Panax ginseng clinical trials: Current status and future perspectives

Biomed Pharmacother. 2020 Dec;132:110832. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2020.110832. Epub 2020 Oct 12.


Panax Ginseng has been widely used in Asian for thousand years. In order to evaluate the efficacy and safety of ginseng, more and more ginseng clinical trials (GCTs) have been conducted recently. However, there is a lack of an extensive review summarizing the current status for the quality and quantity of ginseng clinical researches until now. Therefore, clinical trials for ginseng were retrieved from International Clinical Trials Registration Platform and collected through the system retrieval method of Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses in PubMed, the Web of Science, the Korean Studies Information Service System, and SCOPUS database. We summarized the clinical characteristics of 152 registered ginseng clinical trials (R-GCTs) and119 published ginseng clinical trials (P-GCTs), such as source register, recruitment status, primary purpose, duration, sample size, conditions, and outcomes. Among them, ginseng has mainly been studied in clinical trials in the single-center and less than 200 subjects. In the most GCTs, healthy subjects and patients with various conditions, such as cardiovascular and metabolic diseases are administrated with ginseng, ginsenosides or the prescriptions containing ginseng for less than 3 months to investigate the protective and therapeutic functions of ginseng. 95 (79.8 %) published articles showed that ginseng has plenty of positive effects. This review could assist the basic researchers and clinical doctors to understand current status and problem of ginseng clinical research, and perhaps could benefit for the reasonable and accurate design of future clinical studies.

Keywords: Clinical trials; Current status; Panax ginseng; Perspectives.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Ginsenosides / isolation & purification
  • Ginsenosides / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Panax / chemistry*
  • Plant Preparations / chemistry
  • Plant Preparations / pharmacology*


  • Ginsenosides
  • Plant Preparations