TRP Drugs and Herbs for Withdrawal and PSSD

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November 25, 2020 | 24 Comments

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  1. The Chelsea Physic garden has a wealth of information and maybe able to help with these specific questions. The Chelsea Physic Garden is London’s oldest botanic garden and contains a unique living collection of around 5,000 different edible, useful and medicinal plants that have changed the world. Form for enquiries on website and phone no.
    020 7352 5646
    enquiries@chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk

    I have consulted a herbalist for another condition than the ones you want and found them trust worthy If a registered herbalist is in the area may be worth asking for discusion. I realise you want first hand knowledge but just throwing this in.

  2. Which ones are the: Protagonists and which one are the antagonists?
    Whatever I was going through, going back twenty years ago, had impacted,
    my good health and well -being.
    I would never be the same again!
    Deodorants, hair dyes, shampoos/conditioner, soap, washing detergents, water from the tap, foods with additives/preservatives, coke, alcohol, vitamins, bread, milk, any medicines that were prescribed to me; etc…………. were my worst enemies. I was a toxic time bomb, waiting to explode!
    I had become so chemically sensitive and it was attacking my nervous, endocrine, circulatory, immune, digestive, reproductive, muscular and lymphatic system.
    My body was being attacked by a barrage of chemicals (meds) and all my systems were being attacked.
    Everything in my body was inflamed and I had to fight the enemies within.
    It was life or death and I had to do everything in my power to fight the tsunami of war within.
    No one could help me! :'(
    I had to learn very quickly what I had to do to survive.
    I have got a library of books that have given me power to understand my body and what I had to do to get out of the trenches I was so hopelessly, stuck in.
    The book that saved my life was:
    Food that fight pain – Neal Barnard, M.D.
    I have mentioned this book, on numerous occasions especially, here on RXISK, in the hope that it may benefit someone else.
    This book is my bible and I have tried to help many people regain better health by changing poor dietary habits.
    Herbs are great. Natural is best! You have to regulate the amount you ingest because they come with undesirable side effects. It is all trial and error and when you listen to your body and what works best for you, the wonders/benefits come to you in abundance.
    As for the residual health issues: getting back to the basics, I have gone off linear and gone back to my unsavoury ways. To help my body, I have to go back to the basics and learn how to treat my body with the dignity and respect it deserves.
    Our body is made up of roughly 60% water. Please drink unadulterated water, as it has many benefits for our health.
    It is not an easy balance to achieve.
    It takes persistence, commitment, perseverance and dedication to reach a state of inner balance.
    It is not a one size fits all.
    The long list of compounds, mentioned in this blog, some do indeed carry their weight.
    Ginger, turmeric, curcumin, boswellia, essential oils, infra-red heat therapy, reflexology, acupressure, electromagnetic pulse therapy, gentle massage, vibrational therapy, are just to name are few. These highly recommended modalities of healing, assist immensely in bringing the inflammation down. Remember, we have tiny nerve fibres which are the width of a hair strand in our bodies and if they are not handled with care, the pain receptors can get highly aggravated and it thus becomes a vicious cycle which is hard to un-do.

  3. Notes from “Ionic Channels as Potential Therapeutic Targets for Erectile Dysfunction: A Review.” (2020) https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2020.01120/full

    dysfunctions of the Kv7 channels are associated with human diseases, including […] erectile dysfunction.

    …in the regulation of vascular and non-vascular smooth muscle tone, and that the KCNQ genes (Kv7.1, 7.4 and 7.5) are the most expressed subtypes in these muscles, opening a new field of possibilities for pharmacological targeting for the various pathophysiological disorders of the underlying vascular smooth muscle.

    non-selective blocking of Kv7.1-7.5 channels by linopirdine and XE991, promote membrane depolarization and concomitant vasoconstriction, leading to an increase in calcium influx through voltage-gated calcium channels (CaV) and consequently inhibit vascular relaxing responses in humans , which may produce spontaneous contractions in some vessels . It has been shown in penile physiology that blocking these channels also impairs arterial relaxation produced by the atrial natriuretic peptide and sodium nitroprusside (SNP), decreasing the cellular concentration of cGMP, essential for the penile erection process .

