An animal based study found that 6-8 weeks of social isolation led to oxidative damage in the brain and an active phytochemical extract from Vietnamese ginseng called majonoside-R2 helped reduce the effect. A fairly large dose of the extract was used if considering typical amounts of herbal supplements (10—50 mg/kg) and it was given as an intraperitoneal (into the main body cavity of the abdomen) injection which is primarily a method used in animal research and therefore wouldn’t be directly applicable to humans.  A one hundred and fifty pound human would weigh slightly less than seventy kilograms and so a comparable amount would be 700-3500 mg. A 700 mg supplement would be a large capsule, while 3500 mg would be closer to a half teaspoonful of a powder. And this study used an extract of the ginseng, not a dose of the whole ginseng root – however it was found effective at reducing oxidative stress damage by modulating nitric oxide 9a free radical) and glutathione (an antioxidant, ) systems in the brain.
A song has been found by neuroscience research to help reduce anxiety significantly. It is potentially so relaxing however that it is not recommended to listen to while driving.  The audio help for reducing anxiety may be acting to reduce oxidative stress – potentially that may be how it helps reduce feelings of anxiety, or maybe it is encouraging a slower deeper breathing rate, diaphragmatic breathing and oxidative stress.
There is more on the topic of social isolation and health effects but I’m posting this brief introduction.
- Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.
- Huong NT, Murakami Y, Tohda M, Watanabe H, Matsumoto K. Social isolation stress-induced oxidative damage in mouse brain and its modulation by majonoside-R2, a Vietnamese ginseng saponin. Biol Pharm Bull. 2005 Aug;28(8):1389-93. https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/bpb/28/8/28_8_1389/_article
Chad Kerksick and Darryn Willoughby, The Antioxidant Role of Glutathione and N-Acetyl-Cysteine Supplements and Exercise-Induced Oxidative Stress, J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2005; 2(2): 38–44. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2129149/
- Zhihong Jiang, Gregory R. Rompala, Shuqin Zhang, Rita M. Cowell, and Kazu Nakazawa, Social Isolation Exacerbates Schizophrenia-like Phenotypes via Oxidative Stress in Cortical Interneurons, Biol Psychiatry. 2013 May 15; 73(10): 1024–1034. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3638045/
Neuroscientists Discover a Song That Reduces Anxiety by 65 Percent, theantimedia.org, Nov. 28, 2017 http://theantimedia.org/neuroscientists-discover-song-reduces-anxiety-65-percent/
Daniele Martarelli, Mario Cocchioni, Stefania Scuri, and Pierluigi Pompei, Diaphragmatic Breathing Reduces Exercise-Induced Oxidative Stress, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011; 2011: 932430. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3139518/