ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
Pain-Relieving Powers of Acupuncture Unclear
Indigo Ointment Benefits Psoriasis Patients
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Studies Struggle to Gauge Glucosamine's Worth
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Winter Is Tough on Feet
CANCER
Vitamin D May Lower Colon Cancer Risk
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
CAREGIVING
Children's Bath Products Contain Contaminants
With Age Comes Greater Risk of Hypothermia
Simpler Sleep Apnea Treatment Seems Effective, Affordable
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
COSMETIC
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
DIABETES
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
DIET, NUTRITION
Heart Disease May Be Prevented By Taking Fish Oils, Study Shows
6 Million U.S. Kids Lack Enough Vitamin D
Coffee Drinking Lowers Women's Stroke Risk
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Exposure to 9/11 Fumes Tied to Chronic Headaches
FDA Faulted for Stance on Chemical in Plastics
Controversial Chemical Lingers Longer in the Body
EYE CARE, VISION
Time Teaches Brain to Recognize Objects
Drinking Green Tea May Protect Eyes
Omega-3 Foods May Lower Eye Disease Risk
FITNESS
Good Warm-Ups Could Halve Sports Injuries
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
Most Women Struggle With Rising Health Care Costs
Healthy Eating While On Vacation
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Soy Protein Doesn't Lower Cholesterol
Vitamin B3 May Help Repair Brain After a Stroke
Irregular Heartbeat Tied to Alzheimer's Disease
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Scary Toxins Make Halloween Face Paints Questionable
Standard IQ Test May Underestimate People With Autism
Stomach Germ May Protect Against Asthma
MEN'S HEALTH
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
MENTAL HEALTH
Musicians' Brains Tuned to Emotions in Sound
Drink Away Dementia?
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
SENIORS
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
Healthy Diet Could Cut Alzheimer's Disease Risk
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Relief for Painful Menstrual Cramps
Being Active an Hour a Day Puts Brakes on Weight Gain
Calcium Helps Ward Off Colon Cancer
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New Insights Show Ginseng Fights Inflammation

FRIDAY, May 15 (HealthDay News) -- Ginseng has been used in medicine for centuries, and now its reputation for improving health is expanding: A new study has found that the herb, which is used in traditional Chinese and other Asian medicine, fights inflammation.

Researchers from the University of Hong Kong identified seven constituents of ginseng, called ginsenosides, that showed immunosuppressive effects.

The findings are published online in the Journal of Translational Medicine.

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

The researchers used advanced techniques to identify the individual constituents and define their bioactivity. These techniques could be used to study other medicinal herbs.

According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), the ginseng root is dried and used to make tablets or capsules, extracts and teas, as well as creams or other preparations for external use.

The NIH notes that traditional and modern uses of ginseng include:

* Improving the health of people who are recovering from an illness.
* Increasing a person's sense of well-being and stamina, and improving both mental and physical performance.
* Treating erectile dysfunction, hepatitis C and symptoms related to menopause.
* Lowering blood glucose and controlling blood pressure.

Ginseng also may lower levels of blood sugar and this effect may be seen more in people with diabetes, the NIH explains. Because of this, diabetics should be very careful with ginseng, especially if they are using medicines to lower blood sugar or taking other herbs, such as bitter melon and fenugreek, that are also thought to lower blood sugar.

But, like anything else, the usually well-tolerated herb can have some side effects, the NIH warns. The most common ones are headaches and sleep and gastrointestinal problems.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more about ginseng.



--Dennis Thompson



SOURCE: BioMed Central Limited, news release, May 14, 2009

Last Updated: May 15, 2009

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