Researchers from South Korea report that red ginseng (Panax ginseng) can be used as a natural treatment for acne. In their study, which was published in the journal Phytotherapy Research, they identified the active ingredients of red ginseng, compared its antimicrobial effects to other substances, and determined its potential efficacy as a natural treatment product.
Acne, a chronic inflammatory disease of the skin, develops when bacteria abnormally grow in hair follicles.
The results of the study showed that red ginseng ethanol extract exhibited similar, or even better, antimicrobial activity against Propionibacterium acnes compared to benzoyl peroxide or azelaic acid.
Moreover, the antimicrobial component derived from red ginseng selectively displayed a high antimicrobial effect on P. acnes.
The Korean researchers also found that the substances responsible for the antimicrobial activity of red ginseng were panaxynol and panaxydol.
The researchers also examined the effect of red ginseng on people with acne symptoms.
They recruited 20 participants and treated them with cream that contains 3 milligrams per gram (mg/g) of red ginseng ethanol extract for four weeks.
Results of the treatment showed that oxidized sebum contents and redness of the skin were reduced.
In addition, it effectively improved the symptoms of the early to middle stage of acne.
In conclusion, these findings suggest that red ginseng extract can effectively improve the symptoms of acne due to its panaxynol and panaxydol contents.
Hou JH, Shin H, Jang KH, Park CK, Koo B, Shin H, Yuk SH, Lee KY. ANTI-ACNE PROPERTIES OF HYDROPHOBIC FRACTION OF RED GINSENG (PANAX GINSENG C.A. MEYER) AND ITS ACTIVE COMPONENTS. Phytotherapy Research. 03 December 2018. DOI: 10.1002/ptr.6243