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Adrenal Glandular, Ashwaghanda, Butcher's Broom, Rhodiola, Horse Chestnut and POTS

Discussion in 'Alternative Therapies' started by Mya Symons, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. Mya Symons

    Mya Symons Mya Symons

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    Has anyone ever tried any of these things for POTS: Bovine or Porcine Glandular, Ashwaghanda, Butcher's Broom, Rhodiola, or Horsechestnut? If so, what was your experience?


    Butcher’s Broom -The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
    Ruscus aculeatus (Butcher's Broom) as a Potential Treatment for Orthostatic Hypotension, with a Case Report
    To cite this article:
    Deborah A. Redman. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. December 2000, 6(6): 539-549. doi:10.1089/acm.2000.6.539.
    Published in Volume: 6 Issue 6: September 24, 2007
    Full Text PDF (1,102.1 KB) Full Text PDF with Links (325.6 KB)
    Author information
    Deborah A. Redman, Ph.D., N.D., C.N.C.
    American University, Washington, D.C.
    ABSTRACT
    Context: Chronic orthostatic hypotension (OH) is frequently a severely debilitating disease that affects large groups of the population with autonomic insufficiency—the elderly; patients with diabetes, Parkinson's disease, and chronic fatigue syndrome; and anyone on drugs that affect the autonomic nervous system. Unfortunately, even though more than 60 medications are currently being used to treat OH, none of them is particularly or consistently effective. Ruscus aculeatus, a phytotherapeutic agent that is well known in Europe, may, however, change this. Its vasoconstrictive and venotonic properties make it ideally suited to treat the pooling of blood in the limbs, lack of venous tone, and lack of neurally mediated vasoconstriction that frequently characterize OH. Although it has never been suggested as a treatment for OH, it already has a long, proven record of use in Europe for treating a variety of circulatory disorders.
    Objective: To provide evidence for what appears to be an effective, safe, inexpensive botanical therapy for OH and encourage further studies on the efficacy of Ruscus for OH patients.
    Design: Review of OH and therapies currently available for OH and evaluation of the properties of Ruscus aculeatus, its mechanism of action, and its suitability as a therapeutic agent for treatment of OH.
    Results: A review of the many pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic agents for treating OH reveals that all of the drug therapies are disappointing and marginally useful. Although nonpharmacologic management is preferred, in the many cases in which OH becomes debilitating, pharmacologic intervention becomes a last resort. But drug therapy may not always be necessary, because Ruscus aculeatus, a phytotherapeutic agent containing ruscogenins and flavonoids, may prove useful for the treatment of OH if denervation is not so advanced that it has compromised receptor activity at the venous wall. Ruscus aculeatus is an α-adrenergic agonist that causes venous constriction by directly activating postjunctional α 1- and α 2-receptors, in turn stimulating the release of noradrenaline at the level of the vascular wall. It also possesses venotonic properties: it reduces venous capacity and pooling of blood in the legs and exerts protective effects on capillaries, the vascular endothelium, and smooth muscle. Its flavonoid content strengthens blood vessels, reduces capillary fragility, and helps maintain healthy circulation. Unlike most of the drug therapies used to treat OH, Ruscus aculeatus does not cause supine hypertension. It also appears to do something no other therapy can offer—alleviate the worsening effects of OH in environmentally hot conditions. Finally, it is an extremely safe, inexpensive, over-the-counter botanical medicine.
    Conclusion: With proven phlebotherapeutic properties, including vasoconstrictive action and venotonic properties, Ruscus aculeatus shows great promise for ameliorating the symptoms of OH and improving the quality of life for large groups in the population. It clearly deserves to be the object of wider research and study as a treatment for OH.


