Adrenal Fatigue Energy

Dr Kim’s ultimate guide to adrenal fatigue supplements and more

By Kim Crawford, M.D. Last updated: April 20, 2020

What are adrenal fatigue supplements?

needs a metabolism booster supplementBefore I dive right into adrenal fatigue supplements I’ll do a quick review of adrenal fatigue itself. What is adrenal fatigue? Adrenal fatigue is basically a burn-out. You feel drained and short on energy reserves all day. You experience sleep interruptions and when you awaken you don’t feel refreshed.

Also, you may need help falling asleep too. You can have a mild case of AF or you can have a case so severe you can barely get out of bed.

Many conventional doctors simply don’t know how to diagnose adrenal fatigue. As a result, they give a diagnosis of depression. They often prescribe anti-depressants.

Most likely, they have little knowledge of adrenal fatigue supplements. Even if you mention such supplements, they’ll shrug them off as “holistic doctor nonsense.” Well, doctors, it’s time to educate yourselves. More and more people are getting sick with adrenal fatigue due to the stresses of life, overwork, and over-consumption of energy drinks.

Yes, you read that right! Over-consumption of energy drinks often results in a need for adrenal fatigue supplements.

causes lots of stage 2 adrenal fatigueEnergy drinks and energy eating:

As part of your treatment, before even thinking about adrenal fatigue supplements, it is necessary to stop all stimulants. These include energy drinks, sinus medicines, metabolism boosting supplements, caffeine, and more. If you skip this crucial step, you won’t get better. Watch out for items labeled as natural appetite suppressant supplements. Unless you have read all of my blogs on weight loss, you may likely miss a toxic stimulant ingredient.

If you are using any commercial diet plans, be cautious of what ingredients are in the “vitamin packets.”

Everyone with adrenal fatigue lacks energy:

Be aware that your case of adrenal fatigue didn’t happen overnight. You won’t get better overnight, either. However, if you take my suggestions regarding adrenal fatigue supplements and a few “extras,” you will get better! Many people with adrenal fatigue put on weight which they deem to be unexplainable weight gain.

On the contrary, it’s entirely explainable. When you are tired and less active, you are most likely “energy eating” which is one of the biggest categories of “non-hunger eating” people do.

good food is what we use for menopause weight gain solutionsSo, eat healthfully, avoid stimulants and don’t take this time to go on a diet or do heavy workouts.

The best natural sleep aid at this period of exhaustion is one that does NOT contain melatonin. Melatonin can “stress” the adrenals if they are already popping out. *Important*

You will need two specific types of adrenal fatigue supplements to heal your adrenal glands. When I state “heal your adrenal glands,” this means a state when they are producing an appropriate amount of cortisol and mineralocorticoids or salt-preserving hormones.

One of these adrenal fatigue supplements is called an adaptogen:

needs treatment for adrenal fatigue An adrenal adaptogen is an herbally based product. It can contain a variety of herbals in various ratios. Adaptogens are useful in the early stages of adrenal fatigue when cortisol levels are high, and the adrenal glands have not yet started to fail.

During this phase, you might have little to no symptoms, but a high fasting cortisol is “caught” in blood-work, for instance. Perhaps, you might experience a minor, but noticeable energy drop in the gym.

You might even encounter a 3 A.M. wake-up which is uncommon for you. If you fail to treat these symptoms, the stages will indeed progress and grab your attention.

Adrenal fatigue supplements containing adaptogenic herbs increase your overall resistance to physical, chemical and biological stressors with zero stimulant effect. Adaptogenic herbs will help sustain energy while allowing the mind to think freely, calmly without excessive stimulation.

In fact, they are part of the equation to normalize adrenal hormones. This means they will help bring down a high cortisol level and bring up a failing, low cortisol level. However, when any degree of life-impairing fatigue is present you need to add the second of the adrenal fatigue supplements which is the glandular product.

