Ren Shen

Ginseng Radix, Ginseng




LD50: 16.5mg/kg (mice/Ginseng extract/hypodermic injection).

Chemical Composition

20-glucoginsenoside-Rf ; Notoginsenoside-R1, R4; Panaxynol; Panaxydol; Falcarinol; Heptadec-1-ene-4,6-diyn-3,9-diol; Panaxydol chlorohydrine; Panaxytriol; Acetyl panaxydol; Ginsenoyne-A-K; (-, (-Guriunene; (-, (-Panasinsene; Caryophyllene; (-farnesene; (-, (-Neoclovene; (-, (-Humulene; (-, (-, (-Selinene; Selina-4(14),7(11)-diene; Caryophyllene alcohol; Bicyclogermacrene; (-, (-guaiene; (-cubebene; (-patchoulene; Eremophilene; (-, (-elemene; (-bisabolene; (-aromadendrene; (-, (-santalene ; (-, (-cadiene; (-maliene; Mayurone; Ledol; Panasinsanol A, B; Ginsenol; Spathulenol; 4 (, 10 (-aromadendranediol,; Neointermedeol; Eicosenoic acid; Citric acid; Fumaric acid; Malic acid; Maleic acid; Succinic acid; Tartaric acid; Salycylic acid; Vanillic acid; Oleic acid; Linoleic acid; Linolenic acid; Palmitoleic acid; Palmitic acid; Palmitin; Linolein; (-, (-dipalmitin; (-sitosterol; Stigmasterol; Campersterol; Daucosterol; Glucose; Fructose; Galactose; Arabinose; Rhamnose; Xylose; Mannose; Sucrose; Maltose; Raffinose; Panose A, B, C, D; Panaxan A-U; Glacturonic acid; Arginine; (-aminobutyric acid; Glutamic acid; Aspartic Acid; Proline; Lysine; (-N-oxalyl-L-(-, (-diaminopropionic acid; N9-formylharman; Ethyl-(-carboline-1-carboxylate; Perlolyrine; Choline; Lysophosphatidyl choline; Phosphatidyl choline; Phosphatidylinositol; Phosphatidyl serine; Phosphatidyl ethanolamine; Phosphatidyl glycerol; Di-phosphatidyl glycerol; Phosphatidic acid; Gomisin, A, N; Ginsenoside-Ro, -Ra1, -Ra2, -Ra3, -Rb1, -Rb2, -Rb3, -Re, -Rd, -Rg3; Guinguenoside-R1, R2; Malonylginsenoside-Rb1, -Rb2, -Rc, -Rd, -Re, -Rf,-Rg1, -Rg2,-Rh1; (8E)-1,8-heptadecadiene-4, 6-diyne-3, 10-diol; (-sitosterol-3-(6-linoleoyl)glucopyranoside; (-sitosterol-3-(6-palmitoyl)glucopyranoside; (-sitosterol-3-(6-palmitoleoyl)glucopyranoside; (-sitosterol-3-(6-stearoyl)glucopyranoside; (-sitosterol-3-6-(oleoyl) glucopyranoside; Stigmasterol-3-(6-linolcoyl)glucopyranoside; Stigmasterol-3-(6-palmitoyl)glucopyranoside; Stigmasterol-3-(6-oleoyl)glucopyranoside; (-, (-dilinoleoyl glycerogalactolipid; (-, (-dilinolenoyl glycerogalactolipid; (-, (-dioleoyl glycerogalactolipid; (-, (-dipalmitoyl glycerogalactolipid. (1)

Inorganic Chemicals

Al, Fe, Co, Cu, Ni, Mn, Cr, P, B, and 26 inorganic elements and vitamins B1, B2, C, and nicotinic acid


1. Reported adverse effects include erythema, fatal poisoning, persistent hiccups, severe edema, hypokalemia, diabetic relapse, diseases of the five sense organs, melanosis, hypertension, allergic reactions, high fever, etc. (2) , (3) , (4) , (5) , (6) , (7) , (8) , (9) , (10) , (11) , (12) , (13)

2. An analysis of the reported cases involving adverse effects found: 1) 52.9% of the cases involved the nervous system, 11.8% the circulatory system, 8.8% the digestive system, 8.8% shock and death, 17.7% others; 2) the age of the patients involved ranged from 1 month to 74 years old; 3) the number of cases involving men was 1.7 times greater than that involving women; 4) all cases involved oral administration with one exception, wherein intramuscular injection was the mode of administration; 5) dosage ranged from 3 to 40 grams; and 6) the adverse effects occurred from several minutes to 30 days after treatment. (14)


