An Open-Label, Pilot Trial of HRG80™ Red Ginseng in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and Post-Viral Fatigue (Teitelbaum et al, 2021)

Consul

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Abstract

Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia (CFS/FMS) affect 2.1% of the world’s population and ~10–25% of people who have had COVID-19. Previous clinical data suggested that a unique Panax ginseng (C.A. Meyer, family Araliaceae) root extract (HRG80™ Red Ginseng) often resulted in marked improvement. We aimed to study this hydroponic form of red ginseng root, containing high levels of rare ginsenosides, for improving energy, cognition, and stamina. This open-label prospective study included participants with severe CFS/FMS who took a daily supplement of HRG80 capsules (200–400 mg) or tablets (100–200 mg) for one month. A total of 188 subject patients completed the one-month treatment trial. Of these, 60.1% rated themselves as improved, with 13.3% rating themselves as being much better. In this group, the mean composite score improved from 11.9 to 18.8 (p < 0.001), with a 67% average increase in energy, 44% average increase in overall well-being, 48% average improvement in mental clarity, 58% average composite improvement in the previous three measurements (primary outcome measure), 46% average improvement in sleep, 33% average decrease in pain, and 72% average increase in stamina. Our study showed that HRG80 red ginseng root powder resulted in a marked improvement in people with CFS and fibromyalgia. This included the subgroup with post-viral CFS/FMS.

The study: https://www.mdpi.com/1424-8247/15/1/43/htm
 

hapl808

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Pretty skeptical of Teitelbaum, even though I found his book worth reading. But then I see crap like this:

"In our earlier randomized placebo-controlled study, the S.H.I.N.E.® protocol resulted in an average of 91% improvement in quality-of-life of those with CFS/FMS [21,23], making these conditions highly treatable."

Cool. So a 91% improvement in QoL for those with CFS? I guess you guys can shut down Phoenix Rising, then, because if we all got a 91% improvement, I don't really see the need to post here anymore.

Also the red ginseng trial is not placebo controlled, so it's a bunch of subjective measurements with no baseline. Makes the PACE trial look rigorous and unbiased.

Sigh.
 

Consul

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I was unsure about this guys credibility but decided to post anyways.

But i noticed ginseng was just mentioned in another recent paper from Scheibenbogens team, quote:

[...]Another non-pharmacological approach is the oral administration of ginseng that has been shown to have anti-fatigue properties in ME/CFS, cancer-related fatigue and MS-related fatigue in several blinded randomized-controlled studies (34–37). Just recently, it was suggested that the related pharmacokinetics are mediated via the gut microbiome (278, 279). While these indications are all indirect and thus cannot be considered conclusive, even though randomized controlled trials are considered relatively strong evidence, they support the general principle of effective fatigue reduction accompanying changes to the gut microbiome in similar conditions, which makes assessment of whether the same applies in the ME/CFS setting relevant to test further.
(Source: The Gut Microbiome in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) (König, 2022) )
 

wabi-sabi

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I was unsure about this guys credibility but decided to post anyways.
Yeah, the problem isn't that he's looking at ginseng. The problem is the research design he chose-open label-enhances placebo effects. Drug trials with giving people pills/tablets are pretty much the easiest to do double blind and placebo controlled, so why not do them here? That would give us useful data.

We need better quality research.
 
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the hydroponic issue is bugging me......on the one hand good, leave wild ginseng alone. (its illegal to harvest wild plants in many locations...and countries...)

But this disregards the entire energetics and synergistic...and its got trademarks as well.. so what is trade markers about it?

and what have they done to the genetics?
 
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Ginseng is periodically in my chinese herb mix, included by my practitioner. I do a mix of herbs and sometimes we are going after specifics- I have high blood pressure and am pre type 2- so we have targeted that at times.

I never noticed the ginseng in a specific way- and its not currently in my mix. Since I've been on these herbs mostly for at least a decade, I'd say- it didn't cure me. ( I don' t have info at hand on which ginseng I was taking)..(note it wasn't this trade marked stuff).
But these herbs help reduce the intensity of symptoms. That part is helpful.
 

Consul

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Im buying probably, in the quote i provided scheibenbogen appears to trust other gold standard studies on ginseng for me/cfs. The current study isnt great but its still another datapoint in support of it so i dont see why not tbh.
 

Consul

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Arguing for the sake of arguing here. The current study is NOT in support of ginseng. It's in support of the placebo effect. If you want to try ginseng, go for it, but only because Scheibenbogen says so, not Teitelbaum.

OK, I'll stop now.
Unless the guy is proven to be bought and paid for i dont see why this isnt an indication that ginseng can work. Gold standard studies can provide very certain evidence that something works but that doesnt mean that studies with a weaker structure cant provide indications as well. Open studies wouldnt exist if they didnt provide any value. I view the result from this study as very uncertain but with real potential.
 
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this study as very uncertain but with real potential.
We already have 100s of years of evidence for ginseng's effectiveness- see chinese herbal literature

ME itself isn't an identifiable "thing" in chinese medicine. Its yin deficiency, blood stagnation, dampness, Bulbous Lillii syndrome, liver heat- imbalances described mostly in energetic terms.

For instance, I have huge issues with wind and also happen to have six AIR planets in my astrology chart. What a co-incidence!

I eat grounding foods. They help my physiologically. No study will ever tell you that.
 
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It's in support of the placebo effect.

while we tend to focus on the lack of placebo controls etc....

