Published on 08/06/2012
The herb commonly known as American ginseng has been shown to help cancer patients with fatigue during and after treatment.
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic looked at 340 patients who were either post cancer treatment or currently undergoing treatment. 60 per cent of these patients suffered from breast cancer.
Each day the patients were given 2,000 milligrams of pure American ginseng root that had been ground up and put in capsule form.
After eight weeks, people in the ginseng group reported a sudden jump in energy levels. According to the scientists, there was an average 20-point improvement in fatigue measured on a 100-point standardised fatigue scale. The placebo group experienced no effects.
Their findings will be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting.
Researcher Debra Barton, Ph.D., of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center emphasised that quality of the herb is very important: "Off-the-shelf ginseng is sometimes processed using ethanol, which can give it oestrogen-like properties that may be harmful to breast cancer patients."
Previous studies have shown other beneficial effects of American ginseng. It has been found to decrease levels of blood sugar in people with Type 2 diabetes, and it has stopped colorectal cancer cell growth in a lab study on cells.
The University of Maryland Medical Center warns that people should consult their doctor before taking ginseng as it can cause a number of side effects, some of which are potentially dangerous.
If you are looking to be covered for alternative treatment on your private medical insurance, look for a health insurance policy with full cover for complementary therapy.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012Categories: Health