Trading has impelled the development of analytical procedures for fast identification and counterfeit detection of herbal medicinal products. Panax ginseng has attracted the interest of many people due to its therapeutic properties; thus, in this study a solvent free near-infrared spectroscopic procedure for fingerprinting P. ginseng has been developed using raw materials in order to ensure its quality control. Proper identification of P. ginseng, mixture detection and semi-quantitative determination of binary mixtures have been achieved using chemometrics. Raw near-infrared spectra were normalized and the classification ability of three different pattern recognition procedures was assayed. Soft independent modeling of class analogy (SIMCA), partial least squares discriminant analysis and discriminant analysis reached equal sensitivity value (100%); however, SIMCA obtained the best general classification success rate (95%) and had the higher specificity (100%) and ability to detect debased samples (80%). Moreover, the semi-quantification of mixtures performed with multivariate curve resolution presented a mean percent error of 5.53% and showed that the mixture composition should change in amounts larger than 3.64% in order to retrieve proper results. The overall results suggest that NIR spectroscopy can be used to authenticate P. ginseng. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.