Ginseng: An Effective Treatment for Cancer?

Comments · 153 Views

Ginseng benefits are mainly due to its antioxidant properties and helps in various health symptoms such as inflammation and low immunity.

Ginseng is a plant that has been used for centuries in several countries for its medicinal properties. It has several properties that reportedly help in curing various health problems, such as hair loss, erectile dysfunction, common cold, and diabetes. According to recent research, it can also help in cancer treatment. While there is a difference of opinion among researchers regarding its effectiveness, a certain variety of American ginseng given in prescribed amounts is producing positive results. Ginseng is thus recommended by many as part of an integrative cancer treatment plan.

Ginseng for treating cancer:

So what do the experts say about using ginseng as part of cancer treatment? Various researches point to the effectiveness of ginseng in prevention as well as in treatment of cancer. According to a meta-analysis of several research findings, consumption of ginseng significantly reduces the risks of different types of cancer by around 16% on average. Its effectiveness in treating cancer symptoms, as well as the side-effects of chemotherapy, has also been indicated by many studies.

These benefits of ginseng are mainly due to its antioxidant properties. Various health symptoms such as inflammation and low immunity can be effectively addressed by antioxidants like ginseng, which in turn help in preventing and treating cancer

Reported Benefits:

Based on multiple studies, administering a prescribed amount of ginseng results in the following benefits.

  • Counters Inflammation: Due to its antioxidant properties, ginseng is quite effective in reducing inflammation in the body. It contains antioxidant compounds called ginsenosides. Several studies have established the anti-inflammatory property of ginsenosides, such as the one on Asian ginseng. Inflammation is a common symptom of several illnesses, including cancer. Ginseng can effectively counter inflammatory cytokines and mitigate the associated symptoms.
  • Boosts the immune system:
    The body's immune system is vital in case of every illness. It becomes all the more crucial when battling with cancer symptoms. One's immunity is adversely affected not just by cancer itself, but often also by chemotherapy or curative surgery. According to certain studies, intake of ginseng can significantly improve one's immunity in such cases. For instance, a group of Korean researchers studied patients who had undergone curative surgery for gastric cancer, found ginseng to have helped significantly in their post surgery recovery. Another Korean study reported that red ginseng extract helped boost the immune system during post surgery chemotherapy in the case of colon cancer patients.
  • Helps Brain Function:
    Certain researches have also shown ginseng to be beneficial for the brain and helpful with memory and cognitive ability. The antioxidant property of ginseng prevents neural degeneration or brain damage by free radicals.
  • Controls Blood sugar:
    Ginseng extracts are reportedly beneficial for insulin hormone, which regulates blood sugar in the body. A study regarding American ginseng indicates that it may be an effective supplement in diabetic treatment.
  • Reduces Fatigue:
    Various studies have indicated that ginseng contains polysaccharides that help reduce oxidative stress and boost cell energy production. This, in turn, is helpful in reducing fatigue. Since cancer and cancer treatment processes result in exhaustion in an individual, a prescribed amount of ginseng may boost one's energy levels and help in the overall fight against the disease. A study regarding American ginseng reported that a daily 2000 mg intake of the substance for 8 weeks helped reduce cancer-related fatigue in most individuals.
  • Specific Benefits regarding Cancer:
    Apart from the above aspects which are associated with cancer as well as other illnesses, specific aspects of cancer can also be dealt with by using ginseng, according to studies. The antioxidant property of ginsenosides helps counter the production and activity of cancerous cells.

Things to Remember:

The wide range of benefits of ginseng, including its role in preventing and treating cancer, has thus been discussed. Nevertheless, it should be noted that much of the research findings are based on small sample studies, and the full extent of benefits is still being researched. Therefore, it is best to ensure the following before using ginseng as part of cancer treatment.

  • Consult your oncologist or cancer care provider before taking ginseng or any other alternative medication.
  • Different types of ginseng have different properties, and thus have a varying effect on an individual. Identify the ginseng type or variety (American or Asian, white, or red) before consuming it.
  • Study the cancer symptoms and the cancer treatment side effects before taking ginseng, as its effects may vary depending on the symptoms.
  • Ginseng must always be a supplement or part of an Integrative Cancer Treatment process, and never a treatment by itself.

The scope of research regarding the best cancer treatment, preventive care, and Integrative Oncology is never-ending. Multiple studies have established ginseng as an effective herb regarding cancer prevention and treatment. Further research is required to fully establish these findings. The safest course is, therefore, to consult an oncologist regarding the intake of ginseng and other such alternative medications.

Comments