Learn More About Energy Herbs
Among the most frequently asked questions of health food store employees by their customers is, “What have you got for more energy?”
Keep in mind that we are all biochemically unique, so that what works for one may not work for all. But sufferers these days sufferers of fatigue do have many natural options to help restore their vigor.
Let’s start with something basic, namely, the effect of such stimulants as coffee, tea, and guarana. All of these contain caffeine, of course, a substance notorious for taking as much as it gives.
But it is interesting to consider just exactly what it is that caffeine does to the brain that makes it the world’s most popular drug.
Primarily, caffeine boosts levels of what has been described as “brain’s adrenalin,” an excitatory neurotransmitter called norepinephrine, which produces heightened energy and alterness.
The effect is temporary, of course, which is why the four and fifth cup of coffee never seem to work as well as the first and second cup.
However, the amino acid tyrosine is the raw material used to manufacture norepinephrine. While prolonged caffeine use depletes levels of this neurotransmitter, taking a few hundred milligrams of tyrosine a day can bring neurotransmitters to something like an optimal level. Some researchers and doctors contend that the best absorbed form of this amino acid is N-acetyl-tyrosine, because it is more soluble in water.
Whichever form you use, be sure to take tyrosine on an empty stomach, and with its nutrient co-factors vitamins B-6 and C.
Of course, chronic stress and overwork can cause the adrenals to weaken, making overwhelming fatigue almost a certainty. For this we have herbal formulas.
A good adrenal formula should contain the Russian adaptogen rhodiola, shown to improve slow-wave sleep and thereby promote restfulness. Rhodiola is also considered by some herbalists to be unusually fast acting, a boon to those who cannot afford to wait twelve weeks before experiencing relief.
Other useful herbs often found in restorative formulas include eleuthro (formerly known as Siberian Ginseng), as well as ashwaganda (another substance that promotes restful sleep) and the Chinese adaptogen schizandra.
Beyond a doubt, the most famous energy-boosting herb is ginseng, found in two main varieties, American and Korean. The American form can most usefully be regarded as “cooler” and “smooth,” best for people suffering from what might be thought of as run-of-the-mill tiredness, perhaps because of the demands of school or a job.
The “hotter” ginseng, the Korean variety, appears to be most useful for those suffering form severe fatigue, such as recovery from a prolonged illness or who are in training for an athletic event.
It is important to note that Chinese herbalists often advocate taking a “vacation” from ginseng, perhaps abstaining from it one week out of every twelve.
If you simply must use caffeine for a quick energy fix, try to do so in the form of green tea or year mate, both of which contain other useful compounds such as theanine that serve to reduce caffeine’s adrenalin-stressing effects.
Also, do not neglect to take a daily multivitaim. While the effects may not be immediately dramatic, if done regularly, it will promote a generally higher level of wellness and energy.
And lastly, although it may sound counterintuitive, consider taking a sleep formula to increase energy levels. Many people who think that they suffer form a lack of energy really just don’t get enough sleep. For some people melatonin (preferably in the timed release form) can help, while others do better with an herbally based sleep aid.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.