Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a leading cause of death worldwide. Chronic gut inflammation is recognized as a risk factor for tumor development, including CRC. American ginseng is a very commonly used ginseng species in the West.
Ginseng, a perennial plant belonging to the genus Panax of Araliaceae, is well known for its medicinal properties that help alleviate pathological symptoms, promote health, and prevent potential diseases. Among the active ingredients of ginseng are saponins, most of which are glycosides of triterpenoid aglycones. So far, numerous saponins have been reported as components of Panax ginseng, also known as Korean ginseng. Herein, we summarize available information about 113 saponins related to Panax ginseng; more than 80 of them are isolated from raw or processed ginseng, and the others are acid/base hydrolysates, semi-synthetic saponins, or metabolites.