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12 Ways Your Adrenal Glands Support Health

By Jodi Cohen

A small blue essential oil bottle labeled "vibrant blue oils - Adrenal" sits atop a piece of bark outdoors. The background is blurred, showing hints of greenery and sunlight.

Your adrenal glands produce hormones that regulate the immune system, blood pressure, metabolism, and the stress response. In addition, they also help:

  • Support a healthy response to stress
  • Promote energy and alleviate fatigue
  • Alleviate anxiety and depression
  • Reduce irritability or mood swings
  • Dispels insomnia, sleep disturbances or difficulty waking
  • Promotes weight loss and loss of stored fat in your body
  • Improve memory and enhances your ability to retain information
  • Reduces muscle and joint pain and increases strength
  • Lessens bruising and stretch marks
  • Promotes healthy cardiovascular function
  • Enhances healthy digestive function

By Supporting your Adrenal Glands, you can Turn the Dial Up on Relaxation, Regeneration & Healing

Your adrenal glands are two small organs that release hormones, including cortisol which is released to help the body manage stress. This stress response can throw the cortisol supply out of balance, either releasing too much (often called hyper adrenal conditions) or too little (often called adrenal fatigue).

By Resetting and jumpstarting your adrenal health, You Can…


1. Kickstart Your Metabolism and Boost Weight Loss

Your adrenals control your metabolism – if that’s running at normal levels, to distribute energy and effectively burn the calories you consume through food, all is well. Without that, energy loss and weight gain can become a hurdle, and of course, difficulty losing weight.

Excess adrenal hormones can go straight to your waistline. The adrenal hormone cortisol helps ensure that you have enough energy to get through an emergency. And when stress triggers the release of cortisol, it remains in your system for around nine hours (or longer, if your body is not detoxifying hormones effectively), blocking your ability to lose weight.  When in high circulation, cortisol can contribute to extra weight – especially around the belly — as it plays in key role in how your body metabolizes food and regulates blood sugar levels.  Cortisol elevates blood sugar levels in your body which usually get stored as fat.

Cortisol also tells your brain you’re under threat and which prompts your body to store fat in case food becomes scarce. Fat cells in your belly also contain more cortisol receptors, contributing to a viscous cycle of stress and weight gain. 

2. Inject Yourself With a Natural Dose of Energy

Your body needs energy and vitality to heal. Energy fuels your body’s internal functions and repairs, builds and maintains cells and tissues. It also facilitates the chemical reactions that allow us to heal. When your adrenal glands are depleted, your ability to regenerate and heal slows down dramatically, allowing toxins to accumulate which contribute to your sense of fatigue. When you help balance your adrenals, your body can finally get rid of the accumulated toxins and start to regain energy and vitality.

3. Clear Up Brain Fog and Improve Memory

Chronic stress actually shrinks the part of the brain responsible for short-term memory

Poor adrenal function is correlated with lower activity in the frontal lobes (which is involved in emotions, memory and decisions).  Your adrenal hormones also impact central nervous system and disrupt cognitive processes such as thinking, which may contribute to brain fog and slow recall. Brain fog, in fac, can be a sign that your metabolism is diverting energy to other more critical biological systems within the body.

4. Calm Allergies

Poor adrenal function can contribute to respiratory allergies to mold, pollen, dust, grass, or pets. Adrenal hormones DHEA and cortisol have a role in regulating the inflammatory response of the immune system. Your immune system may become overactive when your adrenal glands produce inadequate amounts of these hormones. In turn, inflammatory responses increase, and the immune system identifies common substances as a health threat.

5. Eliminate Anxiety and Overwhelm

Cortisol triggers an alarmed response in the body which can contribute to jitters, a nervous stomach, feelings of panic and anxiety.

Your adrenal glands constantly circulate stress hormones that keep you on high alert and amplify your reaction to minor stressors, causing you to over-react to minor triggers.  What’s more, when your body thinks it is in a state of emergency, it dumps calming minerals – like magnesium– to shift you at of relaxation and help you prepare for fight or flight, which can amplify feelings of anxiety and overwhelm.

