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Alchemica

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Everything posted by Alchemica

  1. I've tried Purslane and Dandelion before, a bit of Mallow and seen plenty of Tribulus but never got deeper than that on weeds as food or medicine until recently. What ones make it onto your plate? This weed was one that I've developed a liking for: "...although it is widely considered to be a weed, the potential nutritional and medicinal quality of Sonchus species is much more than any other leafy vegetables" Their nutritional value was higher than those of cultivated vegetables like spinach and cabbage. Their consumption could help in alleviating the problem of malnutrition at a negligible cost. They are a good source of carotenoids, phenolics and other active constituents [1] First time I boiled a couple of min in water before cooking which does take away the bitterness (and made something similar to this) but I feel that means part of the medicinal goodness so just been cooking it up to keep that medicinal quality... not too bad and you feel good after a meal of it. Just cooked up with some onion, garlic, chili, oil and few diced tomatoes it's not too bad S. oleraceus has been used as a general tonic in Brazilian folk medicine showing anti-inflammatory [2], pain-relieving [3], antidepressant [4] and anxiolytic [5] effects. It has been used to relieve headaches, general pain, hepatitis, infections and inflammation Native Americans used it as a cure for opium habits [6] https://www.ediblewildfood.com/common-sow-thistle.aspx https://www.healthbenefitstimes.com/sow-thistle/ Also Nettles made a nice pesto Urtica dioica or Stinging nettle has long been known worldwide as a medicinal plant. Nettles are a very nutritious food easier digested and high in minerals (especially iron), vitamin C and pro-vitamin A. Nettle is an adaptogenic herb, it acts in the central nervous system and it is an alternative plant that detoxifies, enhances and stimulates the metabolism. Nettle has beneficial anti-diabetic and the cardiovascular effects [1]. The leaf of Urtica dioica has been reported to improve glucose homeostasis in vivo, acting via insulin signaling and improve anxiety and depressive like behaviour [2] and may improve memory functions [3]. Traditionally Urtica dioica has been used for cognitive dysfunction. It might prove to be effective for stress mediated neurological disorders [4]. Some words on the energetics
  2. Alchemica

    Medicinal Weeds

    Today an urban forage for my weeds A recent study highlights the food in urban areas that gets overlooked, and that wealth comes in the form of weeds. In a study of chickweed, dandelion, dock, mallow and nasturtium each of the wild edibles had more "dietary fibre, protein, vitamin A, sodium, calcium, iron and vitamin K, and provided more energy" than kale and even in heavily populated areas, "tests suggest that rinsed greens of the tested species are safe to eat." https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0202450 Today trying a little bit of Rumex, not my preferred one as I want to keep oxalates low Foraging for weeds...
  3. Alchemica

    Medicinal Weeds

    Depends if you like the pungency - the name does mean nose-twist for a good reason. I like the good bite of peppery goodness, had a big bowl of leaves for breakfast. Nibble a bit and see what you think
  4. Alchemica

    Medicinal Weeds

    Checked with the foraging professionals, it's a common weed here Sisymbrium has many uses in folk medicine with high nutritional value Taste is a pleasant good strength mustard flavour - the plant is rich in glucosinolates/isothiocyanates and polyphenols I'm just personally cautious not to have too much (or flowering tops) as there have been concerns but the literature says the cardiac glycosides are at too low a level to pose issues https://www.healthbenefitstimes.com/sisymbrium/ https://www.thewildfoodhuntress.com.au/brassicas I've eaten Nasturtiums but never really thought of them as plants for mental health. I count them as weeds around here Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus L.) is "believed to act in the ascension of emotional energy expressed in different forms as manifestations of anguish, frustration, anxiety and depression; and, in recent years, this plant has been popularly used as antidepressant agent". In animal models, it has anxiolytic effects [1] It is widely used due its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-hypertensive and anti-depressive properties. It contains high concentrations of benzylglucosinolate (1000 mg/100 g fresh matter). The hydrolysis products isothiocyanates (ITCs), are potent inducers of phase II detoxifying enzymes and subsequently confer protection against oxidative stress and chronic inflammation It has outstanding antioxidant activity due to its rich phenolic content and a good source of carotenoids
  5. Alchemica

