Since rare ginsenosides proved to be of great anti-cancer property by series of experimental analysis on their molecular structures, it can be safe to say that rare ginsenosides play important roles in cancer-fighting activity. Rare ginsenosides are used as essential ingredients of a few supplements on the present markets as they are explored to be pharmaceutically efficient. Rare ginsenoside supplements seem to be in a lower position than the products listed in pharmacy with the function of preventing, treating or curing diseases. In reality, the products approved to be drugs generally draw more attention when there is a battle between a drug and a supplement claiming a similar function.
Rare ginsenosides may be more acceptable for Asian countries that have a long history of herbal application than western countries that merely believe analytical data supported by scientific research. The feature that rare ginsenosides closely relate to herbs doesn’t help attract most of the western patients. They originate from herbs, while the main difference from other ingredients of herbal nature is how they are generated. They can be said to not exist in Araliaceae ginseng plants directly as they can only be obtained through bodily metabolism or technological transform. They won’t be obtained before biotransformation is achieved. Herbs are various in types and their function is different. Herbs are found to have multiple effects on different diseases in the base of practical utilization. Although herbs lack a solid scientific foundation to support their merits, their effectiveness on many diseases is traditionally believed by a broad of people in Asia.
Although rare ginsenosides are reported to have great pharmaceutical potentials by consistent research, a lot of research still need to be done. Rare ginsenosides are presently concluded to assist in the treatment and recovery of cancer in the base of the animal experiments. When a mouse given tumors are treated with rare ginsenosides extracts, scientists found that the lung tumor cells were prohibited from growing obviously. It draws a conclusion that rare ginsenosides inhibit lung cancer cell proliferation. A Lab test reveals that steamed Panax ginseng extracts inhibit the proliferation of liver cancer cells. The anticancer potentials of rare ginsenosides are combined with a series of literature research which provides scientific and data-based analysis. The study on rare ginsenosides seems to be not enough to reverse the recognition to herbal medicine, even merely to the role of rare ginsenosides in anti-cancer activities. In spite of an extensive research by scientists from many countries such as Japan, Korea, Canada and Taiwan, the research on rare ginsenosides seems to have a long way to go in order to attract the attention from all over the world.
Rare ginsenosides are currently explored to exert anti-cancer effects in a broad dimension as some instead of all monomers are identified to fight cancer in a specific way. For example, Rare ginsenosides Rg5 is found to be genotoxic and cytotoxic in human cervical cancer cells. Monomer Rh2 proved to have an anti-proliferative effect on liver cancer cells. Research shows that rare ginsenosides Rg3 induces DNA damage in human osteosarcoma cells and protect normal cells. With dozens of rare ginsenosides are found at present, some are clearly shown the effects on cancer cells, while not all rare ginsenoside monomer are clearly identified to fight cancer in a concrete way. Some monomers are reported to exert an anticancer effect different from another monomer. Their anticancer properties work only when the dosage reaches a certain amount. Supplements that contain rare ginsenosides exert little or limited effects on patients mainly because of the inadequate amount. These elements probably contribute to the fact that rare ginsenosides gain a narrow recognition on their anticancer effects from the world.
The research makes great progress despite various difficulties. Many pharmaceutical companies devoted themselves to the study of Araliaceae ginseng plants. A major breakthrough was made in in vitro biotransformation technology which makes it possible to prepare rare ginsenosides in large amounts from prototype ginsenosides. Products containing various rare ginsenosides including Rk2, Rh2 (S, R), Rg5, Rk1,Rh3, APPD (S, R) are available on the market.