That’s why I’ll say from the get-go that most people need both adrenal fatigue supplements plus the other items I have yet to mention, but I will! First, let’s cover all the herbal adaptogens.

Some useful adaptogens used for specific purposes:

Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis): This mushroom isn’t tasty enough to eat, but even a handful of Olympic athletes use it. It is less often used in adrenal fatigue supplements but is used frequently “on its own” or in mitochondrial preservation supplements for more energy. Studies have shown it enhances aerobic athletic performance. It also is a bit of an immune system booster.

is a metabolism booster supplement that also gives energyReishi Mushroom: This is another not-too-tasty mushroom that somewhat soothes the adrenals. It often has a role as an immune booster.

Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum): This reduces inflammation, digestive problems, headaches, and may even reduce blood glucose levels and cholesterol. Reports state its consumption can ease stress symptoms. Therefore, this is in some natural stress relief supplements.

Schizandra (Schisandra chinensis): Traditional Chinese medicine uses the berries from this plant. In Chinese medicine, they consider it to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs for health. Therefore, it is in many Chinese medicine preparations including adrenal fatigue supplements.

Maca root: This radish-family herbal is dense with nutritious minerals. If it is found in adrenal fatigue supplements, it is due to the mineral deficits attributed to those with adrenal fatigue rather than real adaptogenic properties.

Some claim it diminishes stress, regulates hormones and even gives mental clarity. However, I cannot find strong studies to support such claims.

Is the largest part of the best natural sleeping aid supplementAstragalus: This is too one of the herbals that is in our adaptogenic adrenal fatigue supplements and is well proven as are the ones in our adaptogen.

Korean Ginseng (Panax Schinsen): This is yet another type of ginseng that is a good adaptogen found in adrenal fatigue supplements.

Our very effective adaptogen contains American and Siberian Ginseng for starters: 

Siberian ginseng

This herb has a long history of use in both China and Russia. There is proof it provides adaptogenic effects on the adrenal glands. Many studies also support its use in enhancing immunity, which is often lower in adrenal fatigue patients. The effects appear to be mediated by what are called eleutherosides.

Panax Quinquefolius or American Ginseng

This type of ginseng is a dependable adaptogen. It is energizing without having adrenal-harming stimulant effects. Also, it is put in some mitochondrial boosters. Lastly, it is anti-inflammatory, increases endurance, and may act as a bit of an anti-depressant. This makes it a great addition to adaptogenic adrenal fatigue supplements.

one of the best metabolism supplementsAshwaganda

This very widely used adaptogen is often referred to as Indian ginseng. Ashwaganda contains withanolides, phytosterols, and alkaloids which Ayurvedic practitioners have used for centuries.

These compounds have been well studied and show to help patients combat stress. This herb is popular because of its ability to balance thyroid and adrenal health issues. It is used to address hypo-function of both glands.

Rhodiola Rosea

This herb is known as an ideal herb to enhance mental and physical resistance to stress. It provides proven adaptogenic effects for the adrenal glands. But uniquely, rhodiola can block the depletion of nor-epinephrine, serotonin and dopamine which typically occur “under stress.”

Healthier levels of these three neurotransmitters are (of course) connectable to better mental performance, energy and mood. This gives rhodiola a little bit of an edge in my opinion when picking out your adaptogenic adrenal fatigue supplements.

This herb increases cortisol levels which are starting to dip or are plunging downward. It also improves the body’s ability to retain magnesium, which reduces with adrenal fatigue. It also has “mineralocorticoid-like activity”, thereby potentiating the activity of the hormone aldosterone.I need help falling asleep is something you won't say after you try this!

Licorice root

This is the salt-saving hormone made in the adrenals which diminish in the later stages of adrenal fatigue. Of the adaptogens, licorice is the best in later stage adrenal fatigue. In fact, it even helps with adrenal insufficiency (exhaustion), including Addison’s disease.

Our Adaptogenic adrenal fatigue supplement rocks!

