Ginseng has been traditionally used for several millennia in Asian countries, including Korea, China, and Japan, not only as a nourishing and tonifying agent but also as a therapeutic agent for a variety of diseases. In recent years, the various effects of red ginseng including immunity improvement, fatigue relief, memory improvement, blood circulation improvement, antioxidation, mitigation of menopausal women's symptoms, and anticancer an effect have been reported in clinical as well as basic research. Around the world, there is a trend of the rising consumption of health functional foods on the level of disease prevention along with increased interest in maintaining health because of population aging and the awareness of lifestyle diseases and chronic diseases. Red ginseng occupies an important position as a health functional food. But till now, international ginseng monographs including those of the World Health Organization have been based on data on white ginseng and have mentioned red ginseng only partly. Therefore, the red ginseng monograph is needed for component of red ginseng, functionality certified as a health functional food in the Korea Food and Drug Administration, major efficacy, action mechanism, and safety. The present red ginseng monograph will contribute to providing accurate information on red ginseng to agencies, businesses, and consumers both in South Korea and abroad.
Keywords: Health functional foods; Red ginseng; Red ginseng monograph.