Effects of steaming the root of Panax notoginseng on chemical composition and anticancer activities

Shi Sun, Chong Zhi Wang, Robin Tong, Xiao Li Li, Anna Fishbein, Qi Wang, Tong Chuan He, Wei Du, Chun Su Yuan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Scopus citations


The root of Panax notoginseng has been shown to change its saponin composition upon steaming. This study examines the effects of different steaming times and temperature on notoginseng root for saponin composition and anticancer activities. Steaming decreased the content of notoginsenoside R1, ginsenosides Rg1, Re, Rb1, Rc, R2, Rb3 and Rd, but increased the content of Rh1, Rg2, 20R-Rg2, Rg3 and Rh2. Steaming significantly influenced the transformation of Rg3. The amount of ginsenoside Rg3, an anticancer compound, was 5.23-fold greater in root steamed for 2 h at 120 °C than at 100 °C, and 3.22-fold greater when steamed for 4 h than for 1 h at 120 °C. For anticancer effects, the extract of steamed root significantly inhibited proliferation of SW-480 human colorectal cancer cells. The IC50 of the steamed extract for 1, 2, 4 and 6 h at 120 °C was 259.2, 131.4, 123.7 and 127.1 μg/mL, respectively; the effect of unsteamed extract was low. Flow cytometric analysis demonstrated that the apoptotic cell induction rates of SW-480 cells were 56.3% and 64.4% with 150.0 and 200.0 μg/mL extract steamed for 6 h. Compared with Rg1 and Rb1, only Rg3 had a significant antiproliferative effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-314
Number of pages8
JournalFood Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2010


  • Antiproliferation
  • Apoptosis
  • Ginsenoside
  • High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
  • Panax notoginseng
  • SW-480 human colorectal cancer cells
  • Saponin
  • Steaming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Food Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of steaming the root of Panax notoginseng on chemical composition and anticancer activities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this