The above survey of the pharmacology and therapeutic potential of ginsengs indicates that ginseng can strengthen the debilitated body, stimulating recuperation and improving the quality of life. Ginseng has been shewn as an agent capable of improving memory and intellectual skills at all ages and it is also certain that ginseng is of value in the countering of stresses due to temperature variation, physical strain, disease states and toxic substances. Less clear is the anti-ulcer effect as ginsengs are usually used in combination with other plants containing substances such as mucilages, pectin polysaccharides and dextrins.
There is evidence of the protective effects of ginseng in old age. Protection from neural degeneration, preservation of antioxidant levels and inhibition of malondialdehyde formation collectively retard the inexorable advance of age related deterioration. Therefore ginseng has potential in geriatric tonics and medicines for the treatment of conditions such as normal ageing, cerebral vascular disease in the aged, senile dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
Other potential applications of ginseng in anticancer treatment, as liver protective agents, in alcohol intoxication therapy, for morphine, cocaine and amphetamine withdrawal problems, in topical preparations for skin affections such as acne and eczema and in cosmetics still require careful clinical trials to demonstrate indisputably that standardised ginseng phytochemicals or formulations are really effective in human subjects.
At the practical level, it has been suggested that young and healthy persons should take ginseng in short courses of 2-3 weeks with a two week interval between consecutive courses. The recommended daily dose is 0.5-1.0 g of powdered root or 200 mg of ginseng extract daily divided into two doses, one in the morning two hours before food and one in the evening at least two hours after food. It has also been recommended that ginseng should not be taken continuously for periods exceeding three months and others suggest occasional use in treatments comprising a one month course followed by a two months interval before further treatment. Ginseng treatment can be continuous in the aged and the chronically sick. Concurrent use of stimulants such as coffee is not encouraged.
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