The health benefits of supplementing with holy basil to help treat adrenal fatigue naturally are numerous. After I dealt with months of adrenal fatigue symptoms, it felt like nothing was moving the needle. Once I started supplementing with holy basil, my energy levels began to return back to normal, my brain fog was clearing, and my reaction to stress felt more manageable.
In this blog post, I’m going to share with you my adrenal fatigue journey, the symptoms I experienced, and how supplementing with holy basil can help alleviate those symptoms - let’s dive in!
Please note: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you end up clicking and purchasing an item. I worked hard to find my trusted favorites and I want to share them with you so you don't have to deal with all the crappy junk I had to go through. Nuff said
Disclaimer: I am obligated to say you must consult with your doctor before using holy basil. I am not a doctor and the information contained in this post should not be seen as professional medical advice. If you use or rely on the information in this blog post, you do so at your own risk.
What is Adrenal Fatigue
Adrenal fatigue is when communication between the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (the HPA axis) begins to breakdown. The HPA axis functions like a feedback loop that helps regulate these three endocrine glands during times of stress. In short, your HPA axis is responsible for your flight or fight response and the hormones released to initiate that response. Once the stressor is dealt with, your body settles back into rest and digest mode - all led by your HPA axis.
I know it sounds complicated - but stick with me! Issues arise when your body is exposed to a constant state of chronic stress. Your HPA axis is continually flooded and becomes desensitized, overtime this breakdown in the feedback loop prevents your body from going properly back into rest and digest mode. During this communication breakdown, the normal production of hormones becomes disrupted - like cortisol, DHEA, progesterone, and testosterone.
Adrenal fatigue can start to rear its ugly head with numerous warning signs. For me, I had a Hashimoto's scare after some blood work was done that checked my thyroid hormones. While using symptoms to get yourself pointed in the right direction is important, I highly encourage you to do blood work as well. I’ll share my lab test recommendations next.
The most common symptoms or signs of adrenal fatigue are:
If you are experiencing the symptoms above, I highly encourage you to run lab tests. The following lab tests can help you better understand if you may be suffering from a more serious condition like Addison's disease or Hashimoto's. You can run labs through a doctor or through private sites. I’ve done both!
The lab tests I encourage you to do are:
What causes adrenal fatigue?
Oftentimes a traumatic event or stressful period in our life can trigger the beginning stages of HPA axis dysfunction. Chronic stress begins to take its toll on our bodies and without the proper tools to deal with it and return to rest and digest mode - we suffer!
Take stock of your life - has a loved one passed away? Are you going through a move? Have you suffered from physical or sexual abuse? Are you in a very stressful job or career? These are important aspects to acknowledge and address when facing adrenal fatigue. Emotional support is important when dealing with these types of chronic stressors, but you can’t ignore that they also affect us physically.
Exhibit A: Kelsey and her adrenal fatigue
My adrenal fatigue journey
When I started experiencing my own adrenal fatigue symptoms - I had just lost two family members, my husband and I were renovating our home, social distancing had started, and we were trying to move our entire farm five hours away. Stress in my life was at an all-time high.
I started to become extremely fatigued and dizzy every afternoon around 2pm and needed to lie down. My drive and motivation completely disappeared - as someone who is highly motivated this felt like a very sudden personality change. I felt like I needed 12 hours of sleep to feel normal. Every time I stood up I felt like I was going to faint or blackout because I would become so lightheaded.
With so much riding on the need to get our home renovated as well as the entire process of moving- I felt like I had to find a solution or I would drown in the guilt of not being able to help my husband (in other words - more stress!). I hated feeling like I couldn't carry my own weight and share the load of our to-do list. It felt like I couldn’t escape these thoughts that led me into a negative feedback loop - I was stressed because I was stressed!
I’m someone who likes to find natural and holistic solutions for my health challenges, so I began researching. I wanted to find nutritional or herbal options to help aid my body through this difficult time. One of the first herbs I found in my research on treating adrenal fatigue was holy basil. Ironically enough, I had planted a dozen holy basil plants in our garden that year! I had loads of fresh, organic holy basil right at my fingertips.
What are the benefits of holy basil
First and foremost - holy basil is not your normal Italian basil. While you can cook with it, it’s important to note you can’t take normal basil and expect the same results.
The leaves, stems, and seeds of holy basil are all considered to have incredible health benefits. Holy basil is an adaptogen - meaning it can help the body regulate and adapt to stress. The unique chemical properties of holy basil have just begun to be studied by western medicine. These bioactive compounds act synergistically on the body and have a whole host of benefits. Studies are linked below!
Holy Basil Benefits:
It’s important to note that no negative side effects have been reported when studying holy basil, but it should be avoided if you are pregnant or lactating. It has also shown to slow the rate of normal blood clotting so should be avoided before and after surgeries and for those who are taking anticoagulants (medicine that slows blood clotting).
She truly is the Queen of herbs! Next, let’s discuss what are some of the ways you can take holy basil to help heal from adrenal fatigue.
What was my experience taking holy basil for adrenal fatigue?
After reading about the benefits, I started eating three raw leaves of holy basil every day. Within two weeks, my fatigue had started to let up. I found myself being able to stay energized until around dinner time - no longer requiring myself to lie down and rest in the afternoon.
In three months, I was able to get through our move (you know selling a house, buying another house, moving an entire FARM five hours across the state) without any issues. It honestly felt like a miracle.
What’s interesting about recovering from adrenal fatigue is that you don’t realize you’re better until you really stop to think about it. When you feel good - you just go about your business and get things done. I realize now how much I took for granted my healthy energy levels. My husband was the one to point out I was doing much better. Our partners are often much better at gauging our day-to-day wellbeing than we are ourselves!
How to take holy basil for adrenal fatigue
While I ate fresh leaves for my treatment - fresh leaves are often not available. That’s why I harvested my own fresh leaves and made a tincture. Tinctures are an extract of an herb dissolved in alcohol or glycerite.
What I love about tinctures versus drying herbs is that many of the fresh chemical properties of the herb are lost in the process of drying. With tinctures, you can extract and preserve all of those fresh bioactive compounds that make holy basil so powerful and healing.
Now I take one dropperful of tincture each day (about 1ml) and hold it under my tongue for 30 seconds before swallowing. You can also add a dropper to your water, La Croix, or tea.
Lucky for you I processed over 2 gallons worth of holy basil tincture and offer it in my online shop! My tincture is made with organic vodka (using the Prairie Organic Vodka brand) and my very own homegrown holy basil. Order yours below!
You can also take holy basil by taking capsules or making tea. I recommend either the Gaia Herbs Capsules or Organic India Tulsi Herbal Tea if you’d like to explore those routes.
Did you like this post? Check out my other holistic healing posts by clicking below!
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