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Adaptogens Against Fatigue in ME/CFS?

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by Cort, Jul 3, 2009.

  1. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    A recent paper touted 'adaptogens' in the fight against fatigue and poor concentration in CFS. What are adaptogens? They are herbal preparations that are believed to increase one's tolerance to mental exhaustion and to enhance one's mental endurance. One paper suggested Rhodiola was helpful in ME/CFS.


    Interestingly their mode of activity fits in quite well with several theories of any CFS; they affect the HPA axis and nitric oxide production.

    The adaptogens mentioned in this paper include Rhodiola rosea, Schisandra chinensis and Eleutherococcus senticosus. Personally I can't imagine they would turn a case of ME/CFS around - but do they help?
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19500070?ordinalpos=23&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
     
  2. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    This is something I've been learning about recently.

    They help the adrenals, which are likely for many of us at any rate, depleted.

    My son and husband have both responded somewhat to Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus), and my son is taking drops that are mostly borage with a couple other (nasty tasting) ingredients.

    I have taken a few different types of adaptogens myself at different times and I think they helped.

    When I first went to my naturopath, Dr. Upcott, she put me on a tincture which had many ingredients, but predominantly reishi and shitaki mushrooms.

    It tasted evil, but I started having an extremely unpleasant reaction to it within hours. My face felt hot and prickly and I hurt from the top of my head to the soles of my feet the first evening, felt nauseated, etc.

    Over the next day or so that mostly evened out. But with every tsp, within hours I would have this heat and prickling sensation, mostly in my face and ears, but often in my legs as well.

    Over the next few months, these reactions gradually diminished and ultimately disappeared. I stayed on that stuff for almost 2 yrs. I am firmly convinced that it was a big part of my recovery.
     
  3. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    Wow - that's great news. Ive got to try that stuff. I really responded really well to a lot of stuff over time but if I kept taking it it was like my body couldn't handle the increased energy; I would get really jittery, my joints would hurt and I basically just fall apart.

    By Ive slowed down my system quite a bit. Ginseng worked for me in the past - I think I'll give all of those things a shot - thanks!
     
  4. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    I had the jittery / "speeding" (well, speeding for someone with cfs:) reaction from Siberian ginseng.

    Licorice and Ashwaghanda are good ones, apparently more for women though, they can lower testosterone.

    Ashwaghanda, if I take like every other day, may be helping me, don't really know at this point. I do know if I take it every day (or God forbid 2x a day as I was for a bit) I get restless leg syndrome and charlie horses. Go figger.

    For men feeling rundown and listless, Tribulus is also a good adaptogen. It also raises testosterone.

    And Rhodiola rosea is also supposed to be excellent, as is cordyceps.

    Cort, have you ever been to a naturopath? You may have said but I can't remember.:)
     
  5. Frank

    Frank Senior Member

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    Link on Rhodiola Rosea from american botanical council: rhodiola

    Appealing to me is this graph, look at AMYGDALA, HYPOTHALAMUS:
    [​IMG]

    But then again there are a lot of may's, mights and could be's in the text

    I personally took this herb for a few months. However i didn't ask myself the questions: dosage? How much of active ingredints?; etc.. It could be more helpful maybe if using it long-term in potent dosages?

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/...nel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
     
  6. Frank

    Frank Senior Member

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  7. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Hi S5

    (Hope you don't mind the nickname:))

    Welcome to the forums.

    Chinese medicine, to me, seems like a brand new universe to check out.

    As you say, there were maybe's in the text. And there are maybe's in Chinese medicine as well. But seems like there are maybe's in everything that has to do with CFS.

    Less chance of harmful side effects with the adaptogens, at least. And you don't need somebody's okay to go on their list of guinea pigs either.
     
  8. Frank

    Frank Senior Member

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    Hi Jody,

    Sure you can call me S5 ;)

    I was thinking, Gupta, Mickel and even psychological school (in Belgium) concentrates on Hypothalamus, so there is probably some unexplored terrain regarding herbs in that area.

    http://www.genostim.com/pdf/hpaa_affects_endocrine.pdf
     
  9. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    S5,

    I was looking at that link you just posted, and that is a long read!

    I read the first couple of pages though and I must say, I like that guy, whoever he is. I like how he thinks.

    I'll read more of it when I have a chance.

    Thanks for posting it.
     
  10. Frank

    Frank Senior Member

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    I'm thinking about mixing up adaptogens or buying a mix somewhere, like for example rhodiola in high dosages is likely to give more restlesness, but in moderate dosages it's positive, so the mix would contain moderate dose rhodiola.
     
  11. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    S5,

    Sounds doable.

    Have you taken adaptogens before?
     
