Panax ginseng / Korean Red Ginseng
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Korean Red Ginseng, also known as Panax Ginseng is a relatively common and well-known herb that has been used successfully for thousands of years to treat a variety of health problems, including lung disease. It is especially common in Traditional Chinese Medicine, but more and more people in the west are becoming familiar with this plant. Some of the respiratory health problems that ginseng can help treat include these:
- Chronic pulmonary obstructive disease (COPD)
- Respiratory infections (common cold, swine flu, influenza, COVID-19, rhinoviruses, etc.)
- Chronic bronchitis
- Pseudomonas bacterium and Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infections, as well as prevention of the development of biofilms by the P. aeruginosa bacteria
- Cystic fibrosis
- Lung cancer
- Streptococcus pneumoniae infection
- Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
- Nerve problems
Ginseng is a natural anti-inflammatory, expectorant, immuno-stimulatory, and antioxidant. This particular form of ginseng, Panax ginseng, is one of the most powerful kinds of ginseng, though other types of ginseng (like American ginseng, for example) work in a similar way. The root of the ginseng plant is most often used, but the stem and leaves of the plant also have active constituents that can be used therapeutically, too.
Ginsenosides, the active constituents of ginseng, are known to be able to reduce certain pro-inflammatory cytokines, including IL-6, TNF-a, and IL-8 in particular (IL-6 and TNF-a are specifically implicated in cytokine storm syndrome). Ginseng may also be able to reduce nitric oxide levels. This plant medicine works well in patients who are suffering from nerve problems or dementia along with lung-related issues.
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In one study, a dose of 100 mg of Panax ginseng administered twice daily for 12 weeks was able to improve pulmonary function in COPD patients. A different study demonstrated that 100 mg of ginseng given twice daily over the course of 9 days was able to increase bacterial clearance and reduce bacterial counts in the bronchial system better than conventional antibiotic treatment with amoxicillin and clavulanic acid.
Another study administered 200 mg of Panax ginseng two times a day for 4 weeks to patients with moderate, severe, or very severe COPD. The patients were all between the ages of 40-80 and all had “lung qi deficiency” (according to Traditional Chinese Medicine). Some patients also had either “spleen qi deficiency” or “kidney qi deficiency”. Overall, the study proved successful and demonstrated that ginseng does have a positive effect on COPD symptoms. No adverse effects were reported during treatment.
Other Important Links:
Singh, Jagdev (2017). Panax ginseng. Retrieved April 21, 2022 from: https://www.ayurtimes.com/panax-ginseng/
Alsayari, Abdulrhaman, et. al. (2021). Pharmacological Efficacy of Ginseng against Respiratory Tract Infection. Retrieved April 21, 2022 from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8271507/
Lei, Wu, et. al. (2014). Panax ginseng therapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a clinical trial protocol and pilot study. Retrieved April 21, 2022 from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4144315/