American Journal of
Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

Research and Clinical Applications of Ren Shen (Ginseng)

Neal J Sivula, DVM, PhD


Ginseng is found in two forms, Ren Shen (Chinese Ginseng) and Xi Yang Shen (American Ginseng). Ren Shen (Ginseng) is warming, while Xi Yang Shen (Ginseng) is cooling. Ren Shen (Ginseng) is native to China and has been used in Chinese herbal medicine for more than 2,000 years. Components of Ren Shen (Ginseng) include flavenoids, polysaccharides, ginsenosides and an essential oil. The ginsenosides are the most important component and currently 28 ginsenosides have been identified. Because of it economic value, Ren Shen (Ginseng) is commonly adulterated with local plants rarely used in Chinese herbal medicine. Ren Shen (Ginseng) is one of the most researched herbs in Chinese Medicine. Studies have shown this herb positively affects brain function, limits the adrenal stress response, has anti-neoplastic properties, is an antioxidant and stimulates insulin release. Ren Shen (Ginseng) has also been shown to enhance killer T-cell activity, stimulate interferon production and enhance antiviral effects. From a traditional Chinese medicine perspective, the herb is slightly warm, sweet and slightly bitter in taste and enters the body primarily through the Lung and Spleen Channels. The main actions of Ren Shen (Ginseng) are to tonify primal Qi, nourish Yin, revive collapse, generate Body Fluids, calm the Spirit and strengthen resolve. Potential side effects include hypertension, vomiting, insomnia, headache, nervousness, bleeding or hypoglycemia, but in general Ren Shen (Ginseng) is a very safe herb.

Sivula N. Research and clinical applications of Ren Shen (Ginseng). Am J Trad Chin Vet Med 2012; 7(2):33-37

Research and Clinical Applications of Ren Shen (Ginseng)

Neal J Sivula, DVM, PhD

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