Monday, August 3, 2015

Blog post

Adrenal Support Important for Coping With Prolonged Stress

By Kerry Bone, BSc (hons), Dipl. Phyto.

When the famous physiologist Hans Selye was conducting his original research on the stress response in the 1930s, he observed that prolonged and sustained stress eventually attacked the adrenal glands themselves.

The end stage of maladaption to stress was the exhaustion phase, during which levels of cortisol production declined to below those needed to sustain health because of the atrophy of the adrenals.

This is not unlike the situation with type 2 diabetes. At first, there is a state of insulin resistance whereby the pancreatic cells overproduce insulin to compensate, but after a period of time, this overproduction takes its toll and the insulin-producing cells become spent, with insulin levels falling rapidly. Likewise, in a stressed individual, there is overproduction of cortisol that overtaxes the capacity of the adrenal glands, especially the adrenal cortex. This can eventually lead to a weakening of the adrenals with correspondingly lower levels of cortisol.

In the popular literature we often hear the term adrenal exhaustion used, but this is misleading since genuine adrenal exhaustion is life-threatening. Only in severe cases does chronic stress eventually lead to a dangerously pronounced underproduction of cortisol. A better term to use is adrenal depletion, meaning the adrenal glands temporarily underfunction because of the high demands placed on them. 

However, all of this does highlight that stressed individuals will benefit if their adrenal glands are supported, irrespective of whether cortisol is high or low, but especially for adrenal depletion. The herbs that can do this are known as the adrenal restorative or adrenal tonic herbs.

The key herbs that support adrenal function are licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) and uncured rehmannia (Rehmannia glutinosa). The information that backs up their use in this context comes largely from pharmacological models, but there is also some support from traditional use and clinical studies. These adrenal restorative herbs work best in conjunction with adaptogens. On the other hand, giving adaptogens to someone who is chronically stressed may not be enough without these herbs to also support the adrenals.


In the British Herbal Pharmacopoeia and the British Herbal Compendium, licorice is described as an adrenal agent and adrenocorticotropic (which herbalists now regard as adrenal supportive) and indicated for primary adrenocortical insufficiency and autoimmune Addison's disease.2,3 Addison's disease is an adrenal disease characterized by the progressive destruction of the adrenal cortex, resulting in insufficient production of aldosterone and hydrocortisone.

Glycyrrhizin from licorice has reduced the suppressive effect of cortisol on the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) secretion and adrenal weight. ACTH from the pituitary stimulates and maintains the adrenal glands. In a clinical study, oral administration of glycyrrhizin (150-300 mg/day) blocked the effect of the steroid drug dexamethasone in lowering the amount of urinary metabolites of cortisol as the result of pituitary (ACTH) inhibition.4

In the 1950s, licorice extract was found to be a successful medical treatment for some cases of Addison's disease. Patients could be maintained on 3-60 g/day of extract; the lower dosage was used when the disease was controlled.5 In one case treated with an initial high dose of licorice extract, the dosage was dropped to a low maintenance dose. The doctor noted an increased sensitivity and cumulative action from licorice.6 This suggests licorice may assist in the recuperation of the adrenal cortex.7

If you recommend licorice to patients, there are some precautions that should be observed. It can cause high blood pressure and thus is contraindicated in hypertension and edema. Caution is advised if patients are taking cortisol or prednisolone, and in the elderly and those with cardiac, renal or hepatic disease. Do not recommend licorice if the patient is taking potassium-depleting diuretics. So, licorice needs to be taken cautiously, and please avoid excessive doses. When taken for prolonged periods, it should be in conjunction with a high-potassium and low-sodium diet, and keep an eye on blood pressure.


In Western herbal medicine, rehmannia is regarded as an adrenal tonic or supportive herb, due mainly to the activity demonstrated in experimental studies. Oral administration of uncured rehmannia (3 g/kg) for two weeks to rabbits chronically treated with the glucocorticoid dexamethasone significantly raised serum corticosterone levels. (This is a model of adrenal depletion.) Continuation of treatment resulted in further increases. Rehmannia treatment also prevented or reversed changes in the pituitary and adrenal cortex, appearing to antagonize the suppressive effect of glucocorticoids on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.8

Rehmannia may work by inhibiting the negative feedback from the steroid drug to the pituitary gland.9These results also suggest that rehmannia supports the cells of the adrenal cortex and pituitary during times of prolonged stress. Typical useful doses for adrenal support are about 2-4 g per day for licorice root and around 2-4 g per day for rehmannia.


