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Molecules. 2019 Jul 3;24(13). pii: E2443. doi: 10.3390/molecules24132443.

Chemical Structures and Pharmacological Profiles of Ginseng Saponins.

Author information

1
School of Biological Sciences, University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam Road, Hong Kong SAR, China.
2
State Key Laboratory of Cellular Stress Biology and Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Innovative Drug Target Research, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China.
3
School of Biological Sciences, University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam Road, Hong Kong SAR, China. awong1@hku.hk.

Abstract

Ginseng is a group of cosmopolitan plants with more than a dozen species belonging to the genus Panax in the family Araliaceae that has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Among the bioactive constituents extracted from ginseng, ginseng saponins are a group of natural steroid glycosides and triterpene saponins found exclusively throughout the plant. Studies have shown that these ginseng saponins play a significant role in exerting multiple therapeutic effects. This review covers their chemical structure and classification, as well as their pharmacological activities, including their regulatory effects on immunomodulation, their anticancer effects, and their functions in the central nervous and cardiovascular systems. The general benefits of ginseng saponins for boosting physical vitality and improving quality of life are also discussed. The review concludes with fruitful directions for future research in the use of ginseng saponins as effective therapeutic agents.

KEYWORDS:

chemical structure; ginseng saponins; pharmacological action

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