The Effect of Korean Red Ginseng on Symptoms and Inflammation in Patients With Allergic Rhinitis

Ear Nose Throat J. 2021 Sep;100(5_suppl):712S-719S. doi: 10.1177/0145561320907172. Epub 2020 Feb 19.


Korean red ginseng (KRG) has been traditionally used in Korea for health improvement. However, the clinical effect of KRG intake on the symptoms in patients with allergic rhinitis remains unknown. Our study was performed to identify the clinical effects of KRG on patients with allergic rhinitis and to examine the effect of KRG on allergic inflammatory reaction. We evaluated 60 patients with allergic rhinitis. All the patients were treated for 4 weeks. The patients were divided into 3 groups, according to the medication. Twenty patients were treated with KRG, 20 patients with the placebo, and 20 patients with the antihistamine. The patients recorded their symptoms in a daily symptom diary card. The patients checked the peak nasal inspiratory flow rate 2 times a day. Total serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) and serum-specific IgE were measured by ImmunoCap method before and after 4-week medication. The Th2 cytokines interleukin-4 (IL-4), IL-5, and IL-10 were checked in the serum before and after the 4-week treatment. The eosinophil counts in the nasal smears were checked. Korean red ginseng group has shown the significant improvement in rhinorrhea, nasal itching, and eye itching. Both the antihistamine and KRG groups showed a significant decrease in total IgE level at the end of treatment. The serum IL-4 level and eosinophil counts in the nasal smears were significantly decreased both in the antihistamine and in the KRG groups. In conclusion, KRG might be a useful treatment modality for patients with allergic rhinitis.

Keywords: Korean red ginseng; allergic rhinitis; cytokines; ginsenoside.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / chemically induced
  • Adult
  • Cytokines / blood
  • Eosinophils
  • Female
  • Histamine Antagonists / adverse effects
  • Histamine Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nausea / chemically induced
  • Panax* / adverse effects
  • Plant Extracts / adverse effects
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Pulmonary Ventilation
  • Rhinitis, Allergic / drug therapy*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic / immunology


  • Cytokines
  • Histamine Antagonists
  • Plant Extracts
  • Immunoglobulin E