Steamed American ginseng berry: Ginsenoside analyses and anticancer activities

Chong Zhi Wang, Bin Zhang, Wen Xin Song, Anbao Wang, Ming Ni, Xiaoji Luo, Han H. Aung, Jing Tian Xie, Robin Tong, Tong Chuan He, Chun Su Yuan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

142 Scopus citations


This study was designed to determine the changes in saponin content in American ginseng berries after treatment by heating and to assess the anticancer effects of the extracts. After steaming treatment (100-120 °C for 1 h, and 120 °C for 0.5-4 h), the content of seven ginsenosides, Rg1, Re, Rb1, Rc, Rb2, Rb3, and Rd, decreased; the content of five ginsenosides, Rh1, Rg2, 20R-Rg2, Rg3, and Rh2, increased. Rg3, a previously identified anticancer ginsenoside, increased significantly. Two hours of steaming at 120 °C increased the content of ginsenoside Rg3 to a greater degree than other tested ginsenosides. When human colorectal cancer cells were treated with 0.5 mg/mL steamed berry extract (120 °C 2 h), the antiproliferation effects were 97.8% for HCT-116 and 99.6% for SW-480 cells. At the same treatment concentration, the effects of unsteamed berry extract were 34.1% for HCT-116 and 4.9% for SW-480 cells. After staining with Hoechst 33258, apoptotic cells increased significantly by treatment with steamed berry extract compared with unheated extracts. Induction of apoptosis activity was confirmed by flow cytometry after staining with annexin V/PI. The steaming of American ginseng berries augments ginsenoside Rg3 content and increases the antiproliferative effects on two human colorectal cancer cell lines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9936-9942
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number26
StatePublished - Dec 27 2006


  • Antiproliferation
  • Apoptosis
  • Berry
  • Ginsenoside Rg3
  • HPLC analysis
  • Heating treatment
  • Human colorectal cancer cells
  • Panax quinquefolius L.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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