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About Alchemica

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    Shaman's Apprentice

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    Temperate Tablelands

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  1. Got any science going on in the garden? Gardens can be many things for people. For me, they're also a healthy science experiment. I've found I need to get experimental on the world around me safely, rather than making myself the continuous experiment... This year the veggie gardening has become not just an attempt at self-sufficiency (and therapy) but also in part, a science project I'm growing lots of Brassicaceae but I don't want piss weak produce. I want maximal health benefits and ways to keep the gardening experience novel. This year I'm keeping it simple on the ones for food and going to try using some potassium sulfate (in addition to normal plant nutrition) on the plants [1] Increasing secondary metabolites by using agricultural sustainable practices an important target for maximising health benefits Something as simple as potassium sulfate, applied via the nutrient solution or as a foliar spray, stimulated the secondary metabolites, increasing the contents of glucosinolates and phenolic compounds, in mustards, kale and broccoli Sulfur content is a critical determinant of Brassicaceae plant growth, these plants have higher requirements for this element and aerial and root biomass were maximal after K2SO4 supplementation [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31177025 Another one intrigues me as a pure experiment - melatonin - proposed as a plant master regulator which can interact with the functions of other plant growth regulators or hormones Alongside my experiments with simple potassium sulfate, I'm going to try some kale plants on melatonin. Plant melatonin not only acts as an antioxidant, but also induces substantial changes in gene expression in many physiological aspects. Melatonin is a pleiotropic molecule that influences many diverse actions to enhance plant growth and has a positive role in biomass accumulation. Exogenous melatonin boosted the growth, photosynthetic, and antioxidant activities in plants Melatonin acts as a biostimulator in situations of abiotic stress, regulating key elements expressed against stressors It is a regulator in the expression of enzymes and regulatory elements of plant hormones Melatonin is also involved in inducing secondary metabolites, including polyphenols and carotenoids Even pre-soaking seeds with 100 μM MEL enhanced per-plant yield by up to 23% and application of 1 μM significantly improved seedling growth in one experiment. I'm more interested in potential for increasing secondary metabolites in plants What happens when veggie growing meets science 1 kale seedling has 1 μM melatonin foliar fed @ height 40mm Control is also 40mm and both will get same lighting and fertiliser regime The race is on... https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30446305 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30256447
  2. Alchemica

    Tagetes lucida

    Got leftovers of seed if anyone else wants some (No WA/Tas) send me a PM.
  3. [Done - thanks for interest - will send to the two interested people] It is said to be "helpful where there is fixed and unyielding mental perspectives, helping the person to make shifts and changes from a calm and centred point, relieved of agitation with space for new thoughts and ideas to emerge." Traditionally used for several disorders “Reactive, agitated and masked depressions, melancholy, neurasthenia, neuropathy, organic neurosis, vegetative-dystonic disturbances, imbalances, constitutional lability of the nervous system”, as well as a sleep-inducer and sedative tea. A too high dose has been reported to make people feel too sedated, too heavy and cumbersome. Again, the best dose is the amount that the person can palpably feel relaxing them and making them feel more comfortable." [1] Both aerial parts and roots contain alkaloids, the latter being much richer (1.6-2.7%). Six flavonol 3-O-glycosides were isolated from the aerial parts [2] Relative safety is evidenced by traditional use of the plant, which can be found in the European market for more than 30 years without any safety concern. - Affinity for the benzodiazepine receptors and alkaloids increase the binding of GABA to GABA receptors - Binding to 5-HT1A and 5-HT7 receptors Typical pharmacy preparations (i.e., 300 mg of dry plant material per capsule, twice daily) theoretically contain insufficient quantities of these alkaloids required to induce desired biological effects. It is evident from HPLC analysis that protopine and a-allocryptopine levels in the aerial parts of this herb are too low to modulate significantly the chloride-ion flow across the GABAA receptors at traditional doses. In order to achieve important medicinal effects (regarding relatively low alkaloid levels determined in aerial parts of this plant), one would need to increase the dried plant dosage above 1 g [3] The aqueous extract of the plant at 25mg/kg in mice exerted an anxiolytic action, as proved by changes in behavioural parameters; at higher levels, the effect became more sedative. The anxiolytic and sedative effects of E. californica are caused by affinity for GABA receptors, as evidenced by suppression of anxiolytic and sedative effects following pre-treatment with flumazenil. While it has potential of causing interactions with drugs that are metabolized by cytochrome P450s, the tea seems to be safer [4]. [1] https://www.rjwhelan.co.nz/herbs A-Z/californian_poppy.html [2] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/314151657_ESCHSCHOLZIA_CALIFORNICA_A_PHYTOCHEMICAL_AND_PHARMACOLOGICAL_-REVIEW [3] https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bri/2015/617620/ [4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27054913
  4. Alchemica

