Herbs in AdrenoMend™

Adaptogenic Herbs & AdrenoMend™ by Dr. Joseph J Collins, RN, ND

Specific Actions of Adaptogens
In the previous article we saw that the signs and symptoms of “adrenal fatigue” are typically due to allostasis in multiple homeostasis regulatory systems. We introduced the concept of specific herbs that are most effective in helping the body adapt to stress, which are conveniently called “adaptogens”.
Major adaptogens like Panax ginseng, Eleutherococcus senticosus, and Withania somnifera support a majority of the multiple homeostasis regulatory systems. Minor adaptogens typically support a minor number of the homeostasis regulatory systems. While the number of homeostasis systems can give us some insights into how each adaptogen can help with stress adaptation, it is more important to know the specific action of each adaptogen.
The specific action of each adaptogen can then be used to determine which of the homeostasis regulatory systems are supported by a specific adaptogen. Based upon current published research, all of the plants that I consider to be adaptogens support homeostasis of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis. All of the major adaptogens, as well as many of the minor adaptogens also support homeostasis of the sympathoadrenal system (SAS).
In addition to their effect on the adrenal glands, specific adaptogens can support function of other homeostasis regulatory systems. Some support gonadal function and the production of testosterone, others support production of progesterone, or production of thyroid hormones. Most adaptogens have documented anti-oxidant properties, and most support detoxification through the hepatic detoxification system (HDS).
Unfortunately, some popularized adaptogens can actually suppress other homeostasis regulatory systems. Testosterone production is actually decreased by Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra, G. uralensis), as well as Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum, O. gratissimum), demonstrating that they actually cause allostasis and suppression of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Gonadal (HPG) axis. Licorice can also cause fluid retention and electrolyte imbalances, disrupting the function of the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System (RAAS).

The Adaptogens of AdrenoMend
Recognizing that specific adaptogens affect specific homeostasis regulatory systems, I developed AdrenoMend™ to provide the best support of all systems, while avoiding adaptogens that have suppressive or disruptive properties of the most important homeostasis regulatory systems.
In a previous article, I explained that the popularized term “adrenal fatigue” is not the most accurate phrase to describe Generalized Adaptation Syndrome. As noted, at this time, “adrenal fatigue” is the best way to explain the stress response to people who are not familiar with the concept of Generalized Adaptation Syndrome. With this understanding of current popular language, I named the formulation “AdrenoMend™”, because “adrenal fatigue” can be amended and changed by the formulation.
Knowing that there are a number of homeostasis regulatory systems that are actually involved in "adrenal fatigue", we can really appreciate why it is important to use AdrenoMend™, since it is the only formulation designed to support normal function of all homeostasis regulatory systems. Just as ongoing research will continue to provide new insights into regulatory systems, ongoing research continues to increase our understanding about both the properties and the interactions of adaptogens.

The following synopses of how the adaptogens used in AdrenoMend™ affect homeostasis regulatory systems are based on clinical experience, validated by review of published international scientific and medical research:

Schisandra chinensis helps regulate homeostasis and restore adrenal health by its action on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortex (HPA) axis and the sympathoadrenal system (SAS). It supports the neuroendocrine-immune (NEI) system, reduction-oxidation system (REDOX) and the brain monoaminergic system (BMS). Schisandra chinensis also improves cellular signaling systems (CSS) function through its action on glucocorticoid receptors as well, as the messenger proteins hsp 25 & hsp 70 and supports hepatic detoxification system (HDS) function through various mechanisms including facilitation of glutathione regeneration. 

Bacopa monniera improves adrenal function through its action on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortex (HPA) axis, the sympathoadrenal system (SAS) and the brain monoaminergic system (BMS) by normalization of stress induced alteration in plasma corticosterone as well as levels of other adrenal and brain monoamines. It has a thyroid stimulating role, enhancing the function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis. Bacopa monniera also has hepato-protective properties that support the hepatic detoxification system (HDS), and adapts the cellular signaling systems (CSS) by modulating hsp70 (a messenger protein). It also supports reduction-oxidation system (REDOX) by affecting super-oxide dismutase and catalase activity. 

Rhodiola rosea promotes recovery from adrenal fatigue by modulating (adapting) how the sympathoadrenal system (SAS) and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortex (HPA) axis each respond to acute stress. It also protect tissue from the effect of excessive adrenalin sympathoadrenal system (SAS), & brain monoaminergic system (BMS). It supports normal homeostasis of the neuroendocrine-immune (NEI) system, and supports the hepatic detoxification system (HDS) through its hepatoprotective properties. Rhodiola rosea also decreases stress induced changed in the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis and the glucose-insulin system (GIS), as well as the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS). It also support the reduction-oxidation system (REDOX) by increasing the activity of various antioxidant enzymes, including liver Mn-superoxide dismutase Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase, and catalase, which provide hepatoprotective activity and support the and hepatic detoxification system (HDS). 

Eleutherococcus senticosus improves hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortex (HPA) axis function by modulating (adapting) corticosterone elevation induced by stress affecting both the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortex (HPA) axis and renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) homeostasis. It can protect tissues from the effect of excessive adrenalin, thereby modulating the effects of the sympathoadrenal system (SAS). It supports the reduction-oxidation system (REDOX) through its strong antioxidant activity. Eleutherococcus senticosus displays hepatoprotective properties against heavy metals, hepatotoxins and bacterial endotoxins, which supports the hepatic detoxification system (HDS). Eleutherococcus senticosus improves function of the glucose-insulin system (GIS), restores normal function of the cellular signaling systems (CSS) through its affect on hormone receptors, muscarinic receptors, acetylcholine activity, and nitric oxide activity, which can amplify tissue response to testosterone, supporting activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gondal (HPG) axis. Eleutherococcus senticosus also restores homeostatic function of the neuroendocrine-immune (NEI) system. 

