A chronic and challenging mental disorder, schizophrenia often leaves the patient miles apart from reality and is accompanied by abnormal behavior.

Though there is no cure for schizophrenia, antipsychotic medications help in managing the symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations and disordered thinking. However, for many, the side effects produced by these medicines are way worse than the symptoms they are meant to treat.

While the serious nature of this illness demands expert guidance, several natural herbs can be beneficial in controlling the symptoms and improving the overall well-being of the individual.

One such natural ingredient is ginseng, which is known to reduce the frequency of schizophrenic episodes.

How Ginseng Works
Most widely recognized for its adaptogenic properties, ginseng can relieve both mental and physical stress. Its energy-boosting properties can improve overall mental alertness and cognition.[1] According to a 2008 Canadian study presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, ginseng was found to reduce the negative symptoms of schizophrenia, including “the flat affect” (lack of emotional expression).

Researchers believe that ginseng acts on the same brain receptors that are targeted by antipsychotic drugs. Ginsenosides, the main active compound present in ginseng, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which protect the brain from free radical damage and help retain the brain function. [1] Another double blind, placebo-controlled study published in 2012 suggested the positive effects of North American ginseng on improving working memory in schizophrenic patients. [2]

How To Use It

  • Panax ginseng is one of the most effective forms of ginseng to enhance memory. Boil 1tsp to 2tsp of ginseng in two cups of water and steep for 20 minutes. Strain and drink once cool.

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1. Kim HJ, Kim P, Shin CY. A comprehensive review of the therapeutic and pharmacological effects of ginseng and ginsenosides in central nervous system. J Ginseng Res. 2013 Mar;37(1):8-29. doi: 10.5142/jgr.2013.37.8. PubMed PMID: 23717153; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3659622.

2. Chen EY, Hui CL. HT1001, a proprietary North American ginseng extract, improves working memory in schizophrenia: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Phytother Res. 2012 Aug;26(8):1166-72. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3700. Epub 2011 Dec 30. PubMed PMID: 22213250.