    Ashwagandha powder sourced from Australia

    How much are you after? These are the bits I left when I was making my own root as I didn't know how to get in and clean them totally free of soil well but if you are up for that process you can have them, if you want to experiment with it? Also got a BIG bag of Californian Poppy if that's by chance of use to you
  5. There was space at a local community garden that was unused and unloved that was kindly offered. I'd suggest utilising local community garden land if it is at all available, sure keep the plants community friendly but you'd be surprised, often these community gardens are up for something people are enthused about beyond the normal food
  6. I thought I'd share here a project from last year that gave me hope and healing through a community garden and how such can positively impact mental health I have to find more ways to do projects like this, it was the first thing in a long time that improved my mental health Late last year was the first time I've achieved a longer-term personal goal in a very long time. It's hard for people to understand when the goal-oriented, sequential step-by-step organisation for a longer-term outcome part of your brain doesn't work properly just exactly how hard that is. In doing that, I managed to take the desolate wasteland of illness and imbued some hope, meaning, purpose and contribution. That process is reflected in the garden pictures below. It's taken me a long time to start re-investing the illness force, allegiance to the pain, back into healthy things. I had invested a lot of my super scattered ill energy at the community garden and got a medicinal garden out of it through trial and error It helped me develop a special healing relationship with plants while so ill. The medicinal patch became a sacred healing space for me to start caring for my personal ecosystem and stay connected to the community. I enjoyed the medicinal patch as growing things was intrinsically motivated and there was no rigidity to an outcome - any success was a win and boost to self-esteem, any failure no big deal It provided some vital aspects - something to care for beyond the self - novelty and seeing things burst to life - Trial and error approaches, without ANY expectation of outcomes other than giving things a go - Celebrating any small outcome of success, not "meeting quotas" Like my life... initially barren, empty, dry Learning to rise from the darkness by growing seeds First glimmers of light Growth Coming to bloom Returning full circle. My lessons in attempting a medicinal patch despite being functionally very impaired: It's very different going from pots and home gardening and buying lots of plants to community garden plot planting from seed. Particularly going essentially solo and with severe functional impairments. 1. Start simple and get simple happening in the plot first before you go in anyway complicated. If the world of herbal medicinal plants too over enthuses you, pick just a few functional plants to fill a patch initially. Get a feel for it as you go and up your commitment as you see how things fare 2. You'll need so much time if you're starting from seed vs the rapid growth expected from conventional veggie gardening and faster plants etc. Some are slow projects from seed. White Sage, Dan Shen etc 3. Be patient for the seasons. Jumping in early even with a heat mat and greenhouse can just cause issues. 4. Work out weed control and watering options for warm months. For me, despite thinking I got all the soil 'good enough' prepared, weeds were problematic
  7. Alchemica

