Antioxidant Activities of Various Solvent Extracts from Ginseng (Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer) Leaves

  • Kang, Ok-Ju (Department of Food and Nutrition, Kyungnam University)
  • Received : 2011.09.27
  • Accepted : 2011.10.24
  • Published : 2011.12.31


Water, methanol and ethanol extracts of ginseng leaves were assayed for total phenolics and flavonoids, ascorbic acid, cupric and ferrous ion chelating activities, 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity, ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay and ABTS radical cation decolourization (TEAC) assay for their antioxidant properties. The ethanol extract of ginseng leaves contained significantly (p<0.05) higher amounts of total phenolics and flavonoids (600.57 and 1701 mg/100 g) than methanol (374.43 and 1512.64 mg/100 g) and water extracts (248.30 and 680.05 mg/100 g). Among solvent extracts of ginseng leaves, the ethanol extract showed the most powerful antioxidant activities. However, the ferrous ion chelating activity of ginseng leaf extracts were lower than the cupric ion chelating ability. These differences in concentrations of key antioxidants among various solvent extracts seemed to be responsible for their differences in antioxidant activities. These results suggest that ethanol extract of ginseng leaves has the most effective antioxidant capacity compared to the methanol and water extracts tested in the present study. Thus, it can be applied for the effective extraction of functional material from ginseng leaves for the usage of pharmaceutical and/or food industries.


