Antiallergic Activity

Ginsenosides have been demonstrated to have anti-allergic activity in vitro. One of the metabolites, 20-0-beta-d-glucopyranosyl-20(S)-protopanaxadiol, was found to inhibit beta-hexosaminidase release from rat basophil leukaemia cells and potently reduce passive cutaneous anaphylaxis reaction. The inhibitory activity of protopanaxadiol was more potent than that of disodium cromoglycate, an antiallergic drug. The compound stabilised membranes but had no effect on hyaluroni-dase and did not scavenge free radicals. These results suggest that the anti-allergic action of protopanaxadiol originates from its cell membrane-stabilising activity and that the ginsenosides are prodrugs with anti-allergic properties (Choo et al 2003)

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