Difficulty sleeping is a common trouble for cancer patients. This problem may fade away as soon as you no longer bother with the depression and anxiety of knowing your cancer diagnosis at the first beginning, but may still last due to discomfort and pain from coming treatments.
There are various ways known to help improve sleep like food healing and music therapy, and some phytochemical herbs also show sleep-promoting effects.
Ginseng is a popular medicinal herb around the world and its health benefits are broad, ranging from immune boost to cancer treatment aid.
Researchers from South Korean confirmed ginseng’s benefits in sleep improvement in a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology.
Red ginseng extract intake reduced the total wake time while increased sleep efficacy among fifteen young male healthy volunteers aged from 15 to 37 who orally received 1500 mg of red ginseng extract.
The sleep-promoting effects of ginseng are predominantly due to the presence of its active ingredients, called ginsenosides. Ginsenosides have been shown to exert sedative and hypnotic effects through certain mechanisms.
Ginsenosides Rk1 and Rg5 are two metabolized ginsenosides. They show stronger bioactivity compared to their parent ginsenosides naturally present in the ginseng.
Ginsenosides Rk1 and Rg5 were found to reduce locomotor activity and sleep latency to improve sleep time and quality in mice models. Their sleep-promoting effect was achieved by affecting the sleep-associated substances in the neuron system.
In addition to sleep promotion, ginsenosides Rk1 and Rg5 show chemoprevention potential, and they can be potentially used to help cancer treatment due to their strong toxicity against cancer cells.
A huge group of cancer patients has been reported to use herbal supplements to help their cancer treatment, among which ginseng is a popular choice.
It is worth to note that ginseng products like fresh ginseng or ginseng powder can barely provide you with ginsenosides because prototype ginsenosides in these products are large molecules and can’t be absorbed by human bodies.
In contrast, rare ginsenoside products are good choices. They are easily absorbable and highly bioactive to deliver substantial effects.