25 Natural Solutions to Enhance Energy

adrenal fatigue2

Most people in pursuit of better health already know to eat a clean diet, which means to stop consuming processed, high sugar and highly refined foods. Try to juice or make a smoothie each day with lots of dark leafy greens, wheat grass, chlorella, vegetables, raw nuts, seeds, essential fatty acids like hemp seeds, coconut oil, and sprouts. It is beneficial to add garlic, onions, shitake, reishi, and chaga mushrooms in some from, to your diet. Almonds, pecans, asparagus, spinach, wild oats, goji berries and bananas are essential adrenal foods because they are great vegan sources of vitamin B and potassium. Herbs and vitamins can boost your vitality, and bring your body and mind into balance. The list below became quite valuable to me and continues to boost my ability to overcome lyme, combat hypothyroidism, relieve autoimmune problems and even  prevents me from catching the common cold.  You could say, eating clean, using herbs and some quality vitamins are actually stepping stones to a better you, enabling the body to lowering inflammation and develop a stronger immune system.  This is a selection of the “tools” I have used and wish to share with you,  these herbs, foods, and vitamins can help you gain and maintain your physiological balance.

Schisandra is an adaptogen which balances your whole body, not just a particular
problem area. It is an adaptogenic herb, which helps to improve mental function, reduce tiredness and improve endurance. Use the berries as a tea, extracts, or supplement with schisandra capsules as a long term tonic for chronic fatigue. Schisandra can help your body deal with stress. It’s been used in Chinese medicine for years to help reinforce your “qi” or life force/energy. It also fights anxiety and insomnia, increases your energy,  can help with anti-aging, liver disease, boost your immune system, and combat PMS.

American Ginseng historically used in China for its’ ability to strengthen, give balance, and increase vitality. Ginseng promotes mental and physical vigour, stimulates the central nervous system, and helps rejuvenate your adrenal glands.

Rhodiola root has been used for centuries to enhance both energy and longevity. It’s healing powers resemble ginseng. Rhodiola  helpers for adrenal fatigue because it can help promote energy on a cellular level (ATP). It balances stress-hormone production helping to create a peaceful mind. It is especially useful when combined with Ashwagandha Root.

Ashwagandha Root comes from a shrub that is used in Ayurvedic healing. It is an adaptogen used to balance your body and restore adrenal glands. It can build up your strength and vitality, and is also helpful in resolving  anxiety, forgetfulness, blood sugar levels, and depression. Iti s also used for pain relief,as an antioxidant, for reducing inflammation, and stimulating thyroid function.

Eleuthero (Siberian Ginseng) is one that many people with both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can take (including both Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Graves’ Disease). According to DrEric Osansky, author of “Natural Solutions for Hypothyroidism and Grave’s Disease”, this herb does not directly affect the thyroid gland, but instead affects something called the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which helps the body to adapt to stressful situations, and this herb also provides immune system support. For people with adrenal problems, which is common in people with thyroid and autoimmune thyroid conditions, eleuthero is a very beneficial herb.

Licorice helps to extend the life of cortisol. Licorice is an anti-stress herb known to increase energy, endurance and vitality and act as a mild tonic. It has been used to ease drug withdrawal and to stimulate the hormones for anti-inflammatory action. It is known to naturally fortify cortisone levels, one of the most important hormones involved in stress and adrenal fatigue. Licorice has also been used to help decrease symptoms of hypoglycemia, and speed recovery from wounds. It is useful for soothing nervous stomachs,  enhancing blood circulation in the heart and arteries and stimulating production of interferon like (substances summoned to fight disease) by the immune system.

Ginkgo leaf (Ginkgo biloba) under stress the adrenal glands produce excess Cortisol. d This reactive response causes the adrenas suffer oxidative stress, leading to an increase in free radicals within the same adrenal cells that make the needed hormones. If free radicals generated in this process are not neutralized, the production of hormones is slowed and tissue damage increases within the adrenal cells. Ginkgo is a powerful anti-oxidant that enables free radical production, and therefore is protective to the adrenal glands, the brain and the liver reducing the impact of free radical damage.
It also contains several bioflavinoids, improves blood flow to the brain, ears, eyes, heart and extremities. There is an significant body of scientific and clinical evidence supporting the safety and efficacy of ginkgo extract for both cognitive function and improved circulation, according to Mark Blumenthal, the founder and executive director of ABC.
According to Hoffmann, David author of”Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine”, Ginkgo’s hallmark effect is increased circulation, which is important in maintaining our energy level and one of the factors in stopping early hair loss. Increasing genital blood flow heightens responsiveness, and enhancing libido in both men and women. Good circulation means getting the full benefit from the foods we eat and the vitamins and herbal supplements we take. Recently Ginkgo leaf has been studied for its cardiovascular benefits. According to Chris Kilham. author of “Hot Plants” allergies and asthma also improve with ginkgo. Linda B. White, M.D author of “The Herbal Drugstore” states that the herb contains a dozen different anti-inflammatory chemicals and seven natural antihistamines.  Ginkgo has been shown to lessen tissue damage from inflammation and shock, elevate mood in people prone to depression, and decrease mental fatigue. Its unique qualities make it valuable to any adrenal recovery program.

