ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
Licorice May Block Absorption of Organ Transplant Drug
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Beware of Dog Bites
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Stem Cells Might Treat Tough Fractures
Backpack Safety Should Be on Back-to-School Lists
Drinking Cuts Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk
CANCER
More Americans Urged to Get Cancer Screenings
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Method for Treating Cervical Lesions May Pose Pregnancy Risks
CAREGIVING
3 Steps Might Help Stop MRSA's Spread
Hispanic Children More Likely to Have Hearing Loss
Reduce Suffering, Urge Heart Failure Patients and Caregivers
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
DIABETES
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Blueberry Drink Protects Mice From Obesity, Diabetes
Asparagus May Ease Hangover
DASH Diet Has Extra Benefits for Women's Health
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Air Pollution Raises Risk of Heart Disease, Death
Seasons Arriving 2 Days Earlier, Study Says
Gene Mutation May Cause Some Cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder
EYE CARE, VISION
Half of U.S. Adults Lack 20/20 Vision
Action-Filled Video Games Boost Adult Vision
'Blind' Man Navigates Obstacle Course Without Error
FITNESS
MRSA Infections Can Bug Fitness Buffs
Exercise Cuts Lung Cancer Risk in Ex-Smokers by 45%
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
Stressed and Exhausted: An Introduction to Adrenal Fatigue
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
Lack of Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Brown Rice Tied to Better Heart Health in Study
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Omega-3, Some Omega-6 Fatty Acids Boost Cardiovascular Health
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Folic Acid Reduces Infant Heart Defects
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
MEN'S HEALTH
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Keeping a Healthy Holiday Balance
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
Positive Brain Changes Seen After Body-Mind Meditation
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
SENIORS
Exercise Benefits Even the Oldest Old
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
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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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