In The News: Ginseng for Cancer-Related Fatigue

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Herbal study alert! According to new research, ginseng (that creepy-looking plant that is always hard for us herbie editors to find pictures of) may lower fatigue in cancer patients.

Native Americans have used American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) for centuries to treat fevers, colic, convulsions, dysentery and headaches. The Chinese even consider it a healthful tonic that supports the adrenal glands, regulates metabolism and increases fluids. Now, a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology says that it may ease a specific symtom that comes with cancer treatments.

The study included 340 participants who were either undergoing cancer treatments or had just completed their treatments. During an eight-week period, participants were given either a placebo or a pill that contained 2,000 milligrams of American ginseng root. At the start of the study, participants were asked to rate their fatigue on a 100-point scale. This scored averaged around 55. After the week was over, researches noted a 20-point improvement in their patient’s cancer-related fatigue.

Ginseng is used today to battle other health concerns. Some people use it to improve physical and mental performance under stress, enhance cognitive function, and boost energy. This herb may also ward off diabetes and lower blood sugar. Be sure to talk with your health-care professional before using ginseng.

Photo by Maxim Lavrov/Fotolia

Published on Jun 6, 2012

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