Rehmannia  herb offers both adrenal and immune system support. According to Chinese herbalists Steven Foster and Yue Chong-xi, Rehmannia helps to protect and support the liver and adrenal glands and is often found in energy tonics.

Bacopa Monniera Brahmi is an Ayurvedic herb has a long history of use as a cognitive enhancer. Research shows that it the protects brain from free radical damage. It is a potent adaptogen in preventing the physical effects of stress, both acute and chronic. Bacopa is able to bring into balance the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortex also known as HPA axis, even in chronic stress, when higher doses are used.

Holy Basil has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine to support a healthy response to stress, nourish the mind and elevate the spirit.  It is used to normalize stress hormones and enhance adrenal function. 

Cordyceps mushroom is an energy enhancing adaptogens known in Chinese herbalism. It is revered as a “Chi” building herb with effects that “activate life energies,” one of the 3 treasures in TCM. It supports recovery from adrenal depletion.The dried mushroom is often can be blended with other energy adaptogens like astragalus, ashwagandha, maca and ginseng for increased effectiveness.

Pau d’arco  is a powerful tonic. It strengthens the immune system, especially from stress and overworked adrenals and can actually help the body prevent further damage from fungal, bacterial and viral infections. The tea is very pleasant, hot or cold.

Cat’s claw is a South American herb that can regenerate the immune system and fight inflammation in the body. Its ability to rid the body of toxins also make this a great herb to maintain good health.

Stinging nettle is a common weed that houses an abundance of healing virtues like Burdock, it is one of the most universally beneficial herbs to use as basis for restoring and maintaining well being. Nettles are a highly regarded as a restorative tonic for exhausted adrenals. Taken regularly, they will lessen the intensity of stress and exhaustion. According to Anima medicine woman Kiva Rose, nettle “promotes a sense of clarity, wellness, heightened energy levels, reduced stress and seemingly increased lung capacity. They are especially effective for those suffering from severe burnout, resulting in profound fatigue, brain fog, chronic pain and alternating feelings of depression and intense anxiety. Nettle seed can lessen all of these symptoms, and sometimes eliminate them completely. For some people, they can dramatically effect or shift perception, promotinga sense of connectedness, well-being and mild euphoria. Physical and mental stamina is usually increased, and exertion may seem more enjoyable to the individual.” Nettles may be considered equal to “super foods” such as spiralina and bee pollen, they are high in chlorophyll, protein and iron.

Milk thistle is beneficial when liver is not functioning properly. If your liver cannot remove the toxins from your body, the build up effects your immune system causing chronic fatigue. Milk thistle supports the liver’s release of toxins, it is composed of silymarin which works directly on the liver to increase it is very effective in aiding the detoxification process.

Astragalus is another adaptogen which stimulates your immune system to work better by creating a defense against foreign invaders. It boosts your adrenal glands which will aid in your recovery from adrenal burnout and fatigue. It’s used for for strengthening and regulating the immune system, as a tonic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral and to protect the liver.

Maca, or Peruvian Ginseng, has been used for chronic fatigue syndrome, enhancing energy, stamina and overall energy. In the female reproductive system, its use for enhancing fertility, regulating the menstrual cycle, treating common menopause symptoms and to increase libido has been familiar to the traditional peoples of Peru and elsewhere for many generations.

Adrenal glandulars supply the raw materials that your adrenal glands need to heal. Glandulars refer to raw animal glandulars and non-glandular tissues or extracts of these tissues that are normally dried and ground. It is critical however that you get them from reputable company so that the purity and potency is guaranteed. Glandular therapy began with the discoveries made by Swiss physician Paul Niehans, M.D. in the 1920s. The different glandulars and glandular extracts have various properties and uses. Thymus and spleen extracts may influence the immune system. Thyroid extracts can help with low thyroid. Adrenal extracts may have anti-inflammatory activity. Testis extracts may influence androgen levels, and ovary extracts may influence estrogen levels.

