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Black Ginseng and Its Saponins: Preparation, Phytochemistry and Pharmacological Effects

Liaoning University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 77 Life one Road, DD port, Dalian Economic and Technical Development Zone, Dalian 116600, China
Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Al-Azhar University, Cairo 11884, Egypt
National Resource Center for Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, 16 Mennei South street, Dong-Cheng District, Beijing 100700, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: David Popovich
Molecules 2019, 24(10), 1856;
Received: 4 May 2019 / Revised: 12 May 2019 / Accepted: 13 May 2019 / Published: 14 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Saponins)
PDF [1428 KB, uploaded 14 May 2019]


Black ginseng is a type of processed ginseng that is prepared from white or red ginseng by steaming and drying several times. This process causes extensive changes in types and amounts of secondary metabolites. The chief secondary metabolites in ginseng are ginsenosides (dammarane-type triterpene saponins), which transform into less polar ginsenosides in black ginseng by steaming. In addition, apparent changes happen to other secondary metabolites such as the increase in the contents of phenolic compounds, reducing sugars and acidic polysaccharides in addition to the decrease in concentrations of free amino acids and total polysaccharides. Furthermore, the presence of some Maillard reaction products like maltol was also engaged. These obvious chemical changes were associated with a noticeable superiority for black ginseng over white and red ginseng in most of the comparative biological studies. This review article is an attempt to illustrate different methods of preparation of black ginseng, major chemical changes of saponins and other constituents after steaming as well as the reported biological activities of black ginseng, its major saponins and other metabolites. View Full-Text
Keywords: black ginseng; steaming and drying; transformed ginsenosides; anticancer; anti-inflammatory black ginseng; steaming and drying; transformed ginsenosides; anticancer; anti-inflammatory

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Metwaly, A.M.; Lianlian, Z.; Luqi, H.; Deqiang, D. Black Ginseng and Its Saponins: Preparation, Phytochemistry and Pharmacological Effects. Molecules 2019, 24, 1856.

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