The glycaemic effects of single doses of Panax ginseng in young healthy volunteers

Br J Nutr. 2006 Oct;96(4):639-42.


The results of two acute placebo-controlled, double-blind cross-over studies assessing the effect of Panax ginseng (G115) on blood glucose levels are reported. In study 1, thirty participants received three treatments: placebo; 200 mg G115; 400 mg G115. In study 2, twenty-seven participants received four treatments: placebo (0 mg ginseng and 30 mg saccharin); ginseng (200 mg ginseng and 30 mg saccharin); placebo-glucose (0 mg ginseng and 25 g oral glucose); ginseng-glucose (200 mg ginseng and 25 g oral glucose). Blood glucose levels were measured at baseline (at 09.00 hours after an overnight fast) and then 60, 90 (study 1 only) and 120 min post-dose. Both studies demonstrated that G115 alone significantly lowers fasting blood glucose levels. Conversely, in study 2 there was a significant drink x ginseng interaction suggesting opposing glycaemic effects of ginseng under fasting and raised blood glucose conditions. These data have implications for the use of ginseng in individuals with poor gluco-regulation.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Fasting / blood
  • Female
  • Glucose / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Panax*
  • Phytotherapy / methods*
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use


  • Blood Glucose
  • Plant Extracts
  • Glucose