Health & Wellness
by Jen Padgett
Adrenal glands sit on top of each kidney and are responsible for regulating hormones and sending signals to virtually every system in your body. When adrenals get taxed, it can wreak havoc on your hormone levels, especially cortisol. As stressful situations occur, our bodies respond by releasing cortisol and adrenaline into our systems – it’s a direct shot of immunity boosting to help our bodies fight off whatever it perceives to be the danger. Adrenals are like the best friend that always shows up when you need her – so it’s important to be a good friend back. When we are fatigued – it’s likely the adrenals calling out for some tender loving care.
You can optimize adrenal gland function with herbs made into teas or tinctures:
Licorice Root is great for stress reduction and may enhance the effects of anti-anxiety medications. It works by sparing the effects of cortisol and thereby helps to maintain energy levels.
Ashwagandha is a great adaptogen that “adapts” to your body responses whether fatigue, stress, or anxiety. This herb also supports the endocrine and nervous systems and can help promote restful sleep.
Maca helps boost vigor and energy in a balancing way. Maca root can be stimulating due to its ability to stabilize blood glucose, but it contains no caffeine.
Astragalus & Eleuthero in combination work together to support immune function and physical stress, along with cognition. Astragalus supports and protects the immune system and liver. It is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial and combats fatigue. Eleuthero also has simulating properties but is another adaptogen which will support the body systems where they need it most.
Add Mushrooms! – Great adaptogens, Reishi is readily available and a number one pick for the adrenals. Cordyceps & Chaga are immune boosters and antioxidants and can also tackle cortisol overload.
And of course, pay attention to the Adrenal Support three Rs: Rest, Relaxation & Reduce caffeine intake (gradually). Rest when your body calls for it, and engage only in relaxing activities – yoga, spending time with loved ones, creating art or music. Try green tea – the antioxidants support your adrenals while you reduce your caffeine intake. If you choose exercise to reduce stress, make sure it is gentle in nature and not a hard core workout – which actually amps up adrenal response. The key to support adrenals is to reduce stress in gentle supportive ways.
Jen Padgett is the owner at Aum Herbs. Visit her shop at 125 Forest Street in Boulder Creek.