Response to fermented red ginseng in allergic rhinitis

Many reports state that Panax ginseng and fermented red ginseng have anti-inflammatory effects.

Researchers at Seoul National University College of Medicine, in Korea, studied fermented red ginseng.

First, the details.

  • 59 patients with persistent perennial allergic rhinitis were randomly divided into 2 groups for 4 weeks of treatment.
    • Fermented red ginseng, 3, 250 mg capsules twice daily for 4 weeks.
    • Placebo
  • Total nasal symptom scores (TNSS; rhinorrhea, sneezing, itchy nose, and nasal congestion).
  • In addition, the Rhinitis Quality of Life (RQoL) score and skin reactivity to inhalant allergens, as determined by the skin prick test.
  • Neither the patients nor researchers knew the treatment given — double blind.

And, the results.

  • There was no significant difference in the TNSS score and TNSS duration score between treatments at 1, 2, 3, or 4 weeks.
  • For nasal congestion, fermented red ginseng was significantly effective, while placebo caused no change.
  • The activity and emotion of RQoL improved significantly secondary to treatment with fermented red ginseng, while placebo caused no change.
  • Additionally, fermented red ginseng significantly reduced skin reactivity to sensitized perennial allergens.
  • Total IgE levels increased significantly in the control group but not in the ginseng-treated group.
  • Fermented red ginseng was well tolerated.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Fermented red ginseng improved nasal congestion symptoms and RQoL in patients with perennial allergic rhinitis.”

The authors note that “because this was a relatively small-scale, short-term study, further large-scale, long-term studies are needed to fully evaluate the safety and efficacy of fermented red ginseng. Additionally, comparisons with other nonmedical allergic rhinitis treatments may be necessary.”

4/12/11 20:51 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.