In vitro candidacidal action of Korean red ginseng saponins against Candida albicans

Biol Pharm Bull. 2008 Jan;31(1):139-42. doi: 10.1248/bpb.31.139.


Korean red ginseng saponins (ginsenosides) have been reported as having various biological properties, but the antifungal effects and the mode of action of ginsenosides remain mostly unknown. In this study, saponins were isolated from Korean red ginseng, and the antifungal effects of ginsenosides were investigated. Ginsenosides showed fungicidal effects toward pathogenic fungi tested. To elucidate the antifungal mode of action of ginsenosides, flow cytometry analysis and the change in membrane dynamics using 1,6-diphenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene (DPH), as a plasma membrane probe, were performed with Candida albicans. The results suggest that ginsenosides may exert antifungal activity by disrupting the structure of cell membrane. The present study indicates that ginsenosides have considerable antifungal activity, deserving further investigation for clinical applications.

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Candida albicans / drug effects*
  • Cell Membrane / drug effects
  • Ginsenosides / pharmacology*
  • Korea
  • Membrane Potentials / drug effects
  • Panax / chemistry*


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Ginsenosides