The bigger problems I see are:

1) ridiculous subjective criteria ranking from one thru 10. This DOES NOT WORK. And certainly isn't going to work where cognitive dysfunction are a key part of the illness.

2) no decent inclusion criteria- our same old CFS definition problem

I'm fed up by these types of subjective criteria and there must be a way to measure something measurable and repeatable. Like you should be taking multiple MEASUREMENTS to generate MEAN values for simple measurements. Not even that is happening.


And now I'm simply wondering- how does one answer these questions? My answer at 10 am would different by 2 pm and change entirely by 5 pm. And then the next day....

Recall the 1-10 PAIN question? what is a 10? Where do you put : worse than 10? Oh, is giving. birth a 5? Well my giving birth was a 12.

this does't work either.
 
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I took ginseng for 2.5 years at ME onset. It was the only thing that allowed me to keep going at that time. It took about 6 months to probably start working in any real fashion.

Issues with ginseng:
* Immune stimulation: a lot of patients simply cannot handle this and it causes issues such as worsened viral reactivation.
* Imbalance in immune function: in my case I believe that bacteria can proliferate and grow much more easily if the immune system is more virally focussed. Just my opinion.
* Ginseng is probably the king of adaptogens. Red ginseng is the strongest ginseng you can take - I find it so strange the authors decided to trial red ginseng...I find it bloody odd actually. Ginseng is like robbing Peter to pay Paul. High likelyhood of imbalance and potentially even damage/creating more issues.
* Ginseng causes insomnia after week 3 or 4 because unlike herbs that are not adaptogens its effects are cumulative.
* Theres a whole power point presentation on the web called the dark side of adaptogens. Which lists all of the clinical patient issues these herbs cause. In ginseng that's mania, severe insomnia, fatigue, lethargy.

Now those aside I personally found after 2 years on it it made me anxious, impatient, very little angry management control but much higher energy envelope and milder symptoms. I'd usually ping back from exertion after 20 minutes of sitting down while taking ginseng. So it's very powerful stuff.

Also a very important note that you won't find anywhere on the internet and on none of the western websites of which 99% of Google results are these days. Chinese traditional medicine never recommended ginseng be taken every day. I found this out relatively early on thankfully. They recommend it is taken in 5 week cycles with a 2 week break. This is because firstly it builds up in the system and secondly it takes 14 days to drain from the system. I did many experiments with varying breaks and 14 days was the only one that worked.

Lastly at week 5 to 8 of daily ginseng dosing here's what you've got to look forward to:
* Severe insomnia
* God like ideation (you think your ideas are amazing)
* Unrealistic levels of enthusiasm and feeling high etc.

They describe ginseng as being like ecstacy by the way after 6-7 weeks of taking it. You start to exhibit all the side effects of taking an e. I've never taken any drugs! But I remember that article pretty vividly.

Also in the initial 2 weeks ginseng actually makes you feel a bit worse. Sleepy, tired and difficulty functioning. This could be anything from higher NO levels to hormones being produced too slowly for the herb, the herb demanding more energy be siphoned in a certain direction.

The other thing is it's anti fatigue effects don't normally kick in for say 7 to 14 days and that's after those initial effects. So you can't just take it for a day or two and get benefit.

Hope that helps!
 

Husband of

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Pretty skeptical of Teitelbaum, even though I found his book worth reading. But then I see crap like this:

"In our earlier randomized placebo-controlled study, the S.H.I.N.E.® protocol resulted in an average of 91% improvement in quality-of-life of those with CFS/FMS [21,23], making these conditions highly treatable."

Cool. So a 91% improvement in QoL for those with CFS? I guess you guys can shut down Phoenix Rising, then, because if we all got a 91% improvement, I don't really see the need to post here anymore.

Also the red ginseng trial is not placebo controlled, so it's a bunch of subjective measurements with no baseline. Makes the PACE trial look rigorous and unbiased.

Sigh.
I think you might be interpreting 91 per cent differently . Say you are at 5 per cent of normal QoL, then a 100 improvement will bring you to 10 per cent. But then that also doesn’t make these conditions “highly treatable”
 

Hufsamor

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Has anyone tried it? Is it worth a try...?
I tried som years ago, a homeopath I went to had some success with this.
But it wasn’t for me..
I don’t quite remember if it just didn’t do anything for me or if I got a bit unwell.

on the other hand, I can hardly tolerate any supplements, so I wouldn’t let that bother me.

As far as I remember, he said it was important to get the right kind of ginseng, not just go to the grocery and grab the first one you see. (I don’t know why)

And, as @godlovesatrier states..most supplements like this should be taken in cycles
 

hapl808

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I think you might be interpreting 91 per cent differently . Say you are at 5 per cent of normal QoL, then a 100 improvement will bring you to 10 per cent. But then that also doesn’t make these conditions “highly treatable”
Ah, if that's what they meant by 91% improvement, then they're just dishonest. But good catch if that's the case. Improving from 1% functioning to almost 2% functioning is not a significant p-value, but like you said it's a 100% relative improvement. Definitely doesn't count as 'highly treatable' in my book.

They recommend it is taken in 5 week cycles with a 2 week break. This is because firstly it builds up in the system and secondly it takes 14 days to drain from the system. I did many experiments with varying breaks and 14 days was the only one that worked.
That still does sound potentially helpful? Nothing really improves my situation much other than just doing very little every day. That doesn't 'improve' it, but it doesn't cause crashes. Is there a ginseng type or brand or how do you find good quality ginseng that doesn't cost a fortune?