Studies

300+ Research Papers on Ginseng Released

While Korean ginseng is classified as a dietary supplement, not a drug (and has no doping effects), it is no wonder that Korean ginseng has consistently held the #1 spot for most recommended traditional herbal medicine in the herbalist communities. The 10th International Symposium on Ginseng was held in 2010 and attended by approximately 1,500 scholars and researchers from 15 countries such as the United States, Europe and Asia. More than 300 papers were submitted with their findings supporting ginseng’s efficacy.

While ginseng is not classified as a drug, the research included in these papers suggested that Korean ginseng or components in Korean ginseng may help prevent the effects of several forms of harmful viruses. This supports the claim that Korean ginseng helps boost the immune system and illustrates why it has been historically used as a traditional medicine for 2,000 years.

In fact, scientists from around the world have conducted extensive research into Korean red ginseng, isolating new active components while investigating medicinal and functional efficacies. Through this research, Korean red ginseng’s history as Asian’s foremost health food has begun unraveling with genetic research revealing still more secrets. While research is ongoing and Korean ginseng is classified as a dietary supplement, not a drug, and KGC does not represent it as such the following informational chart offers a snap-shot into the positive health benefits that Korean ginseng may provide, as suggested by ongoing research:

Efficacy Topic of Health/Bodily Function* Researchers Country
Anti-Diabetic Indications of lowering blood sugar levels and assisting the control of excessive blood sugar in Type 2 diabetic subjects. V. Vuksan
E. Sotaniemi
Canada
France
Anti-Carcinogenic Positive indications in helping to limit or slow the spread of cancer cells growth. T.K. Yoon
N. Saito
Korea
Japan
Blood Pressure Control Positive indications in helping to control and possibly lower high blood pressure. N. Saito
H.K. Hoon
Japan
Korea
Strengthen Stomach Functions Improved immunity indications in post-operation stomach cancer patients. Positive indications in the support of gastric ulcer prevention. K.J. Bok
H. Matsuda
Korea
Japan
Liver Protection Function Improved function indications in patients of chronic liver diseases. Possible aiding in the prevention of damage to live associated with heavy alcohol consumption. M. Yamamoto
J.C. No
Japan
Korea
Stress Relief & Vital Energy Functions Indication of anti-fatigue effects associated with daily stress and toxic stress. E. Bombardelli
D.J. Lee
Italy
Korea
Improved Stamina Positive indications in clinical treatment for sterility, including improvement of sexual functions in recovery from impotency. J. Ishigami
H.K. Choi
Japan
Korea
Strengthening of Brain’s Functions Positive indications related to learning and memory, including improvement related loss due to normal aging.td>

V.D. Petkov
H. Nitta
Bulgaria
Japan
Age Delaying Effect Discovery of “maltol” component of red ginseng associated
with anti-aging properties.
H.B. Hoon
S.J. Fulder
Korea
U.K.
Radiation Mitigation Function Positive indications of improved recovery with regard
to radiation exposure.
M. Yonezawa
C.Y. Suk
Japan
Korea
Treating Anaemia Indications of improved condition with regard to recovering from anaemia, especially related to red blood cell and thrombocyte counts. I. Murata
M. Yonezawa
Japan
Japan
Viral Suppression Strengthening of immunity functions in patients suffering from viruses, specifically with regard to improved control of the rate of multiplication. Study includes research on AIDs patients. C.Y. Gul
M. Haneda
S. Ikematsu
Korea
Japan
Japan
Osteoporosis Mitigation Functions Positive clinical research indications related to improved structure/functions related to Osteoporosis. N.H. Kim Korea
Menopause Mitigation Functions Positive clinical indications related to post-menopausal
stabilizing functions.
S. Ogit Japan


Additional Research

The above is only a partial list of the body of research studying the healthy properties of Korean ginseng. This research is independent and is conducted in research facilities around the world. Korean ginseng is classified as a dietary supplement (with confirmed claims outlined on the Efficacies page), not a drug. However, the traditional medicine and herbalist communities have an interest in open-research, and we share the following synopses of studies for your further independent research and to illustrate the breadth of ongoing studies, which surround Korean ginseng, globally, as a high-quality health food. The following studies were presented by the Korean Society for Ginseng (Korean Ginseng for Well-Being, ISBN 978-89-966015-5-5) and are shared here as an informational source for further research only:

Effects of Red Ginseng on Fatigue and Stress

In the following studies, red ginseng was shown to support mental and physical energy functions, counter-acting occasional sleepiness, supporting concentration and supporting natural relief functions against non-disease based anxiety:

