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      State of Panax ginseng Research: A Global Analysis

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          Abstract

          This article aims to understand the global and longitudinal trends of research on Panax ginseng. We used bibliometrics to analyze 3974 papers collected from the Web of Science TM Core Collection database during 1959–2016. The number of publications showed a steady growth before 2000 and exponentially increased in stage III (2000–2016, about 86% of the papers were published). Research on P. ginseng was conducted in 64 countries, mainly in Asia; in particular, 41% and 28% of the publications were from South Korea and China, respectively. The institutions from South Korea and China had high publication output and close cooperation and provided the majority of financial support. All top 10 authors and four of the top 20 journals in terms of number of publications originated from South Korea. The leading research subjects were pharmacology (39%), plant science (26%), and integrative complementary medicine (19%). The hotspot of P. ginseng research transformed from basic science to application, and multidisciplinary sciences will play a substantial role in the future. This study provides a comprehensive analysis to elucidate the global distribution, collaboration patterns, and research trends in the P. ginseng domain.

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          Most cited references 31

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          Ginseng pharmacology: multiple constituents and multiple actions.

          Ginseng is a highly valued herb in the Far East and has gained popularity in the West during the last decade. There is extensive literature on the beneficial effects of ginseng and its constituents. The major active components of ginseng are ginsenosides, a diverse group of steroidal saponins, which demonstrate the ability to target a myriad of tissues, producing an array of pharmacological responses. However, many mechanisms of ginsenoside activity still remain unknown. Since ginsenosides and other constituents of ginseng produce effects that are different from one another, and a single ginsenoside initiates multiple actions in the same tissue, the overall pharmacology of ginseng is complex. The ability of ginsenosides to independently target multireceptor systems at the plasma membrane, as well as to activate intracellular steroid receptors, may explain some pharmacological effects. This commentary aims to review selected effects of ginseng and ginsenosides and describe their possible modes of action. Structural variability of ginsenosides, structural and functional relationship to steroids, and potential targets of action are discussed.
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            Botanical characteristics, pharmacological effects and medicinal components of Korean Panax ginseng C A Meyer.

            Korean Panax ginseng C A Meyer is mainly used to maintain the homeostasis of the body, and the pharmacological efficacy of Korean ginseng identified by modern science includes improved brain function, pain-relieving effects, preventive effects against tumors as well as anti-tumor activity, enhanced immune system function, anti-diabetic effects, enhanced liver function, adjusted blood pressure, anti-fatigue and anti-stress effects, improved climacteric disorder and sexual functions, as well as anti-oxidative and anti-aging effects. Further clinical studies of these pharmacological efficacies will continue to be carried out. Korean ginseng is found to have such main properties as ginsenoside, ployacetylene, acid polysaccharide, anti-oxidative aromatic compound, and insulin-like acid peptides. The number of ginsenoside types contained in Korean ginseng (38 ginsenosides) is substantially more than that of ginsenoside types contained in American ginseng (19 ginsenosides). Furthermore, Korean ginseng has been identified to contain more main non-saponin compounds, phenol compounds, acid polysaccharides and polyethylene compounds than American ginseng and Sanchi ginseng.
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              Herb-drug interactions.

              Concurrent use of herbs may mimic, magnify, or oppose the effect of drugs. Plausible cases of herb-drug interactions include: bleeding when warfarin is combined with ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba), garlic (Allium sativum), dong quai (Angelica sinensis), or danshen (Salvia miltiorrhiza); mild serotonin syndrome in patients who mix St John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) with serotonin-reuptake inhibitors; decreased bioavailability of digoxin, theophylline, cyclosporin, and phenprocoumon when these drugs are combined with St John's wort; induction of mania in depressed patients who mix antidepressants and Panax ginseng; exacerbation of extrapyramidal effects with neuroleptic drugs and betel nut (Areca catechu); increased risk of hypertension when tricyclic antidepressants are combined with yohimbine (Pausinystalia yohimbe); potentiation of oral and topical corticosteroids by liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra); decreased blood concentrations of prednisolone when taken with the Chinese herbal product xaio chai hu tang (sho-salko-to); and decreased concentrations of phenytoin when combined with the Ayurvedic syrup shankhapushpi. Anthranoid-containing plants (including senna [Cassia senna] and cascara [Rhamnus purshiana]) and soluble fibres (including guar gum and psyllium) can decrease the absorption of drugs. Many reports of herb-drug interactions are sketchy and lack laboratory analysis of suspect preparations. Health-care practitioners should caution patients against mixing herbs and pharmaceutical drugs.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Molecules
                Molecules
                molecules
                Molecules : A Journal of Synthetic Chemistry and Natural Product Chemistry
                MDPI
                1420-3049
                11 September 2017
                September 2017
                : 22
                : 9
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Institute of Medicinal Plant Development, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS), Peking Union Medical College (PUMC), Beijing 100193, China; wqxumio@ 123456163.com
                [2 ]College of Pharmacy, Chung-Ang University, Seoul 156-756, Korea; hykychoi@ 123456cau.ac.kr
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: lfhuang@ 123456implad.ac.cn ; Tel.: +86-10-5783-3197
                Article
                molecules-22-01518
                10.3390/molecules22091518
                6151615
                28892002
                © 2017 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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