Herbs and Adrenal stress
Common Causes Of Adrenal Stress
* Adrenal exhaustion * Anger * Fear * Worry/anxiety * Depression * Guilt * Overwork/ physical or mental strain * Excessive exercise * Sleep deprivation * Light-cycle disruption (going to sleep late) * Surgery * Trauma/injury * Intermittant inflammation * Infections * Frequent pain * Temperature extremes * Toxic exposure * Malabsorption * Maldigestion * Regular illness * Allergies * Blood sugar highs and lows * Nutritional deficiencies
Associated Symptoms And Consequences Of Impaired Adrenals
* Low body temperature * Weakness * Unexplained hair loss * Nervousness * Difficulty building muscle * Irritability * Mental depression * Difficulty gaining weight * Apprehension * Blood sugar imbalance * Inability to concentrate * Excessive hunger * Tendency towards inflammation * Moments of confusion * Indigestion * Poor memory * Feelings of frustration * Alternating diarrhea and constipation * Bone loss * auto-immune hepatitis * auto-immune diseases * Lightheadedness * Palpitations [heart fluttering] * Dizziness that occurs upon standing * Poor resistance to infections * Low blood pressure * Insomnia * Food and/or inhalant allergies * PMS * Craving for sweets * Dry and thin skin * Headaches * Scanty perspiration * Alcohol intolerance
What Cortisol Does (cortisol is produced in the adrenal glands)
* Mobilizes and increases amino acids, the building blocks of protein, in the blood and liver.
* Stimulates the liver to convert amino acids to glucose, the primary fuel for energy production.
* Stimulates increased glycogen in the liver. Glycogen is the stored form of glucose.
* Mobilizes and increases fatty acids in the blood (from fat cells) to be used as fuel for energy production.
* Counteracts inflammation and allergies.
* Prevents the loss of sodium in urine and thus helps maintain blood volume and blood pressure.
* Maintains resistance to stress (e.g., infections, physical trauma, temperature extremes, emotional trauma, etc.).
* Maintains mood and emotional stability.
Excess Cortisol (due to stress)
* Diminishes cellular utilization of glucose.
* Increases blood sugar levels.
* Decreases protein synthesis.
* Increases protein breakdown that can lead to muscle wasting.
* Causes demineralization of bone that can lead to osteoporosis.
* Interferes with skin regeneration and healing.
* Causes shrinking of lymphatic tissue
* Diminishes lymphocyte numbers and functions
* Lessens SIgA (secretory antibody productions). This immune system suppression may lead to increased susceptibility to allergies, infections, and degenerative disease.
Balancing Your Meals For Blood Sugar Control
To maintain proper adrenal function it is imperative to control your blood sugar levels and the following guidelines will help you do that:
* Eat a small meal or snack every three to four hours.
* Eat within the first hour upon awakening.
* Eat a small snack near bedtime.
* Eat before becoming hungry. If hungry, you have already allowed yourself to run out of fuel [low blood sugar/ hypoglycemia - see pancreas treatment], which places additional stress on the adrenal glands.
An excessive ratio of carbohydrates to protein results in excess secretion of insulin produced in the pancreas [for more info about regulating insulin, click here], which often leads to intervals of hypoglycemia. The body, in an attempt to normalize blood sugar, initiates a counter-regulatory process during which the adrenals are stimulated to secrete increased levels of cortisol and adrenalin. It follows that an excessive intake of carbohydrates often leads to excessive secretion of cortisol. This contributes to chronic cortisol depletion and consequently, adrenal exhaustion.
For control of sugar addiction and blood sugar problems I recommend the use of our Stevia.
Also take ABC Daily Herbal NutriPowder Plus for additional nutritional support, for info
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Only whole herbs are used in our herbal medicines. Nothing else is added. If you have symptoms which you consider might be helped with herbal medicine please contact herbal practitioner Alan Hopking for a friendly confidential professional consultation. See terms and fees.
