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Adaptogens Against Fatigue in ME/CFS?

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

  1. Cindi

    Cindi Senior Member

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    Hi Cort and all

    I have tried couple of adaptogens. Personally i found siberian ginseng to be the most suitable for me.I also tried rhodiola,ashwaganda.If you are testing any adaptogen i would suggest you to check for symptoms of hyperactivity. If this occurs stay away from that adaptogen. I used rhodiola for a while, than i started developing some hypomania symptoms. Later i read somewhere that increasing dopamine if person is low in serotonine could trigger hypomania. And again sometime later i read somewhere that rhodiola was dopamine enhencer. And i am low in serotonin. So, rhodiola was not a right choice for me.Not all of you may be low in serotonin. I am thinking this occurs at late stages of the illness but i just wished to give caution. When taking adaptogens it is important to take them on empty stomach at least 20 minutes before meal. I suggest to start with morning dose and than if no problems are observed noon dose may be added. desired short term effect is to notice calming down and increased stress response regulation.In long term you will notice overall increased wellness. When using adaptogens it is advised to give some breaks. I was giving a week break after three weeks usage.best wishes.
     
  2. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    So it adapted you upwards? That was my problem with ginseng (and most supplements and treatments), eventually - usually very quickly them made me jittery and anxious. Thanks for the warning. :)
     
  3. Lisa

    Lisa Senior Member

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    I have been using Rhodiola for a few years now. Only one dose a day but on an empty stomach before breakfast. At first I noticed some great benefits but after a small crash a couple weeks after starting it I haven't noticed anything directly while taking it, but rather I notice it's absence only.

    Seems that when I take a break from it then I tend to have just a bit less stamina and everything is just a little bit harder. It creeps up on me too so that I don't notice the loss until I am back on Rhodiola for a bit and then wake up one day realizing that I just had a bit of a slump that I've been pulling out of.

    Brand of Rhodiola seems to make a difference. I have had to go to a cheaper brand which while it does work, it doesn't seem to work as well.
     
  4. Cindi

    Cindi Senior Member

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    Let me try to explain.I have first tried korean ginseng and ashwaganda previously. Those made me jittery and anxious starting from the first couple of dosages.Problem with rhodiola was little different. it seemed to be working. I had some stress response regulation effect,i also felt much happier and purposeful with it. It did not give me anxiety or jitteriness but over long term of taking it(Can't remember how many months,now) I started having severe insomnia and hypomania type of problems. But as i said before i was serotonin deficient and it seems that taking dopamine enhancing supplements while being low in serotonine may cause this problem. If one is not serotonin deficient,it may not create much problems.Just something to keep in mind.
    Have you tried siberian ginseng? It works best for me. It is calming adaptogen. After this rhodiola experience i am afraid to use adaptogens for long term (I am not sure about this adaptogen and low serotonin connection)but i use it on days when i will have stressful issue. best wishes.
     
  5. Cindi

    Cindi Senior Member

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    AFAIK you need to give breaks when taking adaptogens to allow hpa axis to recover normal functioning.
    best wishes.
     
  6. ramakentesh

    ramakentesh Senior Member

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    this still working for you Cort?
     
  7. Hysterical Woman

    Hysterical Woman Senior Member

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    Cort - adaptogen

    Hi Cort,

    In the herb world I think adaptogen means that it would "balance" a problem whether the problem was an excess or deficiet. They have the ability to either increase or decrease body functions, according to its need.

    For example, when people say they want to "boost" their immune systems what does that really mean? I don't want all of my immune system boosted because part of it is overactive and part is underactive. I want an immune system modulator that is adaptogenic - helping give each part of the system what it needs.

    Hope that helps, it you want more let me know and I will look more up in my herb books. Someone else might have a better explanation.

    Take care,

    Maxine
     
  8. Hysterical Woman

    Hysterical Woman Senior Member

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    Rhodiola

    From "Herbal Remedies" by Hershoff:

    Thodiola ** - Golden Root/Rhodiola rosea

    *Increases immunity, prolongs life span, increases exercise capacity
    *Clears toxins, strengthens nervous and digestive system. Reduces fatigue.
     
  9. klutzo

    klutzo Senior Member

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    Siberian Ginseng

    Just a caution on Siberian Ginseng. It is widely and wrongly thought that it is the one exception among Ginsengs and will not raise blood pressure like the other ginsengs do, unless you need your blood pressure raised. That is not true.

    If you have high blood pressure you may be fine for about ten days, but after that your blood pressure can potentially soar, so please monitor it regularly with a home BP cuff if you try taking it.

    I know this from studying Naturopathy and from personal experience in experimenting with it. However, for those who have blood pressure that is too low, it may be just what you need.

    klutzo
     
  10. starcycle

    starcycle Guest

    I've never had good luck with these so-called "adaptogens." They really wreak all kinds of havoc on my HPAA, moods, energy. Theoretically they would seem to be some of the best things to take, but they never work out that way for me, at least. I've tried tons of them, including american, korean, chinese, siberian ginseng, ashwaghanda (which on paper looks like one of greatest substances on earth), rhodiola, jiaogulan, schizandra (another miracle herb I wish I could take), and probably a half dozen more I'm forgetting. I know there's some adaptogen berry the name of which I forget but which had bad depression effects. The studies all say they lower adrenal weight, too, which I never really understood. I guess by altering the HPAA the adrenals work less and atrophy, but it seems like in CFS it should do the opposite and increase adrenal weight if it's an "adaptogen." So I don't really get it, but just wanted to say I never had success with them, unfortunately.
     
