Summary

Absorption, Distribution, Excretion and Metabolism of Ginseng Saponins 4. Stress and Adaptogenic Activity 5. The Mechanism of Stress Reaction 8. Stress Due to Disease States and Toxic Substances 9. Ginseng and Anti-ulcer Activity 10. Ginseng, Memory and Intellectual Skills 12. Ginseng and the Ageing Process 14. Ginseng and Morphine and Related Opioids 15. Ginseng and the Central Nervous System 16. Ginseng as a Biological Response Modifier 18. Ginseng and the...

Ginseng And Sleep

Many ginseng users claim improved sleep patterns as an advantage gained by regular ingestion of the roots. That Panax ginseng extract given orally in drinking water modulated sleep in unrestrained rats was demonstrated by Rhee et al. (1990) who observed that the amount of wakefulness was significantly decreased during a 12 hr period of light whilst the amount of slow wave sleep was increased. Sleep was apparently unaffected during the dark period. The same group (Lee et al., 1990a) observed...

Former Reader in Pharmacognosy University of Bradford UK

During the 20th century many plants have been investigated in order to assess their potential value as new medicinal agents or as sources of new organic molecules that could be used in contemporary medicine or could act as templates for the synthesis or semi-synthesis of potentially useful therapeutic compounds. Examples include Catharanthus roseus G.Don., the Madagascan periwinkle, source of the indole alkaloids vinblastine and vincristine which have been successfully used in the treatment of...

Temperature Stress Reaction

Ginseng and its extracts can prevent body temperature variations in animals subjected to the stress of cold and heat exposure, although not apparently affecting normal subjects at room temperature. This was realised in 1958 when the Chinese physiologists Sung and Chi published experimental results indicating that powdered P. ginseng root contained active principles with a protective property against temperature stresses. Using male white rats fed either on a normal diet or a normal diet with 5...

Ginseng And The Quality Of Life

Much attention has been directed to the quality of life in stressful societies, communities in which the social pressures, especially in cities, are markedly increased by the accelerated rate of human activities such as advanced high technology processes in the factory or office, rapid transport in crowded areas or on congested high-speed motorways, strained or overpowering interpersonal business relationships in work, entertainment and sport and even family relationships. Unable to slow down...

Absorption Distribution Excretion And Metabolism Of Ginseng Saponins

Ginsenosides are large molecules which are apparently hydrolysed in the acid medium of the stomach, rapidly absorbed into the blood stream and excreted shortly afterwards yet their effects linger for a long period. Unravelling this problem has proved difficult as suitable sensitive radioimmunoassay methods are only slowly being developed. Nevertheless data is steadily accumulating. Administering radioactively labelled ginseng saponins to rats orally, Joo et al. (1982) observed that total...

Ginseng And The Central Nervous System

There are many contradictory accounts of the effects of ginseng, its extracts and its individual isolated ginsenosides on the central nervous system (CNS). Early work recorded that the stimulant effect of ginseng diminished the depressant action of hypnotic drugs such as chloral hydrate and barbiturates. Unlike amphetamine and related anorexies, ginseng can in small doses produce the CNS stimulant effect with no interference with normal sleep. Larger doses decreased motor activity yielding a...

Early Use As A General Tonic

The earliest Chinese texts praised the virtues of ginseng stating that if it was taken constantly it was a tonic to the five viscera (liver, lungs, heart, spleen and kidneys), quieting the spirits, establishing the soul, allaying fear, expelling evil effluvia, opening up the heart and brightening the eyes, benefiting the understanding and invigorating the body and prolonging life (Hou, 1978). Several more recent workers have shewn that ginseng extracts from stems or leaves given orally or...

Ginseng And Antiulcer Activity

It has long been known that gastric ulcers are frequently a reaction to stress. As early as 1827 the American Indian doctor John Williams in the book The American Indian Doctor Dr. John Williams' Last Legacy, A Useful Family Herbal praised ginseng roots as an excellent medicine to alleviate inward hurts and ulcers when used in combination with other herbal drugs such as comfrey, spikenard, elecampane, camomile, angelica and fir boughs in a dilute alcoholic vehicle (Harriman, 1973). Tang and...

