It is well-known that ginsenosides have anticancer activity in Korea and China. In addition this efficacy, however, Korean scientist found that ginseng and ginsenosides still have beneficial effects on cardiac and vascular diseases.
A recent study called ”Pharmacological and medical applications of Panax ginseng and ginsenosides: a review for use in cardiovascular diseases” was published on the Journal of Ginseng Research, showing that “ginseng has beneficial effects on cardiac and vascular diseases through efficacy, including antioxidation, control of vasomotor function, modulation of ion channels and signal transduction, improvement of lipid profiles, adjustment of blood pressure, improvement in cardiac function, and reduction in platelet adhesion”.
A detailed review of the medical use of ginseng and ginsenosides for cardiovascular diseases has been given and some medical functions of ginseng and ginsenosides toward cardiovascular diseases are listed as follows:
1. Improving antioxidant and blood circulation
According to the paper, ginsenoside Re has an antioxidant action, protecting cardiac cells from oxidative damage and that these protective effects can be mostly attributed to scavenging of free radicals.
2.Ameliorating vascular function
Many studies suggest that ginsenosides protect vascular endothelial cells through the signaling pathways. In a canine model, ginsenoside Rg3 induced vasodilation, indicating its role in improving arterial rigidity.
3. Improving blood pressure
Ginsenoside Rg3 can ameliorate vascular dysfunction and ginseng has an antihypertensive effect by mediating the inhibition of the myogenic activity of blood vessels.
4. Improving cardiac function
As studies show, Ginsenoside Rg1 can protect against left ventricular hypertrophy caused by aorta coarctation produced through nitric oxide production.
5. Inhibiting platelet aggregation
Korean red ginseng shows an important effect on arterial thrombosis in vivo, which might be due to inhibition of platelet aggregation rather than anticoagulation, and this suggests that red ginseng treatment can be beneficial for individuals with cardiovascular impairment.
6. Ameliorating lipid profile
Saponin treatment can inhibit atherosclerosis through its anti-inflammatory effects and amelioration of the lipid profile.
7. Preventing myocardial ischemia
Panax ginseng and ginsenosides have multiple functions on cardioprotection, including promoting coronary artery diastole, protecting cardiomyocytes against various oxidant-induced injuries, and reducing myocardial hypoxia and reoxygenation cycles.