Adrenal fatigue is a very misunderstood condition. In fact, some doctors often don’t recognize the condition because you appear relatively healthy and show no signs of physical illness. As a result, it can be hard to remedy this condition. However, adaptogenic herbs, such as ashwagandha, may help to fight adrenal fatigue.
The truth is that adrenal fatigue is a common problem for most Americans. I’ve been there; I understand the issues that adrenal fatigue can cause. You are constantly tired, and the snooze button is your best friend in the morning. You are also consistently stressed at work and home, and nothing seems to go right.
You may also suffer from depression, anxiety, and have poor eating habits. You can add to that, too, the feeling as though the common cold is following you everywhere.
What Causes Adrenal Fatigue?
The adrenal glands are known as the “fight or flight” glands of the sympathetic nervous system. Adrenal issues arise when your adrenal glands produce excessive cortisol and other hormones. Adrenal fatigue can also be caused by heavy metal toxicity; the use of caffeine, cigarettes, or other stimulants; a lack of immunity; and/or low blood pressure. Strangely, your computer and wifi signal can also deplete your energy and mess with your adrenal glands due to EMF (electromagnetic field) exposure.
How to Naturally Treat Adrenal Fatigue
What can you do to combat adrenal fatigue? You can take two steps:
- Step 1: Eliminate stimulants like coffee and alcohol, and go to bed no later than 11 p.m.
- Step 2: Adaptogens! I cannot stress them enough. They help promote balance in the body and relieve stress without a crash later in the day.
A good adaptogenic herb to start with is ashwagandha (Withania somnifera). It has been used for centuries within the traditional Indian medical system, Ayurveda, to reduce stress and calm the nervous system. It also delays the release of cortisol, which helps prevent exhaustion in the adrenals. The herb also supports the thyroid gland by the thyroid stimulating hormones T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine), which are important for the optimal function of every cell, organ, and muscle in your body.
One study from 2012 found that ashwagandha stabilizes your mood in conditions related to adrenal fatigue, such as depression and anxiety. The researchers from Banaras Hindu University in India investigated the adaptogenic properties of ashwagandha in rats. The rats were given 20 milligrams of ashwagandha root daily for a five-day period. The results were comparable to the antidepressant drugs benzodiazepine lorazepam and imipramine.
In another 2012 study, researchers suggested that a high amount of ashwagandha root extract is a safe and effective method to improve resistance toward stress and boost your quality of life. The study observed 64 people with chronic stress during a two-month period. The participants were placed in a placebo control group or a group required to take a highly concentrated 300-milligram ashwagandha root extract capsule twice daily. The ashwagandha treatment group showed significantly reduced cortisol levels and overall stress. There were no serious side effects with ashwagandha.
Ashwagandha is also known to treat insomnia, cancer, and type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and it improves overall immunity. It can also reduce cholesterol, increase muscle strength, and lower tuberculosis symptoms. But that’s not all. Ashwagandha can also treat other conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, liver toxicity, Parkinson’s disease, and heart disease.
Other Adaptogenic Herbs for Combatting Adrenal Fatigue
Other adaptogenic herbs that help relieve adrenal fatigue include:
- Rhodiola rosea
- Schisandra chinensis
- Siberian ginseng
- Holy basil
It is also a good idea to supplement with nutrients that help fend off adrenal fatigue, such as B vitamins (especially B5), vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, and magnesium.
A Simple Way to Tell if You Have Adrenal Fatigue…
Not quite sure if you have adrenal fatigue, but want to look into it more before visiting with your doctor? Dr. James Wilson first coined the term “adrenal fatigue” in 1998; he wrote the book Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome. Dr. Wilson also has an online questionnaire that covers the common causes of the condition and could offer the answer you’re looking for. You can try the questionnaire at adrenalfatigue.org. However, you should consult your doctor before taking on any kind of new treatment.
Sources for Today’s Article:
Bhattacharya, S.K., et al., “Anxiolytic-antidepressant activity of Withania somnifera glycowithanolides: an experimental study,” Phytomedicine December 2000; 7(6): 463–469.
Chandrasekhar, K., et al., “A Prospective, Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Safety and Efficacy of a High-Concentration Full-Spectrum Extract of Ashwagandha Root in Reducing Stress and Anxiety in Adults,” Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine July to September 2012; 34(3): 255–262, doi: 10.41103/0253-7176.106022.
Adams, C., “Over 50 New Studies Prove Ashwagandha Can Treat a Myriad of Conditions,” Healing Naturally web site; http://www.realnatural.org/over-fifty-recent-studies-prove-ashwagandhas-potential-for-treating-a-myriad-of-conditions/, last accessed November 20, 2014.
Edwards, M., “Adrenal nutrition and natural remedies for adrenal fatigue,” Natural News web site, October 30, 2014; http://www.naturalnews.com/047452_adrenal_fatigue_thyroid_natural_remedies.html.