    However, Kv7 activators (retigabine, ML213 and S-1), hyperpolarize the membrane potential and cause relaxation of pre-contracted vessels, decreasing the Ca2+ influx by CaV, resulting in the relaxation of human and rodent arteries . In addition, genes for KCNQ3-5 had been detected in penile arteries, veins and corpus cavernosum, while KCNQ1 was found only in the corpus cavernosum of rats. The activators Kv7.2-7.5, ML213, and BMS204352, relaxed pre-contracted penile arteries and corpus cavernosum, regardless of nitric oxide synthase or hyperpolarization derived from the endothelium. In contrast, the relaxation promoted by sildenafil and sodium nitroprusside had been reduced by blocking these channels with linopirdine in the penile arteries and the corpus cavernosum .

    Therefore, suggesting that Kv7 channels play an important functional role in all smooth muscle systems, specifically in erectile function, confirming the potential of these channels as new therapeutic targets for erectile dysfunction.

    Transient Receptor Potential Channels (TRP)
    TRP channels are a superfamily of ion channels, mostly non-selective for mono and divalent cations, expressed in almost all cell types, in both excitable and non-excitable tissues and participating in various physiological functions such as nociception and muscle contraction .

    In mammals, the TRP superfamily is divided into six subfamilies based on their homology sequences and named according to first described member of each subfamily: ankyrin (TRPA), canonical (TRPC), melastatin (TRPM), mucolipine (TRPML), polycystin (TRPP), and vanilloid (TRPV) (Caterina, 2014; Samanta et al., 2018).

    involvement between ED and dysfunctions in TRP channels.

    increased expression of TRPC4 in smooth corpus cavernosum muscle cells of diabetic rats and demonstrated that after TRPC4DN gene transfer, erectile function of diabetic animals was restored .

    Use of BKCa, SK3, and KV7 channels activators and/or transient receptor potential (TRP) and Calcium-activated Chloride channels (CaCC) blockers, induce reduction of cytoplasmic concentration of Ca2+, [Ca2+]c, culminating in relaxation of the cavernous smooth muscle cell and penile erection.

  4. This topical cream to be applied to the genitals promises to increase sensitivity and to do so through the action of its natural compounds on the Ion channels. https://sensumplus.com/about-sensum/
    The main ingredient of Sensum+ (cinnamon oil) works by activating the Transient Receptor Potential A1 (TRPA-1) channels. TRPA1 channels are activated by cinnamon oil.

    I have seen that it is also for sale on AMZ.

  5. One thing I need to know right away is what we mean by “Chase.” Like Mary, I know very little about the science of ion channels. But it’s clear there are dozens of different ones, and quite a few different ions (sodium, potassium, calcium) that go through them, both ways, making a variety of things happen. And one thing I do know is many of them have major effects on the heart.

    Therefore, I will take “Chase” to mean “Read, and think, and ask around about this stuff.” Not “Take this stuff and see what happens.” Whether you have a scientific bent, or an adventurous bent, or both, or neither. Am I right?

    My second thought is that lots of these substances are used in medicine already for various purposes. That should help us tremendously. What conditions do they treat, and how? Do those conditions have anything in common with SSRI withdrawal symptoms? And what are the known “side effects”?

    A few items jumped out at me right away: Rosiglitazone. Epsom Salts. Anti-convulsants. Rosiglitazone is a diabetes drug marketed as Avandia by GSK, which has been pulled off the market in Europe because of the risks of stroke, heart attack, congestive heart failure and death associated with it. It is scary stuff. At the same time a lot is known about its workings, and millions of people have taken it. Aside from all those cardiac effects, what would it do to your blood sugar? And would that be a bad thing, or a good thing? Etc.

    Epsom Salts are basically magnesium sulfate. My grandma used to soak her feet in hot water with Epsom Salts. Other people take them orally for constipation. Magnesium is something you need, but too much can lead to confusion, lethargy, nausea, an irregular heartbeat and other bad stuff. Take way too much and it can kill you. And how much you need, how long it stays in your body — all very individual. I will happily try soaking my feet in it, but hesitate to swallow any.

