Have you been feeling exhausted lately? If you feel like your fatigue is due to more than unusual exertion, stress, or lack of sleep, you may want to see your doctor because overwhelming fatigue is a warning symptom many serious illnesses.
Sometimes it is a matter of treating the cause of your fatigue. But in other cases, you just need to experiment with a few different remedies until you figure out what works best for you.
The following information is going to guide you through some natural remedies for fatigue – particularly by using medicinal herbs. These herbs provide a lot of health benefits for you, so while they can help with your fatigue, they will also help with other imbalances at the same time.
Types of Fatigue
There are two basic types of fatigue – acute and chronic.
Acute fatigue tends to be short-term and easier to treat. It is most commonly associated with lifestyle choices like diet and lack of exercise.
Then there is chronic fatigue, which can also be from lifestyle stressors, but is also associated with medical conditions. Chronic fatigue may go away temporarily, but is more of a long-term struggle.
In both cases, the fatigue might be from any number of causes, and can be caused by more than one thing at a time. Before we look at the natural herbs and other natural remedies to help with your fatigue, it helps to understand what might be causing it.
Most Common Causes of Fatigue
First off, if you have been struggling with fatigue for a while, look at the most common culprits first. Some of these might sound familiar to you, but don’t rule out other causes as well. Sometimes, it just means narrowing down the possibilities until you figure out the most likely factor.
The most common causes of fatigue include:
Have you been struggling with sleep lately? If so, you might go from just being tired to having fatigue, where it starts to affect your quality of life. This could be issues with falling asleep or staying asleep. Or you feel like you just tossed and turned all night without ever really reaching deep sleep.
The most common causes of poor sleep are caffeine intake in the evening, excessive consumption of alcohol, using electronic devices before bedtime, and hormonal changes along with lack of physical activity.
Lack of physical activity
Another very common cause of fatigue is not getting enough physical activity. This can be a catch 22 because lack of exercise might lead to worsened fatigue, but you are so tired that you don’t have the energy for exercise. Just adding a little at a time can make a big difference.
Poor diet and toxicity
Your diet can also affect your sleep and cause fatigue for various reasons. It may be that you are not getting enough nutrients either because your food choices are poor, or you're not eating enough. Or you are eating at a time that affects your sleep, such as late at night before bedtime.
Bad bacteria, toxins, gluten, undigested food particles all affect our energy levels. No wonder we get diseased! Natural detox is what you may need.
Low gastric fire
When your digestive fire is low and your digestion is slow, nourishment from the food you eat will be poorly absorbed and assimilated. If the nourishment you derive from eating is insufficient, naturally your energy will be low.
Among the physical conditions that can lead to fatigue, anemia is one of the most common ones. You might be susceptible to anemia, or it may be caused by not having enough iron in your diet.
Another condition is a fatigue disorder, which is one of the more common causes of chronic fatigue. This disorder will call for help from your doctor.
Financial problems, relationship problems, work problems, major life events, catastrophes, and upheavals cause major stress – not to mention traumatic events such as bereavement and unemployment. A little bit of stress can be healthy because it keeps us alert. But, when it's prolonged, it can lead to major emotional and physical exhaustion, plus illness
There could be a medical condition plaguing you. Anemia is a big one. As is an underactive thyroid and chronic fatigue syndrome. Whatever the cause it means you should probably see your doc.
Depression or anxiety
Depression or anxiety can be at the root of fatigue. Women are affected more than men. With depression, you usually show little interest in normal activities, and the fatigue which is associated with depression can often be exacerbated by too little or too much of both eating and sleeping.
Potential Lifestyle Causes
Besides diet and exercise, there are other lifestyle factors to consider when it comes to why you are struggling with fatigue. For example, if you travel a lot, you might be suffering from jet lag. This has to do with your lifestyle and is something you will need to work on to get proper sleep.
Another possibility is that you are taking medications that are causing more fatigue. Even if you think they are helping, too many antihistamines or medication can cause drowsiness to help, you sleep at night.
You should also limit your use of drugs and alcohol, as they can also lead to fatigue and sleep disturbances., depression and other mental health conditions can greatly affect your energy levels and sleep patterns. This, in turn, can cause some major chronic fatigue.
Medical Conditions Causing Fatigue
If you have fatigue that is more chronic, it is a good time to talk to your doctor. They will run some tests and rule out any possible medical causes for the fatigue. Here is a list of some of the more common conditions, but it is by no means a complete list:
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Lung disease
- Acute liver failure
- Chronic kidney disease
- Infection or inflammation
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Sleep apnea
- Recent traumatic injury
- Thyroid disease
As you can see, fatigue is very complex. There is a long list of possible causes. So, it is a good idea to start writing down when you experience fatigue, how long it lasts, and what was going on before it occurred.