    Medicinal Weeds

    Went urban foraging today and was surprised how much seemingly Brassica there was Am I right assuming this is a weedy (hopefully edible) Brassicaceae? @bardo Sisymbrium something? Been finding it a nicely spiritual activity The art of foraging for food/medicine is a spiritual practice: Connecting with the plants and their medicine is what draws you closer to nature and Spirit itself. Urban foraging helped people establish connections to place/belonging [1] and foraging embodies spiritual aspects like cultivating stillness and cultivating focus. It is a meditation, a communing with the plants, a way of seeing and self-education "To touch them, to give an exchange, to commune with them. This is really valuable–and the plants love giving of themselves to those who revere them. And we take that bounty within and it sustains us; it allows us to further build our connection to them. The power and importance of this act of communion cannot be understated." [2] It is a way of developing a sacred relationship with food/medicine and it brings one closer to the seasons, aligning with the energies of the land and the foods/medicine that grow here "When you interact on this level, when it becomes part of your pantry, when it’s part of what you eat, now you have a relationship. You’re not an outsider observer. It’s not this ‘other’ thing. It’s part of you and you are part of it." "Foragers developed individual relationships with specific plants; they described listening to these beings in order to learn how best to receive their gifts. The relational acts of giving, receiving, and interacting between foragers and more-than-human others produced a sense of belonging in place" We are extensions of nature, so it makes sense that eating seasonally imbues the body with the energy of what nature’s actually doing in its cycle. As the food we eat thrives and grows at this time, so then will we. [1] https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14649365.2014.908232 [2] https://druidgarden.wordpress.com/2015/05/28/building-sacred-relationships-with-food-seasonal-food-rituals-agricultural-blessings-prayers-and-honoring-our-food/ Dandelions are "one of the healthiest foods on the planet" The dandelion greens are nicely medicinal Dandelion is an entirely edible plant and its leaves, roots, and flowers are incorporated into different food products. The whole plant is recognized as safe and well tolerated by humans, with no reported adverse effects. It is used in herbal medicine to treat various disorders such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, gallbladder disorders, digestive complaints, and rheumatic diseases and exhibits several biological activities, including anti-cancer, hepatoprotective effect, anti-inflammatory effects, anti-obesity, neuroprotective and antidepressant effects. It is of interest in metabolic conditions [1] Aerial parts and root have been found to be rich sources of polyphenols, including cinnamic acid derivatives, flavonoids, sesquiterpene lactones and triterpenoids [2] "The most biologically relevant components of dandelion are the sesquiterpene lactones (suggested to exert anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects), the plant also contains several phenylpropanoids (shown to exert inflammation-modulating effects), terpenoids, polysaccharides (shown to play a role in immune regulation and to exert platelet antiaggregation activity, hepatoprotective effects, and antitumoral activity), and inulin (currently under investigation for its immunostimulatory functions). It contains high amounts of minerals, proteins, fiber, and vitamins and a balanced combination of trace elements and compared to spinach, dandelion has a higher content of dietary fiber and proteins and a greater variety of amino acids and of most vitamins and minerals and one of the richest green-vegetable sources of β-carotene" Young leaves are habitually consumed fresh as salads, either alone or in combination with other plants such as lettuce, shallot tops, or chives They may also be boiled and drained, sprinkled with pepper and salt, and moistened with soup or butter. [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5553762/ [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22946853
  6. Alchemica