    Anticonvulsants are the #1 go-to treatment over here for “neuropathies” — numbness, burning, tingling or shooting pain attributed to the peripheral nerves. Pregabalin and gabapentin especially. I’ve met a few people for whom they seemed to work–and many for whom they caused awful mental and physical symptoms, not to mention dependence and withdrawal. I never mention my neuropathic symptoms to doctors anymore, because they always offer Lyrica (pregabalin) and I do not want to start that shit. If it does help in some cases, what is the mechanism? And why is it a negative experience for so many?

    One final question: Most of these drugs (like Lyrica or calcium-channel blockers for hypertension) seem to be prescribed long-term. Is that the only logical way to use them? Or is there good reason to think a short-term course of treatment could actually make a long-term change (like undo the damage caused by SSRI’s)?

  6. Some are most likely thinking why would I have reacted to milk or bread?
    Anything that had preservatives/additives/numbers/E numbers in foods, all were detrimental to my compromised health.
    Coke- I should have said all soft drinks, were toxic for me.
    Milk, containing lactose, upset my gastro intestinal tract, severely.
    We all take what we eat for granted however, when I was full of meds, I was so sensitive to a lot of things.
    I was grateful that I was able to understand/appreciate what these meds were doing to my good health.
    I honestly believe that if I did not do the intensive research, I would of become another sad statistic of over prescribed medicines, which were prescribed to me within a short period of time and all given to me closely together. The last prescribed medicine was the one that nearly cost me my life.
    It is horrifying to comprehend how many innocent people die as a result of prescribed medication, overprescribing and mis prescribing.

    https://health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2016-09-27/the-danger-in-taking-prescribed-medications

    https://www.citizen.org/article/misprescribing-and-overprescribing-of-drugs/

    https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/prescribing/overdose-death-maps.html

  7. Both Johanna and Carla’s comments point out so clearly that we are such complicated creatures! It is so hard to find a definite pattern related to us as “humans” – surely a little easier if we concentrated on us as “individuals” which, I feel, is the message of this post. We’ve always known that what suits one does not necessarily suit another – that lesson applies to whole of life and needs to apply also to medicines. All of us, who comment here, know very well that reactions to different drugs/ prescribed medicines vary from person to person. Getting many “professionals” to accept this, as we also know to our cost, can be incredibly hard work. “Yes”, they’ll say, “there are risks to all medicines and possible side effects” and then they close that conversation down with “but the benefits far outweigh the risks”. I feel that that quote would only be worthy of note if all “humans” reacted in mostly the same way in all conditions – in a combination of ‘lifestyle choices’ with added medications, that scenario becomes irrelevant.
    Even without the addition of medications, our reactions to a variety of conditions/ substances can vary. Even within a lifetime we can react differently to substances. I spent years not able to be comfortable wherever there were plastic bags or rubber bands – I would develop a deep wheeze and cough plus incredibly itchy face and hands even without touching the items. That has now more or less disappeared – except if I happen to go through severely mentally stressful times, when it then returns. Thankfully, now with Shane being so much better, the stresses have disappeared. This points to there being some changes within me – certainly not a change in the plastic or elastic. I am asthmatic, the symptoms of which appeared during three years spent teaching outside Wrexham, very close to Monsanto’s factory. Can I blame the outpouring of fumes etc. from there? I don’t know but I do know that I didn’t wheeze or have allergic reactions prior to those years.
    Johanna’s comment on Magnesium reminded me of a teacher who had been feeling ‘under the weather’, went to his doctor and was told to make his way to the local hospital that same day. He went home to gather his necessary goods for a possible hospital stay, collapsed in the bathroom and died. It was found that his magnesium levels had been dangerously low and that was the cause of death.
    All of this indicates the difficulties involved in trying to put together steps that may steer us towards a possible cure for PSSD etc. I guess.
    Of one thing I am sure, that cure will not be found without all who are suffering having the confidence to search and research and pushing the boundaries of media etc. that would rather that the whole issue were swept under a carpet out of sight of the general public.

