‘Ginseng a natural anti-inflammatory agent’

May 14th, 2009 - 2:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, May 14 (IANS) Ginseng, a herb used in traditional Chinese and other Asian medicines, does have anti-inflammatory effects, according to the latest study. In effect, it is like applying ice to a tissue injury.
Allan Lau led a team of researchers from the University of Hong Kong who identified seven ginseng constituents, ginsenosides, which showed immune-suppressive effects.

“The anti-inflammatory role of ginseng may be due to the combined effects of these

ginsenosides, targeting different levels of immunological activity, and so contributing to the diverse actions of ginseng in humans,” Lau said.

The scientists treated human immune cells with different extracts of ginseng. They found that of the nine ginsenosides they identified, seven could selectively inhibit expression of the inflammatory gene CXCL-10.

“Further studies will be needed to examine the potential beneficial effects of ginsenosides in the management of acute and chronic inflammatory diseases in humans,” said Lau.

Researchers were able to test the ginseng extract’s immune effects by using purification technologies to identify individual constituents and define their bioactivity using genomics and bioactivity assays.

After that, they reconstituted them back into a whole extract with definable individual ginsenosides for re-confirmation of effects, said a university release.

This potentially opens up a vigorous methodology to study medicinal herbs with

state-of-the-art technologies.

These findings appeared in the Journal of Translational Medicine.

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