High doses of the herb American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) over two months reduced cancer-related fatigue in patients more effectively than a placebo. Mayo Clinic researchers studied 340 patients who had completed cancer treatment or were being treated for cancer at one of 40 community medical centers. Each day, participants received a placebo or 2,000 milligrams of pure ground American ginseng root administered in capsules.
“After eight weeks, we saw a 20-point improvement in fatigue in cancer patients, measured on a 100 point, standardized fatigue scale,” according to researcher Debra Barton, Ph.D., of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. The findings are being presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting.