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Re(1): Herbal Advice Requested

Hi Camille,

To start with I want to point out that many of the symptoms you mentioned are not from low adrenals but are rather symptoms of hypothyroidism. Even though hypothyroidism can result from low adrenal function there are also a number of other causes including estrogen, which is why woman are more prone.

Candida overgrowth is known as candidiasis. It is caused from a lack of flora, which can be reduced from things such as antibiotics. The flora normally generate acids that turn off the Candida growth gene and keep the Candida in a more benign yeast form. A lack of intestinal flora also prevents the intestines from functioning properly since intestinal peristalsis is largely controlled by the serotonin produced by the flora.

The best way to reestablish the flora is with cultured foods such as kefirs, fresh sauerkraut or similar cultured vegetables, miso, tempeh, etc. You will also need to feed the flora to help them populate. The primary food for the flora are dietary fibers. My favorites are rice bran or oat bran, but vegetable fibers are also excellent. This includes gums such as xanthan gum, konjac gum, guar gum, etc.

As for your adrenals the maca helps due to the sterol content. But it is also high in carbohydrates that can be fermented by the carbohydrates, which can account for some of the problems you had with it. A better option is the herb jiaogulan (Gynostemma), which has more sterols than maca and less fermentable carbohydrates. Maca has 5 sterols while jiaogulan has around 90.

Your reaction to the ashwagandha sounds more like an allergic reaction. The amount you took was too low to have any real effect otherwise, and ashwagandha is not a stimulant anyway. It is a sedative since it elevates GABA levels in the brain.

I don't think it is your cortisol that is going up with some herbs but rather epinephrine, which is in response to allergens. Getting your adrenals up will help prevent this. You just need to find herbs you can take without stimulating an allergic reaction, which can actually weaken the adrenals.

If you want to narrow down the herbs the primary herbs I would recommend are jiaogulan, schisandra berry and licorice root. Adding more vitamin C rich foods such as berries to your diet will also help, and avoid all stimulants like caffeine. Also keep your stress levels down as much as possible. Again this will be easier as you build up your adrenals as your adrenals produce your anti-stress hormones.



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