Skip to main content
Accessibility  |  About  |  Contact  |  Privacy  |  Terms

Taking Ginseng to Prevent Flu and RSV

  • Published: 2014-04-22 : Georgia State University (LaTina Emerson - lemerson1@gsu.edu - Ph. 404-413-1353).
  • Synopsis: Georgia State University Research finds Ginseng can help treat and prevent influenza and respiratory viruses that infect lungs and breathing passages.
Ginseng
Any one of 11 species of slow-growing perennial plants with fleshy roots, belonging to the genus Panax of the family Araliaceae. Ginseng is found only in the Northern Hemisphere, in North America and in eastern Asia (mostly Korea, northeast China, Bhutan, and eastern Siberia), typically in cooler climates. Panax vietnamensis, discovered in Vietnam, is the southernmost ginseng known. Ginseng root is most often available in dried form, either whole or sliced.

Main Document

Quote: "In his study published in Nutrients, Kang investigated whether red ginseng extract has preventive effects on influenza A virus infection."

In a recent issue of Nutrients and an upcoming publication of the International Journal of Molecular Medicine, Sang-Moo Kang reports the beneficial effects of ginseng, a well-known herbal medicine, on human health.

Kang's primary research focuses on designing and developing effective vaccines against viral diseases such as influenza virus and RSV, but he partnered with a university and research institutes in South Korea that wanted international collaborative projects to study if ginseng can be used to improve health and protect against disease because of the potential benefit in fighting these viruses. Ginseng has been reported to have anticancer, anti-inflammatory and immune modifying abilities.

Seasonal influenza is a serious respiratory disease that causes annual epidemics in humans worldwide, resulting in about three to five million cases of severe illness and about 250,000 to 500,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. Influenza can spread quickly, and new, unexpected pandemic influenza viruses may emerge at any time and cross over to different species. The H1N1 influenza virus, a new strain known as swine flu that emerged in 2009, spread rapidly to more than 74 countries. There are also challenges with existing influenza vaccines, such as required annual updates and no protection against pandemic strains and bird flu.

In addition, there are no vaccines available for RSV, which affects millions and is the leading cause of inflammatory bronchiolitis pneumonia and viral death in infants and in some elderly adults.

In his study published in Nutrients, Kang investigated whether red ginseng extract has preventive effects on influenza A virus infection. He found that red ginseng extract improves the survival of human lung epithelial cells infected with influenza virus. Also, treatment with red ginseng extract reduced the expression of genes that cause inflammation.

After infection with influenza A virus, mice that were orally administered ginseng over a long time showed multiple immune modifying effects, such as stimulated antiviral production of proteins important in immune response and fewer inflammatory cells in their bronchial walls. The study indicates the beneficial effects of red ginseng extract on preventing influenza A virus infections could result from immune modifying capabilities of ginseng.

In his upcoming publication in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine, Kang investigated whether Korean red ginseng extract has antiviral effects, or the ability to treat RSV infection. Kang found Korean red ginseng extract improved the survival of human lung epithelial cells against RSV infection and inhibited the virus from replicating, or multiplying, in the body. In addition, treatment with Korean red ginseng extract suppressed the expression of RSV-induced inflammatory genes and the formation of chemically reactive molecules containing oxygen, which play a role in virus-induced epithelial damage in RSV.

Also, mice that were orally administered Korean red ginseng extract had lower viral levels after infection with RSV. The results suggest that Korean red ginseng extract has antiviral activity against RSV infection.

Kang has further demonstrated ginseng's beneficial effects on influenza and RSV in previously published studies.

Similar Topics

1 - Ginger Facts and Health Benefits - Disabled World.
2 - What is Ginseng? - Disabled World.
3 - Garlic Facts, Remedies, and Health Benefits - Disabled World.
4 - Indian Herbal Medicine: Cures for Constipation - Dr Deepak Acharya.
5 - Improving Health with Herbs and Spices - Stefanie Woodhouse.
From our Herbalism & Herbal Medicine section - Full List (35 Items)

Submit disability news, coming events, as well as assistive technology product news and reviews.


Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.


Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.


List of awareness ribbon colors and their meaning. Also see our calendar of awareness dates.


Blood Pressure Chart - What should your blood pressure be, and information on blood group types/compatibility.



1 - Reduced Attention to Audiovisual Synchrony in Infancy May Predict Autism Diagnosis
2 - Epilepsy Associated with Brain Volume and Thickness Differences
3 - Hearing Charities of America's Hearing Aid Project Changing Lives with Donor's Help
4 - A More Complete Mediterranean Diet May Protect Against Aggressive Prostate Cancer



Citation


Disclaimer: This site does not employ and is not overseen by medical professionals. Content on Disabled World is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. See our Terms of Service for more information.

Reporting Errors: Disabled World is an independent website, your assistance in reporting outdated or inaccurate information is appreciated. If you find an error please let us know.