  • 23 taxi drivers (aged between 43 and 63): they took 4.5 g of red ginseng powder every day. Kaneko et al.,(2000).
  • 12 nurses on night shift: they took 1.2 g of red ginseng powder (3 days)
    Hallstrom et al., Comparative Medicine East and West (1982)
  • 38 student volunteers: they took 2.0 g of red ginseng powder every day (for 30 days)
    Johnson et al., Proc. 3rd Int’l Symposium on Ginseng (1980)


Effects of Red Ginseng on the Immune System

Current Status

  • In 1918, the Spanish Flu claimed 35 million lives.
    - Some experts believe this was caused by an early H1N1 (avian influenza) virus. 30% of a total population of 2 billion were infected with the virus.
  • In case of avian influenza outbreak, it takes about 6 months for the virus to be spread across a nation.
    - Avian influenza boasts one of the highest infection rates in the world.
  • Recently, 258 people were infected with the virus in 10 countries and among them 153 died of the disease.
    - Major outbreak areas: Indonesia (56 died), Vietnam (42 died), Thailand (17 died), and China (14 died)


[Swine-origin Influenza]

  • The world was caught off guard by the outbreak of swine-origin influenza in 2009. It is known that H1N1 virus spread using swine as a host and make people infected. About 260,000 people were infected with the influenza.
  • As of today, there is no treatment or preventive drug regarding influenza Cause
  • These viruses are spread to the human body through fowls (migratory birds, chickens, and ducks) and swine as hosts of the viruses.
  • These viruses are spread all over the world through excretion of migratory birds.
  • These viruses do not seriously affect migratory birds and pigs, but may be fatal to chickens, ducks and people.


Study Result [Swine Influenza]

  • In case of mice which took red ginseng extracts for 14 days before the infection, the survival rate was 80%, while mice which didn’t take the extracts showed just a 20% survival rate.
  • It is theorized that the protective effects of the red ginseng extracts are due to supporting a natural increase in interferon after taking red ginseng, boosting the immune system.


Researchers

  • Animal test: Dr. Sang Hee Seo, Department of Veterinary Medicine of Chungnam National University (2007, 2009) Dr. Sang-Moo Kang, Emory University (2008, 2010)
  • Cellular test: Dr. Sang Hee Seo, Department of Veterinary Medicine of Chungnam National University (2007)


Effects of Red Ginseng on Anti-aging (Cellular Functions)

  • Aging is natural; however certain bio-chemical processes can increase or decrease certain aspects of aging. Korean ginseng has been shown to support normal anti-aging cellular functions, an anti-oxidant effect, which reduces reactive oxygen species (ROS), lipid peroxidation.
    (Han et al., Korean J. ginseng Sci, 16. 228 (1992)
  • ROS can cause aging through reactive oxygen, which is generated in the body and harms cellular membranes and facilitates lipid peroxidation (promoting a certain aspect of aging). By supporting the process, which naturally inhibits ROS, ginseng supports an anti-aging function.
  • In tests, animals that consume Korean red ginseng for a long period of time have been shown to have longer life-spans:
    - In rats, red ginseng at 0.5~1% of the average dosage consumed regularly by humans was added to their food supply. Life-spans were recorded as follows, indicating improved longevity associated with ginseng consumption:
Sex Experimental Groups Survival Rate (%)
Male Control group 16
Group with 0.5% red ginseng injection 35
Group with 1% red ginseng injection 37
Female Control group 63
Group with 0.5% red ginseng injection 80
Group with 1% red ginseng injection 67


Effects of Red Ginseng on Cell Repair

  • It has been reported that the cancer incidence among those who eat ginseng in major ginseng producing areas are up to 50% lower than populations studied that do not eat ginseng:
    - Epidemiologic survey among 4,634 residents in main ginseng producing area for 5 years regarding risk of cancer incidence.
  • As people consume red ginseng more frequently, the incidence of stomach cancer and lung cancer is increasingly reduced:
    - Red ginseng intake by smokers: Theorized protective effect against the oxidative damage caused by smoking by supporting normal cellular-repair functions.
    - A lower cancer incidence than expected (Yun et al., Cancer Letters, 132, 1998)
  • Reduction of toxic side effects when stomach cancer or lung cancer patients are injected with anti-cancer drugs:
    - An improved immune system and reduced toxic side effects in the kidneys and liver.
    (Noh et al., The New medical J., 35, 40, 1992)
  • An active component, acidic polysaccharide:
    - Supports the immune system (NO is secreted due to healthy macrophage interaction, and natural killer cells are activated)


Effects of Red Ginseng on Bodily Stamina

Current Status

  • More than 50% of male in the world (over the age of 40) are suffering from sexual impotence (inability to ejaculate 3 out of 4 attempts)
  • As men age, they are susceptible to suffering from impotence.
  • Treatment for impotence is not effective for 40% of patients.


