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Is ginseng good for cancer patients?

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Is ginseng good for cancer patients?Cancer patients are easy to feel fatigue and weakness because their bodies are fighting with cancer cells all the days. They need to absorb more nutrient ingredients than usual to support body functions.

Ginseng is one of the top selected herbal medicines among cancer patients. It is regarded as an “all-healing” medicinal plant and people use it to boost recovery in many ways when they feel desperately tried and weak.

In the past thousands of years, people used ginseng as an effective remedy to help treat a variety of health problems although they didn’t know how this magic herb worked to good effects. In the recent decades, scientists have found that it is ginsenosides, the main pharmacologically active ingredients in ginseng, that contribute to the amazing health benefits of ginseng.

Ginsenosides have been demostrated in modern science to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, immunomodulatory activities. The finding of these bioactive effects is matched with the traditional wisdoms over thousands of years.

As a household energy booster, ginseng is sure to play some positive role in helping the recovery of cancer patients.

Below lists four promising roles of ginseng and ginsenosides for cancer patients.

1.Helps relieve cancer related fatigue

Ginseng is used in Herbal Medicine to help enhance physical capacity/performance in cases of physical stress and it helps reduce fatigue.

A Mayo Clinic Cancer Center-led study found that ginseng use can help relieve chemotherapy-related fatigue. In the double-blind trial, participants in the ginseng group received 2,000 mg of American ginseng (containing 3% ginsenosides) per day and they had statistically significant improvement in fatigue at both 4 and 8 weeks.

A randomized, double-blind, parallel, multicenter trial conducted by the researchers from South Korea evaluated the anti-fatigue effect of Korean Red Ginseng (steamed Panax ginseng) on  patients with colorectal cancer. The findings showed that 219 colorectal cancer patients in treatment with mFOLFOX-6 regimen and Korean Red Ginseng received more benefits in usual fatigue, mood, relations with others, walking ability and enjoyment of life over 16 weeks.

2.Helps promote healthy immune systems

Ginseng is also known as an immune modulator, and it can regulate a huge number of immune cells to keep the stability and balance of the immune system.

The immune health benefits of ginseng were supported by a recent study published in the Journal of Ginseng Research. The study revealed that Korean red ginseng, a processed panax ginseng with higher ginsenoside content, helped boost the immune system of healthy people.

Some studies also suggested that ginseng and ginsenosides delivered immune health benefits among cancer patients. A South Korean research team found that patients receiving red ginseng during postoperative chemotherapy had a higher five-year disease-free survival and overall survival rate than the control group in a study of 42 patients with stage III gastric cancer.

The study concluded that red ginseng could potentially boost postoperative immunity and survival in patients with stage III gastric cancer.

3.Helps enhance the effects of chemotherapy as adjuvent

Ginsenosides shows brilliant antitumor activities and they can be used as a promising adjuvant to enhance the effects of chemotherapy.

A study was conducted to reviewed eligible randomized controlled trials to evaluate the efficacy of ginseng and ginsenosides as adjuvants to chemotherapy in non-small cell lung cancer. It showed that ginseng had positive effects on reducing adverse reactions and enhancing quality of life. Amazingly, in addition to the benefits ginseng exerts, ginsenosides were shown to improve immunity and prolong survival rates.

4.Helps improve quality of life

Quality of life is the perceived quality of a person’s daily life, and its eveluation involves emotional, social and physcial conditions.

Health-related quality of life is an index used to assess how the well-being of people may be affected over time by a disease. Korean researchers investigated the effects of red ginseng on health-related quality of life and survival after adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with epithelial ovarian cancer.

The results showed that red ginseng treatment helped improved health-related quality of life. Patients in the red ginseng treatment group experienced improved emotional functioning, decreased symptoms of fatigue, nausea and vomiting, and dyspnea, reduced anxiety, and improved daytime sleepiness.

Additionally, in the study, red ginseng was also found to be helpful with genotoxicity reduction, although there were no statistically significant differences in the survival outcomes.

Conclusion

Many clinical trials supported the postive effects of ginseng among cancer patients, despite limited populations. Ginseng is potentially good for cancer patients in reducing fatigue, enhancing the effects of chemotherapy, and improving mmunity and quality of life.

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