Adaptogens for Adrenal Fatigue
For those unfamiliar with adaptogens, they are a group of herbs that support the body's ability to respond to stressors of all kinds and maintain homeostasis and can thus be helpful in adrenal fatigue. Through these mechanisms they often promote feelings of well-being and general improved vitality.
I have personally found two adaptogenic herbs to be very helpful for my own adrenal fatigue. The first is licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) which contains a compound known as glycyrrhizin that has been found to block the enzyme 11beta-hydroxysteroid-dehydrogenase which converts various steroid hormones from one form to another, including conversion of cortisol to the less potent cortisone. This means that for those with adrenal fatigue (low cortisol stage), licorice may be helpful for helping the body maintain healthy cortisol levels. For me this made a huge difference as my morning cortisol levels are low and I am unable to wake up and get going until well into the morning...and more like midday. Moderately dosages of licorice have me wide awake at sunrise and with the motivation and energy to be productive.
The second adaptogen I find particularly useful is a lesser known herb known as Tribulus terrestris or traditionally as gokshura (it is used in ayurvedic medicine). Studies on the herb have shown mixed results but it does seem to regulate steroid hormones and help maintain them within the normal range. For me it gives me a very tangible feeling of well-being and increases resilience to stress that is similar to that I have experienced taking DHEA supplements.
I hope my experiences with adaptogens will provide you with some ideas to help manage your adrenal fatigue. If anyone has tried adaptogens themselves then please do share the results with us!