Cause

  • Mental conditions including:
    - Stress and depression
    - Low sex drive
  • Low blood circulation and oxidation of blood (caused by a various reasons, including high sugar levels, which damage vessels, etc)


Study Result

  • Users of ginseng showed increasing sexual appetite
  • Improved stiffness and stamina
  • Increasing the frequency of sexual contact
  • Increasing satisfaction with their sex life
  • Reducing vessel damage caused by high blood sugar levels.


Research

  • Clinical test : Dr. Hyung Gi Choi, Yonsei University College of Medicine (1995, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2003)
  • Animal test : Dr. Jae Jun Yui, KT&G Central Research Institute (1996)
  • In vitro test : Dr. Yoshimura, Japan (1994)


Effects of Red Ginseng on Memory Functions

Current Status

  • As the number of the elderly has increased in the world, neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease are on the rise among the elderly.
  • It is assumed that about 25 million people are suffering from AD in the world, 300,000 in Korea, 2 million in Japan and 4 million in the U.S.
  • The prevalence rate among the elderly over the age of 65 is 5 to 10%, women have 2 to 3 times higher prevalence rate than men.
  • There are some treatments but they have side effects and there is no treatment for 100% recovery.


Cause

  • Ischemic brain disease: it is caused because blood in the brain is not well circulated.
  • Neurotoxicity: abnormal protein (A¥â) is generated, damaging or killing brain cells; acetylcholine neuronal cells are degenerated. The increase in Ach aggravates the symptoms. Increased homocysteine, which causes neuronal cell damage, level in the blood, and alcohol.
  • Brain damage due to external shock: brain cell damage due to external shock (including injury)


Study Result

  • Improved recognition, attention and calculation ability among patients with AD. Longer period of intake of ginseng brought better results.
    - 6 months of intake is better than 3 months. Red ginseng powder 4.5 g/day is less effective than 9.0 g/day
  • Adults were tested and adults who took red ginseng extract showed memory improvement (red ginseng extracts for 9 people and placebo for 9 people)
  • Animal tests showed improved memory and learning ability.
    - Shortening the time to return to a starting place, based on memory.
    - Hippocampus disorder was improved by taking red ginseng.


Researcher

  • Clinical test:
    - Dr. Man Ho Kim, Seoul National University (2010)
    - Dr. David Kennedy, Northumbria University, UK (2010)
  • Animal test:
    - Dr. Se Kwan Oh, Ewha Women’s University College of Medicine, (1995)
    - Dr. Hee Sun Kim, Ewha Women’s University College of Medicine, (1995)
    - Dr. Jung Hee Jang, Daegu College of Oriental Medicine (2009)
  • In vitro test:
    - Dr. Jung Hee Jang, Daegu College of Oriental Medicine (2009)


Effects of Red Ginseng on Blood

  • Korean red ginseng contains an insulin analogue, saponin G-Rb2, which may help support normal blood sugar levels by:
    - Supporting normal sugar metabolism, associated with lower cholesterol levels.
  • Supporting circulatory and energy functions, resulting in reduced:
    - Fatigue, sleepiness, shoulder pains, cold hands and cold feet.
  • Supporting functions that contribute to healthy blood viscosity and brain blood circulation.
    - (Takeku et al., 1990, Yano et al, 1994, Tetsutani et al., 2000)


Support of Healthy Radiological Resistance

Animal and human experiments have shown that red ginseng supports the body’s natural protection against radiation.

  • When cervical cancer patients receive radiation therapy, their radiation sickness may be improved and they may have improved protection from radiation while taking red ginseng::
    - 25 cervical cancer patients with radiation therapy ingest 5g red ginseng daily for five weeks. (Chang et al. Proc. 3rd Int’l Symp. on Ginseng.,p197, 1980)
  • Red ginseng has a supportive effect in mice exposed to radiation:
    - Red ginseng supported anti-radiological functions, which increased the survival rate and is associated with more healthy amounts of serum protein after exposure to radioactivity.
    (Lee et al. Journal of Ginseng Research, 14(3) : 357-363,1990)
    - Red ginseng defends damages of reproductive functions, caused by radioactivity.
    (Gong et al. Journal of Ginseng Research, 15(3) : 171-178,1991)


