Ethnopharmacological significance: Panax notoginseng (Burk.) F. H. Chen (Araliacea) is traditionally used for its hemostatic and cardiovascular effects when raw and as a tonic when steamed.
Aim of the study: This study aims to compare the effects of raw and steamed Panax notoginseng, Panax ginseng C. A. Meyer and Panax quinquefolium Linn. on platelet aggregation and plasma coagulation.
Materials and methods: Effects on collagen-induced platelet aggregation were investigated using a platelet aggregometer, while the plasma coagulation times (prothrombin time, activated partial thromboplastin time and thrombin time) were determined using a blood coagulation analyzer. The data was corroborated with ex vivo platelet aggregation and in vivo rat bleeding time.
Results: Raw and steamed Panax notoginseng significantly inhibit platelet aggregation and plasma coagulation. Steamed Panax notoginseng has significantly more potent antiplatelet and anticoagulant effects than the raw extract, and the antiplatelet and anticoagulant effects increase with increasing steaming durations. Comparing the three common Panax species, Panax notoginseng has higher antiplatelet effect than Panax ginseng and Panax quinquefolium. The in vitro antiplatelet and anticoagulant effects are positively translated into a prolongation of in vivo rat bleeding time after oral administration of the raw and steamed extracts.
Conclusion: The results indicate that the three common Panax species affect platelet aggregation and plasma coagulation differently, with steamed Panax notoginseng showing the greatest antiplatelet and anticoagulant effects. Panax notoginseng may be a good source of lead compounds for novel antiplatelet and anticoagulant therapeutics.