Dr. Baschetti is an Italian who produces what I assume is a fairly potent licorice powder, though the Chinese variety may have more glycyrrhizin for all I know (and yeah, that's definitely the important part). There's a good interview online with Dr. Baschetti where he talks about his own experiences with fatigue; you should be able to find it with the search term "baschetti licorice", but add "chronic fatigue syndrome" if you still have trouble. Like I said, though, I'm less interested in the licorice now than I once was. I know it works, but I'm trying to understand how it's superior to a hyrdrocortisone pill. There are supposed to be side effects to hydrocortisone, but if the licorice also increases cortisol (or at least its bioavailability), presumably the potential side effects would be the same. Do you have any thoughts on this? I'm thinking maybe I should be less concerned about taking pure cortisol, since I know my body needs it. I've looked at Jeffries' book, Safe Uses of Cortisol, but I'm reflexively cautious about these things, perhaps needlessly.
I had a similar experience with coffee in the semester preceding my crash. My health had been declining (fatigue, breathing, sinuses, and digestion), but I could still get by and I felt much better when I drank coffee. My consumption increased to six or seven cups a day, and I was also drinking alcohol fairly regularly, too--I kept a bottle of whiskey in my dorm room all the time. Alcohol also increases cortisol levels, and it made me feel healthy again, though of course on a very temporary basis. Only recently have I entirely given up alcohol. I drank on St. Patrick's day after a couple months of abstention, but knew the next morning that I was just setting back my healing process. This is a great shame, because I love beer (though I became a very moderate drinker after the age of 22), but when I understood the effect of alcohol on the adrenals I knew I had to give it up entirely until I make a complete recovery.
Have you ever tried digestive enzymes? I have a little, but wasn't too impressed with them, besides feeling that they were sort of a fad. I've just started thinking more about them, though, not as a final solution, but as a way to reduce digestive stress and speed the healing process. I've been looking at a brand called Enzymedica, because their products seem more potent than others, but I can't find any non-sales related information on the web. Do you know anything about their stuff?
By the way, I should add how important I'm discovering bedtime to be for my health. On my own, I will not usually go to bed until 2-3 am, and I will then sleep late and nap during the day. But I know I function better if I can get to bed early (ideally by 10 but realistically pre-midnight). This is the hardest lifestyle change for me, but I suspect one of the most important. I few years back I was feeling much better than usual and I think it was because of an early bedtime connected with an exercise regime that made sure I was ready to sleep by 10 each night.