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Ginseng; al. Kraftwurzel, Ginsengwurzel; English. Korean or Chinese ginseg (the "western ginseng" is the Panax quinquefolium L.

The root.

Vivacious voluminous anthropomorphic root, ginseng is a small herbaceous plant leaves palmatilobuladas. The flowers, small, pentámeras, greenish - white, are grouped in the form of an umbel. The fruit is a berry red monkey and biseminada.


The spontaneous ginseng is rare in their home regions: Korea, northeastern China and Siberia. Whether it's white (dried roots) or red (cooked roots) which sells ginseng comes from plants grown from 4 to 6 years, from Korea, China or Japan.

Chemical composition.

Although numerous studies have been devoted to saponosides have been able to identify many other components in the drug: dare (panaxanos, starch) B vitamins, essential oil (0. 05%) peptides, poliínas, pyrazine, carbides and alcohol Sesquiterpenes [79]

The saponosides are triterpenes tetracíclicos polihidroxilados related damarano: the (20 S) protopanaxadiol (hydroxyl at 3, 12 and 20) and (20 S) protopanaxatriol (hydroxyl at 3, 6, 12 and 20) It has been described fourteen neutral ginsenosides. Seven are derived from protopanaxadiol replaced by a 3 - ß ß - D - glucopyranosyl (1? 2) beta - D - glucopyranoside. They differ among themselves by the nature of di - or trisaccharides set in the tertiary hydroxyl on 20: ginsenosides RA1, Ra2, RB1, RB2, Rb3, and Rc Rd.

Another six are derived from heterósidos protopanaxatriol: although residual osídico all have a set at 6, some have their hydroxyl in 20 free (Rf ginsenosides, RG2 and RH1) the others are in glucosyl 20 (Ginsenosides Re, RG1 and 20 - gluco Rf) The last heterósidos neutral is a derivative of oleanano (ginsenosides R0) The compounds are the major ginsenosides RB1, RB2 and RG1) In the white ginseng also have been described malonil - ginsenosides.

Pharmacological data.

In the Far East, the drug has a reputation millennial "real grass", he attributed the virtue of enhancing the vitality and has attracted much experimental work (several hundreds)

Anti action.

The tests used to test this activity are varied: resistance to cold, heat, chemical poisoning, etc. It also investigates a possible increase in resistance to fatigue both with drugs and with total ginsenosides. Other authors did not study the behavior, but the energy metabolism. These effects have been called into question in some work done with mice.

They also have studied the biochemical effects of ginseng and its components: stimulation of protein synthesis, hypoglycemic activity, lipid and cholesterol levels, hepatoprotective, prevention of atheromas, anticaking platelet activity and fibrinolytic [85] Other studies have demonstrated endocrine effects [86] effects on the CNS and on neurotransmitters [86. 87] it has also been described immunostimulant activity [88] and empowerment of NGF (Nerve Growth Factor)

Observations on the Man.

Along with the many "comments" made in different circumstances to try to justify, among others, general anabolic effects, better reflexes or the acceleration of the nervous response attributed to this "panacea" (increased performance of radio operators, improving responses to a series of psychomotor tests) there has been some clinical trials: the study of the effect on blood glucose in healthy volunteers, in people with diabetes or hyperlipidemia.

The result confirms that low blood sugar levels by taking oral 4 to 6 grams a day of powdered root. Another trial, conducted a blind vs. placebo, shows that the ginsenosides RG1 increasing body weight, serum proteins and hemoglobinemia.


Usually, it is believed that the drug has no toxicity: LD50 of the major ginsenosides, identified in rat, as well as comments recorded in humans, confirmed the absence of acute toxicity. While in dog and rat there have been no demonstration toxic after prolonged administration of a standardized extract, it seems, however, in the long term in humans, was found any cases in which side effects appeared similar to those observed in case of an overdose of steroids. It is advised its use in recommended doses, in the event of tiredness, fatigue and convalescence. It also has application in cosmetology.

In Spain authorizing the use of this plant for fatigue, general fatigue, stress, physical and intellectual exhaustion.


For its possible effects on blood pressure is not recommended in patients with hypertension, cardiac disorders, insomnia.

It is not appropriate to take maximum doses (more than 1g / día) for more than a month. Do not take before going to sleep. Nor must be managed if you're using hormonal treatments, antipsychotics and stimulants of the central nervous system.

The drug.

The Korean ginseng should not be confused with other species or U. S. Oriental, spontaneous or cultivated: P. quinquefolium L. American ginseng) P. notoginseng Burk. San - chi) P. pseudoginseng Wall. a - subsp. japonicus Hara: chikusetsu, b - subsp. himalaicus Hara: Himalayan ginseng, c - var. major: zhuzishen) The result, spindle or cylindrical, more or less branched, sometimes even recurved bow, is yellow and wrinkled lengthwise. His fracture, short, is yellow and examined under ultraviolet light, shows a cortical area and a fluorescent marrow.

