve a measure of cognitive function in the short term, though long-term use has not been established.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Adaptogenic herbs such as Asian ginseng have an immunomodulating effect and help support the normal function of the body’s hormonal stress system.
Common Cold and Sore Throat
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Adaptogens such as Asian ginseng are thought to help keep various body systems—including the immune system—functioning optimally.
HIV and AIDS Support

(Bupleurum, Cassia Bark, Chinese Scullcap, Ginger, Jujube, Liquorice, Peony, Pinellia)
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
The herbal formula sho-saiko-to has been shown to have beneficial immune effects on white blood cells in people infected with HIV.
HIV and AIDS Support
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
One study found that steamed then dried Asian ginseng had beneficial effects in people infected with HIV and increased the effectiveness of the anti-HIV drug AZT.
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Asian ginseng supports the immune system and protects against microbes.
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Asian ginseng has immune-enhancing properties, which may play a role in preventing infection with the influenza virus.
Type 1 Diabetes
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Asian ginseng is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat diabetes.

Historical or Traditional Use

Asian ginseng has been a part of Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years. The first reference to the use of Asian ginseng dates to the 1st century A.D. Ginseng is commonly used by elderly people in the Orient to improve mental and physical vitality.

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The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2024.