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An adrenal cocktail is a drink composed of nutrients that are recognized by naturopaths to relieve symptoms that are related to adrenal fatigue. While there is always constant debate on this issue, adrenal fatigue is typically applied to a collection of nonspecific symptoms, such as body aches, fatigue, nervousness, sleep disturbances, and digestive problems.
How did I learn about this? Well, I had been overdoing it with my exercise and not sleeping enough. I made poor meal selections for my body (including a severely low-fat and low carbohydrate diet for many years), drank too much coffee, and consumed alcohol in excess. To that end, there was an extreme amount of stress in all areas of my life, as well as a total lack of balance between my hectic lifestyle and the rest I so urgently needed.
After much research, I learned about adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue and adrenal exhaustion (in the latter, more severe stages of adrenal fatigue) occurs when the adrenal glands, which produce the hormone cortisol in response to all kinds of stressors, are so overworked that they become less sensitive to the constant release of cortisol accompanying a high-stress lifestyle and the brain stops sending as many signals to the adrenals to release cortisol because there is already so much flowing in circulation.
Fortunately, there is an easy remedy to help with adrenal fatigue, and it comes in a cocktail. The adrenal cocktail is also called the “Vitamin C Cocktail” by Dr. Philip Carpenter. He is a naturopath who specializes in adrenal fatigue and used to practice at Life Care Health Center in Albuquerque, NM until the center closed.
Another mixture of nutrients that are believed to help with Adrenal Fatigue is The Picker Program™ by herbalist James Howenstine. The Picker Program™ consists of 21 herbs, but vitamin C is part of it as well (the other remedies are made from bulk herbs).
Adrenal fatigue is an increasingly common yet sometimes controversial diagnosis used to indicate depletion of the adrenal glands. Cortisol is a hormone released by the adrenals for use in the regulation of blood pressure. In response to stress, the adrenals release greater amounts of cortisol.
Adrenal fatigue is thought to occur when the adrenals have become overtaxed by excess cortisol release and can no longer produce levels of cortisol necessary for optimal body function.
When stress, emotional conflicts, or physical actives disrupt your natural mental and physical balance it leaves a toll on the body. Any kind of excess stress causes the adrenals to increase cortisol production. Adrenal fatigue is thought to occur when the adrenals have been overworked to a degree that they can no longer secrete levels of cortisol that are adequate for optimal function.
Adrenal hormonal support supplements work as an over-the-counter therapy to aid in the improvement of adrenal function. These supplements come in a variety of forms, from tinctures and encapsulated liquid extracts to powdered herbs designed specifically for immune support.
Enter the Adrenal Cocktail Recipes: The name says it all — these drinks are composed of supplements that help you cope when stress hits, helping your body deal with the demands of day-to-day life and work. They may be especially helpful if you’re experiencing fatigue or cortisol deficiency.
To help you on your quest to the perfect adrenal cocktail recipes we have curated a list of a few to get you started.
5 Simple Adrenal Cocktail Recipes
The Basic Adrenal Cocktail
This is the most common recipe. The combination of sweet and salty ingredients in these cocktails helps nourish the glands. The cumulative effect should be taken for at least 2 weeks until symptoms disappear. Take an hour before bedtime or optionally in the morning if no improvement after a few days.
- 4 oz. fresh organic orange juice
- ½ tsp. cream of tartar
- ¼ tsp. Sea salt
Lemon Balm Cocktail
If you are feeling fatigued, stressed, or experiencing low blood sugar then this is the perfect drink to try. The flavors of lemon balm and eleuthero complement each other instead of competing, which can be a problem when combining herbs in a single tincture. When consumed together these two herbs help reduce fatigue while boosting energy levels. Lemon balm also helps promote feelings of calmness and peacefulness.
- One tablespoon fresh lemon balm leaves (or ½ teaspoon dried lemon balm leaves)
- 1-2 droppers full Siberian ginseng root tincture (or 1/8-1/4 teaspoon powdered herb)
- 1 cup water
Steep lemon balm leaves and ginseng root tincture in water for 15 minutes. Strain herbs out with a cheesecloth before drinking.
Can be used within 2-3 days or can be frozen into ice cubes and stored for up to 3 months.
Himalayan Salt & Vitamin C Adrenal Cocktail
Vitamins and minerals are essential for adrenal function, but vitamin C is the most important. If your adrenal glands are fatigued, drinking lightly salted water will taste better than regular water. Add more salt to the water if you feel especially drained or tired.
- 8 oz water
- ¼-½ tsp sea salt
- whole food-based vitamin C
Coconut Orange Adrenal Cocktail
This fresh-squeezed orange juice and coconut water combination is an excellent recipe for a healthy, energy-boosting drink. Oranges are loaded with vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, and vitamin A. One of the coconut’s benefits is providing healthy fats to stabilize blood sugar and energy levels.
- Juice of one Navel orange
- 2 tbsp coconut cream or heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Adrenal Healing Mocktail
Easiest to use this recipe: make one cup, two hours before bedtime – shake well (great exercise for arms!) then fill the glass with ice cubes – start sipping 20-30 minutes before you go to bed at night, continue through the night until morning. If still awake at sunrise – enjoy first thing after rising & moving around, as adrenals are strongest then.
- 1 cup filtered water
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baobab powder or another natural vitamin C powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ashwagandha
These recipes are all a great way to support your adrenals. Improving adrenal health can help you live a more balanced life. In addition to adrenal cocktails, there are other ways you can help support your body, including adopting a healing mindset, practicing yoga, eating a healthy, balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and taking time for yourself each day.
And remember, even small changes can lead to a big improvement in how you feel.