Cortical parenchyma and the bast show concentric layers of secretory canals. While the French Pharmacopoeia indicates an analysis CCF and an assessment of the saponosides Library, have developed some protocols for high - performance liquid chromatography to allow for a qualitative and quantitative assessment faster and more accurate. Must be taken into account the presence of malonil - ginsenosides.



Chemistry and pharmacology of Panax. In: economic and medicinal plant research, H. WAGNER, H. HIKINO and N. R. FARNSWORTH, eds. London, Academic Press, vol. 1, p. 218 - 284, 1985.

S. C. SHIM, S - K. CHANG, C. H. HUR and C. K. KIM.

A polyacetylenic compound from Panax ginseng roots.

Phytochemistry, 26, 2849 - 2850, 1987.


Studies on the sesquiterpenoids of Panax ginseng CA Meyer. II. Isolation and structure determination of ginsenol, a novel Sesquiterpenes alcohol. Chem. Pharm. Bull. 36, 2447 - 2451, 1988, ibid. 35, 1975 - 1981, 1987.


Isolation and hypoglycaemic activity of panaxans A, B, C, D and E, glycanans of Panax ginseng roots.

Planta Med. 50, 434 - 436, 1984; see also, to some of the properties of panaxanos: Y. SUZUKI and H. HIKINO - Phytotherapy Research, 3, 15 - 19, 20 - 24, 1989.

I. Kitagawa, T. TANIYAMA, T. Hayashi and M. YOSHIKASWA.

Malonyl - ginsenosides RB1, RB2, Rc, and Rd, four new malonylated dammarane - type triterpenes oligoglycosides from radix ginseng.

Chem. Pharm. Bull. 31, 3353 - 3356, 1983.

a) T. KITA, T. Hata, Y. Kawashima, T. Kaku and E. Itoh.

Pharmacological actions of ginseng saponin in stress.

J. Pharm. Dyn. 4, 381 - 393, 1981.

b) e. V. AVAKIAN, B. B. Sugimoto, S. TAGUCHI and S. M. HORVATH.

Effect of Panax ginseng extract on energy metabolism during exercise in rats.

Planta Med. 50, 151 - 154, 1984.

T. YOKOZAWA, T. Kobayashi, A. KAWAI, H. Oura and Y. Kawashima.

Hyperlipemia - improving effects of ginsenoside - RB2 in cholesterol - fed rats.

Chem. Pharm. Bull. 33, 722 - 729, 1985.

H. HIKINO, Y. Kiso, J. KINOUCHI, S. Sanada and J. Shoji.

Antihepatotoxic actions of ginsenosides from Panax ginseng roots - Planta Med. 53, 62 - 64, 1985.

H. MATSUDA, K. Namba, S. Fukuda, T. TANIA & M. Kuro.

Pharmacological study on Panax ginseng C. A. Meyer. IV. Effects of red ginseng on experimental disseminated intravascular coagulation. 3) Effect of ginsenoside - Ro on the blood coagulative and fibrinolytic system.

Chem. Pharm. Bull. 34, 2100 - 2104, 1986.

S. SHIBATA. Pharmacology and chemical study of dammarane type triterpenoids. In: Advances in medical Phytochemistry, D. BARTON and W. D. Ollis, eds. London, John Libbey, P. 159 - 172, 1986.

D. TSANG, K. W. HO, T. K. TSE, P. C. TSANG and H. L. WEN.

Ginsenoside modulates K + stimulates noradrenaline release from cerebral cortex slices.

Planta Med. 52, 266 - 268, 1986.


Inmunomodulatory activity of Panax ginseng extract.

Planta Med. 50, 462 - 465, 1984.


Effects of subchronic feeding of ginseng extract G115 in Beagle dogs.

Fd. Chem. Toxicol. 21, 95 - 97, 1983.

R. H. Siegel.

Ginseng abuse syndrome problems with the panacea.

Jama, 241, 1614 - 1615, 1979.

P. Piette and P. MAURI.

Improved high - performance liquid chromatographic method for the analysis of ginsenosides in Panax ginseng extracts.

J. Chromatogr. 356, 212 - 219, 1986.

See also: a) H. YAMAGUCHI and al. Chem. Pharm. Bull. 26, 4177 - 7181, 1988 (and ref. Cited) b) D. GUEDON et al. Ann. Pharm. Fr. 47, 169 - 177, 1989.

Diseases whose treatment is appropriate in this plant.

Fatigue - Asthenia.


Non - insulin dependent diabetes.



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