ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
Health Tip: Anticipating Acupuncture
Acupuncture May Help Restore Lost Sense of Smell
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Gene Therapy May Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis
New Clues to How Fish Oils Help Arthritis Patients
More Faces Being Spared in Motor Vehicle Accidents
CANCER
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
HPV Vaccine Has Higher Allergic Reaction Rate
Smoking Ups Risk of Second Breast Cancer
CAREGIVING
Injected Medication Errors a Major Problem
Children's Bath Products Contain Contaminants
New Guidelines for Treating Heart Failure
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
DIABETES
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Trans-Fat Ban In New York City Is Proving successful
Fasting on Alternate Days May Make Dieting Easier
Weight Loss Might Not Curb Knee Arthritis
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Greener Neighborhoods Mean Slimmer Children
Warmer-Than-Average Temperatures Raise Migraine Risk
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
EYE CARE, VISION
Gene-Transfer Proves Safe for Vision Problem
Florida Vision Test Law: Fewer Traffic Deaths Among Elderly
Cases of Age-Related Farsightedness to Soar
FITNESS
Almost Two-Thirds of Americans Meet Exercise Guidelines
Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients
When It Comes to Lifting, the Pros Have Your Back
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
Showerheads Harbor a Bounty of Germs
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Babies Who Eat Fish Lower Eczema Risk
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Working Intensely Early on May Help Autistic Kids
MEN'S HEALTH
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
MENTAL HEALTH
Using the Mind to Heal the Heart
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
SENIORS
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
Exercise Benefits Even the Oldest Old
Seniors Who Volunteer May Live Longer
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Therapies for Menopause
Simple Carbs Pose Heart Risk for 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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