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HERBACTIVE Centre of Herbal Medicine, England, UK. Freephone 0800 0834436
General advice to consumers on the use of herbal remedies from the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
From the website of the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (www.mhra.gov.uk) Department of Health, UK
• Remember that herbal remedies are medicines. As with any other medicine they are likely to have an effect on the body and should be used with care. • Herbal remedies may sometimes interact with other medicines. This makes it particularly important to tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking a herbal remedy with other medicines such as prescribed medicines (those provided through your doctor or dentist). • Treat with caution any suggestion that a herbal remedy is '100% safe' or is 'safe because it is natural'. Many plants, trees, fungi and algae can be poisonous to humans. It is worth remembering that many pharmaceuticals have been developed or derived from these sources because of the powerful compounds they contain. Any medicine, including herbal remedies, which have an effect on the body should be used with care. • Treat with caution any herbalist or other person who supplies herbal remedies if they are unwilling or unable to provide written information, in English, listing the ingredients of the herbal remedy they are providing. • If you are due to have a surgical operation you should always remember to tell your doctor about any herbal remedy that you are taking. • Anyone who has previously experienced any liver complaint, or any other serious health complaint is advised not to take any herbal remedy without speaking to their doctor first.
Few conventional medicines have been established as safe to take during pregnancy and it is generally recognised that no medicine should be taken unless the benefit to the mother outweighs any possible risk to the foetus. This rule should also be applied to herbal medicinal products. However, herbal products are often promoted to the public as being “natural” and completely “safe” alternatives to conventional medicines. Some herbal ingredients that specifically should be avoided or used with caution during pregnancy. As with conventional medicines, no herbal products should be taken during pregnancy unless the benefit outweighs the potential risk.
Many herbs are traditionally reputed to be abortifacient and for some this reputation can be attributed to their volatile oil component.(6) A number of volatile oils are irritant to the genito-urinary tract if ingested and may induce uterine contractions. Herbs that contain irritant volatile oils include ground ivy, juniper, parsley, pennyroyal, sage, tansy and yarrow. Some of these oils contain the terpenoid constituent, thujone, which is known to be abortifacient. Pennyroyal oil also contains the hepatotoxic terpenoid constituent, pulegone. A case of liver failure in a woman who ingested pennyroyal oil as an abortifacient has been documented.
A stimulant or spasmolytic action on uterine muscle has been documented for some herbal ingredients including blue cohosh, burdock, fenugreek, golden seal, hawthorn, jamaica dogwood, motherwort, nettle, raspberry, and vervain. Herbal Teas Increased awareness of the harmful effects associated with excessive tea and coffee consumption has prompted many individuals to switch to herbal teas. Whilst some herbal teas may offer pleasant alternatives to tea and coffee, some contain pharmacologically active herbal ingredients, which may have unpredictable effects depending on the quantity of tea consumed and strength of the brew. Some herbal teas contain laxative herbal ingredients such as senna, frangula, and cascara. In general stimulant laxative preparations are not recommended during pregnancy and the use of unstandardised laxative preparations is particularly unsuitable. A case of hepatotoxicity in a newborn baby has been documented in which the mother consumed a herbal tea during pregnancy as an expectorant. Following analysis the herbal tea was reported to contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids which are known to be hepatotoxic.
A drug substance taken by a breast-feeding mother presents a hazard if it is transferred to the breast milk in pharmacologically or toxicologically significant amounts. Limited information is available regarding the safety of conventional medicines taken during breast-feeding. Much less information exists for herbal ingredients, and generally the use of herbal remedies is not recommended during lactation.
Herbal remedies have traditionally been used to treat both adults and children. Herbal remedies may offer a milder alternative to some conventional medicines, although the suitability of a herbal remedy needs to be considered with respect to quality, safety and efficacy. Herbal remedies should be used with caution in children and medical advice should be sought if in doubt. Chamomile is a popular remedy used to treat teething pains in babies. However, chamomile is known to contain allergenic sesquiterpene lactones and should therefore be used with caution. The administration of herbal teas to children needs to be considered carefully and professional advice may be needed.
The need for patients to discontinue herbal medicinal products prior to surgery has recently been proposed. The authors considered eight commonly used herbal medicinal products (echinacea, ephedra, garlic, ginkgo, ginseng, kava, St John’s Wort, valerian). On the evidence available they concluded that the potential existed for direct pharmacological effects, pharmacodynamic interactions and pharmacokinetic interactions. The need for physicians to have a clear understanding of the herbal medicinal products being used by patients and to take a detailed history was highlighted. The American Society of Anaesthesiologists (ASA) has advised patients to tell their doctor if they are taking herbal products before surgery and has reported that a number of anaesthesiologists have reported significant changes in heart rate or blood pressure in some patients who have been taking herbal medicinal products including St John’s Wort, ginkgo and ginseng. MCA is currently investigating a serious adverse reaction associated with the use of ginkgo prior to surgery. In this case, the patient who was undergoing hip replacement experienced uncontrolled bleeding thought to be related to the use of ginkgo.
From the website of the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (www.mhra.gov.uk) Department of Health, UK
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