Effects of Red Ginseng on the Cardiovascular System

Supporting Cardiac Functions

  • Red ginseng supports cardiac output without the increase of blood pressure and heart rate. It also supports a healthy ratio of cardiac output to body surface area.
    - A group (aged between 66 and 84) were administered orally with red ginseng (1.5 g per day) for 3 months. Takahashi et al. (1989)


Supporting Blood Flow in Fingers

  • Supported normal temperature in fingers, supporting circulatory functions and healthy warmth in the fingers.
    - 5 patients with rheumatoid peripheral circulation disorder were orally administered with red ginseng 6 g per day for about 2 years. (nakada et al., The Ginseng Review, p89, 1989)


Effects of Red Ginseng on the Respiratory System

  • Red ginseng reduces the amount of cytokine IL-1β, TNF-α, IL-4, IL-5 and was shown to support healthy respiratory functions. (Byung Jae Lee, Department of Allergic Internal Medicine of Samsung Hospital, 2008)


Effects of Red Ginseng on Liver Functions

  • Supporting healthy liver functions, including filtration of toxins like aflatoxin and fumonisin.
    Massad et al, Food and Chemical Toxicology (2010)
  • Supported normal alcohol detoxification functions (resulting in lessened hangovers).
    Koo et al., Korea J. Ginseng Sci. (1983).
  • Pretreatment of Korean ginseng (Ginsenoside Rg3) before the alcoholic drink improves the liver function for detoxification. Prabbu N. Saxena, Proceedings of the 10th Int’l Symposium on Ginseng (2010).


Additional Research:

Red Ginseng and Body Constitution Type

As an off-shoot of Eastern Medicine, body constitution type was developed in late Chosun Dynasty by Dr. Je-Ma Lee. While the oriental medicine was based on Yin-Yang and Five Phases, the body constitution type is divided based on four basic principles of Confucianism. It suggests that the major body constitution types have different metabolisms, needs and pathological characteristics. Certain constitutions may or may not be more appropriate for certain treatments. With regard to Korean ginseng, a study divided 188 healthy people into four body constitution types and observed changes in subjective symptoms after taking red ginseng. The result showed minor differences by age level, but other aspects were the same for all the groups.

-Study, 1997, by the College of Oriental Medicine of the Kyunghee University.

Korean Ginseng in Eastern Medicine

Herbs and other Eastern medicines have, traditionally, been first divided into four categories, which may be loosely translated as: cold, hot, warming or cooling. The nature of Korean ginseng, in this thought, is considered to be slightly warming (meaning it adds a vital energy to the body). The nature of Korean ginseng makes the consumer subjectively feel a sense of the body warm, by the supporting healthy blood circulation and other support functions. Korean ginseng has been traditionally used to improve general well-being, treat certain physical conditions, help the body resist fatigue, support a healthy nervous system, increase energy and metabolism, and support the circulatory system.

Red Ginseng and Body Temperature

  • Finally, in terms of the Yin and Yang concepts in Eastern medicine, Korean ginseng is classified as Yang and the nature of the medicine is warmness. However, ginseng does not cause fever and it does not generate heat and should not be misinterpreted by some followers of Eastern medicine as being “too hot,” a misperception prevalent in regions less exposed to Korean ginseng based on misunderstanding. Korean ginseng is not a pyrogenic substance (it is not a substance that increases body temperature) and studies have shown this.
    - Administration of ginseng extracts (50~100mg/kg), does not change in the body temperature of rats.
    - Professor Bhargava, Illinois University, Chicago, (1990)
  • Korean ginseng may be used for maintaining health year round and consumers should understand that this includes the summer.
  • In fact, one of the main active ingredients of Korean red ginseng, Ginsenoside Rg1, helps maintain normal body temperature (helping support relief from heat). (This is supported, historically, by ancient medical advice to make chicken soup with red ginseng as a means to add energy in hot weather.)
    - It was observed by Professor Fujimoto, of the Department of Medicine of the Kushu University, Japan, that animals exposed to high temperatures take food more readily and move about more actively when administered red ginseng.
  • Further evidence shows the maintenance of homeostatic body temperature, following consumption of red ginseng, thereby disproving ginseng as too “hot” to consume.
    - Males (68) and females (128) took 3.75 g of red ginseng per day for 10 days, and 4 weeks respectively.
    Korean ginseng user groups maintained normal body temperature.
    Kim et al, Korean J. Ginseng Sci. (1995) Seo et al, Korean J. Ginseng (2005)

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
** Korean ginseng is a dietary supplement, not a drug. Any medical condition you may be having should be discussed between you and your physician.