- Panax quinquefolius (American ginseng) and Ashwagandha (Indian ginseng or Withania) – the ginseng family of herbs possesses a unique property of aiding in the regeneration and enhanced function of hypothalamic cortisol receptors, providing an amphoteric effect (can act as a base and an acid), which allows the body to better self-regulate cortisol levels
- Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice root) – licorice potentiates and extends the serum life of cortisol, thereby lessening the demand on the adrenal cortex during stressful conditions
- N-Acetyl-tyrosine – included as a critical building block of various neurotransmitters, thyroid hormones, and catecholamines (often depleted under chronic stress conditions)
Also included are vitamin C, pantothenic acid (B5), vitamin B6 (as Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate) and vitamin B2 (as Riboflavin-5-Phosphate), all playing critical roles as enzyme cofactors in the balanced production of stress hormones.
Vitamin C – The health benefits of Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, include the prevention and treatment of scurvy, treatment of the common cold, boosting the immune system, lowering hypertension, the treatment of lead toxicity, curing cataracts, treatment of cancer, combating stroke, maintain elasticity of the skin, the healing of wounds, and controlling the symptoms of asthma.
Vitamin C, or Ascorbic acid, is one of the most effective and safest nutrients. It is a water soluble vitamin. It is a powerful antioxidant for the synthesis of collagen, which helps to make blood vessels and body muscles strong. The human body doesn’t have the capacity to generate Vitamin C. Therefore, it needs to be received through food and other supplements.
Pantothenic Acid – also known as vitamin B5 – is a water-soluble vitamin that is a precursor in the synthesis of coenzyme A. Coenzyme A is essential to many biochemical reactions that sustain life. Without pantothenic acid, you would be unable to use fats, carbohydrates, or proteins as energy sources. You would also be unable to make hormones and your immune system would collapse. These are only some of the important functions that pantothenic acid has.
Vitamin B6 – also called pyridoxine, is a water-soluble nutrient that is part of the B vitamin family. B vitamins, including vitamin B6, help support adrenal function, help calm and maintain a healthy nervous system, and are necessary for key metabolic processes. Vitamin B6 acts as a coenzyme in the breakdown and utilization of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
Vitamin B6 helps in the production of neurotransmitters, the chemicals that allow brain and nerve cells to communicate with one another, ensuring that metabolic processes such as fat and protein metabolism run smoothly, and is important for immune system function in older individuals. It can also help address a number of conditions, including nerve compression injuries (like carpal tunnel syndrome), premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and some cases of depression and arthritis. Vitamin B6 is often used to treat high homocysteine levels along with folic acid and vitamin B12. Memory loss, diabetes, asthma attacks, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), kidney stones, lung cancer, acne and atherosclerosis may also be treated and improved via vitamin B6 supplementation.
Vitamin B2 – also known as Riboflavin, plays a significant role in the production of energy. It helps in the conversion of carbohydrates to sugar, which fuels the body’s many functions. Riboflavin also plays an active part in the electron transport chain that produces cellular energy. Furthermore, it helps in the processing of amino acids and fats. It can also serve as an antioxidant, which slows the pace of aging.
Eleuthero – Eleutherococcus, also known as eleuthero or Siberian ginseng, grows in mountain forests and is native to eastern Asia including China, Japan, and Russia. Traditional Chinese Medicine has used eleutherococcus for reducing lethargy, fatigue, and low stamina as well as increasing endurance and resilience to environmental stresses. Eleutherococcus is considered an “adaptogen,” a term that describes herbs or other substances that, when ingested, appears to help an organism increase resistance to stress. There is strong evidence Eleutherococcus senticosusincreases endurance and mental performance in patients with mild fatigue and weakness.
American Ginseng – People take American ginseng by mouth for stress, to boost the immune system, and as a stimulant. American ginseng is often used to fight infections such as colds and flu. There is some evidence that it might help prevent colds and flu and make symptoms milder when infections do occur.
American ginseng is used for other infections including HIV/AIDS, infections of the intestine (dysentery), and particular infections (Pseudomonas infections) that are common in people with cystic fibrosis. Some people use American ginseng to improve digestion and for loss of appetite, as well as for vomiting, inflammation of the colon (colitis), and inflammation of the lining of the stomach (gastritis).
