OBJECTIVE There exists a close relationship between drying of a fresh herb and its preservation and extraction of efficient components. In order to investigate the influences of different drying methods on extraction and separation of ginsenosides, three drying processes, such as drying in the sun, drying in oven and microwave drying, were used to dry fresh ginsengs. METHODS The ginsenosides of the dry ginsengs were extracted by poaching and microwave heating, and were separated by foam separation. The concentrations of ginsenosides were measured. RESULTS Microwave drying saved both time and labor, and was favorable for release of ginsenosides. The ginsenosides could be extracted from the dry ginsengs in a shorter time by microwave heating than poaching. The ginsenosides Rb1, Rb2, Rd could be observably concentrated by foam separation. CONCLUSION Microwave drying and microwave assisted extraction are efficient and economic methods with a high recovery yield of ginsenosides.