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Natural Ways to Increase Cortisol

Updated February 21, 2017

Cortisol is a natural steroid hormone that is released in the body. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands and by the cortex of the brain. It helps to regulate the immune system, blood sugar and with liver function. Cortisol also plays a role in stress reduction as well as how the body reacts with inflammation. Addison's disease occurs when you have a very low level of cortisol. As one ages, cortisol levels will decline. There are several things that you can do to naturally raise your cortisol levels.

Sleep

One of the best ways to naturally raise the cortisol levels in the body is by getting enough sleep. For best results you should go to bed early and sleep in a totally dark room. This allows your body to get the proper amount of rest and recover from the day. Sleep helps our bodies regain strength from the days events, so it's important to get enough. According to the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, the optimal amount of sleep each night is 8 hours.

Grapefruit

Grapefruit helps to stop the enzyme 11-Beta HSD. This enzyme breaks down cortisol which causes low levels within the body. The amount of grapefruit that is needed to help raise and sustain cortisol levels is around 15 per day. Grapefruit juice works well, too. You should drink several tall glasses each day. Any variety of the grapefruit juice would work.

Herbs

Some herbs can help to naturally raise the cortisol levels in the body. Liquorice is one herb that helps to lower the breakdown of cortisol. Liquorice contains glycyrrhisic acid which helps to regulate the cortisol levels. You should check with someone who is familiar with herbs before you begin taking them. Some herbs can interfere with medications that you are taking. Some herbs can also cause reactions in the body. Too much liquorice can cause high blood pressure so be sure a naturopath gives you the correct dosage.

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About the Author

Based in Atlanta, Melody Dawn has been writing business articles and blogs since 2004. Her work has appeared in the "Gainesville Times," "Player's Press" and "USA Today." She is also skilled in writing product descriptions and marketing materials. Dawn holds a Master of Business from Brenau University.