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August 7, 2012
Undoubtedly, ginseng has won its place among the most valuable herbal remedies known by humanity, due to really numerous therapeutic effects and health benefits of this herb. Originated from East Asia (namely China and Vietnam), ginseng is very commonly used as a natural remedy to boost energy, speed up any kind of recovery, increase stamina, and improve both mental and physical performance. Actually, there are a few types of ginseng used in modern alternative medicine, including American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolium), Asian Ginseng (Panax Ginseng), Japanese ginseng (Panax japonicus), and Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus). All of these medicinal herbs are very rich in flavonoids, essential oils, vitamins B complex, vitamin C, vitamin A, peptides, minerals, and other nutrients.
Ginseng benefits embrace anti-tumor, antidote, immuno-stimulant, stimulant, tonic, aphrodisiac, relaxant, demulcent, adaptogen, and many other healing properties of this natural remedy. Numerous studies have shown positive effects of ginseng on our memory, cognition and brain health (see Physiology & Behavior journal, 75, Apr. 2002 or the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Issue 16, 1986), as well as prevent diabetes mellitus (the Archives of Internal Medicine, 2000), reduce blood pressure (the Annals of Pharmacotherapy, December 2005), and prevent all kinds of sexual disorders. In addition, ginseng has been used for centuries as an effective relaxant and a natural remedy to reduce the symptoms of stresses, boost mental energy and relieve the symptoms linked to PMS in women.
Anti-cancer ginseng benefits have been known before, and for the decades ginseng (mainly American ginseng and Asian ginseng) has been studied as one of the potential natural cancer treatments. According the findings of the previous studies, ginseng could help in treating prostate cancer (Life Sciences, Aug 8 2000), as well as lung and stomach cancer (International Journal of Epidemiology, 1998, 27). Earlier this june, a group of scientists of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center in the United States reported that ginseng can be very successfully used to support any kind of cancer treatment and be an excellent natural solution for tiredness caused by cancer. American specialists suggest that using American ginseng for as long as two month can substantially reduce fatigue and tiredness related to cancer.
The discovered ginseng benefits were tested on 340 cancer patients (60 per cent of those had breast cancer) who had various types of treatments in 40 national community medical establishments. Every day, a group of the participants was given 2,000 mg American ginseng capsules, at the same time control group members were receiving placebo. After four weeks, the first group members reported about slight improvements in their tiredness symptoms. Four weeks later, the improvements were reported as significant. ‘After eight weeks [of the experiment], we saw a 20-point improvement in fatigue in cancer patients, measured on a 100-point, standardized fatigue scale,’ Doctor Debra Barton, one of the study leaders, said. It is also important that no side effects of using this one of the best supporting natural cancer treatments were reported.
This study turned out to be the first one to explore the effects of ginseng as a natural remedy for the debilitating fatigue. This condition is very common in cancer patients, and it is estimated that up to 90 per cent of those suffer from chronic debilitating fatigue. Mayo Clinic scientists are sure that the discovered ginseng benefits should be attributed to a high content of ginsenosides, a type of active ingredients of ginseng which have been previously shown to reduce inflammation and balance cortisol levels. According to Dr Barton, cancer is a serious health conditions related to constant stresses which cause extreme chronic fatigue, and due to excellent fatigue relieving health benefits of ginseng, this remedy should be considered among supporting natural cancer treatments. The findings of this study were presented this summer at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.