The effects of Panax notoginseng on delayed onset muscle soreness and muscle damage in well-trained males: A double blind randomised controlled trial

Kate PUMPA, Kieran E. Fallon, Alan Bensoussan, Shona Papalia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The aim of the study was to determine if Panax notoginseng is effective in reducing pain, indicators of inflammation and muscle damage, and in turn improve performance in well trained males who underwent a bout of eccentric exercise designed to induce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

Design: A double blind randomised placebo controlled trial.

Setting: Twenty well trained male volunteers, matched by maximum aerobic capacity were randomly assigned to consume a regime of 4000 mg of P. notoginseng capsules or an indistinguishable placebo before and after a downhill treadmill running episode designed to induce DOMS.

Main outcome measures: Performance measures (Kin-Com, counter movement and squat jump), pain assessments (visual analogue scale (VAS), algometer) and blood analyses (interleukin-1, interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), C-reactive protein, myoglobin, creatine kinase) were assessed at 7 time points over 5 days (pre, post, 4, 24, 48, 72 and 96h after the downhill run).

Results: The placebo group demonstrated a significant decrease in squat jump performance immediately post the downhill run, with a mean change +/- 95% confidence interval (CI) of 0.8 cm (-3.53 to 1.93). The placebo group also experienced increased pain in the quadriceps 96 h after the downhill run, with a mean VAS change +/- 95% CI of -0.32 cm (-0.34 to 0.98).The serum concentration of IL-6 and TNF-alpha were significantly lower in the placebo group 24h after the downhill run. Mean IL-6 change +/- 95% CI of 0.50 pg/mL (-1.59 to 0.59), and mean TNF-alpha change +/- 95% CI was 0.98 pg/mL (-2.04 to 0.09). No other significant differences were identified between the groups for any other outcome measure.

Conclusion: Considering all data from this study, P. notoginseng did not convincingly have an effect on performance, muscular pain or assessed blood markers in well-trained males after an intense bout of eccentric exercise that induced DOMS
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-140
Number of pages10
JournalComplementary Therapies in Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


Cite this