Macular degeneration is caused by the accumulation of debris in the back of the eye.
Sufferers experience a gradual worsening of vision and black spots that may eventually result in complete blindness.
Since there’s no cure for the disease, treatments can only slow its progression.
But researchers at the University of London have found that poor conditions in the so-called Bruch’s membrane, which provides visual cells with nutrition and prevents the buildup of debris, increase the risk of macular degeneration.
From the eyes of 44 donors, aged 12 to 92, the researchers separated the Bruch’s membrane and treated it with ginseng extract.
As a result, the membrane’s function improved two-fold and the eyes performed like they were 20 years younger, reversing macular degeneration.
Professor Ali Hussain from UCL Institute of Ophthalmology says,
“We have found that Ginsenosides present in Korean red ginseng can remove this debris and therefore we have a potential treatment for AMD. We hope to produce a new formulation containing these Ginsenosides from Korean red ginseng and undertake clinical trials in the very near future.”