  1. Durrant-Peatfield B. Your Thyroid and How To Keep It Healthy. London: Hammersmith Press, 2007.
  2. British Herbal Pharmacopoeia. Bournemouth, UK: BHMA, 1983.
  3. British Herbal Compendium. Bournemouth, UK: BHMA, 1992.
  4. Kumagai A, Asanuma Y, Yano S et al. Effect of glycyrrhizin on the suppressive action of cortisone on the pituitary adrenal axis. Endocrinol Jpn 1966;13(3):234-44.
  5. Knowles JP. Addison's disease with glycyrrhizophilia. Proc R Soc Med 1958;51(3):178.
  6. Calvert RJ. Liquorice extract in Addison's disease; successful, long-term therapy. Lancet1954;266(6816):805-7.
  7. Mills SY. The Essential Book of Herbal Medicine. London: Penguin Arkana (Penguin), 1991.
  8. Cha LL, Shen ZY, Zhang XF, et al. Effects of Rehmannia glutinosa in rabbits chronically treated with glucocorticoids. Chin J Integr Trad West Med 1988;8(2):95-7.
  9. Chen JK, Chen TT, Crampton L. Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology. Art of Medicine Press, 2004.

Kerry Bone is a practicing herbalist; co-founder and head of research and development at MediHerb; and principal of the Australian College of Phytotherapy. He also is the author of several books on herbs and herbal therapy, including Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy and The Essential Guide to Herbal Safety.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Amazing Healing Powers of Salt

Despite the fact that salt has been given a bad rap lately, research shows that the pure refined salt crystals, mined from the world's deepest caves and oldest sea beds, are actually brimming with healing properties.

Dead Sea Salt Zaps Aches and Eczema

Since ancient times, people have flocked to the Dead Sea in Israel for its healing benefits. This landlocked body of water contains salt with the highest concentration of therapeutic anti-inflammatory minerals on Earth, including calcium, potassium and silicon. The pain experienced by osteoarthritis patients plummeted by 80% after soaking daily in the Dead Sea salt baths for two weeks. The Dead Sea baths have also successfully treated symptoms of eczema and psoriasis.

Detox With Hawaiian Red Salt!

Hawaiian sea salt, or red salt, is a natural product of Hawaii found in its rich volcanic soil. Natives use the salt not only as a tasty topping for food, but it plays an important role in cleansing, purification, and blessing ceremonies. Recent studies prove that Hawaiian salt is rich in healthy minerals and nutrients, including calcium and iron (which gives the salt its distinctive red tint). The minerals in this salt not only help to strengthen your bones and give you a boost in energy, but it is also believed that the use of Hawaiian salt in scrubs and skin care products helps to draw toxins from the body, leaving your skin looking healthier and more radiant.

Himalayan Pink Salt Increases Energy!

Decades ago scientists noticed that workers in salt caves deep in the Himalayas suffered from fewer respiratory problems than others, a benefit they suspected was liked to the millions of tiny airborne salt particles inhaled by the workers each day. Now studies prove that the salt emits unique ions that purify the air, neutralizing environmental pollutants to help prevent symptoms of allergies and asthma- they also increase energy, well-being, and resistance to illness!

Salt Rooms Relieve Respiratory and Sinus Symptoms!

After studies proved that salt helped miners maintain superior respiratory health, a team of doctors and engineers in Eastern Europe  developed a generator that mimics the salty micro-climate found in the Himalayan mines by pulverizing salt into microscopic particles.

In 2009 the generators were available in the US market and the first salt room opened in Florida. Clients typically sit for 45 minutes in relaxing lounge chairs while the generators circulate the pulverized pharmaceutical grade salt throughout the room. Salt's anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties reduce congestion, sanitize, and open the airways. This treatment is used to relieve the symptoms of allergies, asthma, bronchitis, COPD and the common cold.

Recent clinical research was conducted at The Salt Room® by Dr. Daniel Layish, MD. His team concluded that the salt therapy proved to be beneficial in relieving and thinning the build up of mucus in patients with Cystic Fibrosis.

Inhale | Exhale | Stay Well - Visit today for a $20 Introductory Session! Be sure to mention this online special when you book your appointment!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Complimentary Therapy Helps COPD Sufferers

Salt Therapy helps relieve breathing problems such as COPD.
Salt therapy can bring relief to symptoms of chronic respiratory conditions that affect over 24 million Americans.  Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, refers to a group of diseases that cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems. It includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and in some cases asthma.

About 1.4 million adults in Florida suffer from this condition and it’s the fourth leading cause of death in the US.

Although there is no cure for COPD, treatment can alleviate symptoms, decrease the frequency and severity of exacerbations, and increase the ability to exercise. 

For those who smoke, the most important aspect of treatment is to quit. Avoiding tobacco smoke and removing other air pollutants from the home or workplace are also important.  Salt therapy has been proven to clear the respiratory tract from allergens like pollen and tobacco smoke. The common cold and flu can cause serious problems in people with COPD.  Salt therapy reduces the incidence of infection in the lungs by destroying bacteria and germs.

The most common symptoms of this disease are coughing, wheezing and breathlessness. They are commonly treated with medication and pulmonary rehabilitation.  Salt particles inhaled during a salt therapy session are very small, 3-5 microns, and make their way deep in the pulmonary track and sinuses.  The salt particles reduce inflammation in the mucosa lining the airway passages and allow more airflow. Blockages in the bronchi and bronchioles are reduced and the normal transport of mucus is restored making breathing easier. “The change in my breathing has been remarkable. I have less bouts of bronchitis and the effects of my allergies are reduced”, says Bob, COPD sufferer from Sanford, Florida.

