What Are Adrenal Glands?
The adrenal glands are small glands positioned directly above each kidney.
Their job is to maintain proper blood sugar levels and regulate the metabolism of protein and fat. They are also responsible for releasing the hormones adrenaline, DHEA and cortisol.
What Is Adrenal Fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue is believed to be caused by too much stress. When a person experiences high levels of stress for a prolonged period of time, their adrenal glands work overtime, producing cortisol and other hormones. This can lead to premature aging, stomach fat and constant fatigue.
Besides being overworked, the adrenal glands can sometimes be under-nourished by an improper diet too. Thankfully, there are several herbs that can provide the nutrition these glands require.
What Herbs Support The Adrenal Glands?
There are special herbs called adaptogens that are commonly taken for healthy adrenal function. These adaptogenic herbs invigorate and nourish the adrenal glands. They have the ability to revitalize without over stimulating the adrenals. Adaptogenic herbs are famous for stress relief and are often taken be people who lead a hectic or very active life.
Here is a list of herbs commonly taken for adrenal fatigue:
Warning: Never take any herbs if you are pregnant or nursing without first talking it over with your doctor.
Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is a fantastic anti-stress herb. It is used to increase endurance, energy, and vitality. It’s often taken to decrease symptoms of hypoglycemia as well.
Licorice boosts cortisol levels in the body and extends the life of circulating cortisol. With the cortisol lasting longer, the adrenal glands don’t have to produce as much. This gives the adrenal glands a much needed rest break.
Licorice root also increases the production of the hormone aldosterone. Aldosterone is often deficient in people suffering from adrenal fatigue.
Note: Real licorice root must be used to treat adrenal fatigue. Do not use Deglycyrrhized licorice (DGL) or licorice flavored candy. It must contain glycyrrhizin to be effective. Real licorice root can be obtained from a health supplement store or online. Search for “Glycyrrhiza glabra” to find the correct kind of licorice for adrenal support.
Caution: Licorice root could increase blood pressure in some people. Always monitor your blood pressure regularly.
Ashwagandha Root (Withania somnifera) is a well-known tonic for general weaknesses. It has been used for thousands of years by healers in India.
It is beneficial to the adrenal glands and promotes vigor and strength. It has the special ability to normalize cortisol levels in your body, bringing them back to a normal range. Besides being good for the adrenal glands, ashwagandha is a great overall health tonic.
Caution: Do not take Ashwagandha if you are pregnant or nursing. Do not take if you are currently taking sedatives as Ashwagandha may increase the sedative effect.
Siberian Ginseng Root
Siberian Ginseng Root (Eleutherococus senticosus) is a great adaptogen. Not only does it normalizes adrenal function, it also promotes better immune function.
This herb has anti-depressant effects and can improve your mood. It increases your stamina and is great for people who lead a demanding lifestyle.
Rhodiola (Rhodiola Rosea) is a Russian adaptogen that is known to support the adrenals. It is taken to reduce the effects of stress and has some anti-depressant effects as well.
Is is helpful in reducing fatigue and boosting energy, and for this reason is very popular with athletes. It is a good herb to take to combat the tiredness that comes from hard physical or mental work.
Vitamins For Adrenal Fatigue
Besides the herbs mentioned above, there are some other nutrients that are important for proper adrenal support.
The B vitamins are important to take. Especially helpful are B-12, B-5 and B-6. Also, vitamin C should be taken.
Minerals For Adrenal Fatigue
If you suffer from adrenal fatigue, make sure you are getting enough zinc and magnesium.
Besides taking supplements, there are other things you can do to recover from adrenal fatigue. Try to cut down on stressful activities if at all possible. Reduce your intake of caffeine. Get plenty of sleep. Try meditation or some other activity that is relaxing to the body and mind.
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