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.
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.
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,