There are many complimentary therapies available that can work in conjunction with your current treatment and medications.  Salt’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties make it the perfect preventative treatment for people with chronic respiratory conditions.  Managing the symptoms of COPD will help sufferers to live a better more active life and sometimes slow down its progress. 

 Inhale | Exhale | Stay Well - Visit today for a $20 Introductory Session! Be sure to mention this online special when you book your appointment!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Get Natural Relief this Cold and Flu Season!

The Salt Room has been specifically constructed to help Cold and Flu sufferers relieve their symptoms and feel better in a safe, peaceful environment that feels more like a spa than a high-tech treatment facility.

Around one billion people in the US alone come down with cold or flu every year. While drugs may ease the symptoms of the common cold or provide a short term cure for the flu virus, it may be only a couple weeks until you’re affected again. The Salt Room halotherapy will not only bring relief but also prevent frequent re-occurrence of cold and flu.

If you are suffering from cold or flu, salt therapy will bring relief by opening the nasal airways, killing bacteria and facilitating the drainage of the sinuses. If you are suffering from chest congestion you will start breathing easier as the halotherapy accelerates mucous clearance from your lungs.  These sessions will help drive away sneezing and coughing as well as decrease your dependence on prescription drugs.

Salt therapy also reduces stress which might otherwise weaken your immune system and helps rejuvenate your natural defenses. A complete treatment regiment of 7-15 sessions will provide benefits for as long as 6-12 months.

Inhale | Exhale | Stay Well - Visit today for a $20 Introductory Session! Be sure to mention this online special when you book your appointment!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Relieve Stress with Acupuncture at the Salt Room Orlando

Dr. Saima Bhatti, OM, AP

"Lying flat on his back, the patient takes a deep breath in, holds it briefly and slowly exhales as he begins to drift further in to his relaxation state. There is quiet meditation music playing softly in the background, the aroma of lavender filling his senses and the comforting feeling of heat over his legs and feet. When he directs attention to his methodically placed acupuncture needles, he can feel a slight tingling sensation, like the rush of energy flowing through him; meanwhile he remains deeply relaxed."

Acupuncture has been used in the eastern part of the world for thousands of years in the treatment of illness. It has shown to alleviate pain and has proven to be effective in managing symptoms of diseases related to several mental-emotional causes, such as stress and anxiety. The food therapy element of Chinese Medicine has even been shown to counteract the effects of our diet influenced diseases, which have become more prevalent in modern times. Even the food and drink we choose are causing us stress! Our food does not seem to supply us with the amount of energy we need and the caffeine we drink is draining us over time, yet we don’t reach for alternatives if they are less convenient than our fast food and morning cup of coffee.

What can we do as a society about our increasing stress and anxiety? What options do we have available to us? Recently, in the west, we have utilized pharmaceutical medications that have specifically been designed to combat stress and anxiety disorders. A common consequence of using these drugs is in dealing with the impact of their respective side effects; one such effect is addiction. Many anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications are habit forming and will stop in their effectiveness the moment they stop being taken, creating an unintentional dependency.

Acupuncture is safe, effective and improves the body’s natural ability to heal itself.  It’s hard to believe without experiencing it, that the insertion of sterile, single use, micro-fine acupuncture needles inspires such a dramatic increase of activity in our bodies.  It creates a blood circulatory system response, a strong immunological effect, stimulates the endocrine system positively and provides an immediate and noticeable calming effect on the nervous system. This treatment provides patients with peace of mind that was otherwise inaccessible to them.

The cost of acupuncture sessions can vary greatly but are consistently a half hour to 90 minutes long. Regardless of session price, most whom have experienced acupuncture say purchasing a limited amount of sessions is completely affordable when compared to the cost of a lifetime of medication management required for chronic conditions. The number of sessions required for complete relief varies per condition and individual.

Contact The Salt Room® at 407-965-3065 or for an appointment.

Inhale | Exhale | Stay Well - Visit today for a $20 Introductory Session! Be sure to mention this online special when you book your appointment!

Our New Blog!

Welcome to the new Blog of the Salt Room Orlando!

Inhale | Exhale | Stay Well - Visit today for a $20 Introductory Session! Be sure to mention this online special when you book your appointment!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Do salt rooms really help fight allergies?

The Salt Room was recently featured in a news report on Los Angeles channel KABC in a report by Denise Dador. The report examines whether halotherapy and salt therapy can serve as an effective treatment for allergies, runny noses and snoring.
While the report confirms that many patients are finding relief for a allergies and other respiratory issues through the use of salt therapy, it does make the point that it should be used as a compliment — and not as a replacement — for other, more traditional forms of treatment.