Ginseng Research

Ginseng is one of the most popular nutritional supplements with global sales exceeding $2 billion annually.  Consumers have historically used ginseng to boost their immune systems in order to combat viral infections that cause colds or flu or to promote better general health and more recently the use of ginseng has become popular amongst cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.  Ginseng is available in two forms, natural or white ginseng, and red ginseng, which is prepared by steaming natural or white ginseng before it dries, and there is significant disagreement as to which form works best.  The Tennessee Center for Botanical Medicine Research specializes in assessing the ability of nutritional supplements and pure compounds prepared from botanicals to act as antibacterial, anticancer, antifungal, antiviral, immunostimulant or immunosuppressant agents.  We have determined that ginseng extracts are very strong immunostimulants.  Our current research focusses on identifying which of the primary ingredients in ginseng, the complex polysaccharides or the ginsenosides, are responsible for the immunostimulatory activity of ginseng and whether white or red ginseng extracts are more potent immunostimulants.  GreenWay Herbal Products, LLC, has provided a research grant to study the immunostimulatory ability of ginseng extracts and whether they can be used to boost the immune system.