Magnolia officinalis can reduce elevated corticosterone concentrations and normalize the (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortex (HPA) axis as well. It also normalizes the sympathoadrenal system (SAS) the brain monoaminergic system (BMS), and the sympathoadrenal system (SAS). Magnolia officinalis supports the reduction-oxidation system (REDOX) through its strong antioxidant activity. The neuroendocrine-immune (NEI) system and hepatic detoxification system (HDS) are also supported, as well as the ghrelin-leptin-adiponectin system (GLAS).

Rehmannia glutinosa restores homeostasis to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortex (HPA) axis and restores cellular signaling systems (CSS) function through normalization of glucocorticoid receptors. Normal glucose-insulin system (GIS) function is restored. The brain monoaminergic system (BMS) is supported. Rehmannia glutinosa can increase total antioxidant capability, glutathione content, and superoxide dismutase and catalase activities and support the reduction-oxidation system (REDOX). It is hepatoprotective and restores hepatic antioxidants and reduces liver malondialdehyde, a marker of oxidative stress, supporting the hepatic detoxification system (HDS). Rehmannia glutinosa also restores homeostasis to renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) by inhibiting over-expression of angiotensin II.

Bupleurum falcatum promotes adrenal recovery through its action on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortex (HPA) axis mediated release of adrenocorticotropic hormone. It also supports normal neuroendocrine-immune (NEI) system function, brain monoaminergic system (BMS) function, and the hepatic detoxification system (HDS), as well as the ghrelin-leptin-adiponectin system (GLAS). Bupleurum falcatum enhances the activity of reactive oxygen species scavengers (superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase), supporting the reduction-oxidation system (REDOX) in scavenging oxygen-free radicals.

Panax ginseng promotes homeostasis of the sympathoadrenal system (SAS) and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortex (HPA) axis, as well as the hypothalamic-pituitary-gondal (HPG) axis and the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis. In addition, it supports the brain monoaminergic system (BMS), glucose-insulin system (GIS), the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS), and the ghrelin-leptin-adiponectin system (GLAS). Panax ginseng enhances superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and catalase activity, supporting the reduction-oxidation system (REDOX) in scavenging oxygen-free radicals. It can support the hepatic detoxification system (HDS) by protecting liver mitochondria from hypoxic damage, reducing the toxic effect of cadmium, and maintaining of reduced glutathione levels and glutathione s-transferase activity, while preventing increases in the alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase levels when challenged with hepatoxins. 

Coleus forskohlii (aka Plectranthus barbatus & Coleus barbatus) protects tissues from the effect of excessive adrenalin from the sympathoadrenal system (SAS). It also supports hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortex (HPA) axis, and hypothalamic-pituitary-gondal (HPG) axis function. In addition, glucose-insulin system (GIS), neuroendocrine-immune (NEI) system, and ghrelin-leptin-adiponectin system (GLAS)] function are supported. Detoxification and hepatoprotective support of the hepatic detoxification system (HDS) appears to be due to its protective effect against biliary cirrhosis, inhibition of fatty liver, and increased liver mitochondrial glutathione S-transferase isoform alpha-4, a phase II detoxification enzyme. It is also observed to have some antioxidant activity, which can support the reduction-oxidation system (REDOX).

Withania somnifera can modulate the sympathoadrenal system (SAS) and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortex (HPA) axis responses to stress. It supports the actions of the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis by enhancing thyroid function and supporting conversion towards T3 and away from rT3, and potentially ameliorates metformin-induced hypothyroidism in Type 2 diabetic subjects. Withania somnifera supports cellular signaling systems (CSS) through its affect on nitric acid synthase, allowing for increase nitric oxide production by macrophages, supporting neuroendocrine-immune (NEI) system function. It increases the activity of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase and catalase, supporting the reduction-oxidation system (REDOX) in scavenging oxygen-free radicals. Withania somnifera supports the system (HDS) by activating phase II and antioxidant enzymes in the liver including glutathione S-transferase, catalase, and superoxide dismutase, and through hepatoprotection against heavy metals and toxins. It also supports hypothalamic-pituitary-gondal (HPG) axis function, as well as brain monoaminergic system (BMS) [ws4,5] function. Withania somnifera can support the glucose-insulin system (GIS) by normalizing hyperglycemia by decreasing blood glucose and improving insulin sensitivity. In addition, it can support the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) by increasing urine sodium and urine volume.

Introduction to Adaptogen Synergy
The adaptogenic herbs in AdrenoMend™ are used to restore homeostasis to all regulatory systems that are affected by the generalized adaptation syndrome and cause “adrenal fatigue”. To accomplish this properly, the adaptogens must be used in such a way that adaptogen synergy is fully supported in a balanced way, that does not suppress any of the homeostasis all regulatory systems. With adaptogen synergy, the combined interaction of different adaptogens produces a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual adaptogens.

Next: Learn more about Adaptogen Synergy