Other adaptogens do work to varying extents. However, clinical studies with the combination we have and my clinical experience and that of other Anti-aging M.D.’s shows that this one works.

Big time.

I will confess that my hectic schedule is a “burden” on my own adrenals. As a result, I too am always on this particular product myself to save my sleep, energy, and immune system!

As with all of our products it is GMP-assured, non-GMO and this means the ingredients on the label are in the supplements. It also means there are no contaminants.

The other product necessary to heal fatigued adrenals:

 When fatigue sets in you need a product that will heal the adrenal glands and allow them to function normally again. This means that you need something to get you OUT of adrenal fatigue.

Adrenal Fusion™ is a glandular-based product. It is formulated to support overall adrenal function and re-connect the disconnected hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. It is truly life-saving (or at least it feels that way) for patients with extreme adrenal burnout.

Other supporting supplements for adrenal fatigue:

Magnesium: Up to 80% of us may be deficient in this crucial mineral, and I’m not directing this at just those who suffer from adrenal fatigue. Magnesium is essential for 300+ various chemical reactions in our body.

These reactions help us maintain energy and, more importantly, maintain the health of the heart and blood vessels. Magnesium helps you relax too. It is the anti-stress-out mineral. It’s used by the nervous system to prevent nerve cells throughout the body from becoming excitable and over-reactive to external stimuli.

Cortisol release (meaning early and mid-phase adrenal fatigue) can be caused by the lack of sufficient magnesium in the body. When emotional, mental or physical stress becomes constant, a continual state of hyper-vigilance is worsened by a magnesium deficit.

Chronic stress leads to the production of excessive cortisol which eventually will damage the hippocampus (memory center) of the brain as well as the immune system. Magnesium will lessen the cortisol increase and, more importantly, help protect the brain from its toxic effects. More often than not, studies show 100% of those with a diagnosis of adrenal fatigue are magnesium deficient.

So how to get the Magnesium you need:

himalayan crystal salt bath When the average person without fatigue is magnesium deficient I recommend our magnesium threonate supplement. There is proof this is helpful in mild cognitive impairment and conditions such as fibromyalgia.

However, since there are so many electrolyte deficiencies in adrenal fatigue patients I recommend our Himalayan Bath Salt Crystal bath. When you soak for 15-30 minutes, the body undergoes infusion of over 75 minerals, including magnesium.

In addition, you also receive the sorely needed relaxation benefits of a soothing, warm bath to which you can add the appropriate aromatherapy. I’ll get to that in a moment.

What other supplements do you need?

DHEA replacement is required by all and most people in the later and sometimes even the early stages of adrenal fatigue.

Since DHEA is immune boosting and likely helps augment neural stem cell (new brain neurons) proliferation, it’s okay if levels run a little high when keto-DHEA is used.

Keto-DHEA is the best form of DHEA to use for many reasons. Most adrenal fatigue patients need to lose weight, and this is one of the best non-stimulant supplements to increase metabolism. Another great addition to an AF regimen is acetyl-l-carnitine. Acetyl l carnitine is great for anyone who needs energy for any reason.


The value of aromatherapy is not just that “it is relaxing” and good for stress. Yes, this is true, but only if you purchase pure, essential oils which have science behind them. Essential oils are the essence of the plant and provide therapeutic benefits via biologically active volatile compounds.

The science I’m looking for is proof the particular aromatherapy not only relieves symptoms of stress, but also adjust the high cortisol levels typical of individuals under stress and of most individuals with adrenal fatigue.

great for all types of stressPure, therapeutic grade essential oils from plants, NOT synthetic fragrance oils or perfumes, are “real” essential oils.

However, the quality of essential oils can vary, depending on growing conditions and methods of manufacturing and storage.

Actually, there are international standards for essential oils.

One of the most important things to verify is to look for a statement of purity. This is 100% essential oil. You don’t want a mix of anything. If it’s “cheap,” it’s likely poor quality.

