By Sarah Powell, CNP
Adrenal Fatigue AKA “BURN OUT”
Adrenal fatigue is extremely common in society today due to the fast paced lifestyle that majority of us live in. During burnout the adrenal glands become depleted and are not secreting adequate hormones to function properly. If left longterm conditions such as insomnia, depression, arthritic pain, allergies, weight gain and lowered immune system can develop.
Did you know that you can use herbs medicinally to naturally support your body’s ability to cope with stress?
Adaptogens are a group of herbs that help the body adapt to stress while naturally restoring the adrenal glands. When taken longterm they have the ability to modulate hormones and balance the nervous system.
1. Licorice Root - Glycyrrhiza glabra
Licorice root is a widely used adaptogenic herb that contains constituents known as saponins.
What's really cool about saponins is that they can actually mimic the body's stress regulating hormone known as cortisol. Saponins have the ability to bind to cortisol receptor sites, and as a result can gently stimulate cortisol levels in the body and reduce overall stress.
2. Ashwangandha - Withania somnifera
This stress reducing herb helps to ease the nervous system and reduce anxiety. It helps to naturally modulate cortisol levels in the body by promoting adequate energy levels upon waking and a restful sleep at night. Ashwaganda is extremely beneficial when taken longterm to promote mental clarity, memory, and stamina.
3. Arctic Rose - Rhodiola rose
Rhodiola is an adaptogenic herb that can be used for both its stimulating and sedating effects in the body depending on how much is taken. It works to protect neurotransmitters which are our body’s chemical communicators. The role of a neurotransmitter is to send chemical messages from the brain to the body telling it what it needs to do. Two primary neurotransmitters that benefit from this herb are serotonin and dopamine which make us happy and feel good.
When taken long term this group of herbs has the ability to strengthen, feed and restore the nervous system.
4. Oats - Avena Sativa
Yes, you are reading this correctly it says oats. Oats are not only delicious to eat for breakfast, they are also extremely grounding and nourishing for the nervous system. This is a very versatile herb to add into your daily life to promote a calming and relaxing mental environment. Oats can be used in a soothing bath to promote healthy skin, and can also be infused into alcohol to form a potent tincture.
This group of herbs is very beneficial for acute stress and tension. As they have sedating effect in the body they should be used generally in the evening to calm and relax the mind.
5. Passion Flower - Passiflora incarnata
This herb can be specifically used to relieve nervous tension and relax spasms as it surrenders the body into a deep hypnotic state. Due to its sedative effect I like to enjoy this herb as a tea infusion before bed.
6. Lavender & Lemon balm
I love using both of these herbs in my essential oil diffuser before bed to help reduce mental congestion and promote inner peace.