Yeonmi Lee, Kyoung-Tack Kim, Sung Soo Kim, Jinyoung Hur, Sang Keun Ha, Chang-Won Cho, Sang Yoon Choi

Pharmacognosy Magazine 2014 10(38):272-275

Background: Ginseng root has been traditionally used for the treatment of many diseases in Korea. However, so far ginseng seed has been mostly unused and discarded. As part of our ongoing research on the ginseng seeds, the inhibitory effect of ginseng seeds on melanin production was verified to assess their potential as a skin depigmenting substance. Materials and Methods: The present study measured the inhibitory effect of ginseng seeds on melanin production through the tyrosinase inhibitory effect and analyzed their effects on melanin production in melan-a-cells. Results: Ethanol extract of ginseng seed was applied to melan-a-cells at a concentration of 100 ppm and melanin production was reduced by 35.1% without cytotoxicity. In addition, the ethanol extract of ginseng seed was shown to reduce tyrosinase activity. Conclusion: Because the results showed excellent melanin inhibitory activity compared with that obtained by arbutin, ethanol extracts of ginseng leaf and ginseng root at the same concentration, it can be concluded that ginseng seeds show great potential as a skin depigmenting substance.