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Native American tribes used American ginseng for centuries before it became popularized by global trade in the mid 18th-century. More recently, studies have shown it supports healthy energy levels, cognitive function, and working memory, the mental faculty involved in conversation as we gather thoughts or when we’re linking concepts together.*
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial studying the cognitive and mood effects of varying doses of a highly standardized American Ginseng extract on healthy young adults, researchers found that the extract was associated with a significant and consistent improvement to working memory performance. Spatial working memory, assessed using Corsi blocks, was improved by all doses (100 mg, 200 mg, 400 mg) at all testing times (1, 3 and 6 h post treatment). There were also significant improvements to numeric working memory speed and immediate word recall associated with 200mg dose. Alphabetic working memory speed was enhanced by 100 and 400 mg doses. There were also several time-specific and task-specific benefits associated with other doses. Self-rated calmness was increased following 100 mg dose at 3 and 6 h post treatment (1).
Another double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial investigating the acute cognitive and mood effects of a single-dose (200 mg) of American ginseng on 52 healthy, middle-aged (40-60 years) volunteers, found that working memory performance and spatial working memory were significantly improved at 3h post treatment compared to placebo. These effects were time-dependent, with significant improvement at 3 hours post-intervention and a trend towards improvement 6 hours post-intervention. The trial did not find any of the mood measures were significantly affected by 200 mg of American ginseng extract at 1, 3 or 6 h post -treatment (2).
Effects of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) on neurocognitive function: An acute, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study
Scholey A, Ossoukhova A, Owen L, Ibarra A et al., Psychopharmacology, 2010
Improved working memory performance following administration of a single dose of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) to healthy middle-age adults
Ossoukhova A, Owen L, Savage K, Meyer M et al. , Human Psychopharmacol Clin Exp., 2015
Chemical and pharmacological studies of saponins with a focus on American ginseng
Yuan, C.-S., Wang, C.-Z., Wicks, S. M., & Qi, L.-W. , Journal of ginseng research 34(3), 160-167, 2010
Adaptogens help the body adapt to stress, support normal metabolic processes and restore balance. American ginseng is well-known for its adaptogenic properties.
American ginseng specifically helps to reduce fatigue associated with stress. As an adaptogen, this means that American ginseng can help bring energy levels back into balance, supporting healthy day time energy needs.
Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief
Winston D, Maimes S. Adaptogens. , Healing Arts Press, 2007