    Ketosis as therapy

    What have I noted about running on low intakes of carbohydrates? I've been running low carbs. To the point most fruit sounded scary and I got very selective with fruits and anything carbs - occasionally a few chickpeas was my limit. I've only just started putting them back in significantly ie some brown rice - I don't have bread, cereal. pasta etc. I was very hesitant to start putting in significant carbs again as they do seem to significantly impact weight aspects for me but I was getting totally dysfunctional Why the sourpuss? Maybe it's your low carb diet In direct contrast to what advocates of low-carbohydrate diets promise—an end to mood swings and fatigue, low-carb diets can lead to pronounced feelings of depression and sadness, even rage. "People feel very angry, and their antidepressants don't work well, either" Low-carb diet may particularly have an adverse effect on those prone to low moods. “If you’ve cut our carbs and experience anxiety or depressive feelings as a result, you’re actually less likely to exercise, eat well and take care of yourself. "...the low-carbohydrate diet may have had detrimental effects on mood that, over the term of one year, negated any positive effects of weight loss" [1] Restricting carbohydrates could make it hard for you to fall and stay asleep. [2] As I mentioned in the sleep bit: Also, fasting blood glucose results have been persistently somewhat elevated causing concern. Can being low on carb intake paradoxically potentially do that kind of blood glucose dysregulation? It seems it can... “Why is my fasting blood glucose higher on low carb?” I hadn't heard of “adaptive glucose sparing” [3] My cognition was crap, probably from the months of sleep deprivation too. Persistent odd states of consciousness, too. Despite a growing body of clinical evidence suggesting that low-carbohydrate diets can be helpful for people with brain problems, including neurological, psychiatric, and cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, a low-protein, high-carb diet may be an easier alternative to calorie restriction for people looking to preserve brain health and prevent cognitive decline [4]. These findings have been critiqued "There is a strong consensus that a diet rich in carbohydrates and fiber is crucial for brain health and Alzheimer's prevention." (along with associated fiber deficiencies also harm our guts and subsequently our microbiome, which can also pose negative long-term effects on the brain and incite brain fog, confusion, and even anxiety). ...the low-protein, high-carbohydrate diet appeared to promote hippocampal health and biology in the mice, on some measures to an even greater degree than those on the low-calorie diet [1] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091109173614.htm [2] https://www.livestrong.com/article/482729-i-cant-sleep-on-a-low-carb-diet/ [3] https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/fasting-blood-glucose-higher [4] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323772.php
  8. This plant was once of interest at the forums and on and off of interest to me but I've not heard much of people's positive experiences with it. If you have anything to share, feel free. Radix puerariae is one of the most widely used ancient traditional Chinese medicines and is also consumed as food. Kudzu is now considered for the treatment of many kinds of addictions, metabolic conditions, pain and for it's CNS therapeutic potential. The most abundant isoflavone of kudzu root is puerarin, but it also contains daidzein, daidzin and other isoflavones It selectively suppresses ethanol intake and inhibits mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH-2, an enzyme involved in serotonin (5-HT) and dopamine (DA) metabolism and alters monoamine levels. It "specifically targets unique drug related episodic surges in dopamine, a pathophysiologic mechanism that appears to underlie much of drug-seeking behaviour." [1] " a single dose of kudzu extract (active isoflavone content of 520mg) quickly reduces alcohol consumption in a binge drinking paradigm. These data add to the mounting clinical evidence that kudzu extract may be a safe and effective adjunctive pharmacotherapy for alcohol abuse and dependence. " [study] It's intriguing as puerarin is also a promising rapid-acting antidepressant compound through AMPAR-mTOR signaling pathway activation and increased BDNF [2], exerts anxiolytic-like effects, which may be "associated with normalisation of 5-HT levels and biosynthesis of allopregnanolone in brain" [3] and alleviated the behavioural deficits induced by chronic stress [4] and may be a "potentially valuable preventative therapeutics for memory-related nervous disorders" [5]. It also possibly acts through opioid system. Available evidence from animal models shows that antioxidant and antiapoptosis activities of puerarin protect neurons against damage in dementia and Parkinson's (partially prevents the chemically-induced DA neurodegeneration in mice and rats, and stimulates striatal GDNF) and puerarin has been shown to decrease the morbidity of ischemic stroke [6]. It is neuroprotective and there are therapeutic application of puerarin-related compounds in neurodegenerative diseases It has been called a "potentially valuable preventative therapeutic for brain disorders due to their abilities to promote the neuronal cytoarchitecture and the synaptic functionality" "The antidiabetes activity of puerarin includes reduced body weight gain, improved blood glucose control, and improved glucose tolerance. R. pueraria has been used to treat diabetes for thousands of years, and Puerarin can reduce blood sugar and increase insulin receptor sensitivity in patients with type 2 diabetes". - Acute administration of puerarin significantly improves glucose tolerance in animal models and is promising in humans: - Chronic kudzu root supplementation improves glycaemic control, insulin sensitivity in animal models Kudzu root in the diet in animals is associated with a decrease in fasting glucose and improvements in both glucose tolerance (oral glucose tolerance test) as well as insulin tolerance (indicative of insulin sensitivity) - Isoflavones act as antidiabetic agents [7] and decreased food intake and body weight gain [8] and Pueraria lobata could interfere with antipsychotic-associated insulin resistance and revert overexpressed IR-related proteins [9]' -Paradoxically, there is "evidence for the role of phytoestrogenic compounds in improvement of sexual function and testosterone production in male animals" These isoflavones have been linked to "significantly improved androgenic and sexual behaviour parameters. There was also an increase in serum concentration of FSH and improvement in serum testosterone level" [10] However, like other isoflavones, puerarin, kudzu and its other phytoestrogenic components act in part as selective estrogen receptor modulators displayed preferential affinity for ERβ and altered sperm parameters [11] There are hints that they may be negative as removing dietary isoflavones in adult male rats causes obesity and diabetes in some models [12] and long-term consumption of a diet rich in soy isoflavones can have marked influences on patterns of aggressive and social behaviour [13]. This is coupled with dysregulation of the HPG-axis and thyroid function Isoflavones definitely seem like a bad idea developmentally as they "...produced a delay on the onset of puberty and "at high doses of isoflavones ... prevent the stimulation of the secretion of pituitary hormones and the production of T abolishing the onset of puberty" [14] There is possible for interactions [15] [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26022266 [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30284466 [3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29101599 [4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28740098 [5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28734961 [6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30693344 [7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30958562 [8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30402623 [9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30946280 [10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24489512 [11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22278629 [12] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27469930 [13] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15053944 [14] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30924551 [15] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24710899
  9. Alchemica