  8. Thank you for your reply, Mary.
    We are indeed, complex creatures.
    I believe that if anyone had the same meds I was prescribed, the reaction/outcome, would have been indeed, worse if not fatal.
    I was a survivor however, I do believe that some many poor souls would not have had the strength to fight for their life, given the circumstances.
    We have to always be mindful of flawed medicines as it has always been and is once again the topic du jour of my concerns.
    Sadly, if one is dealt a flawed batch, dire implications can happen to anyone.
    We say what we need to say and if no one understands/appreciates what I am trying to put forward, then this is where it becomes an issue.
    Some people who have experienced unforgiving effects, understand well what I am trying to say.
    In many cases, one med will fix up one problem only to create another health issue, in return. So the vicious cycle begins………….!
    When I hear:
    ”However, the benefits far outweigh the risks”. This statement makes me cringe.
    You are so correct Mary, when you inform us, that some practitioners are quick to state their case.
    Well, once our good health has been ruined by the medicine’s that are ‘prescribed to heal’, that statement becomes negligible.
    There is a massive difference between accidental harm and uninformed harm.
    Once I had improved my diet, the health issues I was grappling with, became less of a hurdle.
    If we have health issues that are induced by meds, sadly this is also problematic.
    It is always there however, one has to be mindful of what ‘triggers’ the health maladies and only the one who understands ‘thy body’ appreciates what works well for them.
    I never had the health issues before I was prescribed a toxic array of meds.
    It is what it is! My body is in my hands now for it may be ruined in the hands of those who have no understanding of the dilemmas one has to deal/cope with.
    The only remedy, all of us on RXISK are honoured to have, is the power of knowing that we are educators of a topic that quite frankly, is dismissed by many in the know-how!

  9. All I was doing for a time was say typing ‘TRPA1 agonist’ into Google and then looking through papers like this one which talk about newly identified agonist compounds. There are alot of such papers to be discovered on Google Scholar. I don’t go through the papers fine detail although I quite like the graphs and tables of clearly presented data as those appeal to me as an Engineer.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-68013-2

    If I go through looking at lots of papers using this simple searching method eventually Google Scholar shuts me down and calls me a robot. I don’t think I’m a robot but that is what happens. If lots of people did searching like this the latest ion channel TRP and non TRP agonists could be collected. Newly discovered ion channel agonists might be helpful in discovering cures for PSSD and protracted withdrawal conditions. There is only one of me if lots of others adopted the same schema we would logically discover new compounds sooner.

  10. Here is another recent paper which pops up when you type ‘TRPV1 agonists’ into Google. These recent papers are talking about newly discovered agonist compounds. This is what I think chasing ion channel agonists means.

    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2020.01040/full

    I think it is alot of fun digging up these ion channel agonist papers and finding out about new compounds, those new compounds can be added to the current lists.

  11. Piezo1 and Piezo2 agonists’ delivered me to this paper. I can feel myself becoming more ragged than usual as I took my 25mg last Sertraline tablet on Friday 20th November. I’ll see how much of this I can cope with before I feed myself a bit of the liquid Fluoxetine. I’ll probably try 2.5mg morning and evening to see if I can stabilise at a half dose equivalence. The Sertraline should be almost complely out of my system now I’ll see how long I can hang on in there before I will be compelled to take 2.5mg of Fluoxetine. Fun and games this isn’t, this is hard work even with my regular supplements.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-12501-1

  12. Things definitely got a bit more swirly than I have become accustomed to just recently today. I thought a brisk walk was in order although I must have appeared like a man possessed to other people or Sonic the Hedgehog after that time when he took amphetamines. The liquid Fluoxetine was still in the Boots Chemist so I walked there with quite an enthusiastic spring in my step, I was incredibly motivated. It’s a very peculiar thing when others don’t share the same level of urgency as you do isn’t it ? I felt like the physical embodiment of Sonic but he is a bit mapped character living in a computer simulation I’m just a fella having a withdrawal reaction. I’ll put up with it for a bit longer and try to intervene with 2.5mg of Fluoxetine on myself before I reach the ‘needs to be strapped to a gurney’ stage with any luck.
    Stay tuned for further updates on my latest adventure.

  13. I fed 5mg or 1.25ml of the Fluoxetine liquid into my system, it appears to have put the brakes on what happened earlier although I’m still quite frazzled. I managed to avoid resorting to drinking Brandy I’ll keep that one for the New Year as I anticipate the swirlyness might come back again around that time. I’ll continue with my supplement regime and split the Fluoxetine dose to be 2 5mg or 0.625ml in the morning and evening. I’ll see how things go finger crossed.

