Although Siberian ginseng is not a true ginseng species, like ginseng it increases
tolerance to various stressors (e.g. mental, physical, environmental). This herb helps
normalise the way in which the body responds to stress triggers and acts to regulate the
manufacture and secretion of adrenal hormones. It also strengthens the adrenal glands
themselves, which is especially important to those suffering from chronic stress.
Rhodiola increases tolerance to various stressors (e.g. mental, physical, environmental),
in part by beneficially modifying the stress response. This herb acts predominantly on
the hypothalamus in a way that normalises the manner in which the body responds to
stress triggers, thus reducing secretion of the adrenal hormones, including cortisol.
Magnesium is required as a co-factor for the production of energy, including adrenal
energy, and the production of adrenal hormones. High cortisol states tend to cause
urinary excretion of magnesium, leading to deficiency. Magnesium also helps to
combat some of the negative effects of stress such as hypertension, platelet aggregation
(blood clotting), and vasoconstriction.
The adrenal cortex contains large amounts of vitamin C, which is depleted during
times of stress. Conversely, vitamin C deficiency has been shown to elevate cortisol,
thus leading to a stress state. Vitamin C is also required for the synthesis of adrenaline,
another important adrenal hormone secreted as part of the stress response. Increasing
vitamin C during stress should help to support adrenal function and ultimately may
help in preventing adrenal exhaustion. In one study, 3000 mg of vitamin C daily
moderated a rise in blood pressure, cortisol, and subjective response to acute
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)
Vitamin B5 is required for the manufacture of energy in the adrenal glands. Specifically
B5 is required for the synthesis of Acetyl Co-enzyme A, which is used in the important
metabolic process called the Krebs cycle to make ATP, the energy molecule. Some
research suggests that B5 deficiency reduces the function of the adrenal cortex and may
lead to adrenal cell death.
Acute or chronic stress has been found to deplete serum levels of zinc. Studies have
demonstrated that supplementing with zinc may help control cortisol release. There is a
strong relationship between stress, elevated cortisol and depression, with stress
contributing to zinc deficiency, and zinc deficiency relating to depression, immune
function, and glucose balance. It would therefore seem prudent to supplement zinc
during times of stress.
High cortisol states tend to promote the over-utilisation of tyrosine, which is required
for the synthesis of adrenaline, nor-adrenaline, dopamine and thyroid hormones.
Tyrosine supplementation may therefore be necessary to ensure adequate levels of these
other hormones are maintained during extended periods of stress.
Adrenal Support Summary
Nutrient/Herb Typical intake range
Siberian ginseng (0.5% eleutheroside E, 0.3%
300 – 900mg per day
Rhodiola rosea extract2 250 – 750mg per day
Magnesium3 200 - 600mg per day
Pantothenic acid (B5) 500 – 1000mg per day
Vitamin C (buffered or Ester C)4 1000 – 3000mg per day
Zinc5 15 – 30mg per day
L-Tyrosine6 500 – 1000mg per day
Saturated and trans fats
Nuts and seeds
Minimise exposure to stress (employ stress management techniques)
Minimise exposure to environmental toxins
Take regular exercise
Avoid recreational drugs
1. Not to be taken during pregnancy and lactation
2. Not to be taken concurrently with anti-depressant medication.
3. High doses may cause loose stools. Those taking heart medication should use magnesium under
supervision from a Doctor.
4. High doses may cause loose stools.
5. May cause nausea on an empty stomach. High doses (>100mg per day) may suppress the immune
system. Ensure sufficient copper and iron intake with zinc supplementation.
6. Not to be used with MAO inhibitor drugs without the consent of a qualified medical health
practitioner. Should be avoided by pregnant women and nursing mothers and those with
melanoma. Use with caution in hypertension.