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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 173297, 7 pages
Review Article

Pharmacological Effects of Ginseng on Liver Functions and Diseases: A Minireview

1Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nagasaki International University, 2825-7 Huis Ten Bosch, Sasebo, Nagasaki 859-3298, Japan
2College of Pharmacy, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 305-764, Republic of Korea

Received 8 June 2012; Accepted 10 August 2012

Academic Editor: Chun-Su Yuan

Copyright © 2012 Nguyen Huu Tung et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Ginseng, an ancient and famous medicinal herb in the Orient, has been used as a valuable tonic and for the treatment of various diseases including hepatic disorders. Ginseng saponins, commonly known as ginsenosides, are principal constituents and have believed to be responsible for multiple ginseng health benefits. There are more 40 ginsenosides isolated from ginseng. To date, treatment options for common liver diseases such as cirrhosis, fatty liver, and chronic hepatitis remain problematic. In this regard, ginseng extracts and individual ginsenosides have shown a wide array of beneficial role in the regulation of regular liver functions and the treatment of liver disorders of acute/chronic hepatotoxicity, hepatitis, hepatic fibrosis/cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and so on in various pathways and mechanisms. In this paper, we first outline the pharmacological effects of ginseng and ginsenosides on the liver functions.