Panax ginseng is a traditional medicinal herb with a long history of over 5000 years in eastern Asia and the ancient Chinese used it for various health benefits, including overcoming fatigue, boosting longevity and treating serve cardiac problems. Ginseng saponins, generally called ginsenosides, are the main active principals of ginseng. Since the 1970s, a number of studies have suggested that ginsenosides exhibit strong anticancer properties and the medical potentials of ginsenosides have been better-known around the world.
Based on the fact that ginsenosides are extracted from ginseng species, it is often questioned that whether ginsenosides can be obtained by directly taking Panax ginseng or American ginseng to achieve anticancer effects. There are two points to be noted for this question.
Firstly, the administration of raw ginseng herbs can obtain prototype ginsenosides but the prototype ginsenosides contents in raw ginseng species are so low that anticancer efficacy can be hardly achieved. Noticeably, the overdose of raw ginseng can bring some side effects like suffering from the excessive internal heat.
Secondly, taking raw ginseng cannot obtain rare ginsenosides which are metabolites of prototype ginsenosides and whose anticancer activities outperform prototype ginsenosides. The transformation of rare ginsenosides from raw ginseng materials involves complex preparation technologies.
Advanced preparation technologies make it possible to extract the active ingredients from tons of raw materials and process them to reach therapeutic concentrations. Eating raw ginseng directly suffers in low concentrations, thus leading to poor anticancer efficacy.