    It seems a bit unreasonable to expect people to cope with this sort of there must be a better way of doing things than this. I chatted to a woman in the queue at the Chemist who was talking about how her Grandson had been diagnosed with ADHD. I was telling her not to let a GP prescribe the child Ritalin and that I would be inclined to go with a herbal supplement like ‘Child Calm’ there are quite a few like that which you can acquire from Holland and Barrett or Amazon. Those herbal combinations help to ameliorate an issue like that without being dangerously addictive.

    • Justin, I admire all that you are sharing with us here. You seem to have unearthed such a lot of information, added to which you are coping with withdrawal. I sincerely hope that you are successful now without the need for too much of the liquid Fluoxetine – and will leave the brandy alone until you are well away from the Fluoxetine and the effects of withdrawal from Sertraline!

      • I do my best with what I have Mary. I like my peace and quiet, reading.and thiinking about.solving problems, there is nothing else to do. I try to take a logical and rational approach to everything. Withdrawals can make.life seem a bit unreasonable, it’s like having the rug pulled out from beneath your feet, I became very closed off from everything and wanted a.quiet life with no alarms and no surprises. I went through a period where I could only socialise if I had quite a bit to drink to escape from the chemical straightjacket that seemed to lock me up inside my own head all the time. Miraculously since adopting my supplement regime the unreasonable craving I developed for alcohol vanished which is good, also the Feverfew sorted the headaches. Nobody wants to have their day blighted by a constant barrage of freaky symtoms all the time going about daily business in a withdrawal state is very hard work and exhausting.

        • I think the trick is to extract some simple clarity from all the information that is where the data is good. Clarity is everything we need here..

  14. These videos about how your phone works are interesting.

    https://youtu.be/5f2xOxRGKqk

    https://youtu.be/NKfW8ijmRQ4

    There is a research area scientists are busy working on at the moment to do with what they call Ionotronics.  The idea is basically to mimic the way ion channels work by transporting lots of different types of ions across ion channel gates that open and close as opposed to Electronics which uses on/off transistors and electron transport.  They actually are able to create artificial ion channels so one day electronics might go out of fashion and everything might be Iontronics. 

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/aisy.201900073

    I never get bored anyway, I keep myself occupied. I’m putting a list of the tools and components together I would need to create a prototyoe compact pen sized biothesiometer such a device could be put into production and easily mailed out to the PSSD crowd in a jiffy bag with some potential therapeutics and a set of instructions. I get a bit distracted reading papers but I’ve got the plan for the biothesiometer mostly in my head, I need to finish the list. For instance the tool known as the Analogue Discovery 2 is very good and reasonably priced at £400 it does everything so I would like that.

    https://youtu.be/TgQVBfNdJ2o

    A very compact simple biothesiometer could be easily created without making it too complicated. It would just use a micro to drive a voltage controlled amplifier that drives an electromagnetic rod in coil type vibration element for skin application. It could be made very portable and powered by a LiPo battery. A small biothesiometer device would enable lots of PSSD people to try out therapeutics and assess any improvement in receptor function and report information back to RxISK as to what therapeutics work. This seems like a logical direction to take to investigate cures.

  15. Here optical tweezers are used to create a mechanical stimulus to a neuron you can see that happening on the left.  On the right you can see the neuron firing in response to the mechanical stimulus.  The Piezo1 ans Piezo2 ion channels are the main mechanosensors that create this neuronal stimulus effect. I need to slow down and chill for a bit that’s enough work for today.

    https://frontiersin.figshare.com/articles/Video_3_Cell_Mechanotransduction_With_Piconewton_Forces_Applied_by_Optical_Tweezers_AVI/6615836/1

  16. Most of here are cynical about ‘professional advice..’ but if no trusted knowledgeable person is around theres still ways of double checking for interactions on google

    HERBS CAN HEAL NEUROTRANSMITTERS
    Most of us are aware that the brain is not an island. It is not floating in our heads by itself but instead forms connections with many functions throughout the entire body. Forming a close tribe rather than being a distant relative to various bodily processes.

