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Monaldi Arch Chest Dis. 2002 Oct-Dec;57(5-6):242-6.

Ginseng improves pulmonary functions and exercise capacity in patients with COPD.

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Respiratory Rehabilitation Unit, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, 6 Weitzmann Street, Tel Aviv 93715, Israel.


Ginseng is a root that has been used to treat patients with various illnesses for the last 2000 years. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of Ginseng extract (G115) on Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs), Maximum Voluntary Ventilation (MVV), Maximum Inspiratory Pressure (MIP) and Maximal Oxygen Consumption (VO2max) in patients with moderately-severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Ninety-two adults were randomly divided into the experimental (n = 49, G115 100 mg bid for three months) and placebo-control (n = 43) groups. PFTs, MVV and MIP were studied before treatment and every two weeks for the 3-month-study period. Exercise test and VO2max measurements were performed before the beginning and after six weeks and three months. P lower than 0.05 was considered significant. Baseline demographics and pulmonary parameters were similar between the groups. In the experimental, but not in the control group, all parameters significantly increased above baseline and compared with the placebo group. Maximum increase, compared with baseline was FVC-32.5%, FEV1.0-27.0%, PEF-27.5%, FEF50-45.4%, FEF75-56.9%, MVV-40.4%, MIP-47.0% and VO2max-37.5%. No side effects were observed. G115 100 mg bid for three months, but not placebo, improved PFTs, MVV, MIP and VO2 max in patients with moderately-severe COPD with no side effects.

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