Review Article

Ginseng for the Management of Cancer-Related Fatigue: An Integrative Review

Emily A. Lemke, DNP, AGPCNP-BC, AOCNP®

From Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Author’s disclosure of conflicts of interest is found at the end of this article.

Correspondence to: Emily A Lemke, DNP, AGPCNP-BC, AOCNP®, Medical College of Wisconsin, 2550 N 90th Street, Wauwatosa, WI 53225. E-mail: elemke@mcw.edu


J Adv Pract Oncol 2021;12(4):406–414 | https://doi.org/10.6004/jadpro.2021.12.4.5 | © 2021 Harborside™


  

ABSTRACT

Background: Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is one of the most prevalent, debilitating symptoms affecting a majority of patients with cancer worldwide. It can lead to poor compliance with anticancer therapy and discontinuation of treatment. Current management strategies for CRF center around activity and exercise; however, these strategies can be challenging for many patients undergoing active treatment. Ginseng has been shown to improve CRF and may provide benefit for patients suffering from CRF. Methods: A systematic review was completed by searching PubMed and Scopus databases. Results: 115 search results were reduced to a final sample of five articles after applying inclusion and exclusion criteria. Published results suggest that 2,000 mg of American ginseng once daily improves symptoms of CRF. Minimal side effects or drug interactions are observed. Additional research is needed to further evaluate the role of ginseng for CRF. Conclusion: There are data to support the use of American ginseng to treat CRF. Large-scale randomized controlled trials are needed to validate these findings and determine optimal dosage and duration of therapy. 




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