    The blood brain barrier is also not a Berlin Wall where nothing can reach the brain itself, there are plenty of herbs and nutrients that do in fact cross the blood brain barrier to directly influence brain health.

    Neurotransmitters are the key to this whole-body communication being chemical messengers throughout your nervous system that carry, boost and balance signals between neurons aka nerve cells and other cells in the body. When you are exposed to external stress for example, your body ideally will try to send signals for calming neurotransmitters to be released to help you remain focused and on point but problems in this communication are common. Imbalance of any neurotransmitter be that too much or too little can mean that a signal or message is not received, and our body may react to traffic the same way it did historically to being chased by a dinosaur.

    So how many neurotransmitters are you familiar with? Let’s take a quick look at just a few and the herbs that can support your bodies natural pathways to maintain balance of these important messengers.

    Serotonin seems to be the neurotransmitter we are most familiar with as its associated with happiness, wellbeing and just generally feeling good; when in balance this can be true. However deficient and excess can cause dysregulation of mood, appetite and sleep, particularly sleep onset. Were you aware that it is also involved in learning and memory, which is why in some mood disorders the ability to retain information is inhibited. Serotonin is primarily found in the enteric nervous system located in the GI tract which is partly why we hear that gut health is so integral for good mental health. Low serotonin can also present with the symptom of constipation and high serotonin can present with tendency to runny stools. Two herbs that support production of Serotonin are Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus) and St Johns Wort (Hypericum perforatum) useful for irritability and fatigue that comes with low mood.

    GABA is a calming neurotransmitter that is commonly linked to anxiety where panic attacks form a large part of the picture, this is because Gaba prevents neurons from being overstimulated and overfiring. It also involved in regulation of muscle tone so low Gaba can translate to poor muscle tone despite specific muscle training exercises. Made in the nervous system and the pancreas, Gaba is the perfect example of why health practitioners warn against excessive sugar consumption in managing anxiety and stress. Two herbs that support GABA production are Kava (Piper methysticum) and Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) perfect for both panic attacks, emotional stress and waking throughout the night.

    Dopamine is both a hormone and neurotransmitter and is involved in reward motivated behaviour giving it a strong link to addictions and addictive behaviours. Low dopamine can result in restless leg syndrome and a 3pm slump in energy. Produced in both the cells and adrenal glands, long term adrenal stress can deplete dopamine levels. Two herbs that are beneficial in balancing dopamine might be surprising as they are commonly used for other conditions and they are Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) and Turmeric (Curcuma longa) perfect for reducing inflammation and reducing heavy metal toxicity which can affect dopamine production making us crave rewards such as sweet treats, alcohol or other addictive behaviours.

    Epinephrine or adrenalin as its more commonly known is involved in the fight or flight response, which is a necessary biological response when we are in real danger but not when the external stressor is mild in its threat. This heightened response to everyday life events is common in anxiety disorders and adrenalin is considered to play a role when symptoms such as excessive sweating and palpitations are present. Made in both the adrenal glands and neurons it once again shows the link between healthy adrenal glands and the health of neurons. Two herbs that help to balance Adrenalin are Withania (Ashwaganda) and Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) are ideal tonics that keep balance and support physical stress, improve performance and debility.

    With all herbs it is best to seek the professional advice of a naturopath or herbalist to ensure there are no interactions with medications and that they are the most suitable herbs for your individual biochemistry. Nature does hold many healing herbs in its medicine cabinet that can help us find the difference between surviving and thriving at times.

  17. Your Brain on Herbs: Neurotransmitters, Nootropics, & Nature’s Pharmaceuticals for Mental Health
    Rachelle Robinett September 22, 2015

    Even medications edit the brain chemistry that in turn creates feelings, thoughts and behaviors we’re typically looking to modify.
    Antidepressant and mood altering medications do not change negative behaviors or feelings, the effect they have on our brain chemistry is what changes them. This means that changing our brain chemistry is what changes our feelings and behaviors. The assumption that we need medications to do this is faulty thinking.

