Ginseng can reduce abdominal pain associated with IBS

A study by scientists from various research institutes in Brazil showed that ginseng (Panax ginseng) improves abdominal pain due to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Their findings, which were published in The Brazilian Journal of Pharmacognosy, were based on the results of a randomized prospective and experimental clinical trial.

  • Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder characterized by abdominal pain and irregular bowel habits like constipation and diarrhea.
  • Estimates show that nearly 50 percent of patients with IBS use complementary medicines, such as herbs, to alleviate their symptoms.
  • Ginseng is a commonly used herb that has been shown to contain over 38 varieties of ginsenosides and triterpenoid saponins. These compounds contribute to the pharmacological properties of ginseng, which include anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, as well as the ability to improve, physical, psychomotor, and cognitive performance.
  • Prior to this study, there has been no information regarding the potential therapeutic benefits of ginseng with regards to IBS.
  • The researchers conducted a clinical trial involving 24 participants diagnosed with IBS to determine if ginseng will alleviate some of its symptoms. The participants were divided into two groups, with one group receiving ginseng and the other trimebutine, a drug commonly used to treat IBS.
  • Results showed that ginseng relieved abdominal pain and that its effects were comparable to that of trimebutine. However, it was observed to cause headaches in two out of the 12 participants that received ginseng.

Overall, these results suggest that ginseng has potential use as a natural remedy for abdominal pain in IBS patients since it is well tolerated, with only a small portion of the sample size exhibiting transient side effects.

The full text of the study is available at this link.

For more articles on natural remedies for IBS, visit

Journal Reference:

Rocha HA, Rocha TV, Nobrega FJ, Morais LC, Diniz MF. RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL OF PANAX GINSENG IN PATIENTS WITH IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME. The Brazilian Journal of Pharmacognosy. 5 April 2018;28(2). DOI: 10.1016/j.bjp.2018.02.007

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