Ginseng, Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer, is a well-known Chinese traditional medicine. There have been more than 300 original papers in Chinese and in English during the last 10 years in China. This review paper summarizes some achievements from some of these published papers. Twenty-eight ginsenosides and some minor constituents were extracted and isolated from the root, root-stock, stems, leaves, flowers and flower-buds of ginseng. The chemical analysis demonstrated that the content of ginsenosides is related to the source, part and growth years of ginseng. The drug has a wide range of pharmacological and therapeutical actions, it acts on the central nervous system, cardiovascular system and endocrine secretion, promotes immune function and metabolism, possesses biomodulation action, anti-stress and anti-ageing activities, and so on. Many preparations of ginseng have been officially approved for clinical application in China. Clinical evaluation has shown that these preparations play a special role in medicinal use.