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type A from Japan yielded chiefly chikusetsusaponins III, IV and IVa and ginsenoside Ro whilst type B from China contained chikusetsusaponins IV and IVa, ginsenoside Ro and pseudoginsenoside RT1 and little dammarane saponin. The analytical range of saponins was ginsenoside Ro 5.1-14.8 per cent, chikusetsusaponin III 3.2-9.3 per cent, chikusetsusaponin IV 1.4-5.4 per cent and chikusetsusaponin IVa 0.2-0.3 per cent.

Chemical analysis of Panax pseudoginseng=subsp. P. himalaicus Hara by Kondo and Shoji (1975) and Panax pseudoginseng var. major (Burk.) Li by Morita et al. (1982) produced contrasting results suggesting that the saponin pattern of Himalayan ginseng is intermediate between Japanese chikusetsu ginseng and Korean ginseng but that of P. pseudoginseng var. major was closer to P. japonicus (Table 5.23).

Subsequent reports indicated that Himalayan ginseng grown at high altitude yielded two new saponins, the oleanane pseudoginsenosides RT1 and RP1 together with the known compounds chikusetsusaponins IVa and V but not IV. Interestingly, samples of P. japonicus and P. pseudoginseng subsp. himalaicus collected at lower altitudes all contained chikusetsusaponin IV as a major saponin but lacked pseudoginsenosides RT1 and RP1. Of two specimens of P. pseudoginseng subsp. himalaicus collected at high altitude one yielded the dammarane ginsenosides Rbj, Rd, Rgj and F2, and the ocotillol pseudoginsenosides F11, RT2, RT3, RT4 and RT 5 and the other yielded ginsenosides Rbj, Rd, Re, Rgj and F2, gypenoside XVII and pseudoginsenosides RT3 and RT 4 (Tanaka et al., 1985). A study of the saponins extracted from roots and small rhizomes of P. pseudoginseng Wall, subsp. pseudoginseng Hara grown at Nielamu, Tibet revealed the dammarane ginsenoside Rg1 (0.02 %), the oleananes chikusetsusaponin IV (0.15 %) and pseudoginsenoside RTj (0.04 %) (Morita et al., 1986b). A later investigation of P. pseudoginseng var. elegantior revealed the oleanane saponins chikusetsusaponin IVa and V (=ginsenoside Ro) and pseudoginsenosides RT1 and RS1, dammarane saponins Rb1, Rd, Re, Rg1

Table 5.23. Occurrence of specific saponins in Panax pseudoginseng subsp. P. himalaicus Hara and P. pseudoginseng var. P. major (Burk.) Li rhizomes

Designation

Prosapogenin

Recorded yield per cent Himalaicum Major

Ginsenoside Rbt

Protopanaxadiol

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