Immunomodulatory effects of two extracts of Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer

Drugs Exp Clin Res. 1990;16(10):537-42.


The effect of Panax ginseng extracts on cell-mediated immune functions in man has been investigated. Three groups, each consisting of twenty healthy volunteers, were treated under conditions of double blindness with capsules containing lactose (Control Group B), with capsules containing 100 mg of aqueous extract of the drug (Group A), and with capsules containing 100 mg of standardized extract of the drug (Group C). All the patients took one capsule every 12 h for 8 weeks. Blood samples were withdrawn before beginning the treatment, at the fourth week and at the eighth week. The immune parameters examined were the following: chemotaxis of PMNs, phagocytosis index (PHI), phagocytosis fraction (PHF), intracellular killing, total lymphocytes (T3), T helper (T4) subset, suppressor cells (T8) subset, blastogenesis of circulating lymphocytes, natural killer-cell activity (NK). Chemotaxis proved to be enhanced (p less than 0.05) already at the fourth week in Group A as well as in Group C; the increase became even more marked (p less than 0.001) at the eight week in subjects belonging to Group C. PHI and PHF proved to be enhanced (p less than 0.05) at the eighth week in subjects of Group A; these increases were found to be higher in subjects of Group C (p less than 0.001) already starting at the fourth week. Intracellular killing was shown to be significantly increased (p less than 0.05) already at the fourth week in Groups A and C; the increase becomes highly significant in both groups (p less than 0.001) at the eighth week; however, a significant increase (p less than 0.05) at the eighth week was also noticed in the placebo group (Group B).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte / drug effects
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes / drug effects*
  • Lymphocyte Activation / drug effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Panax*
  • Phagocytosis / drug effects
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / drug effects


  • Plant Extracts