Stress and Low Energy Level
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Diana
Posted on: February 10, 1999

I am interested in finding any information on the Chinese herb Ma Huang. I started taking Metabolife 356 and noticed that it contains this herb. I have heard that it is dangerous but I love the effects of Metabolife on my mood and energy, not to mention my stress level. I have been struggling with stress and depression and was so very excited to find this, and it would help me not crave sweets so badly, and I do mean ferociously. If you know of ANY alternative that will do the same thing but not be dangerous to my heart, I would be indebted. I have a heart murmur and it makes me nervous. I was told that Guarana increases your metabolism. Can you tell me anything about it, and also the best brands to look for? I tried St. John’s Wort and it relaxed me too much. Herbalife was a dream at first, but one morning I took half of what I had taken before, and felt light headed, and my heart was racing. I am in uncharted waters with herbs and need any information I can get as far as safety and what is safe to take with what. I need something mostly for stress and energy. Also, something that will enhance my metabolism. Basically, a magic herb. Also, I exercise at least 6 days a week and pretty intensely. If something is causing my heart rate to increase, will I need to be more careful with my exercise. I normally don’t even take cold tablets because I like to do things naturally, but herbs seem to be a natural remedy.

Among other causes, feelings of stress, low energy and depression can result from an imbalance of hormones, which can occur at puberty, menopause, pregnancy or significant changes in your life, and they can be affected by diet and medications. A good holistic health practitioner can assess your history and help you to uncover the root cause, and work with you to develop changes in lifestyle and diet that may be required to decrease stress and increase energy.

Ma Huang should definitely be discontinued if it is causing heart palpitations. Guarana, being a stimulant, will cause the same reactions. Oats (Avena sativa) taken as a juice, a tincture or oatmeal porridge, is a safe remedy for strengthening the nerves and increasing the metabolism.

We cannot recommend particular brands of herbs. Your health food store should be able to advise you on reliable products.

For more information, please see our website at Select the "Q&A" area, then choose "Search Richters Q and A" and enter any of the following words for the search: "Guarana", "Stress", "Depression", "Metabolism", "Energy". For information on the dangers using of Ma Huang, enter "Ephedra".

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