6. Give Your Immune System a Significant Edge

Your adrenal glands help regulate your immune system. Ongoing stress can weaken the adrenals so much so that they are not able to sufficiently stimulate the immune system to keep you healthy. The adrenal hormone cortisol depresses the immune system, allowing bacterial, fungal, parasitic, and viral infections to proliferate. This can create a vicious cycle as chronic infections put you into an inflamed state which further triggers your adrenal stress response.

7. Enhance Sleep

Cortisol levels are supposed to drop at night, allowing your body to relax and recharge. When cortisol levels are out of balance, you may feel more energized at night making it hard to sleep.  If cortisol is telling your brain that you are under threat, it is not about to let you get into a deep sleep. That’s why you keep getting woken by the slightest sound. It’s also why you wake in the night feeling alert or experiencing feelings of stress or panic.

Since cortisol is supposed to be the highest in the morning and lowest in the late evening, it’s common to feel tired earlier than you usually would, leaving you feeling exhausted and drained.  Supporting adrenal and cortisol rhythms can help enhance your sleep.

8. Quick Temper

High levels of cortisol suppress production of DHEA and other feel good hormones like Serotonin and Dopamine.

This hormonal imbalance can leave you feeling irritable and frustrated. Little things that would typically not annoy you can spur feelings of anger at the drop of a hat. The accumulation of this emotional stress will eventually result in outbursts and rage that may be more challenging to control than usual.

9. Alleviated Physical Pain

High cortisol levels deplete the adrenal glands.  This raises prolactin levels, increasing the body’s sensitivity to pain, such as backaches and muscle aches.  Excessive cortisol can also make the brain overly sensitive to pain, triggering headaches.

What’s more, your Adrenal glands directly impact some of the muscles that manage the lower back and hip, including your Sartorius  muscle, which is a major pelvic stabilizer. High levels of stress can create tension in the muscles causing them to stiffen or lock up resulting in back pain.

10. Relieve Digestive Distress

Cortisol turns off digestion, contributing to acid reflux, nausea, abdominal cramps, IBS, SIBO, diarrhea, constipation, and other digestive challenges.

Your gut is super sensitive to stress hormones. High cortisol levels can contribute to symptoms like nausea, heartburn, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, or constipation.

11. Improve Blood Pressure 

Cortisol helps regulate blood pressure by constricts the blood vessels while the epinephrine increases heart rate which may contribute to high blood pressure and can stress your heart and cardiovascular system.

12. Calm Inflammation

Cortisol calms short term inflammation to enhance your chances of survival. Over time, chronically high levels of cortisol in your body can actually have the opposite effect, contributing to inflammation.  Chronically elevated cortisol levels decrease the sensitivity of your tissues to cortisol, impeding its effectiveness in calming inflammation and suppressing your immune system thus contributing to a viscous inflammatory cycle. (Study)


How to Apply Essential Oils for Adrenal Fatigue

You can topically apply 1- 2 drops of Adrenal® on the adrenal glands (on the lower mid-back, one fist above the 12th rib on each side). Dilute to start or if any redness occurs.

Smelling Adrenal® though the left nostril also helps to alleviate anxiety. My friend and colleague, Dr. Titus Chiu of The Modern Brain – Root Cause Neurology explains that the over-activity of the right frontal lobe of your brain versus the left contributes to anxiety.  The right brain processes the emotional aspects of the human experience, giving us empathy and compassion, but in overdrive in the right brain can contribute to heightened emotions and anxiety.

Inhaling an essential oil through the left nostril helps to stimulate the left frontal lobe and balance the over-activity of the right frontal lobe. Inhaling Adrenal® blend through the left nostril helps to stimulate the left frontal lobe and create balance between the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which then balances the over-activity of the right frontal lobe and leads to feelings of calm.


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About The Author

Jodi Cohen

Jodi Sternoff Cohen is the founder of Vibrant Blue Oils. An author, speaker, nutritional therapist, and a leading international authority on essential oils, Jodi has helped over 50,000 individuals support their health with essential oils.