Ginseng, a flavorer medication utilized extensively for centuries in oriental medical specialty plus Chinese, Korean and Japanese as a unspecialised tension to encourage longevity can be effectual in combating cancer, diabetes, stress, military uniform and oxidants. These personalty of ginseng are principally attributed to a squadron of compounds called ginsenosides, which new studies stand for that they may possibly act in a associated way as organic compound hormones. A investigation of recent studies on ginseng was through with by researchers from the UK, Hong Kong and China in a tale published on the Chinese Medicine Journal. The report has unveiled the confidential bringing up the rear this longevity-enhancing herbaceous plant.

What is ginseng? Ginseng is a broadleaf perennial manufacturing works that belongs to the Araliaceae familial. Currently, 12 taxonomic category have been identified in the variety Panax. Among them, Panax root C. A. Meyer (Araliaceae), cultivated in China, Korea, Japan, Russia, and the US, P. quinquefolium L (American root), mature in southern Canada and the US and P. notoginseng, cultivated in Yunnan and Guangxi provinces in China, equal the cardinal furthermost broadly investigated taxonomic category.

In recent times, root is not individual in use as a cathartic by old-world learned profession practitioners but is as well as welfare supplements promptly unspoken for in the mercantile market.

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"Recently, it has been found that ginsenosides can act as functional ligands to initiate opposing steroid endocrine receptors. Through specified mechanisms, ginseng can exert its private property on the human natural object by impermanent in a twin way as the steroid hormones," the researchers compose.

What are the glorious personal effects of ginseng? The medical specialty and curative private property of root have been incontestible to affect the internal uneasy convention (CNS), vas system, secretor secretion, status function, metabolism, biomodulating action, anti-stress, and anti-aging. Recently, in attendance have been controversies about the advantage of ginseng in metastatic tumor therapy.

Most studies claimed that the pharmacologic effects of ginseng are attributed to its bioactive constituents such as ginsenosides, saponins, phytosterols, peptides, polysaccharides, greasy acids, polyacetylenes, vitamins and minerals.

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So how does ginseng engender it? How does it engagement cancers?

According to the Chinese Medicine Journal's report, the anti-tumour private property of ginsenosides consist of its resources to persuade compartment destruction (such as apoptosis and gangrene), and having effects of anti-proliferation, anti-invasion and metastasis, and anti-angiogenesis.

Inducing compartment death

Several compounds found in ginsenosides have been shown to win over apoptosis in endocrine gland malignant tumor cells, female internal reproductive organ malignant tumor cells, neuroblastoma cells and lung adenocarcinoma cells. The induction of neoplasm compartment release by ginsenosides may be one of the mechanisms in the closing down of growth cells, the writers say.


Ginsenosides likewise have clogging personalty by inhibiting the cell round expansion. They have been shown to apprehension the improvement of quality neoplasm cell lines in lung tumour cells, prostatic cancer cells, leukuemia cells, and hepatoma (liver metastatic tumor) cells.

Anti-invasion and anti-metastasis

Cancer pathological process is a complicated act involving maturation and cell-cell interactions.

What is metastatic tumor metastasis? Metastasis is the proliferation of cancer from its direct spot to some other places in the article. Cancer cells can break away from a primary tumour, go into into humour and blood vessels, circulate through with the bloodstream, and spring in a far immersion (metastasize) in sane tissues elsewhere in the thing.

Tumours are categorized as either benign or malignant. Malignant tumours can publicize by incursion and metastasis whilst benign tumours cannot (and individual spring topically). Metastatic tumours are remarkably rampant in the late stages of malignant neoplastic disease. The dissemination of metastases may fall out via the humour or the lymphatics or done both routes. The most agreed places for the metastases to turn out are the adrenals, liver, brainpower and the percussive instrument. There is besides a inclination for guaranteed tumours to seed in special organs.

Scientists late demonstrated that the invasiveness of whatsoever mucosa cancer cells (including those of the womb) was inhibited by treating them next to a definite types of ginsenosides. The inhibitory consequence is due to maturation of MMP-2 facial expression.

MMPs are fit of noxious all kinds of extracellular array proteins. MMPs are also reflection to romp a through duty on compartment behaviours such as as compartment proliferation, movement (adhesion/dispersion), differentiation, angiogenesis, apoptosis and grownup team.

The anti-invasive personal effects of individual ginsenosides count the abilities to meaningfully check in vitro invasion of hepatoma cells, malignant melanoma cells, quality lung cancer and duct gland malignant neoplastic disease cells. Ginsensodies have as well been shown to conquer lung metastasis, bring down the weight of tumours in lung, breast, stomachic and melanoma cancers.

Anti-angiogenesis effects

What is angiogenesis? Angiogenesis is a biological science method involving the disease of new liquid body substance vessels from preexistent vessels. Excessive ontogenesis has been defined as a outstanding medical science feature of numerous diseases such as tumour, rheumy arthritis, atherosclerosis, skin problem and diabetic retinopathy ("diabetic eyes").

According to the up to date report, numerous new studies have incontestable various ginsenosides utilize an anti-angiogenic undertaking in divers fleshly models when administered alone or in juxtaposition next to another usual chemicals, such as human breast infiltrating duct carcinoma, gonad carcinoma cells, skin cancer cells and large intestine carcinoma. These assemblage represent that one of the mechanisms of anti-metastatic effect of ginsenosides is probably correlative to suppression of tumour-induced growing.

A new kind of anti-tumour drugs: ginsenosides Rg3 and Rh2?

The researchers say that some gensensides Rg3 and its matter be Rh2 have emerged in Mainland China and Taiwan as anti-cancer drugs in the form of capsules (e.g. 'Rg3 Shenyi Jiaonang' and 'GOOD LIFE ginsenoside Rh2 capsule'). Rg3 Shenyi Jiaonang suppresses growth development and prevents adhesion, incursion and pathological process of tumor cells. Rh2 as an subsidiary causal agency was also tried in the au naturel gnawer worthy near quality sex gland malignant tumor cells transplanted. In the being of Rh2, cisplatin could a great deal curb neoplasm extension in vivo and protract life juncture. Neither Rh2 nor cisplatin unsocial could control tumor organic process. It was shown that therapy supplemented with Rh2 is 60% much rough-and-ready than chemotherapy alone. It could also excuse the adverse personalty of body covering loss, anemia, nausea, puke and deprived craving ensuing therapy or radiation therapy.

Both Rg3 and Rh2 are extracted from red ginseng which is prepared by wet and drying. During the process, the malonyl type at the C-6 is free and the glycosyl one-half at C-20 is fairly degage to create Rh1, Rh2 and Rg3 finished deglycosylation akin to the deglycosylated product, complex K generated from the organic process shift of ginsenoside Rb1 by viscus germs. However, whether all of the ginsenosides generated by such post-treatment of white ginseng have similar anti-tumour effects are not moving not best-known.

[Chinese Medicine 2007, 2:6 doi:10.1186/1749-8546-2-6]

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