Effects on the central nervous system

Depending on which active component of Ginseng is exerting the predominant pharmacological action, Ginseng can have an excitatory or an inhibitory effect on the central nervous system. (15)

Anti-oxidation effect

Ginseng enhances the body's immunity and adaptability, and counteracts lipid peroxidation. (16)

Anti-aging effect

Ginseng inhibits plasma cyclic nucleoside-phosphate. (17) The water decoction of Ginseng can significantly enhance the activity of liver cell DNA methylase in mice of physiological renal deficiency. (18)

Effects on Alzheimer's disease

Administered to patients of Alzheimer's disease, Ginseng can regulate their central cholinergy level and the change in the monoamine nerve transmitter. (19)

Anti-neoplastic effect

Ginseng significantly inhibits S180 and H22 sarcomas with an average inhibition rate of 24.88% and 41.10%, respectively. (20)

Promoting intelligence

Research on central nervous transmitter, protein and cerebral nucleic acid synthesis, and the second messenger system shows that Ginseng promotes intelligence. (21)

Regulating endocrine

As rats age, their plasma T3, T4 cortisol levels decrease; Ginseng is observed to be able to reverse this trend. (22)

Lowering blood sugar

Administered at the dosage of 30g/kg, Ginseng can significantly lower the blood sugar level in mice of alloxan-induced diabetes. The same effect is not observed in healthy mice. (23)

Effects on endotoxins

Although Ginseng extract is not known to be capable of destroying directly the structure of endotoxins, it does counteract induced heat, decrease in white blood cell count, and shock. (24)

Effects on myocardial ischemia

Ginseng can lower the cAMP level ischemic cardiac muscles. (25)

Effects on protein glycosylation

Ginseng inhibits both human serum albumin and rat crystalline. (26)


  1. Editorial Committee of Chinese Materia Medica. State Drug Administration of China. Chinese Materia Medica. Shanghai: Science and Technology Press; 1998.
  2. Zhang Yuan Kui. Journal of Zhejiang College of TCM. 1983;(6):32.
  3. Zhen Jun Yong. Zhejiang Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1984;19(9):417.
  4. Liu Yu Ying. Hebei Journal of Integrated Medicine. 1996;5(3):411.
  5. Xu Xin Jian. Zhejiang Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1984;19(9):417.
  6. Miao Yi Qin. Traditional Chinese Medicine Bulletin. 1987;12(4):58.
  7. Miao Yi Qin. Traditional Chinese Medicine Bulletin. 1987;12(4):58.
  8. Mao Jiong, et al. China Journal of Chinese Medicine. 1992;17(5):314.
  9. Jing Hui Yu. Shanxi Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1994;15(8):376.
  10. Jin Ming Zhu. Sichuan Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1994;12(9):49-50.
  11. Wu Si Xin, et al. China Journal of Integrated Medicine. 1995;159(9):531.
  12. Wang Zhi Biao. China Journal of Integrated Medicine. 1996;16(2):73.
  13. Zhang Xiu Fen. Xinjiang Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1998;16(3):26-27.
  14. Zhang Zhen Kang, et al. Journal of Shizhen Medicine. 1999;10(4)311.
  15. Ni Xiao Hu, et al. Journal of Chinese Materia Medica. 1999;30(3):193-196.
  16. Tian Gang. Journal of Ginseng Research. 1999;11(2):22-24.
  17. Shi Rui Lu, et al. Hunan Journal of Medical Research. 1999;8(1):33-34.
  18. Lin Yi Ping, et al. Journal of Fujian College of TCM. 1999;9(3):12-14.
  19. Liu Ming Ping, et al. Journal of Shizhen Medicine. 1999;10(9):699:700.
  20. Li Feng Yun, et al. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1999;27(5):57.
  21. Li Zhu, et al. Journal of Shengyang University of Pharmacology. 1998;15(1):73-76.
  22. Shi Rui Ru, et al. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1998;26(3):56-57.
  23. Fang Liang, et al. Journal of Yanbian University of Medicine. 1998;21(2):91-92.
  24. Liu Qing Zeng, et al. Tianjing Journal of Pharmacology. 1998;10(4):11-15.
  25. Liu Zheng Xiang, et al. Journal of Clinical Cardioangiology. 1999;15(9):410-412.
  26. Duan You Jin, et al. China Journal of Diabetes. 1998;6(4): 227-229.