Genetic Transformation of Ginseng

It has been clearly demonstrated that Ti plasmid present in Agrobacterium tumefaciens and Ri plasmid from A. rhizogenes cause the transformation of plant cells by introducing their T-DNA into genomic DNA of plant cells. The Ri plasmid is the causative agent of so-called hairy root disease. Hairy root cultures are able to synthesize a variety of plant secondary products. This is of special interest in medicinal plants that synthesize and accumulate pharmaceutically important metabolites in their...

Cryopreservation of Ginseng Explants

With regard to the production of specific compounds, however, cell cultures often show a remarkable instability. The cryopreservation of plant cells is still a routine laboratory method but it is necessary to optimize the individual steps of the cryopreservation procedure. Butenko et al. (1984) who cryopreserved ginseng cells for the first time, used a pretreatment which combines low temperatures (+4 C) with a high sucrose concentration (20 per cent). The use of sucrose as a preculture additive...

Ginseng And Alcohol

Alcohol is foreign to the human system and is normally destroyed in the liver by oxidation yielding acetaldehyde which is in turn destroyed by aldehyde dehydrogenase. Ginseng saponins significantly increased the rate of oxidation of ethanol in alcohol-fed rats (Joo et al., 1982). The liver decontaminates the body, converting chemical waste products to both useful and harmlessly useless products. In response to stress hormones the liver accelerates the conversion of waste and the generation of...

Heptadeca1 en46diyn39diol R H 513 Panaxytriol R OH

Studying extraction techniques for polyacetylene compounds in white ginseng root and using various solvents, Nho and his colleagues (1990) concluded that refluxing with methanol was the most efficient of the seven solvent systems investigated although Soxhlet extraction was almost equally effective. The solvents in order of decreasing efficiency were methanol, methylene dichloride, acetone, diethyl ether, ethyl acetate, methyl cyanide and petroleum ether. Panaxynol and panaxydol were the...

Ginseng Memory And Intellectual Skills

Experiments involving human intellectual skills such as telegraphy and proof reading and animal experiments involving negotiation of a spiral maze confirmed improved mental activity and therefore ginseng pretreatment was suggested for tasks requiring speed, accuracy and stamina. Ginseng administered orally was successfully used to counter the decline in learning ability that is normally produced under physiological stress (Bao et al., 1984a,c). In a 12-week doubleblind, placebo-controlled trial...

Physical Stress Reaction

In earlier times and particularly in indigenous Chinese medicine ginseng root was employed as a remedy for premature weakness or exhaustion induced by physical or mental stress. In our own time improved physical and mental activity has frequently been reported and confirmed as the most important effect of ginseng (Sonnenborn, 1987). The period of active work is extended and the onset of fatigue correspondingly delayed. Fatigue and weariness occurs after prolonged activity, manifesting itself as...

Panax ginseng CAMeyer

Seeking saponins in Panax ginseng plants, the Russian research group headed by Professor Elyakov isolated from methanolic extracts of ginseng roots a series of sugar-linked compounds which they named panaxosides panaxosides A and B were reported by Elyakov et al. in 1962 and C, D, E and F by Elyakov et al. in 1964. The Russian chemists noted that on hydrolysis the saponin glycosides panaxosides A, B, and C were based on the aglycone panaxatriol and that the panaxosides D, E and F formed a...

Somatic embryogenesis and plant regeneration

The suggestion of somatic embryogenesis in ginseng tissue cultures was first made by Butenko and her colleagues (1968) but at that time all attempts to achieve the regeneration of whole ginseng plants from isolated embryo-like structures failed. Pursuing their work on the culture of ginseng root tissues Chang and Hsing (1978) obtained embryoids from root derived callus in defined conditions. Regeneration systems via somatic embryogenesis were established in root callus (Chang and Hsing, 1980),...

