Adaptogenic effects of Panax ginseng on modulation of immune functions

J Ginseng Res. 2021 Jan;45(1):32-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jgr.2020.09.004. Epub 2020 Sep 17.


Traditional medicinal practices have used natural products such as adaptogens to treat inflammatory, autoimmune, neurodegenerative, bacterial, and viral diseases since the early days of civilization. Panax ginseng Myer is a common herb used in East Asian countries for millennia, especially in Korea, China, and Japan. Numerous studies indicate that ginseng can modulate the immune system and thereby prevent diseases. Although the human immune system comprises many different types of cells, multiple studies suggest that each type of immune cell can be controlled or stimulated by ginseng or its derivatives. Provisional lists of ginseng's potential for use against viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms suggest it may prove to be a valuable pharmaceutical resource, particularly if higher-quality evidence can be found. Here, we reviewed the role of ginseng as an immune-modulating agent in attempt to provide a valuable starting point for future studies on the herb and the human immune system.

Keywords: Adaptive immunity; Adaptogen; Immune function; Innate immunity; Panax ginseng Myer.

Publication types

  • Review