The Effect of Korean Red Ginseng on Symptoms and Quality of Life in Chronic Tinnitus: A Randomized, Open-Label Pilot Study.
J Audiol Otol. 2015 Sep ;19(2):85-90. Epub 2015 Sep 16. PMID: 26413574
Tae Su Kim
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The major mechanism of inner ear cell damage is the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Korean red ginseng (KRG) has an anti-ROS effect; thus we hypothesized that KRG may be of use for the treatment of chronic idiopathic tinnitus. The aim of the study is to investigate clinical outcomes and health-related quality of life (QoL) in chronic tinnitus patients after taking KRG.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: This study was an open-label randomized controlled trial. Sixty-one patients with chronic tinnitus were enrolled and randomized to three groups. The control group was treated for 4 weeks with 160 mg/day Ginkgo biloba extract, and two other groups receiving 1500 mg/day or 3000 mg/day KRG for 4 weeks. Clinical assessments were performed using the tinnitus handicap inventory (THI), Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and QoL was assessed by Short Form-36 Health Survey (SF-36) questionnaire.
RESULTS: Fifty-nine patients completed the planned protocol. Significant improvements were observed between initial and post-treatment THI scores in patients receiving 3000 mg/day KRG. There was no statistically significant difference between initial and post-treatment VAS scores in all groups. Treatment with 3000 mg/day KRG for 4 weeks significantly improved role emotional and mental health scores in the SF-36 survey.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that KRG may improve tinnitus symptoms and mental wellbeing in chronic tinnitus patients.