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FATIGUE

Everyone experience fatigue from time to time. It is a feeling of tiredness or weariness that can be temporary or chronic. Almost all of us in some occasion have to work (or play) over­time while sacrificing rest and sleep, which may cause temporary fatigue. In these cases the fatigue can be remedied by adequate rest.
In the last few decades, doctors have been noticing a trend of increasing number of complaints regarding long-term fatigue.
If your fatigue is chronic or continuous it should not be ignored. Consider getting a medical checkup to rule out any underlying problems. Even if you don't have a specific illness that is a cause to your fatigue, you should still treat it as an alarm bell that you are over stressing your body. When you feel fatigued, you are more vulnerable to all kinds of diseases.
By ignoring ongoing fatigue you may also miss the detection of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Signs for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are when your fatigue is:

  • Not alleviated by rest.
  • Enhanced by exercise.
  • Linked with ongoing sore throat.
  • Linked with ongoing tender and/or swollen lymph nodes.
  • Linked with ongoing muscle and joint pain.
  • Linked with ongoing memory and concentration problems.

The first step in treating fatigue is to make an inventory of your daily life activities. Make a list of what activities are providing you with energy and which are using your energy (try also to quantify them).
Decide which one you are willing to change. When at home, try and switch off from work; read a book, go for daily morning bare-foot grass walks, exercise every day (preferably outdoors) and try ice-cold foot baths.

Causes:

Some times, fatigue may be caused by a specific medical problem, such as:

  • Anemia - Anemia is a quite common illness that leads to tiredness. With this disorder, very little oxygen reaches the body’s tissues and resulting in lack of energy. This will cause constant tiredness and even mental depression. Anemia usually results from deficiencies of iron and vitamin B12 (in some cases, also deficiencies of vitamin B6 and folic acid are involved).
  • Insomnia - Insomnia is a disorder that relates to lack of sleep and can cause extreme cases of fatigue. Unfortunately, Sleep induced by drugs does not cure fatigue.
  • Intestinal parasites - These parasites will also lead to fatigue as they use good nourishment that is intended for the body and also use its rich red blood (oxygenated blood).
  • Mental tension - This non physical illness is one of the major causes of fatigue. A person who is stressed and cannot relax has all the muscles of his body, in most cases, contracted. This leads to the use of large amounts of wasted energy.
  • Other ailments which can cause fatigue are: malabsorption of nutrients, liver damage, candidiasis, a drug side effect, poor circulation, mononucleosis, sleep disorder like sleep apnea, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), diabetes, a sluggish thyroid , allergies, , hypothyroidism, low blood pressure, cancer, any kind of infection in the body or allergy to foods and drugs caused by additives including artificial flavors, colors and preservative.

Herbal Remedies:

Green power

Green energy drinks can provide you a natural healthy boost to your system.
Some of the quick energy lift drinks contain blue-green algae, spiraling, Chlorella species, wheat grass or barley greens. These are often available at health food shops in juice bars or in powder form and can be mixed with a glass of juice.
Wheat grass can be juiced and taken as is or it can be mixed with other fresh juices.

Stinging nettle

Stinging nettle is another energy-boosting herb that is effective due to its high nutrient and mineral content.

Spicy Energy

Any spice such as hot peppers, chili, cardamom, mustard and horseradish that you identify as hot spice has a good chance to assist in increasing your circulation.
You often feel cold and tense when you suffer from fatigue; spicy herbs such as these will counteract those physical sensations.
Note: Avoid using hot spices if you suffer from hot flushes, have infection or fever.

HERBAL REMEDIES

Siberian Ginseng

This favorite, really true fatigue-buster is safe for long-term use with most patients. Research shows that Siberian ginseng improves performance in all kinds of activities under stress while reducing the chance of being infected by diseases such as viral infections.
Due to its popularity and vast range of manufacures, the quality of the products is not consistent, so try and purchase the best quality product and follow the manufacture directions.

Typical dosage: Typical dosage: up to nine capsules per day of 400 to 500 milligram or 10 drops to ¼ teaspoon of tincture three times per day.

Caution: in rare cases this herb may be too stimulating. It occasionally causes breast tenderness in women. If you experience any side effect, discontinue use.

