Do you feel tired all the time? Does the struggle to achieve that desired work-life balance leave you feeling drained, energy-wise? Waking up in the morning feels like a chore? You could be suffering from fatigue. And you’re not the only one.
What is fatigue?
Fatigue is the term given to describe the physical and mental state of extreme tiredness. There are two types of fatigue: physical and mental. They are usually different, but they can coincide.
Physical fatigue is when someone struggles to do things they could normally do easily before, such as climbing stairs, lifting objects or even walking long distances. This is because physical fatigue primarily involves muscle weakness.
Long-term physical exhaustion can also lead to mental fatigue. In this case, a person finds it difficult to focus on daily tasks. They feel drowsy and struggle to stay awake while working.
Causes of fatigue
By now, you must be aware of specific fatigue symptoms displayed either by you or someone else. There is no universal cause; different individuals have different reasons for fatigue.
Mental health conditions such as clinical depression, or insomnia associated with depression can lead to fatigue. Stress, grief and anxiety are other common causes as well.
Various diseases lead to fatigue. Kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, anaemia, pneumonia, asthma, coronary heart disease and inflammatory bowel disease are amongst many heart, lung, digestive and endocrine diseases that cause fatigue.
Lifestyle choices account for most cases of fatigue. Lack of sleep is the most common reason, followed by having a poor diet, not getting enough exercise and being overweight. Too much physical activity and being underweight are also two other reasons for fatigue.
Cures for fatigue
Unless the fatigue is medicinally induced, the remedy is easily accessible. A nutritious, balanced diet, enough physical exercise and good, uninterrupted sleep for seven to nine hours will do wonders for your natural energy levels.
This is much better than relying on sugar or caffeine in the form of energy drinks or coffee to help you go through the daily grind. But in case you cannot fit in your exercise, sleep or diet in your day, there are certain natural supplements you can turn to. Unlike caffeine, these herbs do not cause any “crash”, nor do they leave you more susceptible to illness.
Here are 5 herbs for fighting fatigue:
If you commonly feel stressed and feel a craving for sugar and coffee, you could be suffering from adrenal fatigue. The adrenals produce cortisol which is responsible for fighting stress. The low levels of cortisol play a significant role in you feeling tired and moody. Liquorice has been a mainstay in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine since contains glycyrrhizin which enhances the body’s cortisol activity. Consuming liquorice root extract or pill leads to a decrease in fatigue, stress and pain. It also boosts your immune system.
A staple in Chinese, Indonesian, and Ayurvedic medicine, Gotu Kola is also known as the ‘herb of longevity’. This herb improves mental energy by improving blood circulation and boosting the central nervous system, which transmits energy to the brain to aid in memory and mental faculties. It also helps deal with high blood pressure that’s caused when an individual is stressed out and tired. It also helps in lessening your dependency on caffeine. A supplement of Gotu Kola taken before sleeping ensures restful sleep and the added benefit of you waking up naturally stimulated.
Commonly used in Russia to cope with mental and physical stress, as well as to increase longevity and vitality. Also known as ‘Eleuthero’, this root is used as a remedy for chronic fatigue in Chinese medicine. Siberian ginseng doesn’t just increase the body’s ability to handle stress, but it also reduces fatigue and naturally supports healthy adrenal function and hormone levels. It is available as a powder, capsule, liquid extract and even as a tea. Patients suffering from diabetes or high blood pressure should consult a physician before using this product.
Also referred to as ‘Panax ginseng’, it is one of the most studied and widely used medicinal herbs in the world. It has anti-inflammatory properties and can regulate blood sugar levels. Commonly used as an anti-depressant, to promote a sense of well-being and endurance and to improve memory and calmness. Ginseng has been shown to fight fatigue in cancer patients effectively as well.
One of the fabled medicinal herbs of Ayurvedic medicine, Ashwagandha, also known as ‘Withania somnifera’ is famed for its therapeutic properties. Like the Siberian ginseng, it lessens the effect of stress on the nervous system. It also serves to reduce inflammation, stabilize blood sugar and relieve depression. Ingesting Ashwagandha also improves focus, memory and stamina.
So, the next time you find yourself feeling tired and worn out, call on these ancient herbal supplements to achieve that energy and help you power through your day.