Panax ginseng is one of the most universally used herbal medicines in Asian and Western countries. Most of the biological activities of ginseng are derived from its main constituents, ginsenosides. Interestingly, a number of studies have reported that ginsenosides and their metabolites/derivatives-including ginsenoside (G)-Rb1, compound K, G-Rb2, G-Rd, G-Re, G-Rg1, G-Rg3, G-Rg5, G-Rh1, G-Rh2, and G-Rp1-exert anti-inflammatory activities in inflammatory responses by suppressing the production of proinflammatory cytokines and regulating the activities of inflammatory signaling pathways, such as nuclear factor-κB and activator protein-1. This review discusses recent studies regarding molecular mechanisms by which ginsenosides play critical roles in inflammatory responses and diseases, and provides evidence showing their potential to prevent and treat inflammatory diseases.
Keywords: Panax ginseng; ginsenosides; inflammation; inflammatory diseases; signaling.