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9 Herbs That Help Adrenal Stress

Our fast-paced lives with constant alerts, emails, and pings are causing our adrenal glands to pump out adrenaline all day.

This chronic low level of stress is leaving many wired or just plain tired all the time.

If you feel like you can’t sleep even though you are exhausted, or you sleep but still wake up feeling lethargic—there is a good chance you are suffering from adrenal fatigue. AF can be caused by numerous problems:

  1. Overactive Adrenals can leave you feeling like you’re constantly in “fight or flight” mode. First, your body releases high levels of stress chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol. To ensure you’re ready to defend yourself or run, these chemicals spike your blood sugar, heart rate, blood pressure, and insulin levels. Meanwhile, your body injects more fatty acids into your bloodstream to help it adapt to the stress.  Long-term, these reactions can increase your risk of developing conditions like insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and Type 2 diabetes.
  2. Underactive Adrenals occur when your adrenals have been overtaxed by the body’s stress response being constantly in the “on” position.  Your body becomes cortisol resistant when it recognizes that you should not have that much cortisol in your system, it will then shut down some of its cortisol receptors to try to help you get better hormonal balance. Instead of a normal cycle, where your cortisol levels rise in the morning and fall in the evening, it no longer peaks first thing in the morning to give you energy. Instead, it just flatlines all day, which is why you may feel incredibly fatigued all the time. To learn more about adrenal burnout, read my post on it here

Helpful Plants

Nature offers plenty of remedies to relieve symptoms of adrenal fatigue. These helpful herbs and spices have a number of different functions.

Herbal Adaptogens: Gently calm your overactive system by helping your body adjust its hormone balance to reduce stress and calm down your fight or flight response. Good choices include:

  • Ashwaganda: Often called “Indian Ginseng” this herb is used in Ayurvedic medicine to lower stress and stabilize thyroid hormones. It is a calming tonic that reduces anxiety, improves sleep, and combats inflammation.
  • Rhodiola: Is a potent herbal adaptogen that helps your body reduce anxiety and irritability. At the same time, it boosts immune function, hormonal balance, and concentration.

Learn how to add hormone-balancing ingredients to your meals with our FREE 15 Breakfasts to Rebalance Your Hormones guide here.

Nervines and Relaxants help to relax your body so that you feel calmer and include:

  • Skullcap has traditionally been used to treat conditions like panic attacks, anxiety and also helps to promote better quality sleep.
  • Chamomile is well known for its calming properties. After people drink chamomile tea their levels of glycine increase. Glycine is a nerve relaxant with mild sedative properties—all things that can help you to de-stress. Chamomile also has antispasmodic properties that help to relieve menstrual cramps in women. It also contains a potent flavonoid called apigenin, a mild tranquilizer that can help benefit sleep onset and sleep quality.
  • Lavender: Lavender tea is an effective tonic for jittery nerves because it encourages a calmer state of mind. Research comparing the use of lavender to (synthetic) benzodiazepine medication for anxiety has found it provides equal benefit, minus the side effects of the harsher medication, which may include tiredness, trembling, dry mouth, nausea, and addiction.

Energizers and Wellbeing Tonics are herbs and spices that boost other aspects of well-being and are important for women suffering symptoms of adrenal burnout:

  • Licorice has an adaptogenic quality that helps regulate stress hormones, such as adrenaline, which means that it can counter adrenal fatigue and encourage hormonal balance.
  • Ginseng has been used for thousands of years to treat issues like low adrenals, fatigue, lack of energy, and low libido.
  • Spices and warming herbs such as ginger and cinnamon can increase energy, boost metabolism, and help to stabilize blood sugars.
  • Astragalus is perfect for when you’re under constant stress. If your body is always wired, it can suffer, so it’s important to support your general health too. Astragalus has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine as a tonic that supports your cardiovascular system and also your kidney and liver function. It is also a powerful immune stimulant.

A Helpful Resource

One of our iconic programs—Herbs for Balance—shows you how to use everyday herbs and DIY skincare recipes to restore hormonal health. It’s a self-guided, 6-week program with live online community support.

Herbs for Balance was developed to help our community bring the power of common herbs (such as dandelions, nettles, red clover) into everyday life; whether it’s your kitchen, bathroom, food, or topical applications.

What you get:

  • Recipe book with 140+ hormone balancing recipes
  • Hormone Balancing Foods & Herbs Wheel to use when cooking with herbs
  • Highly educational and beginner-friendly video classes
  • Key lectures on hormones and herbs
  • In-Out Detox Guide
  • Online support from our helpful and friendly community

Learn more about Herbs for Balance here.