Stress And Adaptogenic Activity

Probably the most important use of ginseng and its saponins is as anti-stress agents. Stress, a normal feature of life, can readily be reproduced experimentally and is apparent in all impaired and injured animals. Stress manifests in many forms e.g. reaction to external conditions such as the fight or flight phenomenon, heat, cold, noise, starvation, physical restraint, etc., reaction to psychiatric states e.g. fear, anxiety, emotional strains, psychosomatic diseases, etc., and reaction to...

William Ecourt

Former Reader in Pharmacognosy, University of Bradford, UK During the past 50 years a vast amount of literature of widely varying quality has accumulated concerning the pharmacology of ginseng and its preparations and by 1990, despite the scepticism of many orthodox Western physicians and pharmacologists, ginseng had already attracted considerable interest and an ever increasing degree of respectability as a herbal medicine worthy of further study and of discussion at medical and scientific...

Conclusions

The above survey of the pharmacology and therapeutic potential of ginsengs indicates that ginseng can strengthen the debilitated body, stimulating recuperation and improving the quality of life. Ginseng has been shewn as an agent capable of improving memory and intellectual skills at all ages and it is also certain that ginseng is of value in the countering of stresses due to temperature variation, physical strain, disease states and toxic substances. Less clear is the anti-ulcer effect as...

Info

To qualitative analysis and accurate quantitative estimation and therefore to quality control of the ginsenosides in mixtures. Nevertheless the newer planar methods such as Overpressure Layer Chromatography (OPLC), Centrifugal Layer Chromatography (CLC) and Sequential Centrifugal Layer Chromatography (SCLC) have also been used for the separation of the major ginsenosides on the laboratory scale. Multi-step procedures involving column chromatography on silica gel, the slower process of Drop...

Ginseng In Cosmetic Preparations

Ginseng saponins are structurally near chemical relatives of the antiinflammatory compounds such as steroids and glycyrrhetinic acid from liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra L.). It is thus not surprising that antiinflammatory properties have been reported for ginseng extracts and ginseng has been suggested as an ingredient of cosmetic creams with non-allergenic, cutaneous bioactivity for the treatment of wrinkles and eczema. The many recent patent applications involving cosmetic creams, anti-wrinkle...

Ginseng And The Ageing Process

As people's lives become longer, particularly in the more civilised societies which have adequate medical and preventative services, ageing presents many problems. As we age we become less physically fit, we show obvious changes such as whitening or loss of hair, wrinkled skin which recovers more slowly from the pinch test, weakened hearing and vision, general slowing down of physical activities and we become more liable to suffer from various illnesses. Less obvious is the deterioration of the...

Ginseng And Tumour Growth

Cancers are a scourge of modern society. Cancers attack the fundamental life processes of the cells, normally altering the total genetic complement or genome of the cell with mutation of one or more genes or fracture of a segment or segments of the DNA strand or loss of segments of the chromosomes. Mutation may occur by chance but other factors can initiate cancer development e.g. specific chemicals known as carcinogens, ionizing radiations, physical irritation, hereditary pre-disposition and...

Planets

Was, and still is, the treatment of the patient as a whole, not as an isolated disease condition, coupled with prophylaxis, that is, obeying the axiom that prevention is far better than cure. Therefore the medical texts of those times e.g. Shen-nung Pen-ts'ao Ching (ca. 200 A.D.) that listed some 365 plant drugs, Ming-I Pieh-lu (ca. 500), Chia-yu Pen-ts'ao (1057) and Pen-ts'ao Kang-mu (1596) that included nearly 1900 drugs of animal, vegetable and mineral origin, recommended ginseng as an...

Ginseng And Aphrodisiac Activity

The effect of ginseng on sexual activity has intrigued the general public and many research workers. Bao et al. (1984b) observed that there was no disturbance of the ovarian cycle in stressed female mice if ginseng was administered. Bao et al. (1984c) also reported that ginseng extracts given to male mice prevented stress-induced decrease of sexual activity. Similarly Lian and Zhang (1998) also noted that repeated daily hanging stress reduced sexual activity in male mice as assessed by licking,...