American ginseng is also used for low iron in the blood (anemia), diabetes, insulin resistance related to HIV treatments, cancer-related fatigue, high blood pressure,trouble sleeping (insomnia), nerve pain, erectile dysfunction (ED), fever, hangovervsymptoms, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), blood and bleeding disorders, breast cancer, dizziness, headaches, convulsions, fibromyalgia, “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), memory loss, rheumatoid arthritis, schizophrenia, improving athletic performance, improving mental performance, as an anti-aging aid, menopausal symptoms, complications during pregnancy or childbirth, and for nervous exhaustion (neurasthenia).
Ashwagandha – is an adaptogenic herb popular in Ayurvedic medicine that has shown incredible results for lowering cortisol and balancing thyroid hormones.
In India, ashwagandha is known as the “strength of the stallion” since it has traditionally been used to strengthen the immune system after illness.
Ashwagandha has also been referred to as Indian ginseng because of its ability to enhance stamina and has extraordinary stress relieving properties.
There have been over 200 studies on Ashwagandha’s ability to:
Improve thyroid function
Treat adrenal fatigue
Reduce anxiety and depression
Combat effects of stress
Increase stamina and endurance
Prevent and treat cancer
Reduce brain cell degeneration
Stabilize blood sugar
Rhodiola rosea – is a herb in the rhodiola genera (Crassulaceae family) which has traditional usage as an anti-fatigue agent and Adaptogen compound, and rhodiola is likely the second most popular adaptogen (second only to Panax ginseng).
In regards to fatigue, rhodiola appears to be able to significantly reduce the effects of prolonged and minor physical exhaustion that results in fatigue. This is more related to stress and the ‘burnout’ effect, or prolonged but low intensity physical exercise. There is some limited evidence that parameters of physical exercise can be improved with rhodiola, but this appears to be limited to untrained persons with numerous studies on trained athletes suggesting that rhodiola does not have an acute ergogenic effect. Despite this, rhodiola appears to be highly reliable in reducing fatigue symptoms and improving symptoms of stress (and secondary to that, well-being) in persons fatigued from non-exercise related stressors.
N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine – is a brain supplement that has quickly grown in popularity. This amino acid is critical for a number of different bodily functions such as cognitive processes, building muscles, and cell growth and recovery. Taking N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine can support peak performance from both your brain and body by alleviating stress, stimulating your mind and improving neural communication. It is one of the cognitive enhancement supplements that can promote better balance in the neurotransmitter levels in your brain.
Licorice root – Licorice root contains many anti-depressant compounds and is an excellent alternative to St. John’s Wort. As a herbal medicine it has an impressive list of well documented uses and is probably one of the most over-looked of all herbal wonders. Licorice is useful for many ailments including asthma, athlete’s foot, baldness, body odor, bursitis, canker sores, chronic fatigue, depression, colds and flu, coughs, dandruff, emphysema, gingivitis and tooth decay, gout, heartburn, HIV, viral infections, fungal infections, ulcers, liver problems, Lyme disease, menopause, psoriasis, shingles, sore throat, tendinitis, tuberculosis, ulcers, yeast infections, prostate enlargement and arthritis.
Hundreds of potentially healing substances have been identified in licorice as well, including compounds called flavonoids and various plant estrogens (phytoestrogens). The herb’s key therapeutic compound, glycyrrhizin (which is 50 times sweeter than sugar) exerts numerous beneficial effects on the body, making licorice a valuable herb for treating a host of ailments. It seems to prevent the breakdown of adrenal hormones such as cortisol (the body’s primary stress-fighting adrenal hormone), making these hormones more available to the body.
It has a well-documented reputation for healing ulcers. It can lower stomach acid levels, relieve heartburn and indigestion and acts as a mild laxative.
It can also be used for irritation, inflammation and spasm in the digestive tract. Through its beneficial action on the liver, it increases bile flow and lowers cholesterol levels.
Licorice also appears to enhance immunity by boosting levels of interferon, a key immune system chemical that fights off attacking viruses. It also contains powerful antioxidants as well as certain phytoestrogens that can perform some of the functions of the body’s natural estrogens; very helpful during the menopause. Glycyrrhizinic acid also seems to stop the growth of many bacteria and of viruses such as influenza A.
In the respiratory system it has a similarly soothing and healing action, reducing irritation and inflammation and has an expectorant effect, useful in irritating coughs, asthma and chest infections.
It has an aspirin-like action and is helpful in relieving fevers and soothing pain such as headaches. Its anti-allergenic effect is very useful for hay fever, allergic rhinitis, conjunctivitis and bronchial asthma. Possibly by its action on the adrenal glands, licorice has the ability to improve resistance to stress. It should be thought of during times of both physical and emotional stress, after surgery or during convalescence, or when feeling tired and run down.