For centuries, Ontario grown ginseng has been used to support health and vitality. Scientific research is now providing preliminary evidence supporting its medicinal potential in a variety of body systems and disorders, including enhancing of the immune response, which helps fight infections.
Two key studies compared Ontario-grown ginseng with a placebo in randomized, double-blind studies. One of these trials evaluated North American Ginseng (NAG) in the prevention of acute respiratory illness in 198 elderly adults within an institutional setting. After 8-12 weeks of treatment with the NAG extract, the seniors experienced an 89% reduction in the risk of developing cold or flu. Most of these seniors had received flu vaccinations (90%) and the Ontario Ginseng extract appeared to be safe and complementary.
Several laboratory studies have demonstrated the immune-enhancing effects of North American Ginseng, including research identifying a protein isolated from the root that had antifungal action and anti-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) activity.
McElhaney JE, Gravenstein S, Cole SK, et al. A placebo-controlled trial of a proprietary extract of North American ginseng (CVT-E002) to prevent acute respiratory illness in institutionalized older adults. J Am Geriatr Soc 2004 Jan;52(1) : 13-9.
Wang M, Guilbert LJ, Ling L, et al. Immunomodulating activity of CVT-E002, a proprietary extract from North American ginseng (Panax quinquefolium). J Pharm Pharmacol 2001; 53 (11) : 1515-23
Assinewe VA, Amason JT, Aubry A, Mullin J, Lemaire I. Extractable polysaccharides of Panax quinquefolius L. (North American ginseng) root stimulate. TNFalpha production by alveolar macrophages. Phytomedicine 2002;9(5): 398-404
Wang M, Guilbert LJ, Ling L, et al. A proprietary extract from North American ginseng (Panax quinquefolium). Enhances IL-2 and IFN-gamma productions in murine spleen cells induced by on-A. Int Immunopharmacol 2004;4 (2):311-5.
Wang HX, Ng TB. Quinquenginsin, a novel protein with anti-human immunodeficiency virus, antifungal, ribonuclease and cell-free translation-inhibitory activities from North American ginseng roots. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2000;269(1):203-8