Ginseng saponins, aka ginsenosides, are bioactive phytochemicals from Panax species. Panax comes from the Greek word “panakos,” which means “cure-all.” Owing to their involvement in the creation of numerous medications and nutritional supplements, ginseng saponins play an essential part, especially in the pharmaceutical sector. The main ginsenosides (i.e., Rb1, Rb2, Rc, Rd and Rf) are extracted using a variety of extraction methods, although from a limited number of Panax species. However, more than ca 1000 unique ginsenosides and 18 Panax species have been reported so far, thus demonstrating our present challenge in better understanding of the potential medicinal uses of these compounds. Moreover, ginsenoside production and extraction methods are both time-consuming and inefficient, which has stimulated the development of several efficient extraction and biotechnological technologies to speed up these processes. In this chapter, we highlighted the need to expand the cutting-edge research approaches involving these unique ginsenosides to better understand their biological activities and discover new bioactive ginsenosides as well. The main objective of this chapter is to discuss the undiscovered aspects and limitations of the current biotechnological and extraction technologies, eventually to provide a platform for the production of these unique ginsenosides.
Part of the book: Ginseng