Addison's disease – adrenal gland stimulant, low cortisone

Q: I have addison’e disease and take prednisone and fluronef once a day. Are there any herbal adrenal gland stimulants. The adrenals regulate metabolism, blood pressure, water balance and to a small extent secrete adrenalin. Since being diagnosed I sleep 9-10 hours a night rather than 7-8.

A: Licorice root is an old time treatment for Addison’s disease. It contains sterois precursors, improves adrenal function, and prolongs the effects of steroidal medications. So it should be used cautiously with the prednisone. Speaking of which, prednisone weakens adrenal function. Licorice root shoul also be used with caution since it can cause water retention and muscle pain. In some people it can also cause high blood pressure in high doses or long term use.

Other herbs excellent for adrenal function include schisandra berries, Siberian ginseng, suma, ashwaganda, nettle, kelp, and amla.

Adrenal glandulars may also be of benefit, but they should only be used in small doses and for short periods of time. High doses or long term use can trick the brain in to believing that the gland is overactive, which leads to atrophy (shrinkage) of the gland.

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