How ginseng can help you adapt to stress

Woman laying on a deck wearing a large-rimmed hat
Ginseng has powerful antioxidant and anti-stress properties

By Caroline Tran, KOL Editor for NutriSmart

Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng) is a traditional adaptogenic herb used in Korean and Chinese medicine to treat many ailments. Ginseng is frequently sourced for its anti-stress and anti-inflammatory properties due to its ability to help the body adapt to and alleviate physiological stress. Its other health benefits include its ability to ease other stress-related disorders such as mild anxiety and depression.

Stress is a biological response dating back to primitive times. During stressful situations, the body releases the stress hormone cortisol and inflammatory cytokines. Stress is beneficial in small doses to help with decision making, memory recall and creativity. However, long-term exposure to stress can push the body’s stress response system into overdrive and disrupt homeostasis, the body’s natural balance. The human body’s response system is not designed to always be activated, which can lead to health complications such as a weakened immune system, chronic illnesses, heart conditions and depression if left unchecked.

Ginseng contains ginsenosides, an active compound unique to the ginseng species. Ginsenosides restrict the production of the inflammatory cytokine cell, TNF-α (Tumour necrosis factor-alpha) which is secreted during stress.

Studies show that ginseng can provide relief from stress by regulating the stress hormones released. It can support the immune system responses and help regain homeostasis by stabilising the nervous system.     

In another study conducted on the efficacy of ginseng for stress support, researchers found that ginseng could modulate homeostasis and help living organisms adapt to different stresses and environments.

Ginseng’s powerful antioxidant properties can combat oxidative stress and effectively reduce stress-related symptoms such as fatigue and prevent long-term chronic diseases.

As ginseng takes five years to harvest, it is not the easiest herb to find in stores. Ginseng supplements are a convenient way to support stress levels and are readily available in most over-the-counter pharmacies.


Ginseng can be found in some Asian supermarkets or easily available in a supplement form.


NutriSmart’s Private Label guide contains a ginseng product to target energy, stamina, stress and sexual health.