Chapter 3. Ginsenosides: Health Benefits and Role in Disease Prevention


Li Huang, PhD, Hui-Jing Li, PhD, and Yan-Chao Wu, PhD
Weihai Key Laboratory of Active Factor of Marine Products, Weihai Marine Organism and Medical Technology Research Institute, Harbin Institute of Technology, Weihai, P. R. China

Part of the book: Advances in Health and Disease. Volume 62

Ginseng is one of the most precious medicines and is highly valuable in the global market. Ginseng shows various pharmacological effects and high application value, which is widely used in medicines, healthy foods, cosmetics and other fields. There are different chemical components in ginseng, including ginsenosides, polysaccharides, amino acids, volatile oils, trace elements, etc. Among them, ginsenosides are the most active compounds with many bioactivities, including liver protection, anti-cancer, anti-oxidation, anti-aging, etc. Particularly, ginsenosides monomers can play a protective role in multiple organs. For example, Rg1, Rb1 and Rg3 reveal significant renal function protection. Additionally, Rh2 and Rg3 show obvious anticancer effects, greatly promoting cancer cell apoptosis, inhibiting their proliferation, invasion and metastasis, and finally enhancing human immunity. Furthermore, ginsenosides exhibit good clinical application in nervous system, cardiovascular system, immune system, endocrine system and digestive system, and have been applied in the treatment and prevention of various diseases. Therefore, ginsenosides are expected to become functional components with health benefits and medicinal values. Since ginsenosides play an important role in human systems, further exploration reveals great potential in medicines and healthy foods. With this in mind, the health benefits and bioactivities of ginsenosides are totally described. This will provide a promising guidance for the further development of ginsenosides in clinical care.

Keywords: ginsenosides, pharmacological effect, anti-cancer, clinical treatment


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