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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Pharmacology of ginsenosides: a literature review

Kar Wah Leung1* and Alice Sze-Tsai Wong2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biology, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong SAR, PR China

2 School of Biological Sciences, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong SAR, PR China

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Chinese Medicine 2010, 5:20  doi:10.1186/1749-8546-5-20

Published: 11 June 2010

Abstract

The therapeutic potential of ginseng has been studied extensively, and ginsenosides, the active components of ginseng, are shown to be involved in modulating multiple physiological activities. This article will review the structure, systemic transformation and bioavailability of ginsenosides before illustration on how these molecules exert their functions via interactions with steroidal receptors. The multiple biological actions make ginsenosides as important resources for developing new modalities. Yet, low bioavailability of ginsenoside is one of the major hurdles needs to be overcome to advance its use in clinical settings.