Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr. Andrew Watson


Ginseng is one of the most commonly consumed herbal medicines in the world. Consumption is highest in females, thus my purpose was to define the concentration responsive effects of North American alcoholic and aqueous ginseng extracts on preimplantation development in vitro and on pregnancy and post-partum development in the mouse. 2-cell embryos from female mice were cultured with 5 different concentrations of both extracts, ginsenosides Rb1, Rg1 and Re, a combinatorial ginsenoside solution and a polysaccharide fraction. Embryonic development and recovery from treatment was assessed. To investigate in vivo effects of ginseng extracts, females were gavaged with 50 mg/kg and 500 mg/kg of either extract (treatment), gavaged water (sham) or not gavaged (control) for 2 weeks prior to mating and throughout gestation. Gestation period, litter size and pup growth were evaluated. The results demonstrate that typical ginseng consumption levels do not adversely affect fertility or pregnancy in the mouse, however direct exposure to ginseng extract in vitro is detrimental to preimplantation development.