    Medicinal Weeds

    Thanks for the pics of different plants @bardo Unfortunately I just get a little tiny symbol as the picture Hadn't got around to my Lactucas but glad you mentioned them. Did some Backyard Weed Medicine Crafting with mine Lactuca virosa and serriola Virosa & serriola should ideally be harvested for their sap whilst in flower, I'm got them before they take over the backyard because I can't deliberately let the garden go too weedy. " Both Serriola and Virosa have similar effects and are very edible but are quite bitter, I found Virosa was just easier to milk because it didn't have spines but overall id say they are on par with each other in terms of strength " - Marty64 "...even with those young tender plants I try to limit how much I eat so I dont get too drowsy. Its sedating but not all that distinctly anxiolytic" - Auxin Wild lettuce was “highly esteemed to quiet coughing and allay nervous irritation, a good safe remedy to produce sleep, to be used when opium and other narcotics are objectionable” "...wild lettuce and especially the the desiccated lactescent juice obtained from it, lactucarium, were considered to be an intoxicant, and were used as a sedative and an analgesic. The action of the substance was weaker than that of opium but free of the side-effects, and medical practice showed that in some cases lactucarium produced better curative effects than opium." [2] The natural compound lactucopicrin may be a promising neurotrophin-mediated neuroprotective candidate for neurodegenerative diseases and is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor while lactucin is an adenosine receptor agonist with analgesic and sedative properties [3,4]. That said, toxicity has been reported [5] https://www.medicinenet.com/wild_lettuce/supplements-vitamins.htm [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16621374 [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17153150 [3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactucopicrin [4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactucin [5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3031874/
  7. Having a severe cognitive concern and mood/reality issues non-responsive to meds, I needed to get on top of those. Plants became my friends on my healing journey. Passionflower helped rekindle me to a more giving place, too. I have a strong passionate interest in putting my experiences of suffering and learning through them and managing it into compassionate loving action, particularly learning to recommend plant medicines that can potentially effectively, safely, quite rapidly alleviate cognitive decline, dark moods and emotional suffering enough to open a depressive phase to a growth phase, in a cheap, sustainable way. Move people from severe struggle town to growing again in positive steps. Tailoring diet on the whole There is well-documented beneficial effects of flavonoids, particularly anthocyanins and flavonols on executive function (EF). Impaired EF is linked to cognitive processes (e.g., rumination) that maintain depression and low mood; therefore, improved executive functioning may reduce depressive cognitive processes and improve mood. There are elevated rates of neurogenesis following exercise, fasting/kJ restriction and by nutritional interventions such as diets rich in flavanols and other polyphenols or n-3 fatty acids. This again supports the notion that there are plastic neural substrates of cognitive performance, which are viable targets for nutritional interventions in human subjects Refined carbs are seriously detrimental for my cognition, I find. As is too much protein: A high-score "meat/protein" dietary pattern was related to decline of verbal fluency-total score; while moderate- or high-score "meat/protein" pattern protected against attention decline. Moderate- or high-score "vegetable" dietary pattern significantly protected against decline of logical memory Higher intake of B-vitamins (Higher intake of B vitamins throughout young adulthood was associated with better cognitive function in midlife.). Getting the rainbow of planty food and vitamins effectively and in a balanced way. Using a bit of occasional DHA/EPA too. Still using a bit of Ginkgo and Brahmi but the main driver of improving cognition and mood seems to be removing the pro-inflammatory things, switching to things like green tea and upping as much good anti-inflammatory food as I can find. Find things like sage (the Spanish sage seems nice, just a drop of the EO): - herbs with anti-cholinesterase properties appear to be better tolerated than their pharmaceutical counterparts and efficacious, including species of Salvia (sage). Extracts/essential oils of Salvia have been shown to acutely improve mood, memory and attention in healthy young and older populations, with two small trials in cognitively impaired populations also showing promise Not only are things like cacao an interesting nutraceutical tool to protect human cognition and counteract different types of cognitive decline - research investigating the relations between cacao and cognition shows dose-dependent improvements in general cognition, attention, processing speed, and working memory. It's great