You probably already know that for millennia, ginseng has been revered throughout Asia for its many medical benefits. You may have also known that wild root ginseng can sometimes sell for thousands of dollars per pound. But, did you know that the health benefits of ginseng aren’t just an old wives tale. There have been countless studies, around the world, verifying why we all need ginseng.
One of the primary health benefits of ginseng is increased immune function.
A test group of 227 volunteers in Milan, Italy participated in a 12 week study to determine if ginseng had any impact on immune strength. Of the 227, 112 were given daily ginseng capsules and 113 were given a placebo. At week 4 in the study, all participants were given a flu vaccine. Between the 4th and 12th weeks of the study, there were a total of 57 cases of cold or flu. Of these 57 cases, 42 were within the group which received the placebo. The other 15 people had been receiving the daily dose of ginseng.
Antibodies were measured and averaged for both groups. The placebo group saw an average increase of 171 units. The group taking the ginseng capsules had an increase that was significantly higher, at 272 units.
So what does this study tell us? Well, the obvious point is that taking ginseng is likely to increase the strength of your immune system and may help prevent cold or flu. The less obvious more hidden conclusion, one not noted in the abstract provided by the National Institutes of Health, is that roughly 25% of those who received a flu vaccination (in this study) got the flu or a cold. Aren’t vaccines supposed to work better than that? That’s another discussion for another time.
Regardless of your position on vaccines, the evidence suggests that ginseng may boost the strength of your immune system.