Antidepressant-like effect of altered Korean red ginseng in mice

Behav Med. 2011 Apr;37(2):42-6. doi: 10.1080/08964289.2011.566591.


Altered Korean red ginseng has been used as a treatment for patients suffering from anxiety. We assessed whether red ginseng hydrolyzed by malted barley (HRG) and acetate-fermented red ginseng (ARG) would improve brain activity, by using forced swimming test (FST) in mice. The effect of the fluoxetine (a classical antidepressant), ginsenoside Rg3 (Rg3), red ginseng (RG), HRG, and the ARG groups for two weeks on the immobility time was significantly decreased in comparison with the control group (p<0.05). The immobility time of HRG and ARG in FST was lower than that of RG. The plasma level of glucose and total protein was significantly increased in the HRG and ARG group compared with the control group (p<0.05), whereas albumin, lactate dehydrogenase, creatine kinase, and blood urea nitrogen levels were not changed. In conclusion, altered Korean red ginsengs, HRG, and ARG therapy appeared to be effective in improving depression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents / pharmacology
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects*
  • Depression / drug therapy*
  • Fluoxetine / pharmacology
  • Fluoxetine / therapeutic use
  • Ginsenosides / pharmacology
  • Ginsenosides / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Panax*
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Swimming


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Ginsenosides
  • Plant Extracts
  • Fluoxetine
  • ginsenoside Rg3