Responsible for the production of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, the adrenal glands fuel biological processes that burn energy and break down cells. Stress is a common trigger of this response, especially in a “fight or flight” situation. Should the adrenal glands become activated repeatedly without sufficient time to rest in between, the body becomes tired and the immune system suppressed. Commonly referred to as adrenal exhaustion, this condition may be improved through a detox program to strengthen and purify the adrenal glands. Although detox supplements are available on the market, you can support your adrenal health by choosing specific foods and following a home cleansing program.
Exhaustion alone is not enough to determine if you need an adrenal detox. According to Natural Ways, there are other common symptoms, including a constant craving for sweets, nervousness, frustration, headaches and depression. Low blood sugar with low blood pressure is another indicator. Looking at the causes of an adrenal function imbalance, excessive stress and poor nutrition are most commonly to blame. Physical or emotional trauma, prescription drugs, a lack of sleep and chemical toxins can also contribute to adrenal exhaustion.
Including particular foods in the diet may help strengthen and purify the adrenal glands. According to Natural Ways, the best way to accomplish this is by eating whole foods. Whole foods are generally not processed or refined and contain very few ingredients. Avoid caffeine and alcohol completely to assist the purification process. Natural Ways also recommends cutting sodium out of your diet while adding in extra potassium. Also eat lots of foods that contain vitamins C and A and magnesium containing foods. Sunflower seeds provide potassium. Vitamins A and C are found in foods such as berries, bananas, carrots and citrus fruits.
Cure Zone recommends a body cleansing program consisting of a bowel cleanse, a parasite cleanse, a kidney cleanse and a liver cleanse to detoxify the adrenal glands. A coffee or wheatgrass enema can serve as the bowel cleanse. For the parasite cleanse, Cure Zone recommends taking three types of herbs, together: black walnut hulls, wormwood and common cloves. To clean the kidneys, Cure Zone recommends drinking celery seed tea or watermelon seed tea. The website offers several different methods for the liver cleanse on its site. Remember to always speak with your doctor first before trying an alternative medicine regimen.
Sweating is a great natural way to move toxins out of the body. Cure Zone recommends regular vigorous exercise, using a sauna, drinking warm liquids and eating cayenne pepper. You also can use certain yoga postures to purify and “turn off” the adrenal glands. Yoga Journal recommends practicing Savasana, the corpse pose; Sukhasana, the cross-legged pose; and Viparita Karani, in which your legs are supported by the wall.
Natural Ways recommends adding a vitamin C supplement with bioflavonoids and vitamin E to your diet. Mineral supplements that contain calcium, magnesium, chromium, iron, potassium, selenium and zinc may also be helpful. Flaxseed oil, omega-3 fatty acids and coenzyme Q10 also support healthy adrenal function. Natural Ways also recommends taking a digestive enzyme with each meal, as digestion may be impaired with weak and tired adrenals.