Adaptogenic herb ginseng (Panax) as medical food: Status quo and future prospects

Biomed Pharmacother. 2017 Jan;85:120-127. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2016.11.112. Epub 2016 Dec 5.


Ginseng, an herbaceous plant, belonging to the family Araliaceae is a traditional medicinal herb. Also, it is emerging as a functional food and potent adjunct medicine. Saponin ginsenosides (protopanaxadiol and protopanaxatriol) are the signature phytochemicals of this plant. With the surfacing of scientific validations, ginseng is gaining unprecedented attention from consumers as well as researchers. As a number of drug-herb interaction-caused health issues have emerged, the medicinal relevance of this plant has been critically assessed here. In this regard, the recent publications on health benefits of ginseng have been extracted from NCBI and ScienceDirect database. The claimed antioxidant, anti-inflammation, anti-fatigue, antidiabetic, antitumor, immunomodulation, anti-obesity, cardioprotective, antimicrobial, neuroprotective and aphrodisiac properties have been analyzed. This review presents a fair assessment and insights on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) potential of this herb.

Keywords: Anti-inflammation; Anticancer; Antidiabetic; Antioxidant; Ginseng; Neuroprotective.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Complementary Therapies
  • Functional Food*
  • Ginsenosides / chemistry
  • Ginsenosides / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Panax / chemistry*
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry


  • Ginsenosides