    For those who can work without (or with less) medication, the safest, healthiest and longest-term method of modifying unhealthy or undesirable brain activity is via nutrition, herbs and lifestyle. “Herbalism” is fundamentally holistic. Meaning, nutrition, supplements and lifestyle are all part of a great herbal protocol. Simply drinking herbal tea or popping the all-natural pills isn’t enough; we must lay the foundation for all-around health in order for our actions to work, and stick.

    A key to using herbs and foods to create healthy brain chemistry lies in knowing which specific brain chemicals need to be enhanced or reduced, and what herbs and foods, activities and attitudes will do that.
    CARBOHYDRATE-RICH FOODS CAUSE OUR BODIES TO CREATE SEROTONIN! SO, WE DON’T CRAVE THE CARBS AS MUCH AS WE CRAVE SEROTONIN.
    Dopamine – and its derivative, norepinephrine – are considered a single chemical. This is the energizing, “gas petal” chemical that promotes increased feelings of alertness, wakefulness, assertiveness and aggressiveness. This chemical heightens energy, speeds up thoughts and improves muscle coordination. Too much norepinephrine causes anxiety and aggression, stimulates violent behaviors, and causes schizophrenia, paranoia and psychosis.

    One of the most powerful and fastest ways to alter these neurotransmitters is via your herb and food choices.

    Foods rich in protein boost dopamine and norepinephrine within minutes, causing increased alertness, speeding up thoughts, and increasing assertiveness. Beans and legumes, fermented soy like tempeh and miso, and beverages like coffee (found to speed up transmitters, speed thoughts, improve reaction time and mental functioning and enhance mood after a 20 year study), black tea, green tea and milk all boost dopamine and norepinephrine. Seeds and nuts such as sunflower, pumpkin and milk thistle also boost dopamine and norepinephrine levels.

    Herbs that can help raise dopamine levels include ginseng, nettles, red clover, fenugreek, dandelion and peppermint.

    One of my favorite herbs for dopamine support is Mucuna Pruriens, otherwise known as “dopamine bean.” I use this along with a nootropic supplement as part of my daily morning routine, along with a little bit of herbal coffee and MCT oil and believe it’s contributed significantly to the actual erasure of my lifelong generalized anxiety and panic disorder.

    Activities that enhance these “gas pedal” neurotransmitters include listening to great music, dancing (and any rush of activity), exciting sports, being active outdoors – especially in the sun – and sex.

    That said, when choosing carbs, choose great ones! Fruit – fresh or dried and fresh vegetables, especially roots, squashes, pumpkins … Apples are noted for bringing oxygen to the brain and being rich in complex carbohydrates and B vitamins, critical nutrients for balanced serotonin levels. Cacao (100% if possible please!) contain PEA, called the molecule of love, and enzymes that prevent the breakdown of anandamide, otherwise known as the “bliss molecule.” Cacao also contains a central nervous system stimulant (theobromine) which can act like a natural antidepressant.

    Some herbs that help boost serotonin levels include oatstraw, which is high in B vitamins, and the roots of angelica, burdock, dandelion, ginseng, wild yam, black cohosh, cannabis and so many more.

    In addition to food and herbs, consider sunlight or a SAD lamp if you live somewhere dark (or even if you don’t). Sleep is essential for neurotransmitter balance so syncing your circadian rhythms and getting enough, on a regular schedule, is as important as medication. Perhaps even more important: Exercise.
    Herbs for Brain Health
    Oat straw is a restorative, nourishing nervine herb and high in B-vitamins which are important for those with generalized anxiety or an especially taxed nervous system. Oat straw is also known for soothing low mood, sadness, or grief – especially if caused by stress. (Oat seed extract is a key ingredient in our herbal gummies, HRBLS.)

    Lavender is well studied as an antidepressant, tranquilizing and stress relieving herb. I refer to it as a plant for peace. (Lavender and skullcap, below, are also ingredients in HRBLS.)

    Skullcap is one of nature’s finest nervine herbs – an herb used before we had pharmaceutical tranquilizers, for deep calm and sleep. Some of the active compounds in skullcap bind to the same receptor sites in the brain as benzodiazepines, giving this plant the closest natural action to Xanax that I’ve found yet.

    Sage may inhibit the breakdown of acetylcholine, thus protecting against Alzheimer’s disease. It is also been highly regarded as a brain tonic around the world and for thousands of years.

