Adaptogenic Herbs for Beating Burnout

Adaptogenic Herbs for Beating Burnout

In This Article

Top 3 Reasons for Burnout

Are you feeling burned out at your job, at home, or in life? Stress and burnout can lead to tiredness, irritability, and lack of motivation. Studies suggest that 30 to 80 percent of American nurses and doctors are experiencing the three primary signs of burnout.

  1. Feelings of exhaustion
  2. Feelings of cynicism, irritability, and detachment from the job
  3. A sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment

What is Burnout?

Burnout is considered a state of mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion typically caused by chronic, excessive, and prolonged stress. If you are feeling overwhelmed, emotionally spent, and unable to cope with the stressors and demands of life, you may be experiencing burnout.

See also Ayurveda and Adrenal Fatigue

Modern Medical Solutions for Burnout

Western medicine has limited tools to address this growing concern. According to psychiatry researchers, the most common recommendations (offering limited success) are:

  1. Changing work patterns, such as working less and taking more breaks
  2. Developing coping skills, like time management
  3. Social support from families and co-workers
  4. Better health and fitness strategies
  5. Counseling or therapy

Ayurveda’s Take on Burnout

According to Ayurveda, the treatment of burnout falls under a branch of Ayurveda called rasayana. A rasayana is considered any intervention that supports longevity and prevents ill health while also supporting physical, mental, and psychological rejuvenation. While there are many forms of rasayanas, there are four general categories:

  1. Ahara rasayana: food 
  2. Vihara rasayana: lifestyle 
  3. Acharya rasayana: behavior 
  4. Aushadha rasayana: herbs 

The Western medicine strategies mentioned above fall into the categories of lifestyle and behavior rasayanas, although Ayurveda dives much deeper into these. Ayurveda emphasizes living in sync with nature’s rhythms and seasons.

See also Shape your Day the Ayurvedic Circadian Way

The ahara (food) rasayanas suggest a diet rich in rejuvenative, or ojas-building foods. Ojas-building foods are those that are whole, fresh, and in season. 

Ayurvedic Herbs for Burnout

In Ayurveda, the primary method of rejuvenation and combating burnout and adrenal fatigue is with herbs, or aushadha rasayana. Below are the top five Ayurvedic herbs in LifeSpa’s Adrenal Boost formula, designed to support deep rejuvenation and help you recover from burnout.

1. Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea)

Rhodiola has been used for boosting mental clarity and physical energy for thousands of years throughout Europe and Asia. It’s said to be responsible for Viking strength and stamina.

A 2017 study on the adaptogenic herb rhodiola root found that it increased stress resistance and lessened symptoms of burnout.

In this study, 118 patients experiencing burnout were given 200 mg of Rhodiola rosea twice a day for three months. The group that finished the study saw remarkable results. On a perceived stress scale, they showed significant improvement in:

  1. Overall stress scores
  2. Fatigue
  3. Irritability
  4. Lack of joy
  5. Feeling overloaded
  6. Tension
  7. Worry

They also experienced improved levels of alertness, calmness, and overall mood. 

2. Ashwaghandha (Withania somnifera)

Rhodiola works much like (and in great synergy with) the classic Ayurvedic apaptogen ashwagandha. Like rhodiola, ashwagandha supports energy after hours of endurance exercise and stress.

Rhodiola and ashwagandha are also two of the very few herbs that can boost physical energy and mood during the day while also supporting deep sleep at night. This means that these herbs boost energy reserves and fight fatigue without acting as stimulants that mask symptoms and disturb normal sleep patterns.

Read more about adaptogenic herbs here.

3. Eleuthero Root (Eleutherococcus senticosus)

In China, eleuthero (aka Siberian ginseng) is considered one of the safest herbal adaptogens to support healthy energy levels. In a study with elderly adults complaining of fatigue, eleuthero supported better mental energy and social interaction, with no reported side effects.

4. Shilajit (Asphaltum punjabianum)

Research shows that shilajit works by enhancing the natural production of the body’s primary energy source, adenosine triphosphate, commonly known as ATP.

ATP is manufactured in the mitochondria of cells, where food is converted into energy. ATP delivers about 95 percent of cellular energy, fueling the the body’s energy needs. It is involved in almost every physiological function.

See also Researchers Rediscover Shilajit Benefits

5. Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Historically, ginger has been used for thousands of years as an energizer and adaptogen for stress, digestion, and nervous system health.11 

Most folks struggle with energy in part because of the poor delivery of nutrients to support a healthy and robust energy reserve. Ginger was used Ayurvedically as a bio-enhancer to amplify the potency of other herbs and herbal constituents in an Ayurvedic formula.

See also Increase Ojas and Vitality with These Potassium-Rich Foods

An Ayurvedic Formula for Burnout

At LifeSpa, we combined the five adaptogenic herbs above to naturally support normal and healthy energy levels in a formula called Adrenal Boost.

Try it out and let us know what you think!

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Dr. John



2 thoughts on “Adaptogenic Herbs for Beating Burnout”

  1. I’ve tried several of these herbs. Rhodiola was the only one that didn’t make me feel weird. Both Ashwagandha and eleuthero made me feel jittery/creepy crawly inside. I didn’t like the feeling. Consequently, I’ve been reluctant to try herbal adaptogens. Medicinal mushrooms like reishi seem to work better with my system.


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