Herb could offer hope for lung disease sufferers

Researchers in Sydney are recruiting ex-smokers for a new study into the use of a traditional Chinese herb for lung disease.The three-year clinical trial is investigating whether ginseng can improve quality of life and lung function for patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), an umbrella term for the lung diseases chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

Ex-smokers aged 40 to 80 who suffer from shortness of breath and chronic cough are needed for the trial. The lead reader researcher in the trial said common Western medical treatments could not offer a cure for COPD

“Moderate to severe COPD affects about 1.2 million Australians,” he said. “This trial is looking at patients in the early stages of COPD to determine whether herbal medicine can improve their quality of life and lung function.

"Ginseng is a common herb in Chinese medicine and has been used for hundreds of years to relieve symptoms of chronic lung disease but rigorous clinical trials are lacking.

"Pre-clinical laboratory trials on ginseng have shown it holds great promise for its quality, safety and efficacy.”

Read more at RMIT University