A Comparison of Panax ginseng, Panax notoginseng and Panax quinquefolius

Edit by Kiki from Yongyuan Bio.

Panax ginseng, which belongs to the species of ginseng, is a kind of famous Chinese herbal medicine. It is mainly distributed in Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning and northern Hebei. The main active ingredient of Panax ginseng is ginsenoside, and more than 40 kind of ginsenosides have been isolated. Ginsenosides can be divided into three categories: Protopanaxadiol PPD (Rb1, Rb2, Rc, Rd, etc.), protopanaxatriol PPT (Re, Rg1, etc.) and oleanolic saponins (Ro).


Panax ginseng has been approved by the Ministry of Health as health food raw materials and new resources of food. As health food raw material, Ginseng is mainly sold and used in the form of extract, which includes Ginseng stem and leaf extract and Ginseng root extract. According to Chinese Pharmacopoeia, it takes ginsenosides as detection index and can be tested by UV and HPLC.


Panax ginseng, Panax notoginseng and Panax quinquefolius belong to genus Panax of the family Araliaceae. Panax ginseng and Panax notoginseng are China's traditional rare medicinal herbs, and Panax quinquefolius is native to Canada and USA and has been successfully introduced into our country. Because the three plants are relative species of the same family, they are similar in chemical composition, (all contain ginsenosides). Meanwhile, some saponins are unique to them.


Studies show that Panax ginseng, Panax notoginseng and Panax quinquefolius have both similarities and differences. TLC analysis indicates that PPT Ginsenoside Rg1 and Notoginsenoside R1 are mainly involved in Panax notoginseng, while PPT Ginsenoside Rg1 and Ginsenoside Re are the main ingredients in Panax ginseng and Panax quinquefolius. PPD Ginsenoside Rb1, Ginsenoside Rc and Ginsenoside Rd are shared by all.


According to the fragmentation pattern of saponins, combined with HPLC chromatography, the same components for the three herbs are Ginsenoside Rg1, Ginsenoside Re, Ginsenoside Rb1, Ginsenoside Rd and so on. And each herb contains characteristic components of Notoginsenoside R1 (Panax notoginseng), Ginscnoside Rf(Panax ginseng), Pseudoginsenosidc F11 (Panax quinquefolius).


At the same time, it was found that the content of total saponins is the highest in Panax notoginseng, and lowest in Panax ginseng. The ratio of PPT to PPD is about 3:1 in Panax notoginseng, while about 1:3 in Panax quinquefolius and about 1:2 in Panax notoginseng. The main Ginsenosides of Panax quinquefolius is PPD, in which the highest is ginsenoside Rb1. While ginsenoside Rg1 and ginsenoside Rb1 is relatively high , and ginsenoside Rg1 is the highest in Panax notoginseng.


Ratio of PPD to PPT is the commonly used way to identify Ginseng. Experimental results show that the higher PPT content in stems and leaves of Panax ginseng While it is almost not contained in Panax notoginseng, and high content of PPD in stems and leaves of Panax quinquefolium. According to HPLC print, the content of ginsenoside Re is the highest in the total saponins of ginseng stems and leaves, followed by ginsenoside Rd and ginsenoside Rg1 and ginsenoside Rb3 is lower. While the content of ginsenoside Rb3 and ginsenoside Rd are the highest in stems and leaves of Panax quinquefolius, followed by ginsenoside Re, with low content of ginsenoside Rg1. Ginsenoside Rb3 is the highest in leaves and stems of Panax notoginseng, followed by ginsenoside Rc, ginsenoside Rb1 and ginsenoside Rd.



In addition, Panax ginseng, Panax notoginseng and Panax quinquefolius all contain a variety of amino acids, polysaccharides and inorganic elements.


In summary, Panax ginseng, Panax notoginseng and Panax quinquefolius  have both similarities and differences in chemical composition, especially ginsenosides. The pharmacological effects of these three are vary according to the different composition and content. Select appropriate materials in the light of different products and efficacy needs.


Shaanxi Yongyuan Bio-Tech supplies different kinds of Panax ginseng Extract, Panax notoginseng Extract and Panax quinquefolius Extract with high quality.

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