Like most people, you’ve probably heard about the amazing health benefits of Panax Ginseng. This powerful adaptogen has been used for centuries in traditional medicine practices for its ability to improve physical endurance, boost the immune system, and reduce the detrimental effects of aging.
But what you might not know is that Panax ginseng also supports brain health.
Though your brain only makes up about 2% of your total body weight, it takes up 20-25% of your blood supply, oxygen, and caloric intake. Obviously that’s because of its vital importance to your very survival.
Though the brain has many function, this article will focus on cognitive health—memory, concentration, focus, planning, and so forth.
What Causes Brain Dysfunction?
Brain damage can occur from a concussion, stroke, seizure, infection, or tumour. It can also happen with chronic illnesses like an autoimmune disorder, neurodegenerative disease, and dementia, including Alzheimer’s.
How Can Panax Ginseng Help Strengthen and Protect My Brain?
There is no guarantee, but with something that is as important to our lives as our brain, it makes sense to do as much as we can to keep this vital organ healthy.
Panax Ginseng Rebalances Your Body
Panax ginseng is one of the most recognized and researched herbs because of its classification as an adaptogen—a substance that can help restore normal function and return a system to balance. Adaptogens have a wide range of biological, chemical, and physical effects.
By improving vitality, managing stress, and supporting resistance to disease, ginseng can reduce some of the detrimental effects of aging.
Panax Ginseng Improves Blood Supply to the Brain
Many brain disorders happen when the brain doesn’t get enough blood supply. In fact, you’ll pass out within 10 seconds of your brain’s blood supply being cut off. And while you can live for about 20 minutes without a heartbeat, you’ll likely have permanent brain damage after only about 5 minutes of lack of blood supply to the brain. Additionally, aging has been associated with reduced blood circulation, narrower arteries, and less growth of new capillaries (the tiny little blood vessels).
Panax ginseng has been shown to be able to improve blood supply to the brain, help manage blood pressure, and improve the body’s ability to make new blood vessels, so it may help with both prevention and treatment of brain disorders.
Panax Ginseng Protects Brain Cells
Antioxidants have been hyped up for a long time now. And for good reason. They help protect our cells from damage caused by pollutants, injury, toxins, stress, and aging. Once again Panax ginseng shows itself to be a star, as it also fits in the antioxidant category. Because of its antioxidant properties, this well-researched herb may defend neurons from cell damage cause by oxidation.
Another major cause of damage to cells is inflammation. Though inflammation isn’t always a bad thing, chronic inflammation can wreak havoc on brain cells. So it stands to reason that Panax ginseng’s anti-inflammatory activity can also help in this regard.
Panax Ginseng Treats Cognitive Disorders
What about after the brain has already suffered from disease?
One of the possible effects of a stroke is memory loss and dementia. In animal studies with Panax ginseng, researchers found an improvement in brain chemicals that counteract the damage. Human studies also showed improved memory after 12 weeks of ginseng compound tablets.
A human clinical study of Alzheimer’s patients showed that those given Panax ginseng for 12 weeks improved cognitive function over those that were given a placebo.
And finally, a July 2014 study in the Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association showed Bing Han’s Panax ginseng specifically has anti-dementia and anamnestic effects, as tested on rats.
Boost Up Your Brain Health
So if you’ve found yourself giving the “senior’s moment” excuse when you have forgotten someone’s name, lost your keys, or were unable to remember your purpose for entering a room, maybe it’s time to do a little bit more to support and protect your brain.