After reading archives here, valerean tends to make most people snooze. Its not a adaptogen for adrenals is it?
Fluctuating adrenals is confusing. Searching for a naturaral daily remedy is more confusing. It seems most of these herbs in my post either raise, lower or do nothing for minimal adrenals. Thyroid patients talk about adrenal stress, fatigued adrenals. So if you feel like you have high adrenal surges at times, I wonder if you should just try to lower it or stabilize it? Not much written about this.
5HTP It has been mentiond for use by thyroid sufferrers with questionable addrenals, I wonder what it is they thought this did for them. It made me kind of jittery up like 2 cups of coffee, not a bennefit I need.
(live and learn, or learn and live?)
Can't imagine why anyone would recommend 5-HTP for adrenals. It's a metabolite of tryptophan, which helps manufacture serotonin. Nothing to do with adrenals directly, though it might be helpful for anxiety or depression sufferers. Valerian is a relaxant, affecting GABA, again not for adrenal support unless sleep deprivation is causing it. Using one herb to accomplish something isn't the best way to do this. Herbalists work with formulas. The single herb usage is popular for some things, but it's not really that optimal for chronic conditions, which require trial and error and the balancing of the whole body, not just one symptom. There are many adaptogen formulas for balancing the adrenals, which is what they're intended to do. People may use single adaptogens for energy or to combat anxiety, but if what you're trying to do is balance them a formula is called for. Since there are so many adaptogens, there are a lot of possibilities. Chinese medicine tends to have the most options here, but there are adaptogens all over the world. Some, such as holy basil and American ginseng, also act to lower blood sugar if it's high, but with you being hypothyroid, I'd really suggest going to see a naturopath or practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine and see if you can't find a more knowledgeable source of different combinations of herbs that might do you better than what we can offer here, which tends to be individual herbs. If you don't have it, a good book on how herbs are used is Planetary Herbology by Michael Tierra, who tries to apply the energetic principles of the oldest written forms of plant medicine, ayurveda and Chinese, to herbs the world over. The book is pretty old now, and a lot of newer herbs have been discovered, but it's a good instructional on how combining herbs gives you a better result for complex problems than just trying one at a time. Good luck.
I should have added, St. John's Wort is an anti-viral and for mild to moderate depression, also not directly for the adrenals. Don't know what you mean by generic ginseng, unless you're talking about Panax ginseng, which is the most energetic but most of which sold in the US has no ginseng in it at all. When it's real, it's quite expensive, so if it isn't, that's a pretty good sign it's the Moonies selling nothing. I should also add that 5-HTP is an amino acid, not an herb, though it's derived from an herb, and amino acids as well as many herbs take time to work and can have side effects in the beginning much as meds do when you're affecting neurotransmitters. Just to give you an idea about what you've written of, panax ginseng is very energizing yang energy, American ginseng is cooler and more calming with a stronger effect on blood sugar, rhodiola can be very stimulating when used alone, eleuthero (used to be called Siberian ginseng) tends to be in the middle, ashwagandha seems to affect different people quite differently -- some it makes tired, some it energizes, some it does nothing for, and holy basil mainly lowers cortisol and blood sugar and isn't a true adaptogen in the sense of being balancing. Which ones are suited for you depends on your condition, weak or strong, and I suspect, given the herbs you've mentioned, that there are mental concerns involved here. Complicated stuff when you get deep into it.
generic ginseng - some brands just say "Ginsing", not what type, not American or Chinese ginsing.
I am trying to lower glucose too beyond diet and exercise - its in 100 -108 somtimes.
My 'shot gun' list is pretty much from looking at the shelves at the health food store with an employee showing me all this when I mentioned energy. The little research I did had mixed results. And I know people that take some of the above - but I dont think they fully understand there condition or what these herbs and adaptogens do - as they could not explain it to me. A thyroid person that claims to have adrenal fatigue told me 5 htp helped - they really didn't elaborate as to what it helped, guess it wasn't for the adrenals. Since it had a 'coffee effect' on me, maybe if it had the same effect on someone that has very low cortisol, they might think it leveled or adapted their adrenal.
