Panax ginseng has been used traditionally in Asia and other countries for centuries. Recently it has become popular in the United States. Many have claimed that it has cognitive benefits, but others still say that there is very little convincing evidence of this. Here is what you need to know:
1. Panax ginseng is taken for cognitive support and performance.
2. Do not confuse it with Siberian Ginseng, American Ginseng, Chinese Ginseng, or Pseudoginseng. There are different types of ginseng and they work differently in the body.
3. An increase in blood flow has been noted with panax ginseng supplementation.
4. The study listed below conducted many trials and found no significant change in human performance.
5. No serious adverse events or side effects associated with ginseng were found in the study. However, I do always recommend caution with supplements.
When I have discussed ginseng with someone that is using it for an ailment or performance I begin with the research. Quite frankly the research is just not there to back it up yet. Anecdotal evidence is not really worth something in cases like this because when we are addressing the brain and nervous system, it is better to be safe than sorry.
If it really is simply a placebo effect, I still feel it is worth it to explain that there is research refuting the claims made by the supplement companies. Everyone should have all of the information to make the best decision for their health.