    Free Galphimia glauca

    Did you have luck germinating this @Glaukus? As one of my first attempts with seeds, I may have been too hasty collecting seed. Revisiting this, from the latest study, it seems to be a rather cumulative effect, not so much acute effects. A gradual improvement was observed in GAD - 68.1% of the patients were completely asymptomatic at the end of the administration of the experimental treatment, and 92.0% of patients were considered with therapeutic success. It managed to progressively improve the activities of patients in daily life, as well as provide palpable improvements regarding their tranquility and their perception of anxiety and depression. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30834253
  10. Alchemica

    Tagetes lucida

    First lots have been sent out and received with a couple of people trying the herb too. If they have any experiences with the plant feel free to let us know. Sorry to be a pain @Humbolt but I'm not comfortable sending to Tas/WA these days (thought I put that in but must have not) So @Paradoxical I'll send some seeds for you More on the plant: In traditional medicine, it has been said the herb "alleviates crazy people and those astonished and frightened by thunder". While a simple tea was claimed not to work, 2g dried and powdered, administered with juice was found effective, or a fresh alcohol tincture (Lazar, 2002 via The Garden of Eden) In other sources " The infusion of one bundle with water makes two to three cups of an aromatic tea, a sufficient dosage to produce profound stimulating and aphrodisiac effects" [1] It has featured in snuff blends "...the Tagetes herb clears thinking, relieves tension, aids emotional control" and a fermented tea, which is prepared the same way Sinicuichi (Heimia salicifolia) is prepared [2]. May have more seeds too soon
  11. Sprouts featuring in recent news Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they have further characterized a set of chemical imbalances in the brains of people with schizophrenia-related to the chemical glutamate. And they figured out how to tweak the level using a compound derived from broccoli sprouts. They say the results advance the hope that supplementing with broccoli sprout extract, which contains high levels of the chemical sulforaphane, may someday provide a way to lower the doses of traditional antipsychotic medicines needed to manage schizophrenia symptoms It’s possible that future studies could show sulforaphane to be a safe supplement to give people at risk of developing schizophrenia as a way to prevent, delay or blunt the onset of symptoms Further research is needed to learn whether sulforaphane can safely reduce symptoms of psychosis or hallucinations in people with schizophrenia. They would need to determine an optimal dose and see how long people must take it to observe an effect. ” https://neurosciencenews.com/broccoli-sprout-schizophrenia-13051/
  12. I've been revisiting this trying to improve sleep by changing macronutrient profiles a bit. I was finding restricting carbs with higher protein intake was seemingly messing with sleep even more. Dietary intake habits (affecting the state of nutrition) are perceived to be one of the factors predisposing, causing and consolidating sleeping disorders When it came to one study [1], two thirds of the subjects with sleep difficulties were characterised by an inappropriate state of nutrition. Sleep disorders could have been influenced by the low energy value of the subjects’ diets, as it has been shown that lowering the energy intake significantly decreases melatonin, a low intake of assimilative carbohydrates could have an influence on pinealocytes and the sleep-wake cycle. Similar results were seen in [2] where beans/carbohydrates and dairy were associated with improved sleep quality. "It was ascertained that, despite the insufficient energy value of the subjects’ diets, too much energy came from proteins [they] showed insufficient energy value, insufficient intake of assimilative carbohydrates, fibre, K, Ca, vitamin D3 and water with simultaneous excessive intake of Na, P, Fe, Zn, Cu and vitamins: A, B2 , B6, B12, PP, and C" Inbalanced intake of energy and nutritive value could have affected the proper synthesis of neurotransmitters regulating sleep-wake cycle and melatonin hormone. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29265779 https://www.cureus.com/articles/16904-influence-of-dietary-intake-on-sleeping-patterns-of-medical-students
  13. Sounds good, hope the terpenes help - keep us updated! Sorry to hear you're being troubled with more struggles, that's no fair
  14. Saw this and thought of your post @FancyPants Protein Kinase C: Targets to Regenerate Brain Injuries? "Recent reports describe several non-tumorigenic diterpenes isolated from plants of the Euphorbia genus, which specifically modulate the activity of PKC isozymes promoting neurogenesis." There's lots of attempts to use pro-neurogenic plant compounds for example Ar-turmerone from turmeric essential oil Other molecules include: Eg TrkB (BDNF) 7,8-Dihydroxyflavone (Present in several plants such as Tridax procumbens L., Godmania aesculifolia (Kunth) Standl. and Primula sp. Huperzine A (Huperzia serrata (Thunb.) Deoxygedunin (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) Hyperforin (Hypericum perforatum L) and other polyphenols etc See more botanicals here Eg TrkA (NGF) β-caryophyllene Lion's mane etc GDNF Ibogaine β-Asarone (promotes expression of GDNF, BDNF, and CNTF genes)