“natural news “by Jonathan Benson, staff writer
The ginseng plant has long been used medicinally to treat a variety of ailments, and a recent review of several published studies reveals that allergies are one of them. It appears as though “red” ginseng, or raw ginseng root that has been steamed, holds special value in the treatment of certain allergy symptoms, and particularly when it is fermented.
Published in the journal Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Research, the review explains how fermenting red ginseng helps to increase the plant’s biological activity, including its saponin content, which in turn results in a more potent anti-allergy effect. This is also evidenced by the increased anti-inflammatory effect that results from the fermentation, which also helps reduce or eliminate allergy symptoms.
For their review, researchers administered six, 250 milligram (mg) pills of fermented red ginseng a day to patients between the ages of 18 and 55 suffering from at least two of the four major allergies associated with rhinitis, which include itching, sneezing, runny nose, or congestion, for four weeks. A placebo group was also given the same amount, size, and shape of pills with a non-active substance for four weeks.
After accounting for various other factors that might alter results, researchers determined that fermented red ginseng helped to improve Rhinitis Quality of Life (RQoL) factors, which include sleep, nasal problems, non-nose/non-eye symptoms, activity state, emotional state, and eye symptoms. The fermented red ginseng group also had reduced skin discoloration symptoms associated with perennial allergens.
As far as the total nasal symptom score (TNSS), which addresses itching, sneezing, runny nose, and congestion symptoms using a four-point scale, fermented red ginseng appeared to relieve these symptoms as well. According to the analysis, fermented red ginseng could be a viable substitute for antihistamine drugs, which can cause serious damage when used for long periods of time.
In related research published in the journal International Archives of Allergy and Immunology, the ginsenoside compounds found in ginseng help to significantly reduce inflammatory factors that can trigger both allergies and more serious health conditions. This dual effect has also been shown to help prevent the development of cancer tumors.
Sources for this article include:
Park E-K, Choo M-K, Han MJ, Kim D-H. Ginsenoside Rh1 possesses antiallergic and anti-inflammatory activities. Int Arch Allergy Immunol. February 2004;133(2):113-120.
Hyun MS, Hur JM, Shin YS, Song BJ, Mun YJ, Woo WH. Comparison study of white ginseng, red ginseng, and fermented red ginseng on the protective effect of LPS-induced inflammation in RAW 264.7 cells. J Appl Biol Chem. March 2009;52(1):21-27.