Skip to comments.Ginseng Can Help Keep You Clear Of Colds, Say Scientists
Posted on 10/25/2005 5:37:57 PM PDT by blam
Ginseng can help keep you clear of colds, say scientists
By Nic Fleming, Science Correspondent
People who take ginseng suffer substantially fewer colds, research published yesterday showed.
Only one in 10 of those given daily doses of North American ginseng root extract suffered two or more colds during four months including winter, compared with almost a quarter of those taking placebos.
While a range of health benefits have been claimed for the herb, including combating flu and colds, many previous attempts to test such claims scientifically have been of poor quality.
Publication of the research in the Canadian Medical Association Journal follows a Meteorological Office warning a week ago that this winter is likely to be significantly colder than average.(UK)
Dr Tapan Basu, of the University of Alberta, who led the study, said: "A moderate dose of extract of the root of North American ginseng was associated with an absolute risk reduction of recurrent colds, as well as a reduction in the mean number of colds per person."
"The total symptom score was 31 per cent lower and the total number of days symptoms were reported 34.5 per cent less in the ginseng group than in the placebo group.
"The ginseng extract was also found to be effective in the reducing of the severity of symptoms and the number of days symptoms relating to colds were reported."
A group of 130 people aged 18 to 65 from Edmonton, Canada, who said they had suffered from at least two colds the previous year, took capsules of ginseng extract twice a day for four months over the winter.
Another group of 149 individuals was given placebos during the same period. Participants did not know which group they were in.
Among those who took ginseng, the proportion who caught two or more colds in the four months was 10 per cent and the average number of colds was 0.68.
In the control group, 23 per cent had two or more colds and the average number of colds was 0.93.
Active constituents of ginseng have been shown to improve the immune system by stimulating the production of immunoglobulin - proteins that bind to foreign substances such as bacteria when they invade the body.
It is estimated that most adults catch two to five colds a year. Young children represent the main reservoir of common cold viruses, with nurseries and schools being prime infection centres.
While more people catch colds and flu during colder weather, there is no scientific consensus on why this is. One recent theory is that breathing in cold air lowers resistance to infection.
A previous study involving 256 people and reported at the National Institute of Mental Health conference in Florida, suggested that a combination of ginseng and another herb, ginkgo, enhanced memory and reduced mental fatigue.
That's not ginseng, not at 6' tall.
Marathon County has the largest concentration of ginseng farms in the U.S. Many of them have gone out of business due to a glut in the market. One Canadian Company is sitting on 1/4 million pounds of dry roots and can't get rid of them. The Asians are looking for wild or wild-simulated ginseng that does not contain chemicals like WI grown roots.
The best in the world comes from New York State.
Yes, I'm aware of that. The mother of a friend of mine hunted the woods of southern Illinois for wild ginseng thirty years ago for the Asian market. That was the first time I'd ever heard of ginseng.