Balance is key to so many things in life, from juggling work and home demands to getting the rest you need. Balance is the foundation of Traditional Chinese Medicine, too, helping you maintain vitality, wellness and health no matter what life throws at you. Certain TCM supplements for stress can help maintain that balance, but it can be challenging to figure out which one(s) might be right for you. (If TCM is new to you, check out our beginner’s guide: TCM 101: What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?)
From Ginseng to Schisandra, Donq Quai to our very own Calm Down™ herbal blend, we’re sharing our favorite supplements for stress.
1. Ginseng or Ren Shen
Latin name: Panax ginseng
Part used: root
Ginseng is so well-known that it is called the king of herbs. As an adaptogen, it’s among a group of herbs that helps the body manage and adapt to physical and emotional stress. This potent herb is highly valued in TCM. It has been used for millennia to support health and well-being.*
Traditionally, ginseng is consumed as a tea or decoction, meaning it is simmered for a long time in water. But when you want to fight fatigue, experience sustained energy and stress less, spending all day simmering herbs is not manageable. That’s why we chose to blend ancient wisdom with modern convenience! Our Good Morning Sunshine™ delivers all the adaptogenic benefits of this traditional herb in a convenient coffee pod.* Ginseng is definitely our favorite of all supplements for stress – and it’s a perfect match with coffee. Fight fatigue with more than caffeine!*
We only use organic red ginseng, which is ginseng that has been steamed and dried, giving it a reddish color. This process unlocks more of the beneficial compounds and helps preserve the roots.
2. Dong quai
Latin name: Angelica sinensis
Part used: root
Dong quai is so well known that it goes by its TCM name even in the West. An herb that’s often used for women’s health, it promotes balance and healthy energy, especially in relation to the menstrual cycle and reproductive health. This “queen of herbs” tastes and smells like celery, and it’s often eaten in soup and other dishes in China and other countries.*
3. Schisandra or Wu Wei Zi
Latin name: Schisandra chinensis
Part used: berry
Schisandra is known as the five-flavor berry, due to its rather unique taste. The skin, pulp and seeds are all edible, and they taste sweet, sour, pungent, bitter and salty! Wu Wei Zi is used as a tonifying herb that promotes healthy aging. The herb also supports endurance and physical stress, making it a favorite herb among athletes.*
4. Fo-ti or Ho Shou Wu
Latin name: Polygonum multiflorum
Part used: root
A “superior” herb in TCM, Ho Shou Wu promotes healthy stamina and energy balance. This supplement for stress is also used as a longevity tonic in TCM and to support vitality.* The herb is both sweet and bitter.
5. Astragalus or Huang Qi
Latin name: Astragalus membranaceus
Part used: root
While often considered to be an immune-supporting herb, Astragalus is also an herb used to help the body adapt to physical stress.* The roots can be simmered into teas or nourishing broths, but you can also find Astragalus in capsule or tincture form.
6. Reishi mushroom or Ling zhi
Latin name: Ganoderma lucidum
Part used: mushroom fruiting body
This bitter, warm mushroom is so highly valued in TCM that it is known as the Mushroom of Immortality. It also goes by the name Queen of Mushrooms. Used for over 2,000 years, reishi is an adaptogen that also supports relaxation.* It’s traditionally simmered as a tea or decoction.
7. Goji berry or You Ji Gou Qi Zi
Latin name: Lycium barbarum
Part used: berries
These bright pink berries are sweet and packed with antioxidant activity. But goji berries are also a valued herb in TCM. They’re most often dried, then cooked before consuming in soups, rice or as herbal teas. They support many different aspects of health, and they’re also an adaptogen that helps the body manage stress. Traditionally, they were also used to manage healthy energy levels.*
Finally, there’s melatonin, which is another of our go-to supplements for stress. While not an herb, it is actually a hormone that our bodies make naturally. Melatonin supports sleep – and managing stress is much easier after a healthy night’s rest. But we actually prefer to pair it with other TCM herbs. We rely on another TCM principle, synergy, to formulate our Hello Dreams™ Sleep Strips. By pairing melatonin with our proprietary Calm Down™ herbal blend, it creates a formula that’s believed to be greater than the sum of its parts.
- Jujube promotes deep, tranquil slumber by reducing irritability and mental distress as well as taming physical tension and restlessness.*
- Poria mushroom supports Jujube’s sedating action, This herb gently calms and soothes the mind and nervous system.* (Poria is another supplement for stress.*)
- Szechuan Lovage helps with bodily ease and offers support to those with occasional sleeplessness.*
The Importance of Conscious Consumption
Supplements come in different formats, from teas and capsules to tinctures and more high-tech formulations. They’re not all created equal.
When it comes to supplements for stress – or for aspect of health and well-being – quality comes first. If you’re going to spend money on something, you deserve to get what you expect. That’s why we formulate for the ultimate in convenience, efficacy and tradition. This helps you more consciously consume supplements and discern what’s right for you.
Every herb we use comes from a source we’ve vetted – and they are always tested for purity and quality. In the case of our organic red ginseng, we start with Certified Organic Chinese ginseng grown on land we control and monitor. The quality starts with the soil. As a slow-growing root crop, ginseng spends more time in the soil than a leafy herb that matures in a few months. That’s why choosing organic ginseng is so important.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.