The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of Korean red ginseng (KRG) on ocular blood flow in patients with glaucoma. In a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-masked crossover trial, 36 patients with open-angle glaucoma were consecutively recruited. Subjects were randomly assigned into two groups. Group A received 1.5 g KRG, administered orally three times daily for 12 weeks, followed by a wash-out period of 8 weeks and 12 weeks of placebo treatment (identical capsules filled with 1.5 g corn starch). Group B underwent the same regimen, but took the placebo first and then KRG. Blood pressure, heart rate, and intraocular pressure were measured at baseline and at the end of each phase of the study. Visual field examination and ocular blood flow measurements by the Heidelberg Retina Flowmeter were performed at baseline and at the end of each phase of the study. Changes in blood pressure, heart rate, intraocular pressure, visual field indices, and retinal peripapillary blood flow were evaluated. Blood pressure, heart rate, intraocular pressure, and visual field indices did not change after placebo or KRG treatment. After KRG treatment, retinal peripapillary blood flow in the temporal peripapillary region significantly improved (p = 0.005). No significant changes were found in retinal peripapillary blood flow in either the rim region or the nasal peripapillary region (p = 0.051 and 0.278, respectively). KRG ingestion appears to improve retinal peripapillary blood flow in patients with open-angle glaucoma. These results imply that KRG ingestion might be helpful for glaucoma management.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
- Complementary and alternative medicine