Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Name not given
Posted on: February 23, 1999

I have been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome /Epstein-Barr virus. I continually run low grade fevers, chronic headaches and at times I am very tired. Are there any herbs that can help my condition?

The finding of Epstein-Barr virus is not a reliable indicator of Chronic Fatigue syndrome. For a previous reply on Epstein-Barr, please go to our website at, and then go to the "Q&A" area and search for Epstein-Barr.

Chronic Fatigue syndrome, also called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Post Viral Fatigue, is not well understood. It is characterized by overwhelming fatigue, lack of energy, sleep disturbances and depression and often features headache, sore throat, swol len glands. It usually follows a viral illness. It affects the central nervous system and depresses the immune system.

Recommended treatment is usually multi-faceted, working to optimize health and immunity. As well as herbs, the following are involved: adequate rest, encouragement of a healthy mental attitude with the help of counselling and techniques such as meditatio n, yoga movements and aromatherapy massage, a healthy diet with an emphasis on fresh fruit and vegetables, and vitamins to stimulate the immune system.

The diet should include only whole, unprocessed foods, possibly with a little chicken or fish. Sugar, chocolate, coffee, food additives, alcohol, yeast, dairy and any allergic foods should be eliminated.

Detoxifying the system has a major effect in optimizing health and immunity. Herbs for detoxification are:

* Milk thistle supports the liver to effectively process toxins for elimination.

* Dandelion root stimulates the bile required for digestion

* Dandelion leaf encourages elimination by the kidneys

* Oregon grape (Berberis aquifolium) is a blood cleanser

To enhance the immune system, echinacea, garlic, astragalus and Shitake mushroom are recommended.

St. John’s Wort is an anti-depressant.

Ginseng is anti-depressant, stimulates the immune system and increases energy. It must not be used in high blood pressure or if you drink coffee, and must not be used for more than one month without a break. Using ginseng for longer periods of time can deplete energy reserves.

Evening Primrose Oil improves muscle weakness, helps to relieve depression and supports the liver.

Beta-carotene and vitamins C and E are anti-oxidant. Vitamin B complex supports the nervous system.

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