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Korean Ginseng Standardized Extract

Korean Ginseng Standardized Extract

COMMON NAME
Ginseng, Asian ginseng, Korean ginseng, Asiatic ginger, Chinese ginseng, Wander-of-the-world

LATIN NAME
Panax ginseng

ORIGIN
Asian mountain forests, Korea

PART OF PLANT USED
Root

DESCRIPTION
Panax ginseng is a deciduous perennial shrub whose fleshy root requires 4-6 years of cultivation to reach maturity. Traditionally the wild root was consumed to vitalize, strengthen, and rejuvenate the entire body. Widely cultivated, ginseng is now used as a natural preventive, restorative remedy and valued for its adaptogenic properties. Korean ginseng is more stimulating and increases the "yang" energy while American ginseng (Panax quinquefolium) increases the "yin" energy. Korean ginseng is most suitable for males and older people.

HISTORICAL USES
Adaptogen, general tonic
Anti-stress
Anti-fatigue, restore vigor
Restorative
Increase resistance to infections
Slight CNS stimulant
Increase mental and physical work capacity
Increase concentration and mental activity
Enhance mental acuity and intellectual performance
Improve physical performance
Immunoregulator, mainly immunostimulant
Promote appetite
Anti-oxidant
Increase reaction times
Lower blood cholesterol
Radioprotective
Regulates adrenal glands, helps prevent exhaustion

ACTIVE PROPERTIES
Korean Ginseng is used for conditions of tiredness, weakness, debility, convalescence, low resistance, aging, stress, poor metabolism, and lack of concentration. Ginseng extracts have been shown to have antioxidant activity and to protect against radiation damage. European clinical trials have found an increase in reaction times, alertness, concentration, and visual and motor coordination.

ACTIVE SUBSTANCE
Glycosides (Ginsenosides), saponins, phytosterol

PHARMACOLOGY
The main active ingredients of ginseng are the more than 20 saponin triterpenoid glycosides called ginsenosides whose names relate to their chromatographic position (Ra, Rb, etc.). Rb1 group of ginsenosides have more sedative and metabolic effects on the central nervous system, while the Rg1 group of ginsenosides are more arousing and stimulating at low doses. Rb1 Ginsenosides have CNS-depressing activity, have weak anti-inflammatory action, and increase digestive tract peristalsis. Other studies have shown that Rb1 ginsenosides also are anti-convulsant, antipyretic, anti-psychotic, analgesic, and ulcer protective. These activities contrast with those of Rg1 ginsenosides which have weak CNS-stimulating activity, protect against fatigue, and cause an increase in motor activity. Panax ginseng (Korean) contains higher amounts of the more stimulating Rg1 ginsenosides compared to American ginseng (Panax quinquefolium) which has a higher amount of the more sedative Rb1 ginsenosides. Both Rg1 and Rb1 ginsenosides act on the adrenal and pituitary glands and help them respond to stress more rapidly.

TOXICITY, CAUTIONS & CONTRA-INDICATIONS
No reported adverse effects. May cause a slight insomnia if taken at bedtime. A report by Siegal, entitled The Ginseng Abuse Syndrome, has been shown to have no merit.

DIRECTIONS FOR USE
200-500 mg./day of extract (15%); 1-2 gm./day dried root

BIO-ENHANCING AGENTS
Licorice

PROCESSING
Six-year roots are harvested and extracted, then standardized at 23-27% ginsenosides and ratio between Rb1 content and Rg1 content not exceeding 2.

STANDARD
15% ginsenosides, mainly Rg1

ANALYSIS STANDARDIZED EXTRACT

Product:
TypeStandardized extract
Standardization15% ginsenosides
Characterlight brown fine powder with good flow characteristics
Tastebitter and slightly sweet with an aromatic undertone
Loss on drying:<=7% by drying in vacuum @ 100-105°- 3 hrs
pH 5.0 - 6.5
Ashno more than 15%
Heavy Metalsno more than 5 ppm
Microbiological Specifications (Pharm. Acta. Helv. 51(3):33-40. 1976)
Gram negativesabsent
Escherichia coliabsent
Staphylococcus aureusabsent
Pseudomonas aeruginosaabsent
Salmonella sp.absent
Storagesealed in a cool, dry, dark place



SCIENTIFIC REFERENCES

Baldwin, CS et al. (1986) What pharmacists should know about Ginseng. Pharm. J. Nov 8th:582.

Brekhman, I.I. and Dardymov, I.V. (1969) New substances of plant origin which increase nonspecific resistance. Ann Rev Pharm. 9:419.

Hia, et al. (1979) Stimulation of pituitary adrenocortical system by ginseng saponins. Endocrinol. Japonica. 26(6):661.

Mowrey, D. (1990) Guaranteed Potency Herbs. A Compilation of writings on the subject.

Shibata, S. et al. (1985) Chemistry and pharmacology of Panax. In: Economic and Medicinal Plant Research, Vol. 1.

Weiner, M. (1990) Weiner's Herbal. Mill Valley: Quantum Books.

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