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General characteristics

General characteristics

Exhaustion (mental or physical) may be defined as a near complete lack of vital energy reserves. Exhaustion can be caused by a wide range of conditions such as intense physical activity, extreme stress or anxiety, lack of sleep, the effects of extreme heat or cold, nutritional deficiencies, infections, prescribed medications, overuse of stimulants, or by chronic illnesses such as anaemia, low thyroid output, heart problems and adrenal gland malfunction.

Conventional medicine often aims to merely eliminate symptoms of diseases and conditions of poor health but with exhaustion this is no easy thing. The obvious agents that provide extra energy are the stimulants but these will serve to greatly aggravate and worsen the condition in a short space of time by further depleting any reserves the body may have had. As such, natural and herbal treatments seek to correct any underlying cause then improve the nutritional, emotional and physical reserves. In other words no 'quick fix'.

The importance of determining the underlying reason/s for the exhaustion cannot be overstated. Blood tests or other investigations may be needed to get to the root of the problem which can then be treated accordingly.

Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

Eat a good breakfast every day consisting of porridge or muesli (be liberal with the oats) with plenty of dried fruits, nuts or seeds. The complex carbohydrates in wholegrains, nuts and seeds should provide a steady supply of energy until lunchtime.

Try eating smaller meals more often. Balanced blood sugar helps to improve energy levels so try not to skip meals, eat too much at any given meal or eat foods laden with simple sugars.

Eat apples or wholegrain crackers as snacks if you need energy between meals.

Eat foods rich in B vitamins such as wholegrains, dark leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, fruits etc.

Avoid using stimulants like cola and fizzy drinks, caffeine and energy drinks or products as these provide a rush of energy by forcing the body to use its nutritional reserves. This is immediately followed by a crash of energy, leading to further feelings of exhaustion.

Useful herbs

Useful herbs

A useful tea mix would be of nettle, gotu kola, hawthorn blossoms and oatstraw.. This mix will provide iron, B vitamins and other useful nutrients as well as encouraging efficient action of the heart and feeding the nervous system. Use equal parts of each, using a heaped teaspoon of the mix for each cup, up to 3 cups daily.

Hawthorn berries and blossoms will provide nutrients to the heart itself, encouraging it to perform more efficiently and improving blood flow (therefore improving oxygen, nutrients and waste removal) around the body.

Cornsilks in tea form can also help.

Dandelion root tea or tincture improves and stimulates cell metabolism and can help in exhaustion and improve recovery times after physical exertion.

Damiana has a stimulating tonic action on the nerves and can help to uplift both the body and mind.

Siberian ginseng can help the body adapt to the increased demands placed upon it by stressful conditions and can be taken daily in tincture form, 1 teaspoon 3 times daily.

Celery seeds can also be helpful as they have a stimulant tonic action on the nerves.

Natural healing

Natural healing

Bee pollen is known to contain vast amounts of energy and health promoting nutrients - all 8 essentials amino acids, 2 non-essentials amino acids, 13 essential vitamins, 10 minerals, 14 fatty acids, bio-flavanoids, protein, lecithin, carbohydrates, enzymes and co-enzymes to name but a few! Take 1 or 2 grains daily for the first week or so then double the dose every week until you find the dose that works for you, up to a maximum of 1-2 teaspoons per day in cases of extreme exhaustion.
Make sure the room you sleep in is completely dark when you sleep as total darkness throughout the night has been shown to improve the quality of sleep and improve the mood.

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