Ginseng is one of the most revered herbs of Asia, and for centuries the root of ginseng has been traditionally used for treating various chronic health disorders. In Korea, China, and Japan, this “all-healing” herb's root extract has been applied since ancient times as a medicine against aging and age-related memory loss. Korean ginseng is scientifically known as Panax ginseng, and the name “Panax” is derived from the Greek word “panacea,” which means “cure all,” whereas Ginseng comes from the Chinese word “Ren Shen,” which means “person” and “plant root,” respectively.

Therapeutic Properties of Ginseng

Ginseng is a powerful adaptogen, which is a natural substance that helps our body adapt to stress and improve memory deficits related to it. It is also a natural nootropic, which is a smart drug and cognitive enhancer that improves cognitive function, memory etc. Korean Red Ginseng has been found to be helpful in maintaining brain health and improving memory. The herb has several other therapeutic properties. It is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-fatigue, anti-aging, anti-depressant, and anti-diabetic remedy.

Ginsenosides: The Most Important Bioactive Components of Ginseng

The efficacy of Ginseng is due to the bioactive components, mainly found in its root, such as Ginsenosides, Polysaccharides, Triterpenoids, Flavonoids, and many more. Out of these, Ginsenosides are the chief components and play an important role in the central nervous system. they have been proved to be effective in ameliorating learning deficits due to brain damage and aging.

Ginseng has given promising results in the treatment of memory impairment by promoting neurotransmitter activities that promote memory enhancement, and through several other therapeutic mechanisms. The healing effects of Ginseng in enhancing the memory are given below.

#1. Healing Effects in Treating Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is a progressive brain disorder, which affects the person's memory and ability to learn, understand, or perform daily activities. This neurodegenerative disorder that causes memory loss is characterized by cognitive impairment, accumulation of beta amyloid, and degeneration of the cholinergic basal forebrain.

Ginsenosides enhance cognitive and psychomotor functions by improving brain cholinergic function, reducing the level of beta amyloid, and repairing neuronal networks damage. they also reduce inflammation in the brain and increase levels of BDNF, which is vital for the healthy growth of brain cells. This helps prevent memory impairment in Alzheimer’s.

Neurotransmitters in the brain regulate the brain activities. Acetylcholine is involved with memory, while acetylcholinesterase is an enzyme that breaks it down. Many drugs which help in memory enhancement are designed to inhibit acetylcholinesterase activity. Ginsenosides help in regulating the neurotransmitter levels. This helps protect from memory impairment in neurodegenerative diseases.

A daily dosage of 4.5 g of Korean Red Ginseng for 12 weeks has been found to improve cognition and enhance memory function in Alzheimer’s.

#2. Boosting Overall Mental Health in Brain Disorders Like Vascular Dementia

Vascular Dementia is the second most common type of dementia, after Alzheimer's disease. The decline in thinking skills is caused by reduced blood flow to the brain, thus depriving brain cells of vital oxygen and nutrients. Ginsenosides protect from memory impairment by preventing apoptosis or death of neurons. Ginsenosides also protect from damages caused by brain injuries.

Ginsenosides increase the level of BDNF, which improves adaptive capacity and alleviates memory deficits caused by stress like sleep deprivation. Studies have shown that these are effective in ameliorating oxidative stress and psychosis in schizophrenia. While improving memory, they reduce the side effects of the drug clozapine used in treatment of schizophrenia.

#3. As a Neuroprotective Agent in Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson's Disease is a neurodegenerative disorder of the central nervous system, which leads to progressive deterioration of motor function due to the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. The most obvious symptoms are shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement, and difficulty with walking. These symptoms develop slowly over time.

As a neuroprotective agent, Ginseng protects brain health from Parkinson’s disease, as well as from various disorders such as stress, depression, stroke etc. Ginseng has been shown to exert nootropic effect on the central nervous system, thereby improving learning, memory, attention, sensory-motor performance, and cognitive processing. Ginsenosides has been found to increase dopamine and norepinephrine concentrations in the cerebral cortex.

These effects explain the efficacy in improving attention, cognitive function, sensory-motor function, and auditory reaction time. These effects suggest that long-term administration of ginseng extract may result in positive outcome in cases of Parkinson’s Disease. Ginsenosides also improve cognition by ameliorating stress and fatigue.

#4. Improving Memory and Preventing Decline in Memory Due to Aging

Korean Red Ginseng has been found to be particularly effective in preventing age-related decline in memory and cognition. Ginsenosides help in fighting oxidative stress in the brain. It also increases the neural connections in the hippocampus, which is involved in retrieval of memory and controls neuroplasticity, which is the ability of our brain to adapt to changes. In these ways it helps improve memory during old age. Anti-inflammatory actions of Ginseng protect from age-related decline in memory. Saponins found in Ginseng contain antioxidant properties that protect memory and cognition in aging brain.

Korean Red Ginseng has been found to improve learning and memory enhancement by protecting the brain cells. The Oligosaccharides in the herb help reduce inflammation in the brain and reduce memory-related deficits. Studies have shown amazing results. A single 200 mg dose improves working memory within 3-4 hours and 400 mg dose increased calmness, cognition, and memory in healthy middle-aged individuals.

In Conclusion

Ginseng is an amazing herb, and its therapeutic action on the brain is not limited to just memory enhancement; but it also protects the brain from various neurodegenerative disorders and mental health-related conditions. It regulates neurotransmitter levels and reduces oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain. It also prevents death of brain cells and supports the growth of neurons. It promotes the activity of immune cells in the nervous system to protect it.