Herbs For Adrenal Fatigue | Improve Fatigue Naturally
Chronic stress is a modern-day challenge that plagues the vast majority of Americans. As a result, adrenal fatigue is a common problem from which most people don’t even know they suffer. Explore the symptoms, as well as the best herbs for adrenal fatigue.
The American Institute of Stress released a report in 2017 which revealed that 77% of American adults “regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress.1” Although traditional medicine recognizes that stress absolutely has an impact on an individual’s physical health, it does not explore the root cause of the symptoms that emerge. Functional medicine, however, attributes many of the common symptoms of chronic stress to a condition known as adrenal fatigue. As its name suggests, the condition occurs when the adrenal glands become tired and worn out.
Learn more about this condition, its symptoms, and about the best herbs for adrenal fatigue.
What are the adrenals?
The adrenals are two small glands in the body. These glands are located above the kidneys. The primary function of the adrenals is to produce and regulate cortisol. This hormone is what most people know as the “stress hormone,” since it is released as a result of an individual’s response to stress. Both low levels and high levels of cortisol can cause significant symptoms in the body.
What is adrenal fatigue?
It isn’t surprising, then, that when the adrenals are in constant action, they become worn down. Experiencing chronic stress forces the adrenals to produce a steady stream of cortisol. Since this is not what the adrenals should be doing, they eventually stop producing cortisol properly.
What are the symptoms of adrenal fatigue?
Many of the common symptoms that people attribute generically to “stress” are actually a direct result of adrenal fatigue. When these symptoms are indeed a result of the condition, most traditional doctors will miss the diagnosis, since it isn’t on their list of things for which to test.
If you experience high stress along with any combination of the following health challenges, you may have adrenal fatigue:
- Depression and anxiety
- Fatigue, difficulties waking up and falling asleep
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Autoimmune conditions
- Brain fog
- Digestive problems
- Cravings for sweet and salty foods
What are the best herbs for adrenal fatigue?
The most effective method for treating adrenal fatigue in the long-term is stress reduction. Because chronic stress is the primary cause of adrenal fatigue, it must be addressed to facilitate proper healing.
In addition to various stress-reduction techniques, there are numerous herbs that support both healing of the adrenals and a proper stress response. Explore my recommendations for the best herbs for adrenal fatigue.
Ashwagandha is classified as an adaptogenic medicinal herb. It has been used for approximately 3,000 years in both Ayurvedic and indigenous medicine2. In addition to its ability to boost energy, support a healthy thyroid3, enhance energy, and reduce inflammation, Ashwagandha has specific applications for adrenal health. In various studies, the herb has been shown to improve the body’s stress response, which leads to reduced levels of cortisol. Learn about your thyroid and ashwagandha for autoimmune conditions.
Another exceptional herb that can be used to support the adrenals is rhodiola. Just like Ashwagandha, rhodiola is classified as an adaptogen. All adaptogens have a superior ability to help the body cope with stress, and reduce the likelihood of stress-induced symptoms. Numerous scientific studies have even confirmed that rhodiola is effective in reducing the physical symptoms of stress4.
Holy basil (also known as Ocimum sanctum) carries with it many fantastic health benefits. It has been found to have neuroprotective effects5, as well as protective properties against infections.
What makes it one of the best herbs for adrenal fatigue? Since it is an adaptogen, the herb is designed to help the body fight the effects of stress. Individuals who regularly take holy basil supplements can expect to experience improved mental and physical well-being, even during periods of significant stress.
Adrenal Herbs That Support Energy
Licorice root is easily one of the best herbs for adrenal fatigue for those who seek to manage their condition. The herb is incredibly effective in helping the adrenal glands rest, and in restoring proper function.
Other benefits of licorice root include improved ability to maintain a healthy weight6, reduced stomach pain, support of the respiratory system, and assistance in treating specific types of cancer.
This herb (also referred to as Eleuthero) is another one that has been used for thousands of years for a variety of purposes. The most notable benefits of Siberian ginseng include enhanced immune function7, improved mental function, lowered blood pressure, reduced risk of osteoporosis, and enhanced energy levels. Researchers have also found Siberian ginseng to be effective in balancing the body’s response to stress.
American ginseng and Siberian ginseng have many of the same health benefits (e.g. enhanced immune function8). They are also excellent herbs for controlling how stress presents itself within the body. According to one study, American ginseng “effectively regulates the immune response and the hormonal changes due to stress, thus maintaining homeostasis.9” Additionally, the herb reduces the risk of developing anxiety and depression.
Other supplements that support healthy adrenals
Along with the best herbs for adrenal fatigue, there are other supplements that can assist an individual in his or her recovery from the condition. If you are looking for additional adrenal support, I recommend these as your go-to choices:
Glutathione is a must-have for a properly functioning thyroid gland, and for the treatment of various autoimmune conditions. It has also been shown to improve psoriasis, reduce oxidative stress, improve insulin resistance, and limit cell damage in patients with fatty liver disease.
Chronic stress is known to reduce the body’s levels of this crucial substance. Therefore, people who are experiencing adrenal fatigue are also likely to be low in glutathione. To aid in whole-body healing, be sure to add in glutathione supplementation alongside the best herbs for adrenal fatigue.
A study published by Scientific American in early 2009 estimated that about 75% of Americans are vitamin D deficient. This important vitamin is necessary to help fight and reduce the risk of diseases (such as the flu and multiple sclerosis), and to maintain a proper weight. It is also essential in helping maintain your mood and overall mental health.
Because adrenal fatigue can result in mood swings, anxiety, and depression, you may need an extra boost to fight off these symptoms. Vitamin D3 is a proven ally in reducing the symptoms of both anxiety and depression.
Stress Depletes B-vitamins
B vitamins are another key component of healing the body after developing adrenal fatigue. Being deficient in B vitamins can lead to added mood disturbances, fatigue, depression, and digestive problems. You may notice that these symptoms are similar to those experienced as a result of adrenal fatigue. Taking B vitamin supplements can improve your symptoms of adrenal fatigue, and clear up any deficiencies that exist.
Instead of taking any random brand of B vitamins, it is better to choose methylated B vitamins. Since many individuals are not able to fully metabolize standard B vitamins, methylated (also known as active) B vitamins are preferred.
Recovering from adrenal fatigue
Although it can feel like an uphill battle in our busy modern world, recovery from adrenal fatigue is 100% possible with the right lifestyle changes. In addition to taking the best herbs for adrenal fatigue and supporting supplements, be sure to work with a professional to help you reduce or eliminate your most common sources of chronic stress.