Supported by : Kyungnam University


  1. Evans WC. 1989. Trease and Evans Pharmacology. 13th ed. Oxford: English Language Book Society, London, England. p 490.
  2. Wen J, Zimmer EA. 1996. Phylogeny and biogeography of Panax L. (the Ginseng Genus, Araliaceae): Inferences from ITS sequences of nuclear ribosomal DNA. Mol Phylogenet Evol 6: 167-177.
  3. Kim SY, Kim SH, Shin KS, Lee H. 2010. Physiological activities of ginsenoside-rich fraction isolated from Panax ginseng leaves. Food Sci Biotechnol 19: 803-808.
  4. Kim SD, Do JH, Oh HI, Lee SJ. 1981. Effects of processing methods on the quality of ginseng leaf tea. Korean J Food Sci Technol 13: 267-272.
  5. Kwon JH, Byun MW, Choi KJ, Kwon DW, Cho HO. 1992. Effects of decontamination treatment on chemical components of Panax ginseng-leaf tea. Korean J Food Sci Technol 24: 65-69.
  6. Duke JA. 1989. Ginseng. A Concise Hand Book. Reference Publication Inc, Algonac, MI, USA. p 91-101.
  7. Li TSC, Mazza G, Cottrell AC, Gao L. 1996. Ginsenosides in roots and leaves of American ginseng. J Agric Food Chem 44: 717-720.
  8. Park SN, Choi SW, Boo YC, Kim CK, Lee TY. 1990. Effects of flavonoids of ginseng leaves on erythrocyte membranes against singlet oxygen caused damage. Korean J Ginseng Sci 14: 191-199.
  9. Park HS, Kwak TH, Moon DG, Kim JJ, Chen J. 2004. Development of the anti-cancer immunotheraphy for human prostate cancer: in vivo characterization of an immunotropic and anti-cancer activities of the new polysaccharide from the leaves of Panax ginseng C. A. Meyer. Eur Urol Suppl 3: 365-366.
  10. Xie JT, Mehendale SR, Wang A, Han AH, Wu JA, Osinski J, Yuan CS. 2004. American ginseng leaf: Ginsenoside analysis and hypoglycemic activity. Pharmacol Res 49: 113-117.
  11. Singleton VL, Lamuela-Raventos RM. 1999. Analysis of total phenols and other oxidation substrates and antioxidants by means of Folin-Ciocalteu reagent. Meth Enzymol 299: 152-178.
  12. Kirk RS, Sawyer R. 1991. Pearson's Composition and Analysis of Foods. 9th ed. Longman Scientific and Technical, London, England. p 607-617.
  13. Woisky RG, Salatino A. 1998. Analysis of propolis: Some parameters and procedures for chemical quality control. J Agric Res 37: 99-105.
  14. Wang L, Xiong YL. 2005. Inhibition of lipid oxidation in cooked beef patties by hydrolyzed potato protein is related to its reducing and radical scavenging ability. J Agric Food Chem 53: 9186-9192.
  15. Dinis TCP, Madeira VMC, Almerida LM. 1994. Action of phenolic derivatives (acetoaminophen, salycilate and 5-aminosalycilate) as inhibitors of membrane lipid peroxidation and as peroxyl radical scavenges. Arch Biochem Biophys 315: 161-169.
  16. Yen GC, Hsieh PP. 1995. Antioxidative activity and scavenging effects on xylose-lysine Maillard reaction products. J Sci Food Agric 67: 415-420.
  17. Benzie IFF, Strain JJ. 1996. The ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) as a measure of antioxidant power the FRAP assay. Anal Biochem 239: 70-76.
  18. Re R, Pellegrini N, Proteggente A, Pannala A, Yang M, Rice-Evans C. 1999. Antioxidant activity applying an improved ABTS radical cation decolourization assay. Free Radic Biol Med 26: 1231-1237.
  19. Shahidi F, Wanasundara PK. 1992. Phenolic antioxidants. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 32: 67-103.
  20. Suresh Kumar P, Sucheta S, Deepa S, Selvamani P, Latha S. 2008. Antioxidant activity in some selected Indian medicinal plants. African J Biotech 7: 1826-1828.
  21. Michalak A. 2006. Phenolic compounds and their antioxidant activity in plants growing under heavy metal stress. Polish J Environ Stud 15: 523-530.
  22. Rice-Evans CA, Miller NJ, Pagana G. 1996. Structure-antioxidant activity relationship of flavonoids and phenolic acids. Free Radic Biol Med 20: 933-956.
  23. Jung CH, Seog HM, Choi IW, Cho HY. 2008. Antioxidant activities of cultivated and wild Korean ginseng leaves. Food Chem 92: 535-540.
  24. Socha R, Juszczak L, Pietrzyk S, Fortuna T. 2009. Antioxidant activity and phenolic composition of herbhoneys. Food Chem 113: 568-574.
  25. Zhang Y, Wang ZZ. 2009. Phenolic composition and antioxidant activities of two Phlomis species: a correlation study. CR Biol 332: 816-826.
  26. Ramamoorthy PK, Bono A. 2007. Antioxidant activity, total phenolic and flavonoid content of Morinda citrifolia fruit extracts from various extraction processes. J Eng Sci Technol 2: 70-80.
  27. Li X, Wang X, Chen D, Chen S. 2011. Antioxidant activity and mechanism of protocatechuic acid in vitro. Functional Foods in Health and Disease 7: 232-244.
  28. Kitts DD, Arosha NW, Chun H. 2000. Antioxidant properties of a North American ginseng extract. Mol Cell Biochem 203: 1-10.
  29. Rice-Evans CA, Miller NJ, Bolwell GP, Bramley PM, Pridham JB. 1995. The relative antioxidants activities of plantderived polyphenolic flavonoids. Free Radical Res 22: 375-383.
  30. Cheng IF, Breen K. 2000. On the ability of four flavonoids baicilein, luteolin, naringenin, and quercetin to suppress the Fenton reaction of the iron-ATP complex. Biometals 13: 77-83.
  31. Grinberg LN, Newmark H, Kitrossky N, Rahamim E, Chevion D, Rachmilewitz E. 1997. Protective effects of tea polyphenols against oxidative damage to red blood cells. Biochem Pharmacol 54: 973-975.
  32. Khokhar S, Apentent RKO. 2003. Iron binding characteristics of phenolics compounds: Some tentative structure-activity relations. Food Chem 81: 133-140.
  33. Shih PW, Lai PL, Jen HWK. 2006. Antioxidant activities of aqueous extracts of selected plants. Food Chem 99: 775-783.
  34. Jung CH, Seog HM, Choi IW, Park MW, Cho HY. 2006. Antioxidant properties of various solvent extracts from wild ginseng leaves. LWT-Food Sci Technol 39: 266-274.
  35. Robards K, Prenzeler PD, Tucker G, Swatsitang P, Glover W. 1999. Phenolic compounds and their role in oxidative process in fruits. Food Chem 66: 401-436.
  36. Pyo YH, Lee TC, Logendra L, Rosen RT. 2004. Antioxidant activity and phenolic compounds of Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris subspecies cycla) extracts. Food Chem 85: 19-26.
  37. Marinova EM, Yanishlieva NV. 1997. Antioxidative activity of extracts from selected species of the family Lamiaceae in sunflower oil. Food Chem 58: 245-248.
  38. Duh PD. 1998. Antioxidant activity of burdock (Arctium lappa Linne): its scavenging effect on free radical and active oxygen. J Am Oil Chem Soc 75: 455-461.
  39. Shon MY, Kim TH, Sung NJ. 2003. Antioxidants and free radical scavenging activity of Phellinus baumii extracts. Food Chem 82: 593-597.
  40. Xing R, Liu S, Guo Z. 2006. The antioxidant activity of glucosamine hydrochloride in vitro. Bioorg Med Chem 14: 1706-1709.
  41. Oktay M, Culcin I, Kufrevioglu OI. 2003. Determination of in vitro antioxidant activity of ennel (Foenniculum vulgare) seed extracts. LWT-Food Sci Technol 36: 263-271.
  42. Li HB, Wong CC, Cheng KW, Chen F. 2008. Antioxidant activities in vitro and total phenolic contents in methanol extracts from medicinal plants. LWT-Food Sci Technol 41: 385-390.
  43. Rufián-Henares JA, Morales FJ. 2007. Functional properties of melanoidins: In vitro antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antihypertensive activities. Food Res Int 40: 995-1002.
  44. Hagerman AE, Riedl KM, Jones GA, Sovik KN, Ritchard NT, Hartzfeld PW, Riechel TL. 1998. High molecular weight plant polyphenolics (tannins) as biological antioxidants. J Agric Food Chem 46: 1887-1892.