Vitamin C of all the vitamins and minerals involved in adrenal metabolism, vitamin C is probably the most important. In fact, the more Cortisol made, the more vitamin C used. Vitamin C is so essential to the adrenal hormone cascade and the manufacture of adrenal steroid hormones that before the measurement of adrenal steroid hormones became available, the blood level of vitamin C was used as the best indicator of adrenal function level in animal research studies. Your body’s highest levels of vitamin C are found in the adrenal glands and brain tissues, and the urinary excretion of Vitamin C is increased during stress.

Vitamin E is not required for any part of the adrenal hormone-manufacturing cascade, yet it is essential, indirectly, in at least six different enzymatic reactions in the adrenal cascade. This is because the manufacture of adrenal hormones generates substances called free radicals that can create great damage inside the cells if they are not controlled. Too many free radicals slow down the enzymatic reactions and, in the extreme, can cause damage to the adrenal cell structure. Vitamin E absorbs and neutralizes damaging free radical molecules inside the adrenal glands and elsewhere in the body. Vitamin C enhances vitamin E’s activity, they work together to keep the adrenal cascade functioning. Therefore, high amounts of vitamin E are necessary in order for the adrenals to maintain high levels of steroid production and recover sufficiently. It is important to choose the right vitamin E, “the combination of alpha- and gamma-tocopherol supplementation appears to be superior to either supplementation alone on biomarkers of oxidative stress and on inflammatory factors”, according to research from Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UC Davis Medical Center.

Pantothenic acid, B5, one of the B-complex vitamins, is another essential contributor for your  adrenals.  Like magnesium, it is important for energy production. Pantothenic acid is converted into acetyl CoA, a substance critical to the conversion of glucose into energy, also referred to as the “Hub of Metabolism”. Its main function is to convey the carbon atoms within the acetyl group to the citric acid cycle (Krebs cycle) to be oxidized for energy production. It is present in all cells but in higher quantities in the adrenals because so much energy is needed to produce the adrenal hormones. The combination of pantothenic acid with magnesium, vitamin E and vitamin C increases energy production and helps to eliminate fatigue out of the adrenals, without over stimulating them.

Niacin, B3, like pantothenic acid, naicin is one of the most important of the B vitamins to the adrenal function. Large amounts of niacin arc necessary to form the molecular structure of certain niacin dependent coenzymes needed to accomplish  several steps in the adrenal cascade. Therefore, a B complex that is high in niacin is important to produce some of the enzymatic reactions that occur during the adrenal cascade. B vitamins are water soluble, therefore it is best to find a time release supplement.

Magnesium acts like a spark plug for your adrenals and for the energy portion of every cell in your body. It is essential to the production of the enzymes and the energy necessary for the adrenal hormone cascade. Several of the steps that create energy in all of your cells, but especially in your adrenal glands, are so dependent on the presence of magnesium that it is a specific for adrenal recovery.

NAC or N-acetyl Cycteine is a modified form of Cysteine. Cysteine is an amino acid that can be found throughout the body. NAC has been shown to increase levels of the antioxidant glutathione. Antioxidants such as glutathione can reduce cell damage, speed recovery from injury, aid muscle growth and help increase energy. As well as its powerful anti-oxidant effect, NAC offers many other health benefits ranging from counteracting poison to treating lung infections, bronchitis, and ear infections, relieving hangover symptoms, help with symptoms of Lou Gehrig’s disease and heart disease, lower cholesterol, reduce cancer treatment side effects, help with polycystic ovary syndrome, increase immunity against certain strains of influenza.

R-ALA Alpha-lipoic acid can help prevent certain kinds of cell damage in the body, and also helps the body restore vitamin levels such as vitamin E and vitamin C. Alpha-lipoic acid is used in the body to break down carbohydrates and to make energy for the other organs in the body. It seems to work as an antioxidant, which means that it might provide protection to the brain under conditions of damage or injury. Yeast, liver, kidney, spinach, broccoli, and potatoes are good sources of alpha-lipoic acid or you can also buy it as an encapsulated supplement. According to Webmd.com, some people use alpha-lipoic acid for memory loss, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), HIV/AIDS, cancer, liver disease, diseases of the heart and blood vessels and Lyme disease.

When you are experiencing adrenal fatigue, mild constipation is sometimes present. Increasing the amount of fiber in your diet not only improves bowel motion and re-establishes normal bowel function but also helps strengthen your adrenal function. Try chia seeds, flax seeds, aloe juice, almonds, and root vegetables like onions and sweet potatoes, also broccoli and Brussels sprouts, berries, beans, and psyllium husk can be helpful.

Begin today, start with some herbal tea, and clean up your diet, its not as hard as it seems. Make a shopping list and include some foods and herbal items from above, and with persistence you can make your life change for the better. As your endurance and energy increase, so will your initiative to follow what benefits you.

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Danah Cooper Baron

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