    Rhodiola -J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2010 Mar;50(1):57-63.
    Effects of chronic Rhodiola Rosea supplementation on sport performance and antioxidant capacity in trained male: preliminary results.
    Parisi A, Tranchita E, Duranti G, Ciminelli E, Quaranta F, Ceci R, Cerulli C, Borrione P, Sabatini S.
    Source
    Department of Health Sciences, Laboratory of Sports Medicine and Sport Related Nutrition University of Rome Foro Italico - IUSM, Rome, Italy. attilio.parisi@iusm.it
    Abstract
    AIM:
    Rhodiola Rosea, is an adaptogen plant which has been reported to promote fatty acids utilisation, to ameliorate antioxidant function, and to improve body resistance to physical strenuous efforts. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects on physical performance as well as on the redox status of a chronic Rhodiola Rosea supplementation in a group of competitive athletes during endurance exercise.
    METHODS: Following a chronic supplementation with Rhodiola Rosea for 4 weeks, 14 trained male athletes underwent a cardio-pulmonary exhaustion test and blood samples to evaluate their antioxidant status and other biochemical parameters. These data were compared with those coming from the same athletes after an intake of placebo.
    RESULTS: The evaluation of physical performance parameters showed that HR Max, Borg Scale level, VO(2) max and duration of the test were essentially unaffected by Rhodiola Rosea assumption. On the contrary, Rhodiola Rosea intake reduced, in a statistically significative manner, plasma free fatty acids levels. No effect on blood glucose was found. Blood antioxidant status and inflammatory parameters resulted unaffected by Rhodiola Rosea supplementation. Blood lactate and plasma creatine kinase levels were found significantly lower (P<0.05) in Rhodiola Rosea treated subjects when compared to the placebo treated group.
    CONCLUSION: Chronic Rhodiola Rosea supplementation is able to reduce both lactate levels and parameters of skeletal muscle damage after an exhaustive exercise session. Moreover this supplementation seems to ameliorate fatty acid consumption. Taken together those observation confirm that Rhodiola Rosea may increase the adaptogen ability to physical exercise.
    PMID: 20308973 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    Horse Chestnut - Vascular Pharmacology
    Volume 47, Issue 1, July 2007, Pages 68–73
    Endothelium protectant and contractile effects of the antivaricose principle escin in rat aorta
    Omar F. Carrasco, Horacio Vidrio,
    Department of Pharmacology School of Medicine, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Apartado Postal 70297, 04510 Mexico, D.F. Mexico
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vph.2007.04.003, How to Cite or Link Using DOI
    Permissions & Reprints
    Abstract
    The triterpene saponin escin is the active component of the extract of seeds of Aesculus hippocastanum used in the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency. Escin is also used experimentally to increase membrane permeability in isolated cells. Since endothelial dysfunction is postulated to be involved in venous insufficiency, the possible endothelium-protectant effect of escin was explored in rat aortic rings, a model widely used to study such effects with cardiovascular agents. Escin enhanced endothelium-dependent relaxation induced by acetylcholine when such relaxation had been reduced by exposure to the superoxide ion generator pyrogallol. This effect was attributed to enhanced nitric oxide production by endothelial nitric oxide synthase, a calcium-dependent enzyme, activated by the increased endothelial cell permeability to calcium induced by escin. Another effect of escin thought to contribute to its therapeutic activity is its ability to produce venous contraction. The compound was found to induce concentration-related contraction also in rat aortic rings. This response was partially inhibited by removal of the endothelium or by preincubation with indomethacin, and was completely abolished by incubation in a calcium-free perfusion fluid. Contraction was considered to be due mainly to the aforementioned effect on calcium permeability, with some mediation by release of endothelial vasoconstrictor prostanoids. It was concluded that, in rat aorta, escin possesses an endothelium-protectant action and a direct contractile effect. The former could contribute to its beneficial effect in the treatment of venous insufficiency, while the latter could constitute a limiting side effect.


    • Novel treatment (new drug/interventions; established drug/procedure in new situation)
    Ashwagandha root in the treatment of non-classical adrenal hyperplasia

    +
    Author Affiliations

    1. 1Department of Internal Medicine, Woodhull Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York, USA
    2. 2Department of Internal Medicine, St George’s University School of Medicine, Grenada, WI
    3. 3Department of Endocrinology, Woodhull Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York, USA
    4. 4Department of Internal Medicine, New York University, New York, New York, USA
    5. 5Department of Internal Medicine, St. George’s University School of Medicine, Grenada, WI
    6. 6Department of Internal Medicine, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY USA
    1. Correspondence toDr Alan Sacerdote, Alan.Sacerdote@woodhullhc.nychhc.org

