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Eur J Pharmacol. 2006 Feb 15;531(1-3):160-5. Epub 2006 Jan 18.

Identification of anxiolytic ingredients in ginseng root using the elevated plus-maze test in mice.

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Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ehime University School of Medicine, Toon-City, Ehime 791-0295, Japan.


Ginseng root has been widely used for the management of anxiety and emotional instability, but there is little experimental evidence supporting these clinical applications. We pharmacologically identified the anxiolytic components in ginseng root, using the elevated plus-maze test. Male ICR albino mice and the following drugs were used: diazepam (0.5, 1 and 1.5 mg/kg, p.o.); red ginseng powder (300, 600 and 1200 mg/kg, p.o.); crude saponin and non-saponin ginseng fractions (50, 100 and 200 mg/kg, i.p., for each preparation); and pure ginsenoside Rb1, Rg1, and Ro (2.5, 5 and 10 mg/kg, i.p., for each preparation). Ginseng powder and crude saponin ginseng fraction significantly increased the frequency and duration of open arm entries. Among the three types of pure ginsenoside, only ginsenoside Rb1 significantly increased both the frequency and duration of open arm entries. Our results clearly indicate that ginsenoside Rb1 is one of the active anxiolytic components of ginseng root.

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