The influenza vaccine is given by injection to help prevent influenza (flu), particularly in people with compromised immune systems. The vaccine is altered yearly to correspond to mutations in the flu virus.
Some Russian studies suggest that eleuthero (Siberian ginseng) may reduce the risk of postvaccination reactions.1
In a randomized, double-blind study, 227 people received influenza vaccine plus 100 mg of standardized extract of Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) or placebo two times per day for four weeks before and eight weeks after influenza vaccination.2 Compared with placebo, Asian ginseng extract was reported to prevent colds and flu, improve immune cell activity, and increase antibody levels after vaccination.
1. Zykov MP, Protasova SF. Prospects of immunostimulating vaccination against influenza including the use of Eleutherococcus and other preparations of plants. In New Data on Eleutherococcus: Proceedings of the Second International Symposium on Eleutherococcus, Moscow, 1984, 164–9.
2. Scaglione F, Cattaneo G, Alessandria M, Cogo R. Efficacy and safety of the standardized ginseng extract G 115 for potentiating vaccination against common cold and/or influenza syndrome. Drugs Exptl Clin Res 1996;22:65–72.
Last Review: 11-07-2012
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