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Ginseng leaf-stem: bioactive constituents and pharmacological functions

, : Ginseng leaf-stem: bioactive constituents and pharmacological functions. Chinese Medicine 4: 20-20

Ginseng root is used more often than other parts such as leaf stem although extracts from ginseng leaf-stem also contain similar active ingredients with pharmacological functions. Ginseng's leaf-stems are more readily available at a lower cost than its root. This article reviews the pharmacological effects of ginseng leaf-stem on some diseases and adverse effects due to excessive consumption. Ginseng leaf-stem extract contains numerous active ingredients, such as ginsenosides, polysaccharides, triterpenoids, flavonoids, volatile oils, polyacetylenic alcohols, peptides, amino acids and fatty acids. The extract contains larger amounts of the same active ingredients than the root. These active ingredients produce multifaceted pharmacological effects on the central nervous system, as well as on the cardiovascular, reproductive and metabolic systems. Ginseng leaf-stem extract also has anti-fatigue, anti-hyperglycemic, anti-obesity, anti-cancer, anti-oxidant and anti-aging properties. In normal use, ginseng leaf-stem extract is quite safe; adverse effects occur only when it is over dosed or is of poor quality. Extracts from ginseng root and leaf-stem have similar multifaceted pharmacological activities (for example central nervous and cardiovascular systems). In terms of costs and source availability, however, ginseng leaf-stem has advantages over its root. Further research will facilitate a wider use of ginseng leaf-stem.


PMID: 19849852

DOI: 10.1186/1749-8546-4-20

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