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J Ginseng Res. 2016 Jan;40(1):68-75. doi: 10.1016/j.jgr.2015.05.006. Epub 2015 May 22.

Comparative phenolic compound profiles and antioxidative activity of the fruit, leaves, and roots of Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng Meyer) according to cultivation years.

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Department of Applied Bioscience, College of Life and Environmental Science, Konkuk University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Ginseng and Medicinal Plants Research Institute, Gangwon ARES, Cheorwon, Republic of Korea.
Department of Herbal Crop Research, NIHHS, RDA, Eumseong, Republic of Korea.



The study of phenolic compounds profiles and antioxidative activity in ginseng fruit, leaves, and roots with respect to cultivation years, and has been little reported to date. Hence, this study examined the phenolic compounds profiles and 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free-radical-scavenging activities in the fruit, leaves, and roots of Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng Meyer) as a function of cultivation year.


Profiling of 23 phenolic compounds in ginseng fruit, leaves, and roots was investigated using ultra-high performance liquid chromatography with the external calibration method. Antioxidative activity of ginseng fruit, leaves, and roots were evaluated using the method of DPPH free-radical-scavenging activity.


The total phenol content in ginseng fruit and leaves was higher than in ginseng roots (p < 0.05), and the phenol content in the ginseng samples was significantly correlated to the DPPH free-radical-scavenging activity (r = 0.928****). In particular, p-coumaric acid (r = 0.847****) and ferulic acid (r = 0.742****) greatly affected the DPPH activity. Among the 23 phenolic compounds studied, phenolic acids were more abundant in ginseng fruit, leaves, and roots than the flavonoids and other compounds (p < 0.05). In particular, chlorogenic acid, gentisic acid, p- and m-coumaric acid, and rutin were the major phenolic compounds in 3-6-yr-old ginseng fruit, leaves, and roots.


This study provides basic information about the antioxidative activity and phenolic compounds profiles in fruit, leaves, and roots of Korean ginseng with cultivation years. This information is potentially useful to ginseng growers and industries involved in the production of high-quality and nutritional ginseng products.


Panax ginseng; antioxidant activity; cultivation years; ginseng parts; phenolic profiles

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