Oriental ginseng, also known as "panax ginseng," can help your brainpower, according to the latest research. Researchers at Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, tested the effects of ginseng on thirty adults. Subjects took a ten-minute math test, then were given either a placebo or 200 or 400 mg of standardized panax ginseng extract. An hour later they had six more ten-minute tests to take.
The subjects in both ginseng groups had significant reductions in blood sugar levels after taking the ginseng, compared to the placebo group. Test scores were also higher, and mental fatigue reduced. The highest scores were actually in the group given 200 mg, so more is not necessarily better.
The researchers reported their findings in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. They concluded that mental performance may be enhanced and mental fatigue reduced with moderate amounts of ginseng. They speculate that the effect is due to the ability of ginseng to regulate blood sugar levels.