Ginseng And The Cardiovascular System

Ginseng has, as an adaptogen, been credited with the ability to normalise both high and low blood pressure conditions. Therefore it would appear to be potentially useful in the treatment of hypertension, a condition of high blood pressure predisposing to strokes and heart attacks and associated with old age. Certainly it had been valued for the treatment of impaired circulation and the sedative effect lowering the blood pressure was well-known. Early workers in the 1920's and 1930's using rats,...

Ginseng And Diabetes

The value of ginseng preparations in the treatment of diabetes mellitus is debatable. Diabetes, diabetes mellitus or sugar diabetes, is a common condition occurring worldwide and amongst all classes of people but more frequently amongst the poor and the aged in modern industrialised communities. In such societies it is rated as the third most common cause of death after cancers and cardiovascular conditions. The disease is characterised by impaired carbohydrate metabolism caused by inadequate...

Ginseng As A Biological Response Modifier

Understanding the actions of ginseng has, until now, always been complicated by the mixed nature of the chemical compositions of the ginseng products used. Therefore it has not yet been possible to clearly define the biological response modifier. Ginseng preparations have been shewn to improve liver function as well as immune function and it is therefore probable that the protective action is related to an immunomodulatory effect. Pretreatment with ginseng extracts was found to prolong the...

The Mechanism Of Stress Reaction

As one of the main uses of ginseng is as an antistress agent, it is necessary to consider the mechanism of stress reaction. In the living body such reaction is controlled by 1) the hypothalamus, which is embedded in the lower or visceral part of the brain and has an important automatic regulatory role concerning the internal environment of the body e.g. water balance, food intake, mammalian body temperature, hormone release via the pituitary gland, as well as responding to signals from the...

Ginseng And Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis involves the irregular deposition of lipids such as cholesterol and triglycerides in yellowish plaques of atheroma in the subintimal layers of the inner walls of arteries and arterioles. Calcification may also occur with consequent hardening of the arteries. Atherosclerosis most commonly affects coronary arteries, cerebral arteries and peripheral arteries of the lower limbs. As a progressive condition it is particularly associatedm with old age. Atheromatous plaques and related...

Ginseng And Morphine And Related Opioids

The relationship between morphine and associated opioids and ginseng has proved both remarkable and unexpected. Opioids are widely used as legitimate, effective analgesics, especially in terminal afflictions such as cancers although continued use of morphine-type drugs is rapidly accompanied by the development of tolerance, the craving for ever-increasing doses, and by psychic and physical dependence. Seeking effective antagonists of the narcotic and addictive effects of opium and morphine,...

References

Ahn, Y.J., Choi, S.Y., Han, S.C. and Kim, Y.T. 1981 Effects of some insecticides on growth of 2-year-old ginseng, Panax ginseng C.A.Meyer and control of root knot nematode. Hanguk Sikmul Poho Hakhoechi, 20, 223-228. Bai, R.L. and Liu, W.C. 1998 A new species of the genus Erysiphe. Mycosystema, 17, 119-121. Baranov, A. 1966 Recent advances in our knowledge of the morphology, cultivation and uses of ginseng Panax ginseng C.A.Meyer . Econ. Bot., 20, 403-406. Chen, Z., Ma, X., Zhao, Y., Gao, W.,...

Contents

3 The Growth and Cultivation of Ginseng 23 4 Tissue Culture of Ginseng 41 E.Cellarova and K.Kimakova 5 The Principal Active Chemicals in Panax Species 55 6 The Pharmacology and Therapeutics of Ginseng 117 7 The Side Effects of Ginseng Administration 199 8 The Quality Control of Ginseng 205 9 Patents 221 10 Other Ginsengs 243

Production of Secondary Metabolites by in vitro Culture

The first report on the production of ginsenosides in ginseng callus was published in 1970 by Japanese authors Furuya et al., 1970 . They detected by TLC and column silica gel chromatography analysis a large amount of ginsenoside Rg and a small amount of ginsenoside Rb in ginseng callus derived from petiole of cultivated ginseng grown on MS medium without glycine and supplemented with 1 mg l 2,4-D. Later Furuya et al. 1973 found that the kind and amount of saponins in the callus of the same...