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P022 Ginseng for Health Care: A Systematic Review of Randomised Controlled Trials in Korean Literature
  1. J Choi1,
  2. T Choi1,
  3. M Lee1,
  4. T Kim2
  1. 1Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon, South Korea
  2. 2Department of Spine Center, Mokhuri Neck & Back Hospital, Seoul, South Korea


Objective This systematic review was performed to summarise RCTs assessing the efficacy and safety of ginseng treatment in the Korean literature.

Method The study involved systematic searches conducted in eight Korean Medical databases. The methodological quality of all of the included studies was assessed using the Cochrane ROB tool. We included all RCTs on any type of ginseng compared to placebo, active treatment or no treatment in healthy individuals or patients regardless of conditions.

Results In total, 30 randomised clinical trials were included. Nine RCTs assessed the effects of ginseng on exercise capacity, cognitive performance, somatic symptoms, quality of life, and sleeping in healthy persons. Six RCTs tested ginseng compared with placebo for erectile dysfunction, while another four studies evaluated the effects of ginseng against no treatment for gastric and colon cancer. Two RCTs compared the effect of red ginseng on diabetes mellitus with no treatment or placebo, and the other nine RCTs assessed the effects of ginseng compared with placebo or no treatment on various conditions. However, the 20 newly added trials may provide useful information for future trials.

Discussion Most RCTs published in the Korean literature have not been included in up-to-date systematic reviews. Although the quality of RCTs published in the Korean literature was generally poor, this review is useful for researchers to access studies that were originally published in languages that they would otherwise be unable to read and due to the paucity of evidence on this subject.

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