Current research on the benefits of aromatherapy:

Essential oils tend to work synergistically. This means a good blend amps up the power of its’ components. When you use a right combination of oils it creates a more powerful positive set of effects than any one individual oil. Here are the most studied oils.

fights inflammationYlang-ylang oil

Because of its’ pleasant, delicate fragrance, ylang-ylang essential oil is widely used in aromatherapy treatments. It has been demonstrated to be clinically effective as well.

Frankincense (Boswellia carteri orboswella sacra)

Frankincense is an essential oil which “quiets the mind.” In a well done study, this essential oil was mixed with both bergamot and lavender oils. This blend reduced stress, pain and depression in the patient cohort studied. When put in a diffuser, Frankincense essential oil “users” report a deep feeling of relaxation.

you will be happy to ask how old do I look if you use thisBergamot (Citrus bergamia)

Bergamot essential oil is calming and it’s efficacy in the treatment of depression makes it a winner for an adrenal fatigue “blend.” It also reduces the spike in cortisol as a response to stress, thus “calming” the adrenals.

It also increases the level of  neurotransmitters we discussed earlier which promotes relaxation called seratonin. A study examining the effects of blending this oil plus lavender oil shows a nicely synergistic effect between the two.

Clove oil

Clove oil is an excellent stress reliever. It relieves mental exhaustion and fatigue associated with adrenal fatigue. It has also been studied and found to be helpful for those suffering from different types of insomnia as well.

Lavender essential oil

Lavender is the original go-to essential oil for stress relief. It has definite physiological benefits for those with adrenal fatigue. It is effective in its use for anxiety and agitation in Alzheimer’s patients. In addition, it blends beautifully with many other oils from a “smell pleasure” standpoint making it a widely used essential oil touted as a stress-buster.

Sweet orange oil

has the benefit of acetyl l carnitine in itThis essential oil promotes anxiety-reduction actions in humans. It is a commonly used part of essential oils blends by many professional aromatherapists to enhance the pleasurable aroma and augment the clinical efficacy of a “blend.”

In one study where lavender and sweet orange oils were blended, patients in a dental waiting room reported less symptoms of stress with the blend diffused in the waiting room.

Miscellaneous oils

Reports show positive studies using the following essential oils in different blends: Lemon, Jasmine Sambac, Rose absolute,  and Roman chamomile essential oils.

A note about Moorspa Aromatherapy blends:

One of the leading aromatherapy researchers/blenders/teachers in North America is responsible for the creation of all of Moorspa’s aromatherapy essential oils. I regularly recommend the S formula blend which contains quite a few of the oils above.

I’ve seen it bring people out of adrenal fatigue faster than those cases where it was “too early” to trust the aromatherapy research, and I didn’t incorporate it into patient’s regimens. Now, I note that it cuts a high cortisol level in as much as half! So, I’d never let an AF sufferer “do without it” now.

Using your aromatherapy:

bath contains supplements to boost metabolismA great way to end your day is with the Himalayan bath salts bath and several drops of the S formula blend. It sets the foundation for a deep relation state prior to bedtime. Aromatherapy can function with a diffuser in the bedroom. Bring one to the to your workplace too. One can dab on clothing, a pillowcase or even wrists. It works however you wish to use it!


Now you have read over and over (if you are a veteran to my blog) to always, always look for pharmaceutical grade supplements. You must look for that GMP and non-GMO sticker. If not, you are not necessarily getting anything resembling what you think you are getting.

In addition, you are also likely getting contaminants. This is not a place to scrimp. Poor quality aromatherapy is useless unless you are looking for a fragrance, not something physically beneficial. You now know just what you need so just add the adrenal fatigue diet and you’re set.

1 Comment

  1. This is remarkable information on adrenal fatigue. I hope that you continue to write on such issues. I have suffered for many years and now I am so glad to see that you are writing about such issues.

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