Anyway I do have a weird hormonal feel (a thyroid patient might know what I'm saying) around 2 pm which is also when my adrenals decrease lower than they should, but in the morning its at the max value, not good either. Ashwagonda does seem to help this a little. Many thyroidians take valerean to help sleep, we as a group dont sleep very well, but better when thyroid levels are at the 'sweet spot", since thyroid effects all organs, brain also. Sleep and energy obviously come up on the thyroid forum as well as adrenal fatigue. But 95% are clueless about adrenals even if they are found to be fluctuating or 'stressed' adrenals. We are used to treating by symptoms and lab values for thyroid. With possible adrenal fatigue which can supposedly create 'surges' not clearly measurable, this becomes a guessing game to us.
I have seen different formulas as well such as 'fatigued to fantasic' for adrenals but I dont want to increase my morning adrenal cortisol. I did pick up some more ashwagonda, a different brand. I might go to a holistic type chiro that understands thyroid and adrenal and bring my adrenal test along. The chiro that I ordered the saliva adrenal 24 hr test from doesn't know how to treat adrenals - had a guinea pig approach toward me, not what I need! Thats the dangers of chiros that want to be 'holistic' docs- a lot is available to them, but most are not educated enough beyond basic chiro. Scary.
I wouldn't trust a chiropractor at all with herbal medicine. Even one that I loved. They do it to make more money, but you're right, they really don't study it much. Given what you've said, holy basil might be a good herb to try if you are having adrenal surges. It's good for lowering cortisol and also for lowering blood sugar surges, and if the ashwagandha alone isn't doing it for you, try adding the holy basil to it. One thing I find -- my thing is anxiety -- that I get a bit tired after taking holy basil because I don't have a blood sugar problem, and that's also an indication it is lowering my cortisol. But that's an anxiety problem -- often we take stuff that helps some to lower peak anxiety, but then we get tired from it as the peak eases. Thyroid is different, as you're trying to get to a nice level place. Might be worth a try as you continue your research. Both New Chapter and Gaia make superb extracts of holy basil.
Sounds like a good combo. It realy takes time with trying things one at a time. Thyroid was/is all about time, but still, its hard waiting.
Thyoidians can get anxiety, its a hypo symptom or low T3. Many on t4 only have anziety. T3 / t4 combo 'fixes so much wnen people change over. Its stated all the time on that forum.
I will get another adrenal saliva test to compare how I feel with the 'numbers' after i,m on this plan for awile- the last one sent a test result interpretation, not just a result, a good thing. Guess what that chiro tried to sell me - DHEA. I wasnt up to starting on that. You never hear about that on this form, odd.
High cortisol depletes vitamin B5, so I take 1000 mg. daily with no side effects. There is a product called CortisolManager. It contains magnolia bark in addition to ashwagandha. This was recommended to me by a specialist in alternative medicine (an MD).
I'll have to look this up.
My adrenal cortisol is at the very top of range in the AM but below in the early afternoon. So this might be tricky.
Sorry the ashwagandha didn't work. What it does is normalize cortisol - if high it tends to lower it, and if low, tends to raise it. It evens it out. The same is true of CortisolManager. I am lucky. It works well for me.
Oh.......I didnt mean it doesnt work, it does something just not enough. The mg in each brand of ashwagandha tends to vary a little, I just picked up a different brand to try, might be more potent.
I didnt finish.....lol..........
Since CM is mostly aswagandha, have you tried taking it different times of the day, to see if there was a difference in results?
I have been taking plain ashwagandha. I have put off buying CortisolManager because the magnolia bark is drying. I have a lung condition that requires moistening herbs. But I seem to be better now so I will try it. But it was CortisolManager specifically that my doctor wanted me to take. I will do it now.
Ashwagandha would be best taken in the evening. It is very relaxing and helps you sleep, although it is not a sleeping pill nor does it have sleeping pill side effects.
For plain ashwagandha Gaia herbs has a good product. I think Nature's Way is good too.