Ginseng (Panax)

The properties of this herb are similar to those of Siberian ginseng. It has a long and respected history in traditional Chinese medicine.
Depending on the type used and the quality of the product, ginseng can sometimes be too strong or too stimulating and is not recommended for long-term use.
White ginseng - the dried root of Panax ginseng - is milder and less stimulating than the red ginseng.
Note: Panax ginseng is probably best used under supervision of an experienced practitioner.

Typical dosage: up to four capsules of 500 to 600 milligram per day or 100 milligrams of standardized product one or two times per day.
Start with lower dosages and work up gradually.

Caution: do not use if you have high blood pressure or are pregnant.

Liquorice

Liquorice is an adrenal tonic and increases energy that also has antiviral and anti inflammatory properties.
Tea - Simmer 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried root in 14 litre of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes.

Typical dosage: 1 to 3 cups of tea per day or 18 to 12 teaspoon of tincture three times per day.

Caution: do not take internally for more than six weeks. Do not use if you are pregnant or have high blood pressure, heart or liver disease, diabetes or severe kidney disease.

Schisandra

This mild adaptogen is also thought to maintain the health of the lungs and kidneys. It has a slight soothing effect, balances blood sugar levels, improves sleep, is good for the liver and may even improve memory.
Tea - Simmer 1 teaspoon of dried fruit in 14 litre of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes.

Typical dosage: 3 cup of tea per day or 18 to 12 teaspoon of tincture three times per day.

Reishi Mushroom Tea

This mushroom is used in traditional Chinese medicine where practitioners often make a strong tea of Reishi as remedy for fatigue.
It is one of the most important herbs in traditional Chinese medicine. It is useful for many conditions that will take a long time to list.
In addition to its positive effect on fatigue by increasing energy, it also supports the immune system, has a calming effect while not being a sedative and it improves sleep.
Tea – Bring to a boil 10 grams of chopped or powdered reishi mushroom in 680 milliltres water. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Let it cool and Strain.
The tea can be refrigerated for up to three days.

Typical dosage: Drink in divided doses throughout the day.

Caution: may cause gastrointestinal upset in some people.

Astragalus

Astralagus is a member of the legume family. The herb acts by strengthening the immune system that may be weakened by long-lasting fatigue. It is also good for both digestion and lung function.
It can be added to soups, stews, rice or any food that simmers for at least 30 minutes. When cooking is complete, remove and discard the wilted Astragalus sticks.
Tea - Simmer 10 to 15 grams of the dried herb in 680 millilitres of water for 30 minutes.

Typical dosage: 3 cups of tea per day or 14 to 1 teaspoon of tincture three times per day or eight to nine capsules per day of 400 to 500 milligram.

Codonopsis

A gentle energy tonic that is soothing to the digestive system.
Tea - Simmer 10 to 15 grams of the dried herb in 680 millilitre of water for 30 minutes.

Typical dosage: 3 cups of tea per day or 14 to 1 teaspoon of tincture three times per day.

Herbal Bitters

Gentian (Gentiana species), wormwood and others are part of a group of herbs that has a bitter taste and can help increase overall energy.
These bitter herbs increase endocrine function and improve digestive processes. Many people that tried it did experience a short term increase in energy.
Bitters are available in a range of combinations in natural products or health food stores but mainly in liquid form.

Typical dosage: between 1 full dropper and 12 teaspoon three times per day, taken with meals.

Peppermint

This pleasant-tasting herb makes a wonderful, refreshing tea. It is mildly stimulating but also has a relaxing effect and eases gastrointestinal upset that may be present along with the stress that is causing the fatigue.
Tea - Simmer 2 to 4 teaspoons of dried leaf in 340 to 680 millilitres of hot water for 15 minutes.

Typical dosage: 1 cup of tea as often as needed

Caution: avoid peppermint if you have oesphageal reflux or heartburn.


Wild Indigo Root

Native Indians used this root for many illnesses. This plant grows in North America and herbal doctors recommend it in cases of chronic fatigue syndrome.

Typical dosage: follow health practitioner advice

Rosemary

This aromatic herb has a gentle stimulating effect on the nervous as well as the circulatory systems. It tends to cheer you up if you are depressed, soothe digestive system and is reputed to improve memory.
Tea - Simmer 1 teaspoon of dried leaves in 14 litre of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes.

Typical dosage: 1 cup of tea up to three times per day or a few full dropper of tincture three or four times