| ||Herbal Medicine: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Overview of Contributing Factors and Treatment Plan ||
First and foremost, chronic fatigue is a disease of lifestyle. It is
generally caused by mismanagement of our personal energy resources. It is
very commonly seen in the West, in industrialized countries, where people
commonly work 40 to 60 hours a week and have also raised or are raising
Here is a list of common predisposing factors and simple remedies:
*Overextending, focussing all ones' energy outwardly, working too hard
Rest, meditation, scheduling time for oneself
*Worry and stress, holding tension
"Not-doing," Meditation, stretching, yoga, tai chi, massage, acupuncture
*Addiction to stimulants (coffee, cola drinks, sugar)
Herbal energizers, complex sweeteners, fresh fruit in season
*Over 40 years old
Healthy habits, positive outlook, herbal supplements
*A diet high in processed foods
Whole, natural foods, grow your own!
- Conservation of energy
- Relaxation, stress-release
- Strong diet; eat according to the seasons, work, constitution
Use bitter tonics (gentian root, artichoke leaf, orange peel, cardamon,
ginger) to stimulate digestive "fire," improve digestive efficiency;
use herbal digestive enzymes to remove stagnation, aid digestion (slightly
unripe hawthorn fruits, plums, apples, pineapple, papaya, or sprouted barley).
Use blood tonifying foods such as leafy green vegetables and other chlorophyl-rich
foods; superfoods such as nettles**, barley grass or spirulina; yellow dock
tincture (2 droppersful 2-3 x daily) or lemon juice act as catalysts to
help increase the absorption of minerals (especially iron and magnesium);
blood tonic herbs include dong quai and ho shou wu (fo-ti).
Tonify Immune System
Use deep immune tonics to strengthen the "bone-marrow reserve"
and replenish immune reserves.
Examples: reishi, shiitake, astragalus, ligustrum
Use adaptogens to strengthen adrenal glands and counteract stress.
Examples: eleuthero (Siberian ginseng), rehmannia, reishi, schisandra.
Inhibit Viral Infection
Chronic fatigue syndrome can involve a general viral syndrome, and several
have been identified, i.e. Epstein-Barr, Cytomegalovirus. Active viral infections
are not generally the cause of chronic fatigue--they are simply opportunistic
agents that are activated by conditions of inherent deficiencies of the
immune system. Viral infections can place a further stress on our body systems,
using available vital energy in order to keep them in check. Anti-viral
herbs can be used to inhibit the virus, but always in combination with immune
and adrenal strengthening herbs.
Use herbs to relax the nervous system, calm restless spirit (hawthorn
flowers and leaves), improve sleep (valerian, hops, linden), counteract
anxiety (California poppy whole plant, and slow thoughts (passion flower).
**Try drying your own superfood juice powders. Use a vegetable juicer or
wheat-grass juicer (better, because less heat) to juice fresh nettles, or
other green, leafy vegetables and dry the juice in a food dehydrator. Take
about 4-10 grams a day as a green drink or in capsules (2 capsules = 1 gram).
Herbal tonics should be taken for at least a month to 3 months, and often
up to a year or more, depending on the health of the individual and state
For more information:
Books by Christopher Hobbs are available from your book store. Good
books that relate to chronic fatigue are Handbook for Herbal Healing,
Foundations of Health, Medicinal Mushrooms, and Echinacea,
the Immune Herb. The books can be ordered from Botanica Press, 408 457-9096.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Christopher Hobbs 2
|Christopher Hobbs is a fourth generation herbalist and botanist with over 30 years experience with herbs. Founder of Native Herb Custom Extracts (now Rainbow Light Custom Extracts) and the Institute for Natural Products......more