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Supplements for Adrenal Support

By Martin Hughes

Certain dietary supplements may be helpful in supporting your adrenal gland health and function. Your adrenal glands are responsible for releasing hormones that regulate many important body functions, such as managing your blood sugar levels, regulating inflammatory processes and controlling sexual maturation. Before taking dietary supplements to help support your adrenal gland health and function, talk with your doctor about possible side effects, proper dosage and potential drug interactions.


Licorice, also known as Glycyrrhiza glabra, is an herbal supplement that may be helpful in supporting your adrenal gland health and function. Licorice, a member of the legume family, has been used in both Western and Eastern healing traditions to help treat numerous health problems. Licorice is a perennial plant that grows wild in certain parts of Asia and Europe. The licorice plant has a sweet, nutritious taste, possesses moistening tendencies and can grow to a maximum height of about 7 feet. Ed Smith, an herbalist and author of the book "Therapeutic Herb Manual," states that licorice is an anti-inflammatory and demulcent that is helpful in treating adrenal gland insufficiency. Smith cautions that long-term use of licorice herbal supplements may cause headaches, potassium loss, water retention and increased blood pressure.

Gotu Kola

Gotu kola, also known as Centella asiatica, is an anti-inflammatory, adaptogen, analgesic and vulnerary, or a substance that promotes healing of irritated tissues, says Dr. Sharol Tilgner, a naturopathic physician and author of "Herbal Medicine From the Heart of the Earth." Gotu kola, notes Tilgner, is an herbal supplement that provides general support for your adrenals and nervous system. Gotu kola is an anti-stress herbal supplement that may also help decrease adrenal gland enlargement. Gotu kola, a member of the parsley family, is a perennial plant and medicinal herb native to India, Sri Lanka, China and Indonesia that has a spicy taste and possesses cooling tendencies. Practitioners of botanical medicine use the leaves and stems of this plant for herbal supplements to help treat many health problems, including adrenal problems. If you are pregnant, warns Tilgner, you should avoid taking this herb.

Siberian Ginseng

Siberian ginseng, also called Eleutherococcus senticosus, is a shrub native to the Far East that reaches a maximum height of 10 feet. Siberian ginseng has yellow or violet flowers that grow in clusters. The root of the plant is used for medicinal purposes, including adrenal gland problems. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Siberian ginseng is an adaptogen, or a substance that helps your body better handle mental or physical stress. Tilgner states that Siberian ginseng is particularly supportive to your adrenal system, helping to increase your endurance and concentration and reducing general exhaustion and weakness. The University of Maryland Medical Center cautions that Siberian ginseng may cause certain side effects in some individuals, including elevated blood pressure, insomnia, drowsiness, vomiting, headache, nosebleed and irregular heart rhythms.

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