While researching some of the various health benefits of American ginseng, I stumbled upon a promising study which showed that a mixture of Panax quinquefolium (the latin name for American ginseng) and Ginkgo biloba could help improve the symptoms of those suffering with ADD and ADHD.
The 4 week long study monitored 36 subjects between the ages of 3 to 17 who had a previous diagnosis of ADHD. Subjects were observed and completed questionnaires to assess their level of impairment before consuming the herbal extracts, after 2 weeks of treatment and finally after 4. After 4 weeks of treatment, patients on average had a 44% reduction in the amount of social problems and a 74% reduction in hyperactivity and impulsivity associated with their diagnosis. You can read the full study here.
As a child, I was diagnosed with ADHD and I have always struggled to stay focused at both work and school, so I figured I would give this a try myself since I am currently finishing my final year of college and I was having a hard time paying attention in my most difficult classes. I ordered a package of dried and shredded Ginkgo biloba leaves online and got some ginseng powder from our family's personal stock that we saved after last year's harvest. Next, I followed the steps below to make myself a cup of tea:
How to Brew American Ginseng Root & Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Tea
- Place 2 grams of Ginkgo biloba leaf and 2 grams of American ginseng powder in a disposable tea bag. (If you don't have a small scale, 2 grams is about 1 teaspoon of Ginkgo and just under a teaspoon of ginseng powder.)
- Heat 1 cup of water to 208°F or just before the water begins to boil. This is the best temperature to extract all the ginsenoside compounds from the ginseng root and is also a good temperature for brewing Ginkgo biloba leaf.
- Allow the tea to steep for 3-5 minutes for the nutrients in the herbs to fully dissolve in the tea.
- Remove the tea bag and stir in honey to taste.
I did not feel any noticable effects after drinking the tea other than the boost in energy from the ginseng. I had a significant amount of school work to do that day, so I sat down and got to work. About 3 hours later, I realized I had been sitting at my desk studying the entire time. Typically I am only able to study for about 20-30 minutes before getting distracted. It was incredible! Unfortunately, I had difficulty sleeping a few hours later when I went to bed. It was similar to how stimulant ADHD medications like Adderall affected my sleep if I took them too late in the day. I drank my tea at about 2 pm and I wish I would have drank it right away in the morning instead.
In conclusion, I would highly recommend giving American ginseng root and Ginkgo biloba leaf tea if you struggle with focus or if you have other symptoms caused by ADD or ADHD. However, I also recommend drinking the tea in the morning as it may affect your sleep. Please leave a comment if you try this to let me know your experience!