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Recent Studies on Panax Ginseng

Ginseng 1200mg may help improve quality of life

Annals of Pharmacotherapy, 'Effects of Panax ginseng on quality of life', Ellis JM, Reddy P. 2002

Objective: To assess the time-dependent effects of Panax ginseng on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) by use of a general health status questionnaire.

Methods: Methods: Subjects were randomized in a double-blind manner to P. ginseng 200 mg/d or placebo for 8 weeks. The Short Form-36 Health Survey version 2 (SF-36v2), a validated general health status questionnaire, was used to assess HRQOL at baseline and at 4 and 8 weeks. HRQOL between the groups was compared by use of repeated-measures analysis of covariance.

Results: There were no significant differences in baseline demographics and SF-36v2 scores between the groups. After 4 weeks of therapy, higher scores in social functioning, mental health and the mental component summary scales were observed in patients randomized to P. ginseng; these differences did not persist to the 8-week time point. The incidence of adverse effects was 33% in the P. ginseng group compared with 17% in the placebo group (p = 0.40). Subjects given P. ginseng (58%) were more likely to state that they received active therapy than subjects given placebo.

Conclusions: P. ginseng improves aspects of mental health and social functioning after 4 weeks of therapy, although these differences attenuate with continued use.

American Journal of Epidemiology, 'Association of ginseng use with survival and quality of life among breast cancer patients', Cui Y et al, 2006

The authors evaluated the associations of ginseng use as a complementary therapy with survival and quality of life (QOL) in a cohort of 1,455 breast cancer patients who were recruited to the Shanghai Breast Cancer Study between August 1996 and March 1998 in Shanghai, China.

Patients were followed through December 2002. Information on ginseng use before cancer diagnosis was collected at baseline recruitment and was linked to survival. Survivors' ginseng use after cancer diagnosis was obtained at the follow-up survey and was correlated to QOL at the same time. The Kaplan-Meier method and Cox regression models were applied to evaluate the association of ginseng use with overall and disease-free survival.

The relation of ginseng use and QOL was evaluated by using multiple linear regression models. Approximately 27% of study participants were regular ginseng users before cancer diagnosis. Compared with patients who never used ginseng, regular users had a significantly reduced risk of death; adjusted hazard ratios associated with ginseng use were 0.71 for total mortality and 0.70 for disease-specific mortality/recurrence.

Ginseng use after cancer diagnosis, particularly current use, was positively associated with QOL scores, with the strongest effect in the psychological and social well-being domains. Additionally, QOL improved as cumulative ginseng use increased.