To investigate the effects of G115® ginseng extract in reducing the bacterial count in the lungs of patients undergoing an acute attack of chronic bronchitis.
Nonblinded, randomised, comparative pilot trial.
One centre in Milan, Italy.
75 patients with acute attacks of chronic bronchitis.
All patients received 875mg amoxicillin and 125mg clavulanic acid twice daily for 9 days. They were then further randomised into two groups, one (n = 37) receiving only the antibacterial treatment, the second (n = 38) also receiving 100mg standardised ginseng extract G115® twice daily. The total duration of treatment was 9 days.
Main Outcome Measures and Results
Of the 75 patients included in the trial, 44 were evaluable. Significant group and time effects were found after analysis of the evolution of bacterial count. Significant differences between treatment groups were found on days 4, 5, 6 and 7, while a borderline trend was found on day 8. The log rank test showed a significant difference between the treatment groups after analysis of time to clearance of infection (χ2 = 6.2127, p = 0.0127). The median time to reach the point where no bacteria were detected was lower in the antibacterial plus ginseng group [median 6 days, mean 5.9 days, standard deviation (SD) 0.3] than in those receiving antibacterials alone (median 7 days, mean 6.7 days, SD 0.3).
In the group receiving G115® ginseng extract, bacterial clearance was significantly faster than in those receiving antibacterials alone. These results indicate a beneficial effect of G115® ginseng extract on the reduction of bacterial counts in the bronchial systems of patients with acute attacks of chronic bronchitis. Patients in whom the elimination of bacteria from the bronchial system is particularly difficult may benefit from the use of ginseng.