Panax ginseng (G115) improves aspects of working memory performance and subjective ratings of calmness in healthy young adults

Hum Psychopharmacol. 2010 Aug;25(6):462-71. doi: 10.1002/hup.1138.


Objective: There is a lack of research into the cognitive and mood effects of repeated ginseng ingestion. The present study assessed the effects of Panax ginseng (G115) on subjective mood and aspects of 'working' memory processes, following a single dose and following sub-chronic (7 days) ingestion, in healthy volunteers.

Methods: A placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomised, crossover was utilised. Thirty volunteers (mean age 22.87 years; SD 4.01) received each treatment (200 mg; 400 mg; placebo) for 8 days, in a counter balanced order, with a 6-day wash-out period. Testing was on days 1 and 8 of each treatment period, at pre-dose, 1, 2.5 and 4 h post-dose.

Results: Results revealed dose-related treatment effects (p < 0.05). Two hundred milligrams slowed a fall in mood at 2.5 and 4 h on day 1 and at 1 and 4 h on day 8, but slowed responding on a mental arithmetic task across day 1 and at 1 and 2.5 h on day 8. The 400 mg dose also improved calmness (restricted 2.5 and 4 h on day 1) and improved mental arithmetic across days 1 and 8.

Conclusions: We found no evidence of additional benefits, nor attenuation of acute effects following repeated ingestion of Panax ginseng (G115).

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Affect / drug effects*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory, Short-Term / drug effects*
  • Mental Fatigue / psychology*
  • Panax*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Young Adult


  • Plant Extracts