DHEA had it's day, but you don't hear about it much these days because it is a hormone and a hormone precursor, and many want to ban it. Pregnenalone makes DHEA, which in turn is the precursor to testosterone, as well as some estrogen and progesterone. Because of abuse by athletes, it's gotten a bad rap. I'm not sure, however, what it would do for you unless you're testosterone is low. It can be helpful for women who need to balance their hormones, and for men for the same purpose, but not so much for thyroid hormone or the adrenals, though if testosterone is low energy will be lessened and anxiety possibly increased. Side effects are usually the same as for anything that increases testosterone. Products from different manufacturers differ widely in quality. So does ashwagandha, by the way. As for mg doses, if you're taking extracts, whether alcohol tinctures or supercritical extracts, mg dosage isn't the measurement used by herbalists, it's how often you take it during the day. Mg only become important when western pharmaceutical principles are applied to herb usage, and with standardized herbs. I don't see any reason to take standardized ashwagandha, but to each his or her own.
The interesting thing I found with testosterone in my case is it mirrors thyroid hormone levels. When I was very hypo during a thyroid med change (after Armour was unable to be purchased from the shortage in 09) my 'free' testosterone bottomed, and resumed to healthy levels (mid range) once thyroid hormone levels optimized on Canadian Erfa thyroid. (go Canada!).
This chiro apparently thought DHEA would help my cortisol 'dip' in the afternoon. I read about DHEA at the library after that, decided not to take it. I never gave it a trial time mainly since from what I read, your body could get dependent on it. But that is not a root cause fix for adrenals anyway.
What defines 'standardized ashwagandha'........if its measured in MG?
Planetary Herbals had : 500mg of ashwagandha root, 70mg (25:1) ashwagandha root extract.
my new one- Himalaya Pure Herbs has: 10mg ashwagandha root, 280mg ashwagandha root extract and 380mg of ashwagandha root powder.
extract, root or powder - does it make a difference?....its all ashgwagondha
If the above is 'standardized' ashwagandha, what is non standardized?
Standardized means it will show a percentage of some active chemical marker. For example, standardized St. John's Wort will make sure every batch has 3% hypericin and a certain percentage of hyperforins, if it's standardized correctly. Standardized ginseng will have a certain percentage of ginsenocides. Gingko a certain % of gingkocides. And so on. I don't know about ashwagandha since I've never seen a standardized version, but when you standardize, you alter the natural state of the herb to get it up to the standardized amount of the marker chemical, or you only use herb that naturally contains that amount. Most alter the herb. It's a pharmaceutical model of herbal medicine, and some argue it's better because each batch of herb will be the same, unlike naturally grown herbs, which obviously will differ some from batch to batch just as corn is sometimes sweeter, sometimes not, depending on the year. Standardized herbs are also easier to research, since you're giving people the same product, so most research done in the last couple decades is with standardized herbs. But traditionally, the technology to standardize didn't exist, and many herbalists still believe the natural plant is better. Since it's not exactly the same potency every time, they go by frequency of use rather than mg dosage. The only way to tell if an herb is standardized or not if it's in tablet or capsule form is to look on the label and see if it's standardized to a certain % of a marker chemical. Tinctures usually aren't standardized. Planetary Herbals is an excellent company; from the description, it doesn't sound standardized, it sounds like an extract 70mg mixed with 500mg of powdered root. The other company also sounds not standardized, mixing a little whole dried or fresh root with an alcohol tincture with some ground root. There are differences -- some companies have a better reputation than others for purity and skill. Some have more advanced testing equipment than others to make sure they're getting what they think they are and that it's an active herb, not something akin to a bad batch of tasteless corn. Alcohol tinctures are stronger than powders, because alcohol is a better way to extract and preserve active ingredients. Whole root will sometimes have different effects than ground root, and it will maintain ingredients better than once you ground it, but some herbs don't work until they're broken up, such as garlic or ginger or onions, releasing the active chemicals. Some work better freeze dried, some are better fresh, some are better cooked, some are better raw. This obviously is why herbalists are herbalists; they know these things, hopefully. Which is why you guy from a company started and owned by herbalists who know their stuff; it's the only protection we really have. We have to trust them. I trust Planetary Formulas, but I don't know the other company well enough to give an opinion one way or another.