PHYSICAL AND MENTAL FATIGUE. What is fatigue and what remedies to counteract it

Rimedi stanchezza fisica e mentale

REMEDIES FOR PHYSICAL AND MENTAL FATIGUE: What is fatigue and how can we counteract it?

“I feel really tired today”-how many times have we said (or even thought!) this phrase? And although often fatigue can be associated with particular events (“I was late last night,” “I got up early,” etc.), sometimes it can become chronic and thus be, in daily life, also very annoying!

The question at this point arises: how can we counteract this annoying sense of fatigue, or even just alleviate its symptoms?

To answer this question, let us first look at what is meant by “fatigue.”


What is fatigue?

“Fatigue” refers to a disorder that manifests itself mainly in a state of general fatigue that is sometimes persistent, as a result of which the individual feels exhausted even after minor physical exertion, thus no longer being able to carry out normal daily activities.

What are the symptoms that characterize it?

They can be many and varied! They have the characteristic of appearing suddenly and can affect the behavioral sphere, with confusion, difficulty concentrating, reduced memory skills, excessive irritability, altered mood and sleep disturbances, or they can also manifest themselves at the physical level, in the form of muscle weakness, joint pain and headaches.

Headaches and mental fatigueWhy does it show up?

The causes are extremely varied, and can often be more than one at the same time. The main causes include stressful conditions, an unhealthy lifestyle and unbalanced diet (excessive consumption of alcohol, caffeine, foods high in fat and refined carbohydrates), and smoking.

How can we counteract it?

To counter chronic fatigue, it is first important to correctly identify all the triggers so that we can go and act accordingly:

  • if the problem persists, it is always a good idea to refer to your doctor’s instructions;
  • On factors such as diet and lifestyle, on the other hand, one can generally go to work to improve the state of well-being!

What, then, are the remedies to be able to counteract this annoying disorder?

We cannot fail to mention the best-known ones, which can be introduced through food and/or used for the preparation of dietary supplements: our friends vitamins (you can learn more about the vitamin C and the B vitamins in our articles), some minerals (iron, selenium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, magnesium…) and some amino acids and derivatives (arginine, glutamine, creatine).

But–did you know that plants can also prove to be excellent natural remedies to counter physical and mental fatigue? In this article we focus on just a few of them!


Ginseng remedies against fatigueIt is the most widely used and studied species of ginseng. It is a perennial plant belonging to the Araliaceae family that grows wild in China, Korea, Japan and Siberia; in fact, it has always been used in traditional Chinese medicine.

The active ingredients that give the plant its main properties are ginsenosides, triterpene saponins found in the root of the plant. The root also contains phytosterols, organic acids, carbohydrates and some amino acids.

Ginseng is used for its adaptogenic properties: what does this mean?

An “adaptogen” is a substance that, in a nonspecific way, increases the body’s ability to defend itself against various environmental agents and stimuli or reduces susceptibility to disease.

As an adaptogen, ginseng has the ability to unspecifically stimulate the body’s increased resistance to adverse conditions, particularly in the presence of states of mental and physical fatigue. It is thus able to strengthen the body’s adaptive capacity and protects it against unfavorable environmental factors such as cold, heat, and ultraviolet radiation.

Studies conducted on ginseng demonstrate the extract’s ability to interact with the central nervous and cardiovascular systems.

At the level of the central nervous system, ginseng makes it possible to improve neuropsychological adaptability to environmental demands and variations and, consequently, mental performance (in terms of level of alertness, mnemonic activity, verbal fluency).

At the cardiovascular level, it is able to increase the contractile force of the heart muscle and is able to stimulate erythropoiesis (i.e., the process of red blood cell production) with increased hemoglobin levels and erythrocyte numbers, especially when related to a stressed environmental situation.


Better known as “Siberian Ginseng,” this is a spiny shrub 2-3 meters tall, native to Siberia and also common in Korea, China, and Japan.

The main components of Eleutherococcus are glucosides, high-molecular-weight polysaccharides, and phenolic compounds (coumarins, lignans, phenylpropanoic acids).

Eleutherococcus has similar therapeutic properties to Panax ginseng: in fact, again, it is a plant with adaptogenic action. It can therefore prove very useful in coping with stressful situations, both physical and mental, in conditions of reduced learning and concentration, in states of convalescence, and to improve athletic performance.


Schisandra remedies against fatigueSchisandra is a climbing plant distributed in northern and northeastern China and adjacent regions of Russia and Korea.

What are the active ingredients that give the plant its properties? These are mainly the lignans, which are found in the seeds of the fruit. Among the pharmacological activities recognized for lignans, it is possible to identify:

  • adaptogenic properties, similar to those we have already seen for panax ginseng and Siberian ginseng;
  • ability to stimulate the central nervous system and improve reflexes, endurance, and performance at work (i.e., the capacity, duration, and reaction time of exertion) of healthy subjects;
  • ability to stimulate the immune system to promote the body’s defenses;
  • Cardiac stimulant, vasodilator and blood pressure normalizing activities;
  • a potent antioxidant action, enabling it to protect cells from the damaging action of reactive oxygen species.

To conclude.

Well we have come to the end of this article! I conclude this time with a question: do you have any “secret weapons” against physical and mental fatigue?

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