Ginsenosides/Ginseng as Cancer Therapy

Share Button

“Based on our review, we found good evidence from in vitro and in vivo animal studies showing enhanced antitumor effect when ginseng is used in combination with some anticancer drugs…”

A pancreatic cancer coaching caregiver asked me about ginsenosides/ginseng last week. After quite a bit of research I couldn’t say much about ginseng and cancer. When it comes to managing your cancer, ginseng is an enigma. There is some research that supports the use of ginseng as in integrative therapy, and a complementary that to boost one’s energy. There is even some research that points to ginseng as a protector of our nervous symptoms. All these properties are beneficial to the cancer patient undergoing conventional cancer therapies.

The challenges is that there is limited research about all of the above beneficial properties of ginseng. And without research that explains specific benefits to cancer patients, we are out-of-luck.

When I purchased a dozen vials of ginseng for my own cancer therapy about 15 years ago,  I have to be honest and admit that I was despirate and added the package only because I was seeing the Chinese doctor who had just prescribed a bunch of herbs for me. I sort of felt like I should buy something from the store just because I was there. I had heard that ginseng was “good for me” but I knew no specifics.

Rather than writing this post to educate people who come to the page to learn, I have to turn this process back on you, the reader.

Do you know anything, positive or negative about ginseng? Do you have any personal experience to share? Scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:



Asian Ginseng

“This fact sheet provides basic information about Asian ginseng—common names, usefulness and safety, and resources for more information…”

Ginseng and Anticancer Drug Combination to Improve Cancer Chemotherapy: A Critical Review

“Ginseng, a well-known herb, is often used in combination with anticancer drugs to enhance chemotherapy. Its wide usage as well as many documentations are often cited to support its clinical benefit of such combination therapy. However the literature based on objective evidence to make such recommendation is still lacking. The present review critically evaluated relevant studies reported in English and Chinese literature on such combination. Based on our review, we found good evidence from in vitro and in vivoanimal studies showing enhanced antitumor effect when ginseng is used in combination with some anticancer drugs. However, there is insufficient clinical evidence of such benefit as very few clinical studies are available. Future research should focus on clinically relevant studies of such combination to validate the utility of ginseng in cancer.

Ginsenosides: A Potential Neuroprotective Agent

“Ginseng is a traditional Chinese medicine with a wide range of pharmacological activities. Ginsenosides are the major constituents of ginseng. Ginsenosides have the unique biological activity and medicinal value, such as antitumor, anti-inflammatory, antioxidation, and inhibition of cell apoptosis…

Ginsenosides are the major active ingredients of ginseng and are extracted from roots, fruits, stems, and leaves of ginseng…

Conclusion-Ginseng is a traditional Chinese medicine. Modern pharmacological studies have shown that it has a regulatory effect on the central nervous system. Ginseng can strengthen the cerebral cortex excitatory and inhibitory processes and reduce the fatigue of the brain process. The protective effect of ginseng is mainly due to the role of ginsenosides. Recently, studies have shown that ginsenosides have effects on the nervous system, the cardiovascular system, and the immune system. And few studies have found that ginsenosides are toxic…”

Pharmacology of ginsenosides: a literature review

Panax ginseng (Renshen, Chinese ginseng) is commonly used either by itself or in combination with other medicinal ingredients as a key herb in Chinese medicine. A member of the Araliaceae family, the genus name Panax was derived from the Greek word meaning “all-healing” first coined by the Russian botanist Carl A. Meyer. The Panax family consists of at least nine species, including P. ginseng, Panax quinquefolium (Xiyangshen, American ginseng), Panax notoginseng (Sanqi) and Panax japonicus (Japanese ginseng). The worldwide sale of ginseng products has estimated to reach US$ 300 million in 2001 [,]…

Conclusion- As partial agonists to multiple steroidal receptors, ginsenosides are important natural resources to be developed into new modalities, and may replace steroids in the current regimen to lessen undesirable side effects. However, low bioavailablilities of ginsenosides and its metabolites means that most of these compounds do not reach the intended biological system when administered orally. The results of ginsenoside researches will become physiological relevant only when (1) the pure compounds of the ginsenosides is available in large quantities; (2) the ginsenosides are biochemically stabilized to avoid degradation and enhance absorption in the gastrointestinal tract; and/or (3) special delivery methods for the ginsenosides to reach the areas of treatment…”


Leave a Comment: