Tired, Pooped, Drained, Weary, Exhausted. Those are just some of the adjectives women use to describe how they feel during a good part of their days. Some say they’re tired when they get up in the morning. Others run out of steam in the middle of the afternoon. Still others feel so exhausted all day, every day, that they feel totally out of control of their lives. Try natural home remedies for fatigue to bring your life under control.
Causes of fatigue
For many women, the cause is obvious: They have much to do and too little time to do it. So many things demand our attention and pull us in different directions that our brains and bodies can’t keep up.
Doctors blame this kind of fatigue on what they call stimulus overload. Unfortunately, a lot of women don’t even recognise that they’re overburdened. They just accept what they’re doing as normal. It doesn’t occur to them to take a step back and say, Wait a minute, I’m doing way too much.
Of course, plenty of other things can wipe you out. A poor night’s sleep or a heavy meal can leave you dragging temporarily. More persistent, profound fatigue can be linked to stress, poor nutrition, lack of exercise, or even certain medications. It can also signal an illness such as iron-deficiency anemia or problems with the thyroid gland.
Natural home remedies for fatigue
Left to its own devices, fatigue can rob you of your lust for life. Don’t let that happen. You can fight it and win, try our list of natural home remedies to fight fatigue.
If none of the following methods help and you’ve felt overwhelming fatigue for more than a month for no obvious reason, see your doctor. She can determine whether you have an underlying health problem that calls for medical treatment.
Try peppermint oil aromatherapy
Put couple of drops of peppermint oil on a tissue or a clean cloth, hold it close to your nose, and breathe deeply. If you have more time, try adding two drops of the oil to bathwater along with four drops of rosemary oil for an invigorating soak.
Increase blood flow to the head
Lie on your back and use pillows to prop your feet at a level higher than your head or, better yet, lie on an adjustable exercise bench or other surface that slants. Fight fatigue by encouraging blood flow to the brain, which is thought to boost alertness.
Add extra 20 minutes of sleep
Either go to bed earlier, sleep later, or take a nap in the afternoon. Studies show that on any given day, half the men and women in the country are sleep deprived.
It’s a vicious cycle: The more exhausted you feel, the less you feel like getting out and walking the dog, gardening, or taking a stroll. But in an ironic twist of nature, the more you exercise, the less tired you’ll feel and the more energy you’ll have at the end of the day. So set aside 30 minutes a day, at least three days a week, for some kind of exercise, even if it’s just walking.
Skip candy, cookies, baked goods
A diet replete with treats leaves you sluggish in three ways: Treats crowd out the nutritious foods your body needs, so you may be low on vital nutrients. The fat and sugar they supply wreak havoc with your metabolism and can leave you fatigued. And the extra calories pack on pounds, leaving you feeling like you’re walking through mud carrying a 25-pound sack of kitty litter.
Take a multi-vitamin everyday
Women don’t always eat as well as they should. So stop by your local drugstore, supermarket, or health food store and pick up a multivitamin/mineral tablet that supplies 400 milligrams of magnesium and 25 milligrams of each B vitamin (including folic acid), nutrients needed to maintain energy.
Caution: People with heart or kidney problems should check with their doctors before taking supplemental magnesium. Supplemental magnesium may cause diarrhea in some people.
Take magnesium and vitamin B
Your body needs magnesium to get energy from food. And deficiencies of B vitamins, especially B12, have been linked to fatigue and memory loss, among other symptoms. Taking supplements with food will help you absorb them better.
Try ginkgo biloba
Ginkgo improves blood flow to the brain, which can make you feel more alert and less fatigued. Take 15 drops of ginkgo tincture in the mornings.
Eat iron-rich foods and prevent fatigue
Two out of five (42%) teenagers and one in three (33%) of 19-24 year olds have low iron stores, according to the National Diet and Nutrition Survey. Being low on iron can make you feel tired and faint and look pale.