  12. Frank

    Frank Senior Member

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    yes, but i think not in potent dosages
     
  13. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    S5,

    What have you taken before? Did it seem to do anything for you?

    Did you have a doctor or naturopath advising you or are you wingin' it?:)
     
  14. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    Rhodiola Rocks! (maybe)

    Some people are very high on Rhodiola. It's an adaptogen -I'm still not sure what that means - but check out this latest study; it's on rats not humans (rats!) but they were looking at exercise and fatigue.

    Am J Chin Med. 2009;37(3):557-72. Links
    Chronic Rhodiola rosea Extract Supplementation Enforces Exhaustive Swimming Tolerance.

    It seems to help healthy rats exercise more! I'm not sure what that means for ME/CFS patients but its a start.
     
  15. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Here's a little info about Rhodiola Rosea from Wikipedia.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhodiola_rosea

    Below is an excerpt from the webpage. There was a little bit about rats here too but I left it out for you, Cort.:D

    Uses of Rhodiola rosea

    PlantRhodiola rosea may be effective for improving mood and alleviating depression. Pilot studies on human subjects[2][3][4] showed that it improves physical and mental performance, and may reduce fatigue.

    Rhodiola rosea's effects potentially are related to optimizing serotonin and dopamine levels due to monoamine oxidase inhibition and its influence on opioid peptides such as beta-endorphins, [5] although these specific neurochemical mechanisms have not been clearly documented with scientific studies.

    Rhodiola is included among a class of plant derivatives called adaptogens which differ from chemical stimulants, such as nicotine, and do not have the same physiological effects.

    In Russia and Scandinavia, Rhodiola rosea, also known as golden root, has been used for centuries to cope with the cold Siberian climate and stressful life.
     
  16. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Here's a little information on adaptogens from Wikipedia.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adaptogen

     
  17. camio

    camio Guest

    I find Rhodiola helpful

    I use GAIA Herbs Liquid Phyto-Caps of Siberian Rhodiola Rosea (400mg) every morning before breakfast. Suggested use is to take 1 w/ warm liquid 30 minutes before a meal (or 1 hour after) twice a day.

    I usually forget to take a mid-day dose, but I find this works better for me than Provigil did. Helps me focus and get through the work day - not perfect, but every little bit helps!
     
  18. Stuart

    Stuart Senior Member

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    Gemmo's, Unda's, Tinctures, Herbs, Rizols

    I have taken adaptogens in various forms. The problem is always that you are getting and need multiple modalities running at the same time, so it is often difficult to know if something is helpful or hurtful unless you get a very strong reaction when you begin something.

    I have tried commercial preparations, custom tinctures and whole herbs to brew as tea (not the tasty kind but rather nasty tasting!). Unda's are numbered blends of homeopathics.

    Tulsi is a great herbal adaptogen, aka holy basil, it is revitalizing and gives me a boost of mental clarity and sometimes a bit of energy.

    Gemmo's or gemmotherapy are adaptogens, they are derived mostly from the young buds or shoots on trees, shrubs, and flowers which are like plant embryo stem cells. I have read they are to help open pathways and aid detox. I have used a brand made in Belgium called Herbal Gem or Gem Base www.herbalgem.com they are sold in the US at www.gemmos-usa.com. I used the single bud variaties not complexes in 15 ml bottles and they aren't cheap. Items I used were Hedge Maple, Olive, and Ash.
    A nice presentation on Gemmo's here http://www.gemmos-usa.com/yahoo_sit...ntro_To_Plant_Stem_Cells_Therapy.24750551.pdf

    More unusual is something called a Rizol or ozonated oil, oils or blends of oils are infused with ozone and bottled, a 20 ml bottle can cost you over $50. I am not clear about why different oils are used, but it transports the ozone and is supposed to fight infectious agents.

    The problem with most of these is expense, often you are told you have to be on them for quite some time to see if they work, but when each bottle is 20, 30, 50 dollars or more it is difficult to stay on them if they don't seem to be effective before your financial pain threshold sets in!
     
  19. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Stuart,

    Yeah, the expense is the stickler, as with so many things that could help.

    You sound pretty knowledgeable in the adaptogen department, you've tried quite a few.

    My knowledge is somewhat limited, though I know a lot more than I did 2 years ago. I would like to know more ... like to get more of them as well ... :D
     
  20. Frank

    Frank Senior Member

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    Well I am from Belgium. My opinion on those Gemmo therapy tinctures is that you better be carefull, because they consist of +/- 30% alcohol. I tried one of them for sleeping and i didn't like it. But maybe other will have benefits. Anyway let's keep this topic about Adaptogens: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adaptogen
     

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