Effects of Panax ginseng in Neurodegenerative Diseases

J Ginseng Res. 2012 Oct;36(4):342-53. doi: 10.5142/jgr.2012.36.4.342.


Ginseng, the root of the Panax ginseng, has been a popular and widely-used traditional herbal medicine in Korea, China, and Japan for thousands of years. Now it has become popular as a functional health food and is used globally as a natural medicine. Evidence is accumulating in the literature on the physiological and pharmacological effects of P. ginseng on neurodegenerative diseases. Possible ginseng- or ginsenosides-mediated neuroprotective mechanisms mainly involve maintaining homeostasis, and anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-apoptotic, and immune-stimulatory activities. This review considers publications dealing with the various actions of P. ginseng that are indicative of possible neurotherapeutic efficacies in neurodegenerative diseases and neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and multiple sclerosis.

Keywords: Ginsenosides; Neurodegeneration; Neuroprotection; Panax ginseng.