Tongkat Ali and its Effects on Relieving Stress, Exhaustion and Anxiety.

Q: Why does stress make me feel so exhausted?

We all know the feeling of exhaustion and how it makes everything we do a chore and how it can set us off emotionally with even the smallest of provocations. For many, getting a good nights rest may be enough to set us straight again. However, there is an increasingly common condition brought about by prolonged periods of stress that is called "Adrenal fatigue" when our body produces excessive amounts of the stress hormone Cortisol over weeks and months. Indeed, some form of heightened cortisol production and adrenal fatigue is implicated in most chronic health problems, including; loss of bone density, muscle wasting, thinning of the skin, decreased ability to build protein, low libido, menstrual irregularities in women, kidney damage, fluid retention, spiking blood sugar levels, high LDL cholesterol, weight gain, increased vulnerability to bacteria, viruses, fungi, yeasts, allergies, parasites, autoimmune conditions and even cancer.

The "Malaysian Ginseng" herb Tongkat Ali has been shown to raise our ability to handle stress and reduce cortisol leading to greater energy, improved mood and psychological well being. Read on to learn more:

About Adrenal Stress Hormones: Adrenaline and Cortisol.

Adrenaline (aka adrenalin or epinephrine) and cortisol are both hormones secreted by the adrenal gland. The adrenal glands sit atop the kidneys and are principally involved in regulating how our body deals with energy and stress as well as a secondary function in the production of androgens such as DHEA and testosterone.

Adrenaline is generated in times of stressful situations as the first stage of the fight or flight response. Adrenaline activates the heart to pump faster, activating blood circulation, which certainly comes in handy for split second decisions and feats of strength or speed such as occur when our lives are under immediate physical threat. If the stressful situation is prolonged as is the case with our modern hectic lifestyles, then it is the hormone cortisol that takes over. Cortisol increases the appetite and targets the liver, pancreas and fat cells, which increases glucose availability for muscles. When we are dealing with lots of stress and the adrenals are busily engaged in making extra cortisol then other systems of the body involved with energy, reproduction, digestion and immunity are temporarily shut down. This may lead to many of the symptoms of chronic stress and adrenal exhaustion in the bodily systems given below.

More info on Tongkat Ali and Adrenal Exhaustion....

Do I have Adrenal Exhaustion?

Tongkat Ali for adrenal exhaustion and stressThe normal signs that you may have adrenal exhaustion include:

  • You awaken feeling tired, moody and lethargic.

  • You can’t get going without that first cup or two of coffee or tea.

  • Low or high blood sugar problems.

  • Poor memory and foggy thinking.

  • Recurrent infections, headaches, anxiety and depression.

  • Trouble falling asleep, or awaken during the night as the worries of the day replay in your head. 

  • Over-reaction to ordinary stresses and avoidance of normal activities as unable to cope.

  • Lowered sex drive / lack of sexual interest in partner

  • Frequently feeling cold

  • Difficulty losing weight or gaining muscle even with exercise

If this description fits you, you may have adrenal exhaustion and be in need of adaptogenic herbal adrenal support. Normally, cortisol is highest in the mornings when we wake up in preparation for the days activity and should drop off by night in preparation for sleep. With chronic stress then excess cortisol is released throughout the day which over time will result in your adrenal glands becoming exhausted from over-production. Often what occurs in the first stages of adrenal exhaustion is that cortisol levels flip and are too high at night and not high enough in the mornings. This will mean that you are much more likely to suffer from fatigue during the day and get caught in the viscous cycle of relying on caffeine to see you through, which only further aggravates adrenal imbalance. Tongkat Ali supports health by raising our stress tolerance and supporting adrenal function as has been shown in the following clinical studies:

Tongkat Ali as a potential herbal supplement for physically active male and female seniors--a pilot study. 2013

Effect of Tongkat Ali on stress hormones and psychological mood state in moderately stressed subjects.




Signs of adrenal exhaustion: 

Insulin Resistance and Fatigue. This means your normal insulin levels are insufficient and your pancreas needs to produce even more insulin to balance blood sugar, leading to diabetes.

Weight Gain. More insulin triggers fat storage, especially in the middle section. Excess cortisol also leads to increased appetite and overeating, and in the long-term it can lead to hypothyroidism and lowered metabolism.

Protein Catabolism. Difficulty in building muscle-mass due to protein being broken down for energy.

Reduction in DHEA and Testosterone. When cortisol is high then DHEA is low, leading to lowered testosterone, low libido and accelerated ageing.

Digestive Problems. Symptoms of stress on the digestive system such as irritable bowel, constipation, bloating, gas, heartburn and indigestion.

Poor immunity. High cortisol lowers our disease fighting antibodies making us more susceptible to infections.

Anxiety and Poor sleep. Cortisol keeps our bodies in a state of anxiety which over time leads to sleeping difficulties and mood related disorders such as depression.

Poor exercise results and recovery. Over-training also leads to excess cortisol which undermines the very results you are striving for. Many sports supplements also contain high levels of stimulants such as caffeine that further stimulates adrenalin and cortisol leading to burnout and lowered growth hormone.


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