January 16, 2020

The 5 Best Herbs for Burnout & Exhaustion.


*Editor’s Note: Elephant is not your doctor or hospital. Our lawyers would say “this web site is not designed to, and should not be construed to provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, or treatment to you or any other individual, and is not intended as a substitute for medical or professional care and treatment. Always consult a health professional before trying out new home therapies or changing your diet.” But we can’t afford lawyers, and you knew all that. ~ Ed


It seems we all feel burnt out these days: tired, overextended, distracted.

So many people I know hate their jobs or can’t remember why they used to love them.

Do you feel burnt out at your job? Work-related stress can lead to tiredness, irritability, and lack of motivation. Studies suggest that 30-80 percent of American nurses and doctors are experiencing signs of burnout.

Three Key Factors of Burnout

>> Feelings of exhaustion.
>> Feelings of cynicism, irritability, and detachment from the job.
>> A sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment.

Western medicine has limited tools to address this growing concern. The most common recommendations (offering limited success) are:

>> Changing work patterns, such as working less and taking more breaks.
>> Developing coping skills, like time management.
>> Social support from families and coworkers.
>> Better health and fitness strategies.
>> Counseling or therapy.

Rhodiola to the Rescue!

One study measured the effects of one of the more well-studied adaptogenic herbs, Rhodiola root, on workplace burnout. The result was impressive. The aim of the study was to increase stress resistance, rather than just administering a stimulant to mask symptoms of fatigue.

In this study, 118 patients experiencing burnout were given 200 mg twice a day of Rhodiola for three months. The group that finished the study saw remarkable results. On a perceived stress scale, they showed significant improvement in:

>> Overall stress score
>> Fatigue
>> Irritability
>> Lack of joy
>> Feeling overloaded
>> Tension
>> Worry

The Rhodiola group also experienced improved levels of alertness, calmness, and overall enhancement of mood. The study concluded that in the administration of Rhodiola over the course of 12 weeks, a wide range of burnout-related issues were clearly improved.

Rhodiola has been used for boosting mental clarity and physical energy for thousands of years all throughout Europe and Asia. It is the herb said to be responsible for Viking strength and stamina.

Ayurveda’s Adaptogens: Rhodiola, Ashwagandha, and More

Rhodiola works much like (and in great synergy with) the classic Ayurvedic adaptogen ashwagandha. Much like Rhodiola, ashwagandha has been found in numerous studies to support energy and endurance after hours of endurance exercise and stress.

Much like Rhodiola, ashwagandha is one of the few herbs that can boost physical energy and mood during the day and also support deep sleep at night, suggesting these herbs boost energy reserves and fight fatigue without being stimulants that only mask symptoms and disturb normal sleep patterns.

So we’ve learned about the powers of Rhodiola and ashwagandha—here are my other three favorite herbs for burnout below.

Eleuthero Root (Eleutherococcus senticosus)

In China, eleuthero (Siberian ginseng) is considered one of the safest herbal adaptogens to support healthy energy levels. In one study with elderly adults complaining of fatigue, eleuthero supported better mental energy and social interaction, suggesting support for healthy energy levels with no reported side effects.

Shilajit (Asphaltum punjabianum)

Shilajit works by enhancing the natural production of the body’s primary energy source, adenosine triphosphate, commonly known as ATP.

ATP is manufactured in the mitochondria, where food is converted into energy. ATP delivers about 95 percent of cellular energy that fuels the lion’s share of the body’s energy needs. It is involved in almost every one of the body’s physiological functions.


The amazing ginger is both an adaptogen and bio-enhancer, boosting the absorption of the other herbs.

Have you tried any of these herbs alone or in combination? What did you notice?


Learn more about 5-Herbal Energy and how to nourish your adrenals here.


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