    Freshly picked lavender
    Freshly picked lavender

    Rosemary is another excellent herb for the brain – especially known to increase alertness, circulation, strengthen memory and acts as an all-around brain tonic. “Rosemary for remembrance!”

    Ginkgo can help bring blood to the brain, improve mood and sociability, sharpen concentration and intellect, and eases tension and anxiety. This is a classic herb (tree) for bran health that’s been used to that effect for thousands of years.

    Ginseng, the epitome of an adaptogenic herb, is rejuvenating, restorative, boosts energy and vitality and is tonic to the brain. Antidepressant, adaptogenic, an excellent ally for anyone under physical, emotional, mental or spiritual stress. Promotes strong nerves, sound sleep, improves memory, clear thinking and enhances concentration.

    Angelica can be revitalizing, restorative and offers rich stores of B vitamins, including B12, calcium, magnesium and iron, all necessary nutrients for healthy brain and nervous system functioning.

    Lemon Balm is an effective natural tranquilizer and antidepressant. It is anesthetic, pain easing and called a safeguard against senility. Lemon balm nourishes the brain.

    John’s Wort is a beautiful nervine, effective against mild to moderate depression, alleviating anxiety, insomnia, and irritability and eases pain. It was used traditionally as a nerve-pain reliever before a mood support.
    Jasmine Grapefruit Echinacea
    Jasmine Grapefruit Echinacea
    Motherwort may help stabilize emotions and serve as a natural relaxant after (or during) stressful times. I often use it during “happy hour” or prior to high-intensity teaching or speaking engagements.

    B Vitamins, omega oils and essential fatty acids, nootropic supplements, intermittent fasting, psychedelics, meditation and more … ! There is much to learn and it’s worth the time and effort. In a world where neurodegenerative diseases are rampant, not only avoiding the worst but planning for the best is entirely possible with some solid bran health best-practices.

  18. Suzanne, you are absolutely correct in stating that turmeric has many health benefits.
    I was ingesting this spice when I had so much pain,swelling and pressure of my brain.
    I love the fact that we are all brainstorming here on RXISK and providing beneficial information which may benefit others.
    It is no good to hoard the information to ourselves.
    Don’t take my word for it.
    Please take the time and research facts and dig deeper if you need to better understand or appreciate a particular topic.

    It is known to be the spice from the Ancient Gods.
    History of turmeric has been part of our lives since 4000bc, where people used this Gods liquid gold as medicine for healing.
    This spice has been part of the Indian Ayurveda for thousands of years and is known to possess numerous medicinal properties.

    Turmeric contains the powerful antioxidant curcumin. Studies have shown that it has anti inflammatory effects on the brain and body.

    This rich, intense, golden elixir has many benefits for our health.
    1. Reduces inflammation- It is beneficial for heart diseases, cancer, Alzheimer’s, arthritis and other degenerative diseases.
    2. It is an antioxidant- Remove dangerous free radicals from the body, which can damage other cells DNA.
    3. Benefits the Mood and Mind- Can help with depression and assist in balancing the moods. Another amazing benefit is that it can boost serotonin and dopamine which are neurotransmitters that, when low in levels, are linked to depression.
    4. Prevent Alzheimer’s- Alzheimer’s disease is a build-up of protein tangles known as Amyloid plaques. Which is induced by inflammation of brain cells.
    An interesting fact to note is that studies have shown that the curcumin in turmeric can help clear plaques while it’s known to help reduce inflammation As a result, turmeric might help prevent Alzheimer’s or slow its progression.
    5.Lowers risks of heart disease- A surprising factor to also note is that studies have shown that this extraordinary herb, which lowers the risk of heart disease.
    Curcumin enhances the functioning of the lining of blood vessels enabling it to better regulate blood pressure and blood clotting. As a result, this helps protect your cardiovascular system.
    6. Slows the progression of tumours- Curcumin is known to play an crucial part in the treatment of cancer and many studies have provided with strong evidence that curcumin can be an excellent candidate for the treatment of both cancers and tumours.
    Before you ingest this spice please check with your health provider.
    It has been reported that various herbs on interaction with other herbs, medications, and supplements can cause side-effects.

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