Due to the herb's ability to directly and indirectly modulate immune responses, it is also used to increase resistance to infection. One double-blind study of 1000 Siberian factory workers supports this, reporting a 50% reduction in general illness and a 40% reduction in absenteeism over a 12-month period, following 30 days' administration of Siberian ginseng (Farnsworth et al 1985).
More recently, a 6-month controlled trial in males and females with recurrent herpes infection found that Siberian ginseng (2 g/day) successfully reduced the frequency of infection by 50% (Williams 1995).
In practice, Siberian ginseng is generally used as a preventative medicine, as administration during acute infections is widely thought to increase the severity of the illness, although this has not been borne out in controlled studies using Siberian ginseng in combination with other herbs. A small RCT demonstrated a significant reduction in the severity of familial Mediterranean fever in children using a combination of Siberian ginseng with licorice, andrographis and schisandra (Amaryan et al 2003) and a combination of Siberian ginseng with schisandra and rhodiola was © 2007 Elsevier Australia
found to expedite the recovery of patients with acute non-specific pneumonia (Narimanian et al 2005).
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