Your adrenal glands, located on top of your kidneys, do a lot of work for your body. They produce everything from hormones like estrogen, progesterone, steroids, cortisol and cortisone to chemicals like adrenalin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Interestingly, scientists have discovered many potential ways to provide natural adrenal support with herbs and vitamins.
Why The Adrenals Matter
The hormones that the adrenal glands produce are responsible for regulating your bodyâs fluids and salts and controlling blood pressure, muscle development, sex drive, and metabolism.
There can be stressors to the all-important adrenal glands, however. One of the primary culprits is stress itself.
When you are faced with a stressor, your body prepares to react to it: your adrenal glands secrete cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. This is a necessary function of the adrenal glands. Cortisol âworks in the body by loading it with glucose, which is an immediate energy source for our muscles, and by slowing the production of insulin in order to encourage glucoseâs immediate use instead of storage. Cortisol also narrows the arteries, while another hormone, epinephrine, increases heart rate. When the issue is resolved, the hormone levels return to their normal state.â
This is great when your body genuinely needs a boost of energy for a fight or flight scenario. But if constant, low-grade stressors build up, adrenal glands can become worn out. A constant release of stress hormones can have a variety of negative effects on the body.
According to the CDC, some of the short and long-term physical effects of stress include:
- Cold hands
- Difficulty swallowing
- Change in appetite
- Short-term memory lapses
- Difficulty concentrating
- Dry mouth
Thankfully, there are a variety of ways to achieve natural adrenal support.
Adaptogenic Herbs for Adrenal Support
The Association for the Advancement of Herbal Medicine defines adaptogens this way: âAdaptogens are plant-derived compounds that normalize endocrine function and promote adaptation to environmental stress. Adaptogenic herbs modulate stress responses, enhancing energy production and sleep quality and improving immune function.â
Adaptogens are plants and herbs that share three characteristics:
- They are non-toxic
- They help improve the bodyâs ability to fight stress (and adrenal fatigue)
- They help bring the body into balance
Some common adaptogens you might use as a source of natural adrenal support include:
Eleuthero Root was the first herb identified as an adaptogen. Studies of the rootâs effectiveness cite improvement in âmental alertness, energy, work output, and the performance of both physical and mental tasks.â
Eleuthero may support a healthy immune system and promote gut health.
Holy Basil is used to support cardiovascular health, circulation, memory, digestion, and concentration.
Both Asian and American ginseng are adaptogenic. American ginseng may promote immune function, stress maintenance, and healthy digestion, while Korean gingseng supports energy.
Rosemary leaf is valued for its active compounds, caffeic acid and rosmarinic acid. Rosemary is believed to support healthy digestion, cardiovascular function, liver health, memory, brain health and circulation.
More adaptogens that may aid in adrenal support include licorice, maca, rhodiola, schisandra, ashwagandha, and astralagus.
Other Methods of Natural Adrenal Support
Vitamin C is also vital to natural adrenal support, as it aids in the manufacture of hormone secretion. The more stress someone experiences, the most stress hormones their adrenal glands secrete; therefore, the higher their Vitamin C needs will be. Foods high in Vitamin C include chili peppers, red and green bell peppers, kale, broccoli, papaya, strawberries, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, pineapple, kiwi, and mango.
The Natural Healthy Concepts store also has supplements and oils to aid in adrenal support. One product you might want to check out is Nutramedixâs Adrenal Support, which provides natural support for normal endocrine processes.
As always, consult with your healthcare provider before taking herbal products or supplements. This is especially true if you have any medical issues or are pregnant or nursing.
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