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 the ginkgo biloba leaves.
- 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!
The ginkgo biloba leaves I purchased on Amazon looked pretty old and were not nearly as high quality as the ginseng. I found out that ginkgo biloba trees are actually very common. Ginkgo biloba is also known as the maidenhair tree and this tree can be found in almost every part of the United States. I would recommend trying to find a maidenhair tree yourself and picking some leaves to dry and use for tea. This is what I will be doing in the future.