While red meats, green vegetables and fortified foods such as breakfast cereals are good sources of iron, the important thing is to eat a range of foods to get enough iron. Here’s some advice specifically for teen girls on how to get enough iron in the diet:
- Red meat (beef, lamb) is rich in iron that is easily absorbed. As a general rule, the darker the meat, the more iron it contains
- Poultry contains some iron, and the leg meat is richer in iron than the breast meat
- Fish contains some iron, especially oily fish (such as mackerel and sardines) and molluscs (such as mussels)
- Green leafy vegetables, such as watercress and kale
- Baked beans
- Boiled or poached egg
- Wholemeal bread
- Fortified breakfast cereal
- Dried figs and apricots
- Sesame seeds
Take amino acid supplements
Consider supplements of the amino acid carnitine. This amino acid helps fuel the activity of mitochondria, cell components that produce energy. It’s found in some foods, but most people don’t get enough in their diets. Follow the dosage directions on the label.
Take Coenzyme Q10
A substance produced by the body, also helps your mitochondria make energy. Take 30 milligrams twice a day, at breakfast and lunch. (It’s best absorbed when taken with food.) Coenzyme Q10 is also found in certain foods, including nuts and oils.
Ginseng has long had a reputation as an energy enhancer, and new research seems to bear this out. The herb is sold in many different forms and potencies. Find a supplement that contains 100 to 125 milligrams of ginseng extract, standardized to contain 4 to 7 percent ginsenosides. (Ginsenosides are said to be the active ingredient in ginseng.)
Note: Don’t take ginseng without your doctor’s okay if you have high blood pressure .
Drink potato juice
Cut an unpeeled potato into slices and let the pieces soak in water overnight. In the morning, drink the juice for a natural tonic brimming with potassium. Your body needs this mineral for transmitting nerve impulses and making muscles move, along with other vital functions, and some natural healers say deficiencies are common in people with fatigue.
Eating spinach once a day is an old-time remedy for relieving fatigue. Spinach contains potassium as well as many B vitamins, all of which are important to energy metabolism.
Become fluent in fluids
You might not think of water as a nutrient. But water constitutes about 60 percent of your body weight. Your body depends on fluid to function well. Dehydration can sap your energy and impair mental and physical performance. To ensure that you’re well-hydrated, fill an empty two-liter bottle with water every morning and take frequent sips throughout the day.
One of the most important ways you can battle fatigue is to eat a well-balanced diet, and eggs are loaded with good things such as protein, iron, vitamin A, folic acid, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid. Eat one egg a day, however you like it, and you may be feeling better in no time.
Eat proteins with carbohyderates
Eating protein with your carbohydrates can block that sleepy feeling and leave you feeling energized. Try a sugar free cereal covered with a good dousing of skim milk. Mixing a little protein with your carbohydrates can keep you energized. Even though it may be an unusual combination, eggs and cantaloupe could be a winning duo to beat your fatigue. Eggs are an inexpensive and low-calorie source of protein on their own, but they’re even better when paired with a complex carbohydrate like cantaloupe. The protein in the eggs helps slow the absorption of the fruit’s sugar, preventing sugar spikes and sustaining energy throughout the day.
Eat cordyceps mushrooms
Cordyceps is a parasitic fungus that naturally grows on the head of a caterpillar. An animal study determined cordyceps helped improve metabolism, which can alleviate fatigue and increase physical endurance as you age. Try 3 gm per day.
Try nopal cactus
Normally, cacti are best admired from a distance, but the Nopal cactus, also known as “prickly pear,” can be an effective cure for your fatigue. It’s sold fresh, dried, and in jams for use in Mexican and South Western cuisines. Nopal is also available as a supplement. It’s packed with antioxidants that can help the liver detoxify the body and reduce inflammation-related fatigue. Try 1000 mg with a full glass of water per day.
Alfalfa is a herbal remedy for fatigue. It improves appetite, digestion; produces mental clarity and well-being. Alfalfa increases stamina and strength, augments ability to respond to stress and fatigue.
Alfalf is high in phytoestrogens, stimulates the body’s hormone production.
Note: that alfalfa sprouts and especially seeds are potentially toxic
Astragulus is a herbal remedy for fatigue, general weakness, loss of appetite, shortness of breath. Its an adaptogenic herb that stimulates immune function, and improves stamina. It has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial effects and is also good for flu and cold. Astragulus can strengthen people with cancer, after radiation or chemotherapy.
Take siberian ginseng
It is an adaptogenic herb, excellent for exhaustion, fatigue, immune weakness. Good to fight effects of long stress (physical, emotional, mental) or after illness. Ginseng increases mental alertness, work output and athletic performance. It can enhance adrenals, and increases immunity and protects against toxins.