Extract Monographs

North American Ginseng

North American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Asian Ginseng (Panax ginseng) are the two primary species of ginseng. North American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) relieves physical and mental fatigue, and produces a beneficial effect of calming and nourishing [1].

The active constituents of ginseng roots, known as ginsenosides (triterpenoid saponin glycosides), contribute primarily to the pharmacological effects [2]. There are two types of ginsenosides, both with a similar dammarane chemical skeleton, 20S– protopanaxadiol compounds, such as Rb1, Rb2, Rc and Rd, and 20S-protopanaxatriol compounds, which include Rg1, Re, Rf and R1. More than 30 ginsenosides have been identified in Panax species, but Rb1, Rb2, Rc, Rd, Re and Rg1 are the six major ginsenosides which represent more than 90% of the total ginsenoside content in ginseng roots.

There is evidence showing that Panax ginseng and Panax quinquefolius have opposing effects [1], but many commercial ginseng products containing both Panax species do exist on the market. Since the 2009 edition, the USP has published HPLC chromatograms of Panax species, thereby minimizing adulterated products on the market. For P. quinquefolius, it is recommended the determination of the ratio, from the absorbance, for the areas of ginsenoside Rb2 and ginsenoside Rb1, is less than 0.4. In addition, for this species, the ratio of Rg1 (protopanaxatriol group) to Rb1 (protopanaxadiol group) should be less than 0.3 [3, 4].

After years intensive studies, our research team has concluded that the protopanaxadiol group of the ginsenoisides holds the key for the identification of the Panax species. At the meantime, we confirm that the ginsenoside profile can effectively identify the different ginseng species and ginseng plant parts. For example, the roots of P. quinquefolius show a Rc/Rb1 ratio < 0.3, while the leaves of this plant have a relatively large concentration of ginsenoside Rb3 [4]. Furthermore, we have successfully developed a reliable rapid method using the Zorbax Eclipse XDB column to complete the analysis by RRLC in only four minutes [5]. High quality Canphy® North American ginseng P.E. is derived from pure species and an innovative process. As a result, the total and individual ginsenoside content of our Canphy® North American ginseng P.E. has been strictly controlled in every batch with stable HPLC profile. And our product meets the USP standard with 10% ginsenosides.


[1] Sengupta S, Toh SA, Sellers LA, Skepper JN, et al. Modulating angiogenesis: The yin and the yang in ginseng, Circulation Journal of the American Heart Association (2004) 110, 1219-1225.

[2] Ma Yuan-Chun, Zhu J, Benkrima L, Luo M, et al. A comparative evaluation of ginsenosides in commercial ginseng products and tissue culture samples using HPLC. Journal of Herbs, Spices and Medicinal Plants (1995) 3, 41-50.

[3] Members of the USP dietary supplements and food ingredients expert committees. USP dietary supplements compendium. The United States Pharmacopeial Convention. Maryland, United States (2009) 558-561.

[4] Ma Yuan-Chun, Luo M, Malley L, Doucet M. Distribution and proportion of major ginsenosides and quality control of ginseng products. Chinese Journal of Medical Chemistry (1996) 6, 11-21.

[5] Jie Ma, Yuan-Chun Ma, Daniel Wang, Fei Fei Hou, et al. Simultaneous Quantification of Panax and Epimedium Species Using Rapid Resolution Liquid chromatography (RRLC). Natural Product Communications (2011) 5, 581-586.

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