Whether you’re herbal maniac or not, you’ve probably heard of the term “Ginseng” at least once. Ginseng is one of the most commonly known spices used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for an extremely large variety of uses such as for treating colds, treating diabetes, or as general immunity boosters.
Ginseng has many species in its genus. Each species has their own unique beneficial properties used to treat different symptoms. One such species, is the Panax Notoginseng (notoginseng), or more commonly known as Tian Qi (田七) or Sanqi (三七). Notoginseng has a rather rockier appearance than the more commonly recognized “human-like” shape of Asian or American Ginseng.
Traditionally, notoginseng roots have been used in China for centuries as painkillers and blood regulating drugs. As technology advances, more and more new benefits have come to light in recent years, such as to stop both internal and external bleeding, regulate blood pressure, improve blood circulation, increasing platelet count, lowering risk and treating of cardiovascular diseases.
Though not yet as commonly sold in the market compared to Asian or American Ginseng, the demand for notoginseng has significantly increased in the last few years. With more people and companies taking notice of this plant’s therapeutic properties, numerous notoginseng-based products have been introduced, with some of the notoginseng products bound to be less effective than others. It could be caused during processing of the roots, or due to cultivation conditions of the notoginseng plants.
In view of this, we at ChemoPower decided to conduct a study on notoginseng, with the objective of finding out if four selected different notoginseng products have a significant difference in health beneficial properties.
Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry was used for the analysis, and we successfully identified a total of 211 compounds with detection limit of 0.013% of total chromatogram area. Of all the compounds identified, 75 compounds were found to have properties that were beneficial to human health. Some of the most notable health benefits of these compounds were: anti-inflammatory, antitussive, and anti-bacterial properties.
From the results, it was shown that the notoginseng powder had the highest abundance of components with health beneficial properties. A conclusion has been drawn that notoginseng products have similar compounds and thus have similar health beneficial properties, but may differ in the abundance of the compounds which brings to the difference in effectiveness between each product.
All results obtained were analyzed using ChemoPower’s software, SmartDalton™ and MoleculeDB™.
Only volatile contents in each sample were being analyzed, thus the data obtained may not be a true reflection of all compounds present.
Article written by:
Intern (Singapore Polytechnic)
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