3 Benefits of Zi Shen Qing (Radix Ginseng) for Lupus

Lupus is a disease condition that has no exact cause. The risk factors include genetic factors, immune factors, environmental triggers, and female gender. [1]

Lupus affects many organs of the body by causing inflammation in them. The excessive inflammation is due to a flaw in the immune system where the body’s own immune system attacks the healthy cells. [2]

Lupus symptoms are numerous as it affects a wide range of organs. It can cause chronic fatigue, joint pain, muscle pain, facial rashes, dry mouth hair loss, fever, weight loss, etc. [3]

There is no complete cure for lupus, but it can be managed with medications like pain-killers, steroids, etc.

There is a growing use of alternative therapies including herbal supplements to reduce the symptoms and disease activity. Chinese traditional medicine has a long list of herbs that can benefit lupus patients.

What is Zi Shen Qing (Radix Ginseng)?

Radix Ginseng is obtained from the roots of Panax Ginseng that are dried. It is a very important herb that has a long history of use in China and Korea. [4] [5]

Radix Ginseng or Panax Ginseng is cultivated in Korea, Japan, China, and Russia. Different species of Panax is also grown in the United States and Southern Canada. [6]

It is a perennial herb that has the shape of a human body. Traditionally it was believed to be a cure for the mind, body, and the spirit. It is referred to as the king of herbs owing to its properties on the body. [7]

Radix Ginseng has a been traditionally used to cure diabetes, liver problems, gastritis, gastric ulcers, and impotence.[8]

Research data available shows great beneficial effects of radix ginseng in the treatment of fatigue, exhaustion, and loss of consciousness. [9] The latest research also proves some solid evidence of radix ginseng in the management of lupus.[10]

Benefits of Zi Shen Qing (Radix Ginseng) In Lupus Patients

The benefits of radix ginseng in Lupus are due to its strong properties of anti-inflammation, antioxidant and anti-fatigue.

It can effectively lower disease activity scores and oxidative stress. It can also promote the reduction in the steroid dosage in lupus patients. It is also known to reduce lupus symptoms like fatigue, hair loss, and joint pain.

3 Benefits of Zi Shen Qing (Radix Ginseng) for Lupus

1. Radix Ginseng is Effective in Reducing Lupus Disease Activity

Lupus disease activity allows us to quantify how the disease is progressing in the body. It is also a measure to check if the medication is working and also guides the increase or decrease of steroids. [11]

Numerous scales are now available to assess the disease activity in lupus patients that determines their response to therapy. [12]

A Chinese trial conducted in 84 lupus patients proved the efficacy of Radix Ginseng upon comparison with placebo in reducing the lupus disease activity. [13]

The anti-inflammatory effects of ginseng have been demonstrated by research trials. [14] Radix ginseng can reduce disease progression by halting inflammation in the body.[15]

Another scientific study also sheds light on the fact that ginseng halts the immune system damage by preventing antibody formation which then destroys the healthy cells in the body. [16]

What does this Mean? Radix ginseng is an effective herbal remedy which has good research evidence in reducing the disease activity in lupus patients.

2. Radix Ginseng Helps Lupus Patients Reduce Their Steroid Dosage

Steroidal therapy is an important aspect in the management of lupus. It helps reduce inflammation in the body. [17]

Radix ginseng is found to be beneficial in reducing steroid dosage as it helps in reducing inflammation in the body.[18]

A clinical trial in lupus patients has demonstrated that patients on Zi Shen Qing granule therapy required lower levels of steroid used to reduce the abnormal immune responses. [19]

This effect of ginseng is due to the presence of ‘Ginsenosides’ or saponin-like steroids which mimic the steroid type effect within the body. [20]

Not only does radix ginseng help in reducing the steroid dosage but this herbal therapy is also safe when compared with other steroidal medication which may cause a serious adverse effect. [21]

What does this Mean? Radix ginseng has properties like those of steroids used in lupus patients. Therefore, using radix ginseng in lupus reduces the need for increased steroid dosages. Ginseng is also safer compared to steroidal therapy.

3. Radix Ginseng Usage Has a Positive Effect in Reducing Lupus Symptoms

Lupus patients are well-known to suffer from fatigue like any other chronic illness patients. It is the most disabling and arduous symptom of lupus.

The anti-fatigue property of radix ginseng has been most well studied and the majority of the studies show that it can effectively reduce fatigue in patients. [22]

An exhaustive literature review including 149 research papers on the anti-fatigue property of ginseng confirmed that ginseng has strong fatigue reducing property. [23]

A study conducted in Korea including 90 subjects demonstrated that radix ginseng is effective in reducing chronic fatigue in patients. [24]

Research also shows evidence that ZSQ is effective in reducing the symptoms of hair loss, dry mouth, muscle and joint pain in lupus patients. [25]

What does this Mean? Radix ginseng is effective in reducing chronic fatigue in lupus patients. It is also found to be capable of reducing hair loss, joint pain, muscle pain, and dry mouth.

4. Radix Ginseng Reduces Oxidative Stress in Lupus Patients

Increased oxidative stress is a common feature among lupus patients. The reason behind this is the decreased level of antioxidants in the body that fight the toxins which lead to oxidative stress.

Antioxidants have a great role in lupus by preventing cell damage from toxin to reducing inflammation and fatigue in the body. [26] [27]

Clinical trials on healthy subjects have confirmed the antioxidant nature of ginseng that can be of good benefit in lupus patients. [28]

Ginsenosides are the chemicals that are responsible for combating the toxins in the by promoting the enzymes that take out these toxins from the body. [29]

What does this Mean? Radix ginseng is a powerful antioxidant that reduces the oxidative stress in lupus patients that is otherwise responsible for healthy cell damage.

How to Take – Dosage

Radix ginseng can be taken in the form of decoction by adding 0.5-2 g of dried root to boiling water. It is also available in the form of tablets, capsules, and tonic.

These preparations must be used as suggested by your doctor or pharmacist. [30]

Precautions

Long-term usage if radix ginseng has proven its safety profile. It is also evidenced by research that the use of this herb is safe. [31]

Radix Ginseng is known to cause headache, nausea, diarrhea, insomnia, dry skin, irregular menstrual cycle and epigastric pain as its side effects. [32]

The use of radix ginseng in diabetic patients must be accompanied by the advice of a doctor as it can reduce the blood sugar levels causing a general sugar level imbalance. [33]

Using Radix ginseng in pregnancy, nursing and in children must be avoided as there is no proof for safety established yet. [34]

Conclusion

Radix ginseng is a very important herb that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to cure numerous diseases.

Radix ginseng is well-researched upon to prove its benefits on lupus patients in reducing the disease activity and inflammation.

Radix ginseng is also known to reduce symptoms like fatigue, hair loss, dry mouth, and joint pain. Moreover, it is also effective in reducing the steroid medication dosage in lupus patients.

The antioxidant properties of ginseng make it a great supplement choice in lupus patients as it can reduce oxidative stress in them.

The absence of serious side effects along with its effectiveness is the most striking feature of this special herb. It can be regarded as one of the most important herbs among alternative medicines in the management of lupus.

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