Ginseng is perhaps one of the most recognizable supplements around. Products supposedly containing ginseng abound in supermarket shelves and health specialty stores in the form of beverages, food supplements, food additives, topical creams, and even in soaps. So many claims have been thrown around about its therapeutic properties that its true health benefits have become somewhat confusing.
The good news is that formal research into the true benefits with ginseng supplementation has been taking place. Some of these studies are focused on ginseng’s nootropic properties and so far, initial findings have produced promising results. These tests suggest that ginseng may actually help improve memory and problem solving skills, and at the same time block out outside stimuli increasing one’s focus.
There are different species of ginseng, but most of these species are endemic to the northern hemisphere. This perennial plant is highly valued for its roots where its supposed healing properties are concentrated. South Korea is the world’s largest producer of ginseng and the worldwide sales of ginseng products exceed 2 billion dollars yearly.
Traditionally, ginseng has been used for centuries in the Asian continent as tonic to treat sexual impotency and to add sexual virility to males. The belief in this ability of ginseng was apparently so strong and pervasive that enterprising individuals made good business with ginseng, selling it as a sexual potency enhancer. These days, a good number of people around the world still see ginseng as supplement that helps improve one’s sexual potency.
Studies on the nootropic properties of ginseng are focused on its components, the Rb1 and the Rg1 ginenosides. The Rb1 component in ginseng has been found to have the ability to increase alertness, energy, and endurance. The Rg1 group of ginenonsides on the other hand, is discovered to have neuroprotective abilities, which with proper supplementation may actually stave off cognitive decline.
As a cognitive enhancer, studies suggest that ginseng does have the ability to improve one’s memory retention and recall, concentration and focus, and logical reasoning. As opposed the negative effects resulting from the use of racetams like anxiety and impatience, ginseng also shows the ability to help induce calmness and relaxation.
Seemingly to complement these nootropic effects of ginseng, its other benefits focus on restoring the balance in body. Ginseng has powerful antioxidant properties which can boost the body’s immune system response and at the same time, help rid the body of free radicals. Having anti-inflammatory properties, ginseng can also help alleviate and even prevent the occurrence of a lot of medical conditions.
This natural supplement does have its own negative effects on the body as well. Some individuals may have an allergic reaction to it or some of its components. Some users have experienced a number of side effects attributed to ginseng supplementation such as diarrhea, unstable blood pressure, headaches, and nausea. A number of studies also indicate that taking ginseng along with antidepressants may induce mania.
- All natural.
- Widely available
- It has a lot of side benefits apart from being a nootropic.
- One may experience unpleasant side effects.
- Nootropic effects may not be significant if you are already on a potent stack.
- Needs consistent supplementation for its effects to be noticeable.
- May not be effective for long time users of nootropics.
Ginseng needs consistent and steady dosing in order to benefit from its nootropic effects. Due to varying sensitivities to its effects, it is generally advised to start with a 500 to 1,500mg daily dosing and experiment after 10 days whether or not you should increase or decrease your doses. Ginseng may or may not complement your existing nootropic stack, but it will be a good addition if you are planning to create your own all-herbal nootropic stack.