Recover from colds and flus sooner

Looking to recover from colds and flus sooner?

Picture it now. You’re at work after some time off from the flu, you’re over “the worst” of the flu, but there is still some recovery to be done. You feel tired, weak and a little off put. While you understand this, you also understand that there are deadlines to be met. This means you need to stay on top of your game. But while it may not possible take “a magic bullet” supplement or herb, what if you could speed up the recovery time?

That, and many over questions are answered by one herb: Siberian Ginseng. 

The gentler of Ginsengs

When many people hear of ginseng, they usually think of Korean Ginseng, or the latin name “Panax ginseng”. Panax often had a bad rep in my days of a student, and often still does, however much of the problems associated with it (including mania, palpitations and insomnia) are often from ginseng abuse (Mills and bone).

That being said, Siberian ginseng (Insert latin name) is a frequently used herb at Brown’s Wellbeing Centre, mainly being to its more gentler role in supporting recovery and stress.

Stress support

Both ginsengs support the stress response via a mechanism still only partly understood. This involves a complex interaction between the Hypothyomus, Pituitary gland and adrenal gland. Put simply: it helps balance the stress response. But what does this have to do with Cold’s and Flu’s?

Nothing and everything

When you have an infection, it is a stress on the body. Love it or hate it, an infection is at often needed to help strengthen your immune response, and generally speaking, a mild infection should last for 3-4 days in total and about two per year is ideal. Ideal meaning you’re within the defined norms of healthy individuals. The key with acute infection, is to speed up the healing process, because, as I mentioned, there is no magic bullet, only herbs and supplements that assist with the healing process.

Related content: Does Vitamin C reduce the frequency of colds and flus?

Speeding up the recovery time

After you’re past the worst of the infection, your body is in repair mood. This is one of the reasons why you may feel fatigued, tired and lack concentration. This time is called convalescence. Soldiering on unfortunately is a myth from industry, however, there is a time to get on with things, as life must continue.

But does it work?

Thankfully, Siberian Ginseng has moderate levels of traditional and sciencfitic  evidence to support its use in the convalescence process. This evidence will be outlined below, and its application in my clinic and life discussed. If you are suffering from chronic infection, well that is another story.

What the Past says about Siberian Ginseng

As with many herbs, Siberian ginseng takes back about 2000 years according to Chinese Medical records. It was used to precent colds and flus and increase energy or “vitality”. Recently, it has been used by Russian athletes in international competitions, and interesting, after Chernobyl, it was used to counteract the effects of radiation. 

What the science says about Siberian Ginseng

Regarding its effect on the immune function, Siberian Ginseng appears to inhibit histamine and mast cell activity (both inflammatory responses). It also appears from laboratory studies to have anti-viral action, against both rhinovirus and influenza A (involved in common cold and flu) 

What the clinical trails say for fatigue

One of the standards in modern herbal therapy is positive outcomes in human trials. In one such trail, Siberian ginseng showed benefit in 20 fatigued elderly patients, showing a benefit for recovering from stresses and convelance. Other clinical trails also show benefit in chronic fatigue syndrome. In my practice, I dose correctly according to the length of fatigue experienced. I find this herb to be highly successful when prescribed correctly with other herbs or supplements. 

What the clinical trails say for immune function

In one double blind trail, 1000 Siberian factory workers given Siberian ginseng or placebo (a dummy pill) showed a 50% reduction in general illness and 40% reduction in absenteeism. It has also soon some benefit in those under going chemotherapy, though a health professional must always be seen under this circumstances.

Related: does Echinacea help boost immune function? 

The bottom line 

The bottom line is there is no bottom line. What I mean by this is that we are always still learning about our medicines (both modern and ancient) and new data comes in everyday. What we do know is that Siberian ginseng appears to be effective for convalence from illness or stress in patients needed so.

Disclaimer

It is a time and place to solider on, and Siberian Ginseng can help with this, please check with your health professional regarding interactions as they do occur and if you require detailed clinical help, please email us here today.

Yours in health,

-Jeremy Brown

Naturopath  

Final:

By Jeremy Brown

Naturopath & Lecturer

(Advanced Diploma of Naturopathy)

(Certificate  IV Training & Assessment)

You know this story

Picture it now. You’re at work after some time off from the flu and you’re over “the worst” of it. There is though, still some recovery to be done. You feel tired, weak and a little off put. While you understand this, you also know that there are deadlines to meet. It may not possible take “a magic bullet”, but what if you could speed up the recovery time?

That, and many other questions are answered by one herb:

                 Siberian Ginseng.

