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Saponins of Panax ginseng Roots

The yield of total saponins from P. ginseng was reported following TLC and colorimetric analysis as 1.62 per cent of which 0.71 per cent was ginsenosides Rb, 0.31 per cent ginsenosides Rg and 0.11 per cent ginsenosides Ro (Wang et al., 1982). However Kitigawa et al. (1983b) reported 6.21 per cent total saponins from an 80 per cent methanolic extract of white ginseng cultivated in Nagano Prefecture, Honshu, Japan; the extract was partitioned using an ether-water mixture and the aqueous fraction separated and purified using a reversed phase silica gel chromatography column (Bondapak Cw; MeOH-H2O). Zhang (1983) employed a colorimetric method based on the Liebermann-Burchard reaction and for dried roots reported yields of 9.74 per cent total ginsenosides in the fibrous roots, 6.41 per cent in the lateral roots and 3.31 per cent in the main root. Using an HPLC analysis method Yamaguchi et al. (1988) confirmed that the 6th year of root growth produced the highest total saponin yield. The decline in the 5th year was due to the rapid bulk increase of the roots but was only temporary (Table 5.9).

Table 5.9. Percentage saponin distribution in the main root of Panax ginseng

Main root

1st year

2nd year

3rd year

4th year

5th year

6th year

Total saponins

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