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New & Noteworthy Research
American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and cancer-related fatigue

Notes from Dr. Terry

Ginseng, especially Chinese (also known as Korean or Red) ginseng has long been considered a general tonic for improving energy, stamina and to mitigate some of the effects of aging, among other uses. Less known is that American ginseng, also known as Canadian (or in this case, Wisconsin) ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), is even more revered in China than its native Panax ginseng, and has been exported from North America to China since the early colonization years of North America by Europeans. P quinquefolius is the object of this study, which examined its effectiveness for cancer-related fatigue. 

https://goo.gl/fGj1ZS

This study enrolled 364 cancer survivors at 40 clinic locations, and administered either 2000 mg of American ginseng per day (N=171) or placebo (N=181) for eight weeks. The endpoint being measured was the score on a questionnaire known as the Multidimensional Fatigue Symptom Inventory– Short Form (MFSI-SF) at four and eight weeks. 

The authors reported that there was a statistically significant improvement in fatigue scores at eight weeks, versus placebo, with a change in score of 20 for the ginseng arm, and only 10.3 for the placebo arm (P = .003). Benefit was greatest in those individuals actively receiving cancer treatment in the form of radiation or chemotherapy. 

Note that 2,000 mg of American ginseng is equivalent to 4 ml of St. Francis Herb Farm’s tincture product. The recommended dosage schedule is 2 ml (60 drops), twice per day. 

Read the research summary:

https://goo.gl/fGj1ZS

Dr. Terry Vandeheyden is a naturopathic doctor, registered herbalist and St. Francis Herb Farm medical advisor.

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