  11. klutzo

    klutzo Senior Member

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    Ashwaghanda and "adrenal weight"

    Hi Starcycle,
    I don't know if you also have Lyme, but if you do, ashwaghanda is only recommended in stage I. It is considered a no-no for established infections. I don't remember the reason why, but you can find out in Harold Buhner's widely read book on herbal treatment of Lyme, or go over to LymeNet and do a search for the herb or for Buhner.

    I may be interpreting the phrase "adrenal weight" all wrong, since I am reading it out of context, but I did not think it meant the actual weight of the glands, which as you say, are often shrunken in CFS, so making them even smaller would make no sense. I thought it meant excess body weight put on in a pattern that suggests imbalanced adrenals, in otherwords, a big gut. Out of balance adrenals can lead to a central body weight problem. Adaptogens, esp. ginsengs, are supposed to speed metabolism to help you lose that kind of weight.

    klutzo
     
  12. Sunday

    Sunday Senior Member

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    Interesting to read all these reactions to rhodiola, as I'm thinking of trying it now. I've used many adaptogens over the years, and nattered with other adaptogen-users: it's clear that our body chemistries are different and require different things. Our body chemistry (and therefore likely our reactions to adaptogens) changes with the seasons, our health, our moods, our age. Even one word can entirely change our body chemistry for better or worse. So it's good to keep checking in and exchanging info and ideas!
     
  13. sueharv

    sueharv Guest

    Pain gone completely

    I have had CFS for over thirty years and have suffered the aches that curl my body and even bring tears.
    For the last six months I have taken Rhodiola Rosea and I no longer suffer from this debilitating pain.
    It has also increased my energy and cognitive functions.
    Please read a book called, "The Rhodiola Revolution", which is written by two American doctors. It goes into
    depth of explanation. Unlike all other things I've tried, this one works.
    Sue
     
  14. Samuel

    Samuel Bedbound with NO DOCTOR

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Did you diagnose using the Canadian definition?
     
  15. Sunday

    Sunday Senior Member

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    I'm interested to hear this. I've ordered some rhodiola to try along with the active B12s I'm using (and having some success with).

    That's great the rhodiola worked so well for you. I'd be curious to know how long it took for you to feel results.
     
  16. cfs since 1998

    cfs since 1998 *****

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    I've tried several adaptogens. Primarily I've used Seriphos which was recommended to me by a naturopath, and holy basil, which I selected myself. They both do the same thing, in fact I can't tell a difference. They will reduce excess cortisol (sometimes it is high in CFS, and cortisol turns on XMRV). The bad thing is that the effect lasts only about 4 to 5 hours, at which point it suddenly wears off and I experience what seems like a rebound. It is especially noticeable if taken right before bed--I will wake up in the middle of the night 4-5 hours later with a very hot, flushed feeling, racing heartbeat, and nervous feeling. The higher the dosage, the worse the rebound is. It seems like a timed-release adaptogen would take care of this but I have not found any.

    Adaptogens have helped me with anxiety, tachycardia at rest, and insomnia (when it is caused by the first two problems), and sometimes taking them gives me a boost of energy when I first get out of bed. However, the rebound in the middle of the night often ruins it if I can't fall asleep again right away. Once in a while, I will stay asleep though the rebound until my normal wakeup time, or if I do wake up from the rebound effect I'll take more and fall asleep right away, and these occasions are usually followed by above-average days. The have been a few times where I woke up and almost felt normal, but that feeling vanished into thin air within a few minutes. Usually it takes me awhile to fall back asleep though, which isn't good, and so I do not use adaptogens nearly as much as I used to. I used to take them every day, then stopped completely when I shifted to an antiviral approach. I only recently started them again because I think the antiviral have worsened my adrenal gland situation slightly.

    I've also tried Relora but honestly don't remember what it did. I think it might have been the same problem as the others. Relora is an adoptgen made from magnolia bark with a patented formula, although it's marketed as a weight loss supplement. Many companies sell it, I assume they've licensed the patent and make it themselves. I've seen it from NOW, Source Naturals, etc.
     
  17. Hysterical Woman

    Hysterical Woman Senior Member

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    Hi CFS Since,

    I was taking holy basil for a while and it really helped me. Thank goodness I didn't experience any rebound effect like you - does not sound very pleasant. I would still be taking it now but am on magnesium, inosine, artesunate, and about to start wormwood and possibly B12 injections. I am not good at starting or being on large amounts of things at once since I can never tell what is working or not working.

    I was taking the holy basil in tea form. Were you taking it in tea or capsules?

    Take care,

    HW
     
  18. cfs since 1998

    cfs since 1998 *****

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    I have only take it in capsules or gel caps. Were you taking your holy basil tea throughout the day or at night? I wonder if the tea would be absorbed more slowly since it's a liquid, or maybe the dosage is lower. The rebound seems to only happen if I take it before bed, but the whole reason I take it in the first place is to help sleep, so it seems counterproductive. I had a non-CFS friend try some holy basil and he reported the same thing--woke up in the middle of the night very hot and with a rapid heartbeat.
     
  19. Hysterical Woman

    Hysterical Woman Senior Member

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    Hi CFS,

    No, never took it at night since the herbalist in the health food store said it could help with energy. I would drink one cup about 9 am and another about 11am or so. It is also called Tulsi tea - original, not peppermint or any other flavor. Let us know if you try it.

    HTH,

    HW
     
  20. cfs since 1998

    cfs since 1998 *****

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    I see, that makes sense. Apparently taking adaptogens at night is going about it the wrong way. Though, I did have elevated evening cortisol which is what prompted me to take it (I think I 'discovered' holy basil by looking for things that reduce cortisol), and I don't seem to have that problem anymore. If there was a way to take it through an IV while I was asleep and have it stop an hour before I woke up, that would be amazing! But I don't see that happening so--oh well. I might try taking it early in the day like you did.
     

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