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Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet]. York (UK): Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK); 1995-.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet].

Red ginseng for treating erectile dysfunction: a systematic review

Review published: 2008.

Bibliographic details: Jang DJ, Lee MS, Shin BC, Lee YC, Ernst E.  Red ginseng for treating erectile dysfunction: a systematic review. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 2008; 66(4): 444-450. [PMC free article: PMC2561113] [PubMed: 18754850]

Quality assessment

This review investigated the effectiveness of red ginseng for treatment of erectile dysfunction. The authors concluded that the evidence was suggestive of effectiveness of red ginseng in treatment of erectile dysfunction, but the number and quality of trials were too low to draw firm conclusions. This study appeared to be generally well-conducted and the authors' cautious conclusions should be reliable. Full critical summary

Abstract

AIMS: Korean red ginseng (unskinned Panax ginseng before it is steamed or otherwise heated and subsequently dried) is one of the most widely used herbal remedies. This systematic review evaluates the current evidence for the effectiveness of red ginseng for treating erectile dysfunction.

METHODS: Systematic searches were conducted on 20 electronic databases without language restrictions. Hand-searches included conference proceedings and our files. All randomized clinical studies (RCT) of red ginseng as a treatment of erectile dysfunction were considered for inclusion. Methodological quality was assessed using the Jadad score.

RESULTS: Seven RCTs met all the inclusion criteria. Their methodological quality was low on average. Six of the included RCTs compared the therapeutic efficacy of red ginseng with placebo. The meta-analysis of these data showed a significant effect (n = 349, risk ratio, 2.40; 95% CI of 1.65, 3.51, p < 0.00001, heterogeneity: tau(2) = 0.05, chi(2) = 6.42, p = 0.27, I(2) = 22%). Subgroup analyses also showed beneficial effects of red ginseng in psychogenic erectile dysfunction (n = 135, risk ratio, 2.05; 95% CI of 1.33, 3.16, p = 0.001, heterogeneity: chi(2) = 0.08, p = 0.96, I(2) = 0%).

CONCLUSIONS: Collectively these RCTs provide suggestive evidence for the effectiveness of red ginseng in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. However, the total number of RCTs included in the analysis, the total sample size and the methodological quality of the primary studies were too low to draw definitive conclusions. Thus more rigorous studies are necessary.

CRD has determined that this article meets the DARE scientific quality criteria for a systematic review.

Copyright © 2012 University of York.

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