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January 2013

Red Ginseng May Benefit Postmenopausal Women

According to new research, red ginseng may reduce menopausal symptoms and improve cholesterol.

The word "ginseng" is derived from ren-shen, the Chinese word for the plant, which means "man-root," referring to the root's human-like shape. Panax ginseng has been used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for more than 2,000 years. Its diverse uses include increasing appetite and strength, enhancing memory and physical performance, reducing fatigue and stress, and improving overall quality of life.

The recent study included 72 postmenopausal women, randomly assigned to a ginseng group or a control group. The ginseng group took three grams of red ginseng daily, while the control group took a placebo pill daily. Researchers monitored participant menopausal symptoms and measures of cardiovascular health.

After 12 weeks of supplementation, the red ginseng group had significantly improved menopausal symptoms, compared to the control group. Furthermore, the women taking red ginseng had significantly lower total cholesterol and low-density lipoproteins (LDL, or "bad cholesterol").

Further research on red ginseng's effect on menopause is warranted before a definitive conclusion can be made.

For more information about integrative therapies for menopause, please visit Natural Standard's Comparative Effectiveness Database.


  1. Kim SY, Seo SK, Choi YM et al. Effects of red ginseng supplementation on menopausal symptoms and cardiovascular risk factors in postmenopausal women: a double-blind randomized controlled trial. Menopause. 2012 Apr;19(4):461-6. 
  2. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine. 

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