The gentler of Ginsengs

When many people hear of Ginseng, they usually think of Korean Ginseng, with the latin name “Panax ginseng”, or “Panax” as it is known to some. Panax had a bad name in my days as a student, and often still does. This may be due to many of the problems associated with it (including mania, palpitations and insomnia). It is worth noting that this is often from Ginsing abuse, or those with preexisting conditions (Bone and Mills 2012).

That being said, Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is a frequently used herb at Brown’s Wellbeing Centre, mainly due to its gentler role in supporting recovery and reducing stress.

             So Siberian Ginseng is a more gentle Ginseng.

Stress and immune support

Both Ginsengs support the stress response via a mechanism which is still only partly understood. This involves a complex interaction between the Hypothyomus, Pituitary and Adrenal glands.

            Siberian ginseng helps balance both the stress and immune response.

Regarding cold and flu

When you have an infection, it is a stress on the body. Love it or hate it, an infection is often needed to help strengthen your immune response, and generally speaking, a mild infection should last for 3-4 days in total and having about two-three infection per year is ideal.

            Yes: it’s ok to have the cold and flu.

            Even though it’s not nice.

The key with acute (or brief) infection, is to speed up the healing process. As I mentioned, there is no magic bullet. There are though, herbs and supplements that assist with the healing process.

Related content: Does Vitamin C reduce the frequency of colds and flus?

Speeding up the recovery time

After you’re past the worst of an infection, your body is in repair mood. You may feel fatigued, tired and lack concentration. This time is called convalescence. “Soldiering on” is a myth created by industry, however, there is a time to get on with things, as life must continue.

            Remember that getting better can take time.

            But can you speed it up?

Does Siberian Ginseng work?

Thankfully, Siberian Ginseng has moderate levels of traditional and sciencfitic evidence to support its use in recovery. If you are suffering from chronic infection(s) though; well that is another story.

           If you are always stressed or sick:

           You may need a Naturopath.

What history tells us about Siberian Ginseng

As with many herbs, Siberian ginseng dates back about 2000 years according to Chinese Medical records. It was first used to prevent colds and flus and increase energy or “vitality”. Recently, it has been used by Russian athletes in international competitions, and interesting, after Chernobyl, it was used to counteract the effects of radiation.

           Siberian Ginseng goes back along way. 

           As do many herbs.

What the science says about Siberian Ginseng

Regarding its effect on the immune function, Siberian Ginseng appears to inhibit histamine and mast cell activity (both inflammatory responses). It also appears from laboratory studies to have anti-viral action, against both rhinovirus and influenza A (both involved in common cold and flu).

            So Siberian Ginseng balances the immune response. 

What clinical trails say regarding fatigue

One of the standards in modern herbal therapy is positive outcomes in human trials. In one such trail, Siberian ginseng showed benefit in 20 fatigued elderly patients, and helped patients recover from stress and fatigue. Other clinical trails showed benefit in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

            So Siberian Ginseng can help with stress/fatigue too.

In my practice though, I dose correctly according to the length of fatigue experienced and blend with other herbs/supplements needed for that patient.

            Yes. Herbs work best together when prescribed by a professional.

What the clinical trails say for immune function

In one double blind trail, 1000 Siberian factory workers where given Siberian ginseng or a placebo (a dummy pill) and showed a 50% reduction in general illness and 40% reduction in absenteeism. It was also showed some benefit in those under going chemotherapy, however a health professional must be seen under this circumstances.

Related: does Echinacea help boost immune function?

The bottom line

The bottom line is there is no bottom line. What I mean by this is that we still learning about our medicines (both modern and ancient) and new data comes in everyday.

What we do know is that Siberian ginseng appears to be effective for recovery from illness, be it stress from social demands, or, in this case: infection.

          Try it today. 

Disclaimer

Please check with your health professional regarding interactions as they do occur and if you require detailed clinical help, please email us here today.

Yours in health,

Jeremy Brown

| Naturopath | Educator | Writer | 

www.brownswellbeingcentre.com.au

www.facebook.com/brownswellbeingcentre

www.twitter.com/jbrown_nat

Supporting Evidence: 

Braun, L., & Cohen, M. (2010). Herbs & natural supplements. Sydney: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.

Bone, K., (2003) A Clinical guide to blending liquid herbs. Sydney: Churchill Livingstone.

Hechtman, L. (2012). Clinical Naturopathic medicine. Sydney, Australia: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier Australia.

Thomsen, M., & Gennat, H. (2009). Phytotherapy : desk reference : a clinical handbook. Hobart: Global Natural Medicine.

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