Natural Remedies For Fatigue
While there are many natural remedies for fatigue – medicinal herbs are a great place to start. They are easy to use, convenient and affordable. You can buy the dried or fresh herbs, or even grow them right in your own backyard.
Here are some of the top herbs that can help with your fatigue:
This is definitely one of the most popular herbs to be used for fatigue. Licorice root helps in a variety of ways.
In Ayurveda, Shilajit is known to address all three dosha imbalances (Vata, Pitta or Kapha). Himalayan mountain climbers use Shilajit to boost energy. Shilajit is not an herb. It is a natural black tar-like substance that exudes out of the rocky crevices where living roots interact with microbes.
Considered a panacea in ancient times, Shilajit is now known to help the body fight internal and external stressors. It works by amplifying the natural production of the body's natural energy source – adenosine triphosphate or ATP.
Studies link longevity to the amount of ATP we produce as we age. Studies show that Shilajit can boost ATP production, keeping the mitochondria healthy as we age.
The secret compound that makes Shilajit a potent agent for ATP production is the naturally-occurring fulvic and humic acids.
The next herb is Gotu kola. If you have ever researched Ayurveda for natural healing, then you may have come across this one. It grows in the Himalayas and is often used in ancient medicine. Gotu kola works like other healing herbs in that it helps to increase stamina and increase your energy.
Another adaptogen herb that is healing and easy to find is ginger root. This is the ginger you use in cooking, but you are going to use it as a medicinal herb. Ginger has a long list of healing powers from helping with digestive issues to providing a natural way of reducing pain and discomfort.
It is also wonderful if you have fatigue! It helps with adrenal fatigue like and ginger root can regulate cortisol levels in your body and help to reduce your stress levels.
More Natural Remedies for Fatigue
While these medicinal herbs offer an excellent place to start managing your chronic fatigue, there are also some other natural remedies and lifestyle changes that can be very useful. It is good to try different things until you figure out what works best for you.
One of the easiest ways to improve digestion is to take some fresh ginger before each meal. You can grate or chop a little ginger, add a few drops of lime juice and a pinch of salt, and chew it up.
Avoid cold meals. They support effective digestion. You can get more tips on how to improve your digestion here.
One good way to fight fatigue in a more natural way is to stay active. This might seem counterintuitive, but being more active won’t actually make you more tired, at least not in the way you think.
Exercise gives you a good amount of energy during the waking hours, but then when it is time to wind down and get ready for bed, you will sleep much more soundly.
Pick any type of physical activity you like in order to get more exercise for energy, but think about some that have other health benefits as well, like yoga. Yoga can really center you, help you with breathing exercises, reduce stress, and heal both your body and your mind.
Eat More Superfoods
Nutrition can also make a drastic difference in how well you are dealing with your fatigue, whether acute or chronic. Eating too many simple carbohydrates can cause your fatigue to be worsened, especially with sugar crashes in the afternoon.
Try switching to a more balanced diet with lots of fresh fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, lean protein, and healthy fats. Some good superfoods for energy include:
- Leafy greens
- Nuts and seeds
- Green tea
- Dark chocolate
This recipe comes from The Complete Book of Home Remedies by Dr. Vasant Lad. I make it whenever my energy dips and I'm feeling like a need a natural boost.
Soak 10 fresh dates in a quart jar of ghee. Add 1 teaspoon ginger, 1/8 teaspoon cardamom, and a pinch of saffron. Cover and keep in a warm place for a least 2 weeks. Eat 1 date daily in the early morning. You can also soak 5 fresh dates in a glass of water overnight. In the morning, liquefy in a blender and drink. (Be sure to remove the pits before blending!)
Some supplements are better than others, but one of the best ones for fighting fatigue is magnesium. You can get this naturally in the foods you eat if you don’t want to take another supplement in the morning. Magnesium is found in foods like whole grains, nuts, fish, and bananas.
Other Vitamins and Supplements
- Tryptophan: It's an amino acid able to boost the mood and give you a better quality of sleep
- Zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6 are top vitamins to increase energy
- A high-quality vitamin B complex
- A high-quality iron supplement or foods high in iron when life has depleted you of iron and left you anemic
- A good multivitamin is an excellent safety net when leading a busy life
- A natural superfood energy booster like Dr. Schulze's Superfood 100
- Essential oils