Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. Asthma affects people of all ages. In the recent ten years, the incidence and mortality of asthma in the United States, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and other countries have been on the rise. About one hundred million asthma patients in the world are diagnosed with asthma, which has made it one of the major chronic diseases that pose a serious threat to public health.
Panax ginseng, also known as Asian ginseng, is a species of plant whose root is the original source of ginseng. Ginsenosides, the main bioactive constituents of Panax ginseng, exhibit various pharmaceutical activities, such as antitumor, antioxidant, immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory.
Many scientists conducted research about the effects of Panax ginseng on the respiratory system, find that Panax ginseng exhibit anti-asthmatic activity. For example, Babayigit et al. investigated the anti-asthmatic activity of P. ginseng in a murine model of chronic asthma sensitized by ovalbumin. When compared with the placebo group, all the chronic histopathologic changes of airways in P. ginseng group were significantly ameliorated. Additionally, Panax ginseng was reported to suppress airway hyperresponsiveness, ovalbumin-specific IgE levels, and inflammatory cytokine production. Kim and Yang illustrated that Panax ginseng reduced airway inflammation in allergic asthma mice model and investigated the underlying mechanism. The Panax ginseng-treated group restored not only the expression of inflammatory cells but also the mRNA and protein levels of the cytokines.
Previous studies proved that long-term use of Panax ginseng and ginsenosides can benefit people in various ways, including improving cardiovascular conditions, strengthening the immune system. For those who suffer from asthma, Panax ginseng and ginsenosides may be an adjuvant agent.