Preventive and Therapeutic Roles of Ginseng - Focus on Colon Cancer


Colorectal cancer is one of the most prevalent diseases all over the world. Early screening and start ofchemotherapy is effective in decreasing mortality. This type of cancer can be controlled to some extent via a healthydiet rich in fruit and vegetables. Ginseng is a plant which has been consumed as a herbal medicine for thousandsof years in Asian countries. Several in vitro and in vivo studies have shown that this plant not only reduces theincidence of colorectal cancer, but also improves patient’s status by enhancing the effects of chemotherapy drugs.However, further studies are needed to prove this relationship. We briefly review ginseng and its components suchas ginsenosides reported anticancer effects and their mechanisms of action. Understanding these relationshipsmay produce insights into chemical and pharmacological approaches for enhancing the chemo preventive effectsof ginsenosides and for developing novel anticancer agents.