    Summary

    Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is a well-characterised family of disorders of the adrenal cortices, resulting in varying degrees of cortisol, aldosterone and androgen deficiency or androgen excess, depending on the enzyme(s) affected and the degree of quantitative or functional enzyme deficit. Withania somnifera (WS), commonly known as Ashwagandha, is a medicinal plant that has been employed for centuries in ayurvedic medicine. Preclinical studies have shown that WS increases circulating cortisol levels and improves insulin sensitivity. We report the case of a 57-year-old woman with non-classical adrenal hyperplasia due to both 3-β-ol dehydrogenase deficiency and aldosterone synthase deficiency who was self-treated with WS for 6 months. After 6 months of treatment her serum 18-OH-hydroxycorticoserone, 17-OH-pregnenolone, corticosterone and 11-deoxycortisol decreased by 31%, 66%, 69% and 55%, respectively. The biochemical improvement was accompanied by a noticeable reduction in scalp hair loss.
    golden likes this.
  2. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    Mya Symons

    I have tried all of these for OI--didn't notice any thing. Agree, it sounds right though! :(

    Sushi
  3. Plum

    Plum Senior Member

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    My limited experience: if you have severe adrenal fatigue be very careful with glandulars and ashwaghanda. I know both are often recommended in this case but when it becomes really severe they don't help but make you feel worse.

    adrenal glandular made my POTS worse. ashwaghanda did nothing. rhodiola did nothing. This may in fact be due to severe adrenal issues so I don't know how people feel when adrenal issues aren't severe!
    L'engle and Sparrowhawk like this.
  4. Mr. Cat

    Mr. Cat Senior Member

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    I don't have POTS, but have tried Ashwaganda, Rhodiola, and a licorice/adrenal supplement, all for adrenals/energy. I think it's different strokes for different folks. Ashwaganda seemed to work for me, but my acupuncturist said it was too "heating" for my constitution, and told me not to take it. Other adaptagens (of which Rhodiola is one) boosted my adrenals some, but Rhodiola, even in extremely small doses, gave me anxiety, so wasn't worth it. I know it doesn't do that for everyone, though. I am now taking a prescription supplement called Adrenacort, with licorice and adrenal tissue, and it seems to be gently doing the job of giving me more energy. I think all these are like sledgehammers, and though they may provide more energy, they may have side effects on other organ systems. The acupunturist/Chinese medicine doctor I am seeing has been helpful in finding the right stimulants to use that address my symptoms, but I suppose one could just take these on one's own and see what happens. That's what I do with a lot of Western supplements.
  5. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    Ashwagandha can be pretty thyroid stimulating, apparently. I always get depressed when I take it. Rhodiolo gives me a pretty linear boost, but then there's a crash, with some irritability and anxiety for a few days. I wouldn't take it with an SSRI. Butcher's broom I thought was more anti-inflammatory - I took it years ago for allergy, but never heard of taking it for OI.

    I probably couldn't get out of bed or even function without licorice extract. It has to be Baschetti licorice root extract, though. Regular licorice extract (from the whole plant?) isn't the same and seems to have different effects. I've been meaning to try the Nutricology licorice extract, but haven't gotten around to it yet.
  6. Mya Symons

    Mya Symons Mya Symons

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    Thanks for the information. It does not sound promising. I wonder why adrenals don't work if used in the morning? Maybe we make even less hormone when we substitute? Strange.
  7. Mya Symons

    Mya Symons Mya Symons

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    Where do you get licorice root extract that is not Deglycyrrhizinated? I am having a hard time finding any. So, the Nutricology brand is not Deglycyrrhizinated?
  8. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    I buy mine from Clymer.

    Yeah, I believe the Nutricology is non-DG licorice, but it might not be just root extract, which is why I've been hesitant to try it:
    http://www.amazon.com/Nutricology-Licorice-Solid-Extract-Ounce/dp/B002F52LWI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1371837939&sr=8-1&keywords=nutricology licorice
  9. Mya Symons

    Mya Symons Mya Symons

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  10. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Senior Member

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    My experience is congruent with yours on all of the above. This was back when I had no clue and thought I "just had adrenal fatigue..." Licorice completely jacked with my cortisol. Adrenal glandulars made me feel "normal for about two weeks and then I had my main / original months long crash, bed bound. Experiment with care.
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  11. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I started taking licorice tea as an experiment a few days ago but I think it may be the culprit in clogging up my sinuses again. Is that likely? I was about to try a formula combining several of these adaptogens for adrenal fatigue, including licorice, and now I'm not so sure.
  12. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Senior Member

