Schematic overview of ginsenosides-mediated genomic and non-genomic pathways. Ginsenosides possess a steroid-like skeleton composed of four trans-rings with different degrees of glyco-substitution. They are amphipathic in nature and can exhibit their actions at different cellular locations; such as the plasma membrane, cytosol and nucleus. Through the non-genomic pathway (indicated by red arrows), (i) they can initiate their actions by binding with the transmembrane receptors (e.g. ATPase pump, ion transporters and channels, voltage-gated channels and G-proteins) and subsequently activating the associated downstream signaling cascades. Moreover, they can intercalate into the plasma membrane resulting in an alteration of membrane fluidity and a trigger of a series of cellular responses. (ii) binding with steroid hormone receptors (SHRs) including glucocorticoid receptor (GR), estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), androgen receptor (AR) and mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) present inside or outside the nucleus by using their hydrophobic backbone is another alternative to trigger downstream cellular responses. Those activated (phosphorylated) SHRs can activate the target molecules through a signaling cascade that brings about various cellular responses. (iii) the ligand-bound SHRs can translocate into the nucleus, where they regulate gene transcription by binding with the specific Response Elements (XRE). This is the so called 'genomic pathway' (indicated by blue arrows). Consequently, the altered gene products can affect the final cellular responses.