Neuroprotective Effects of Ginseng Phytochemicals: Recent Perspectives

Molecules. 2019 Aug 14;24(16):2939. doi: 10.3390/molecules24162939.


As our global population ages, the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases is critical to our society. In recent years, researchers have begun to study the role of biologically active chemicals from plants and herbs to gain new inspiration and develop new therapeutic drugs. Ginseng (Panax ginseng C.A. Mey.) is a famous Chinese herbal medicine with a variety of pharmacological activities. It has been used to treat various diseases since ancient times. Extensive research over the years has shown that ginseng has potential as a neuroprotective drug, and its neuroprotective effects can be used to treat and prevent neurological damage or pathologically related diseases (such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, depression symptoms, and strokes). Moreover, evidence for the medicinal and health benefits of ginsenoside, its main active ingredient, in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases is increasing, and current clinical results have not reported any serious adverse reactions to ginseng. Therefore, we briefly review the recent research and development on the beneficial effects and mechanisms of ginseng and its main active ingredient, ginsenoside, in the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, hoping to provide some ideas for the discovery and identification of ginseng neuroprotection.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Parkinson’s disease; ginseng; ginsenoside; neuroprotective effects.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clinical Studies as Topic
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Ginsenosides / chemistry
  • Ginsenosides / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Molecular Structure
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / drug therapy
  • Neuroprotective Agents / chemistry*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Panax / chemistry*
  • Phytochemicals / chemistry*
  • Phytochemicals / pharmacology*
  • Phytochemicals / therapeutic use
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Ginsenosides
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Phytochemicals
  • Plant Extracts