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    I couldn't say, Sasha. My thing is if some new symptom appears I back off everything e.g. All supplements, and then slowly add them back one at a time. Normally I can then identify the culprit, or learn my body just needed a break.
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  13. Plum

    Plum Senior Member

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    I have found it best to not take these formulas which mix a load of things together as you don't know what part of it might have a negative effect - esp with us being so sensitive! I would take each part of the formula as a seperate supplement and add them in one at a time.
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  14. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I'm kicking myself for ordering an expensive combined one! :cry:
  15. Plum

    Plum Senior Member

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    Sasha - well no point worrying about it. Try it and see how you go. What does it have in it? You might find yr fine :) Just some of us have learnt to be very cautious! I don't think adrenal fatigue goes away with ME - just my thoughts though.
  16. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    It's got rhodiola, licorice, aswaghanda, eleuthero, some other stuff - it's the Jarrow Adrenal Optimizer.

    When you say you don't think adrenal fatigue goes away with ME, do you mean that if you have ME and adrenal fatigue is part of it, then treating the adrenal fatigue doesn't work?
  17. Plum

    Plum Senior Member

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    I don't personally think it does. I have treated mine by the book and it should've improved and it hasn't. I think with ME, we have so many system failures that it's hard to just treat one and wait for it to improve.

    I have also come across a number of people who have ME and adrenal fatigue and nothing seems to have improved for them. But just my limited experience.

    I think a lot depends on what stage of adrenal fatigue you're in.

    I personally find things like Ashwaghanda too much for my body to deal with. I can't take Rhodiola or Licorice. But then I've seen many people who have taken it without a problem.

    IF yr adrenal fatigue is severe then tread carefully. If not then you'll probably be fine with it :)
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  18. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Hard to know if it's severe or not, at this point - I've only just had a doctor raise it as a possibility and I'm not sure how to interpret the blood cortisol tests (one random, which was normal, and one 9am, which is just off the high end of the range). A lot of the symptoms overlap with ME symptoms, though, so I'm wondering how they're going to determine whether - if they think I've got it at all - it's primary or secondary. Quite a lot of symptoms, including OI, immune suppression, etc. seem to be associated with adrenal fatigue.

    I'm desperately mugging up on it all before my appointment in a few days. I don't want treatment for the adrenal fatigue that might make me worse in the long term.
  19. Plum

    Plum Senior Member

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    Blood testing is not effective for adrenal fatigue. You need to have saliva testing done - 4 samples taken at specific times during the day. Look up functional testing vs blood testing if you want to understand why.

    If you've had a high level I would suspect your adrenal fatigue isn't severe. Get Dr. Wilson's book on adrenal fatigue and check out this website: http://www.drlam.com/articles/adrenal_fatigue.asp
    There's loads of free info on there and I find him much better than Dr. Wilson.

    Diet is the most important thing to work on with adrenal fatigue.

    There is loads for free on Dr. Lam's website so if you want to learn that's the best place to start. He also has some clips on youtube.

    It sounds to me like your adrenal fatigue would be secondary to your ME or maybe a consequence of it?
  20. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I see you're in the UK too - did you manage to get the saliva test done on the NHS? I've read about it in Dr Wilson's book (just about to re-read it) and it sounded like the sort of thing the NHS might not recognise.


    Thanks - I'll take a look at that.


    I've been on more or less Dr Wilson's plan for this but want to go through the book again and make sure I'm doing it right - I'll check out Dr Lam too.

    Thanks - I'll listen to some while I'm resting!

    Beats me - I fit the CCC and clearly don't have Addison's (an exclusionary diagnosis) so I'm probably ME with adrenal fatigue, if I've got it. But I suspect I do, even if the bloods are negative - I respond so poorly to conflict (it pole-axes me and takes me at least 24 hours to get over the physical effects) that I think that's got to be an adrenal issue. Fortunately, I lead a pretty much zero-conflict life!

    Thanks for your help, Plum! If I can tackle even one aspect of my ME and get even a few percentage points increase in function, it would be great. :)

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