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Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2016;14(1):81-94. doi: 10.1586/14787210.2016.1118345. Epub 2015 Dec 2.

The antimicrobial properties of ginseng and ginseng extracts.

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a Department of Biology , Lakehead University , Thunder Bay , Ontario , Canada P7B 5E1.
b Medical Sciences Division , Northern Ontario School of Medicine , Thunder Bay , Ontario , Canada P7B 5E1.


Ginseng is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine as a tonic and an adaptogen to reduce fatigue and boost the immune system. In recent years, ginseng extracts are shown to have both bacteriostatic and bactericidal actions and seem to exert their effects by several mechanisms, including disruption of biofilms, inhibition of quorum-sensing and virulence factors, and altering motility. Also, ginseng extracts are shown to have antifungal properties as demonstrated by their ability to inhibit the growth of several mold and yeast species. Extracts from ginseng root have a strong antiviral activity against the RNA viruses in cell cultures and animal models. In addition to the antimicrobial activities, ginseng extracts are shown to possess immunomodulatory properties involved in the amelioration of infections. The present paper describes the antimicrobial effects of ginseng and its extracts.


Antibacterial; antifungal; antiviral; ginseng; ginseng extracts; ginsenosides; immunomodulator; polysaccharides

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