The Best Adaptogen Herbs for Adrenal Fatigue
Adrenal fatigue is commonly referred to as a condition whereby the adrenal glands cannot adequately meet the body’s demands, usually due to chronic stress. The adrenal glands produce numerous hormones that are not only involved in the stress response but also in regulating immunity, metabolism and blood pressure. When someone has adrenal fatigue it is likely that a number of their bodily systems have started to perform sub-optimally.
Specifically, symptoms of adrenal fatigue could include;
- Tiredness upon waking (very difficult to get going in the morning)
- Lingering depression
- Irritability (especially in the morning)
- Inability to focus
- Difficulty staying awake during the day
- Becoming very easily stressed
- Brain fog
- Difficulty looking at bright screens for too long
The symptoms above are very generic and common to a lot of illnesses. It is important if you are suffering from such ailments that you seek the advice of a medical professional first before undertaking any supplement regime.
Adrenal fatigue is not widely recognised by the medical profession, however the symptoms are very much akin to Chronic Fatigue.
Adaptogens for Adrenal Fatigue
Active ingredients (polysaccharides (astragalans), astragalosides, flavones and isoflavones). Astragalus has a stimulating effect on the immune system by supporting white blood cell growth, including immunity T-cells. Astragalus can support the body's immunity during chronic stress, whether it is physical or mental. The effect on immunity helps the body cope with additional stress which enables more effective management of energy reserves and adrenal function. Astragalus has good antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which is beneficial when dealing with chronic fatigue, especially if this is due to an illness or excessive physical exercise.
Active ingredients (withanolides). Ashwagandha is useful for settling nerves which is helpful for easing sleep problems, though it typically does not make you drowsy. Using Ashwagandha enhances the efficiency of the adrenal glands by reducing the amount of cortisol secreted. This enhances the user’s ability to withstand stressors and better preserves the body’s natural functions. People suffering from adrenal / chronic fatigue are often stressed easily, and if that is the case then Ashwagandha will likely be beneficial.
Active ingredients (Oils ‘eugenol, carvacol, linalool’, triterpenes and flavonoids). Holy Basil sometimes referred to as the ‘Yoga Herb’, offers anti-anxiety, calming benefits. The leaf helps preserve adrenal functionality by helping to modulate the cortisol-stress response. Holy Basil has also been shown to have anti-microbial effects, which means that it may help the body fight off illness naturally, thereby reducing stress on the body and helping preserve energy levels.
Active ingredients (Eleutherosides). Siberian Ginseng has been shown to enhance endurance in recreational athletes by improving cardiovascular function and enhancing energy usage effectiveness. The root is commonly used to increase mental alertness and improve energy capacity (enhance fatigue resistance). Siberian Ginseng also acts as a slight nervine, which means that it can improve the quality of sleep, which is a key concern for fatigue related ailments.
Active ingredients (Rosavins, salidrosides, flavonoids). Rhodiola can help the body modulate its response to stress and thereby improve the efficiency of activity through the HPA axis. Rhodiola is beneficial in enhancing the body’s natural resistance to stress and may help preserve immunity following physical stress such as exercise or long-work hours. Furthermore, if taken in the right dose, Rhodiola can help settle nerves and enhance mood. Though those who are sensitive to herbal supplements should limit their intake of Rhodiola.
Active ingredients (Schisandrin, schisandrol). Schisandra berries are great for helping people sustain focus without jolting the body awake. In this way, Schisandra berries can be beneficial for those who are trying to study the night before an exam when nerves might be high. The berries have been shown to lower blood pressure and can have beneficial effects towards mood. The calming effects of Schisandra can help reduce the body’s stress response, and as they can help increase focus, they can in turn reduce the effects of adrenal fatigue.
The above six Adaptogenic herbs are contained in Verve Blends – VIBE powdered adaptogen supplement.
Other Supplements which may be beneficial to Adrenal Fatigue;
Active Ingredients (Glycyrrhizin, isoflavones, polysaccharides). Licorice root is another adaptogenic herb and a well-known staple when it comes to adrenal fatigue. Licorice helps settle nerves and is sweet to taste. The glycyrrhizin in licorice helps prevent the breakdown of cortisol which can help sustain alertness and lower the load on the adrenal glands when stressed. Licorice however has a few common side-effects which make it undesirable for some users. The root can increase sodium retention which may lead to increases in blood pressure. Furthermore, studies have shown high intakes of Licorice can be associated with lower circulating testosterone levels in men.
Vitamins and Minerals:
The adrenal glands produce hormones which are essential to numerous bodily functions. So that these functions can operate efficiently, the body must have sufficient energy in the form of glucose and the required micro-nutrients. B-Vitamins in particular are required for efficient hormone synthesis. Magnesium is also a mineral worthy of mention when it comes to combating adrenal fatigue. Magnesium is involved in hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body. It helps to maintain normal nerve and muscle function, supports a healthy immune system, keeps the heart beat steady, and helps bones remain strong. It also helps adjust blood glucose levels. (https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002423.htm). Supplementation of Magnesium and the B Vitamin Complex could be a useful addition to adaptogens when looking to combat adrenal fatigue.
Supplements can be beneficial in supporting user’s road to adrenal recovery / recovery from chronic fatigue. However, there are a number of other things that should be adopted to help pave the road to recovery. This includes;
- Slowing down (taking time out every day to practice mindfulness (meditation / yoga))
- Getting adequate sleep (if its not possible at night to get enough sleep try taking a short nap (15mins) in the afternoon (just as the sugar crash hits post lunch!))
- Cleaning up your diet (avoid added sugar when trying to recover from adrenal fatigue. Alcohol is also disruptive to numerous bodily functions and can inhibit recovery.)
- Avoid caffeine (going cold turkey simply will not be possible for chronic sufferers. Try transitioning down by subbing out coffee for green tea whilst you supplement on adaptogens and practise the other recovery steps).
- Moderate exercise (exercise is important when looking to maintain bodily health, especially light cardio which helps keep up metabolic activity)
Thanks for reading, we wish you all the best for your journey towards greater well-being.