J Ethnopharmacol. 1998 Feb; 60(1): 71-8.
Cancer chemopreventive and therapeutic activities of red ginseng.
Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, People's Republic of China.
Red ginseng extract A and B are the active components of Panax ginseng. Red ginseng is a classical traditional Chinese medicine. Among Chinese herbs, red ginseng has been considered as one of the tonics. Many studies indicated that red ginseng could enhance immune function of the human body. The effects of red ginseng extracts on transplantable tumors, proliferation of lymphocyte, two-stage model and rat liver lipid peroxidation were studied. In a two-stage model, red ginseng extracts had a significant cancer chemoprevention. At 50-400 mg/kg, they could inhibit DMBA/Croton oil-induced skin papilloma in mice, decrease the incidence of papilloma, prolong the latent period of tumor occurrence and reduce tumor number per mouse in a dose-dependent manner. Red ginseng extract B could effectively inhibit the Fe2+/cysteine-induced lipid peroxidation of rat liver microsome, suggesting that red ginseng extract B has a stronger antioxidative effect than that of extract A. The results indicated that red ginseng extracts (50 approximately 400 mg/kg) could significantly inhibit the growth of transplantable mouse sarcoma S180 and melanoma B16. Red ginseng extracts A (0.5 mg/ml) and B (0.1 and 0.25 mg/ml) might effectively promote the transformation of T lymphocyte, but there was no influence on lymphocyte proliferation stimulated by concanavalin A. This suggests that red ginseng extracts have potent tumor therapeutic activity and improve the cell immune system.