Licorice root is one of the very best natural remedies to help maintain healthy cortisol levels, paticularly if you have low cortisol levels.
“It contains glycyrrhizin, which gets converted to glycyrrhetinic acid in the intestine. Glycyrrhetinic acid inhibits the body’s breakdown of cortisol by blocking the activity of the enzyme that normally inactivates cortisol.” (1)
Because people with adrenal fatigue often suffer from low blood pressure and dizziness, the licorice root works to slightly raise blood pressure and dissippate dizziness.
It’s important to look for a licorice supplement that is not deglycrrizinated. You may find that deglcyrrhized (DGL) supplements are more commonly used for things like coughs and colds. Licorice root comes in capsule form, as an extract, and as tea, so it can be taken in a variety of ways. Follow instructions for intake on the brand that you choose.
You can also drink licorice root tea, which has a lovely sweet flavour.
Valeriana Officinalis aka Valerian
Valerian is a well known herb for it’s sedative effects. It helps to calm and suppress the nervous system from the stress response and is particularly good for aiding sleep disorders and insomnia. This can often be a problem with adrenal fatigue so taking something to help improve sleep can be very helpful. Take approximately 450mg-500mg at bedtime (2) and within 2 weeks you should notice a difference.
Rescue Remedy – is a homeopathic remedy that is taken as an oral tincture and can be used as an emergency treatment in any stressful situation.
It has a calming and centering effect, promotes a sense of comfort, works on emotional imbalances. It’s made up of 5 different herbs: Star of bethlehem, Clematis, Rock rose, Cherry plum, and Impatiens. It can be used in times of extreme stress, for trauma, or upsets. It’s a great tincture to keep in your handbag and take out any time you need a few drops.
Maca aka Peruvian Ginseng
Maca is a root that has been used medicinally in Peru for centuries.
This plant has adaptogenic properties and helps the body ‘adapt’ to stress, helps to modulate coritsol levels, and reduces the after effect of stressful events.
Maca is frequently used to boost lack of energy and help support fatigue as it helps improve energy and endurance. It has the additional benefit of being able to help balance female hormones.
The powdered form of maca can be added to smoothies, shakes, or your morning porridge.
“Maca is also a rich source of plant sterols, including sitosterol, campestrol, ergosterol, brassicasterol, and ergostadienol”. Source
Plant sterols are phytochemicals or plant fats that have biological capacity to boost immunity, reduce inflammation, and act as a cortisol modulator, helping to lower the adrenal stress response (1).
Staying away from coffee, tea and caffeinated beverages is essential in the fight against fatigue so a great way to supplement those is with some beneficial herbal teas. You can often find great combos or simply drink them in singular form.
Roasted dandelion root tea makes a great coffee substitute and is a gentle liver detoxifier.
Physical Natural Remedies & Daily Practices
Relaxation is something you want to promote when suffering from adrenal fatigue, so where ever possible try to do something for yourself.
Go get a massage once a month or whenever you can to help loosen up stiff and tired muscles, promote circulation, and provide relaxation to your whole body and soul.
Take a bath
A nice hot bath with some epsom salts and lavender oil is the perfect way to spend a Sunday evening. It will help sooth tired, sore muscles, joints and bones and relax the mind as well.
Go outside, try to make it a nice place in nature. Take off your shoes and get the soles of your feet on the grass or earth. Take a deep breath and look at the trees, take note of the sky, listen to the birds or the noises around you. Breathe deep into your belly and let everything else fall away. We get too caught up in modern day living, so it’s very important to connect to nature and remember what is real.
Breathing techniques and meditation
There are many types of breathing techniques and meditation practices you can engage in.
We need to slow our minds, our worries, and our fears, and learn to feel, think, and be more positive. Meditation doesn’t have to be hours of some weird breathing practice, it can be as simple as sitting comfortably, closing your eyes, taking a few deep breathes, and repeating a few positive thoughts inside you mind. Try it fo 5 minutes a day. It really makes a big difference.
Keep a gratitude journal
Feeling and thinking positive has a lowering affect on stress, and helps nurture the adrenals back to balance. One way to do this is by keeping a daily gratitude journal. I keep one every day to stay positive. It’s quite simple. Get a nice book you can write in and when you wake up in the morning, take 5 minutes to sit down and write about things you are grateful for. Eg: ‘I am so grateful for hot running water for a shower’, ‘I am grateful for my family’, ‘Thank you for giving me a mobile able body’.
You’ll be surprised at just how many things we have to be grateful for, and it’s a really positive way to start each and every day
I Hope that helps with some ideas and supplements you can use to revitalise yourself.
Nutritionist & Healthc Coach
1. Head KA, Kelly GS. Nutrients and botanicals for the treatment of stress: Adrenal fatigue, neurotransmitter imbalance, anxiety, and restless sleep. Alternative Medicine Review. 2009;14(2):114-140.
2. Ghen MJ, Moore CB. Implications of adrenal insufficiency. – Google Scholar search.
3. Dr James Wilson author of ‘Adrenal Fatigue. The 21st century stress syndrome’.
4. Whitney E, Rolfes SR, Crowe T, Cameron-Smith D, Walsh A. Understanding Nutrition: Australian and New Zealand edition. South Melbourne. Cengage Learning. 2011.
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