as it's nutritious, prebiotic and pro-cognitive. Prebiotic administration can ameliorate the learning and memory abilities in both cognitively impaired animals significantly - there is presently intense research focus on the so-called gut–brain axis which has become something of a new frontier for brain research in health and disease "Increasing evidence points to bidirectional crosssignalling between the gut microbiota and brain including via microbiotic metabolites, the immune system and the vagus nerve. The intestinal microbiome is a rich source of signalling molecules and can be rapidly modified by diet raising the possibility of another nutritional target which influences brain function (e.g. using pre- or probiotics). Despite huge potential and compelling evidence from animal studies, results from early controlled human trials have been mixed. It is unclear to what extent probiotic supplementation achieves the primary goal of altering the microbiota composition. Interventions specifically aimed at redressing microbiomic dysbiosis enhanced cognition in a cohort with dementia, but did not improve stress or cognitive function in healthy volunteers. A recent systematic review reported positive effects on anxiety and depression in five out of ten included studies." Chronic and low-grade activation of the inflammatory system is likely implicated in mental illness, recent reports suggest that neuroinflammation is an important causal mechanism in this and cognitive decline. This inflammatory status could be triggered by changes in the gut microbiota composition. Consumption of diets high in fat and sugar influences the microbiota composition, which may lead to an imbalanced microbial population in the gut. Thus, it has recently been hypothesised that the gut microbiota could be part of a mechanistic link between the consumption of high fat and other unbalanced diets and impaired cognition, termed 'gut-brain axis'. Western-type diet, that is, high-fat, high-sugar (HFHS), or high polysaccharide-containing plant diets have been shown to significantly alter gut microbiome composition. Moreover, several epidemiological studies in elderly subjects have found links between diet and cognitive function Similar diet-related changes in cognitive flexibility have been found in mice fed either a high sucrose or high fat diet, through inflammation, possibly secondary to a shift in gut microbiota composition. Consumption of high fat diet (HFD) is associated with altered microbial diversity and reduced synaptic plasticity with increased vulnerability to anxiety-like behavior in mice while altered microbial diversity upon consumption of a diet high in sucrose results in significantly impaired development of a spatial bias for long-term memory, short-term memory and reversal training. In contrast, adolescent rats fed a low-calorie diet show augmented neurogenesis and BDNF levels, and improved cognition in adulthood and a diet that increases microbiota diversity is associated with improved cognitive ability Oregano oil I've had some really good experiences treating low moods with Oregano essential oil. "Carvacrol is a monoterpenic phenol isolated from aromatic herbs including oregano and thyme. This aromatic phytochemical has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antiarthritic, antiallergic, anticarcinogenic, antidiabetic, cardioprotective, gastroprotective, hepatoprotective, and neuroprotective properties. This monoterpenoid phenol regulates human ion channels transient receptor potential V3 and A1 causing a sensation of warmth. It is also known that carvacrol can activate PPAR and suppress COX-2 mediated inflammation. Dong et al. demonstrated that enzyme cytochrome P450 2A6 (CYP2A6) is the predominant drug-metabolizing enzyme involved in the metabolism of carvacrol requesting attention when carvacrol is coadministrated with other compounds mainly undergoing CYP2A6-mediated metabolism. Orally administered carvacrol (12.5–50 mg/kg) induces antidepressant effects that seem to be mediated by the dopaminergic brain pathways in mice. Zotti et al. showed that carvacrol administration (12.5 mg/kg, by mouth [PO] for 7 days) can raise 5-HT and dopamine ranges in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex" It also has an interesting effect, restoring neurogenesis after alcohol abuse. While initially I came from an evidence based science approach, oregano oil being an effective (more dopaminergic) antidepressant in models, it's also a potent holistic healing oil, as I've used it, it's helped tune me to a different dimension, with me needing less and less as I've learned to relate to it in a more spiritual sense as essentially a plant spirit/ally. I'm sitting with a small dose today, I started at 0.5mL orally as needed of carvacrol rich essential oil being a miserable sod. It's said to be an oil of Humility & Non-Attachment It wasn't just text-book antidepressive, looking with hindsight, it was emotionally and spiritually healing at the same time. It's wise to dilute in a carrier oil like some olive oil. This spirit is potent, to the point where I had to be careful, it was a new world I was exploring and it can be very different. You can use it with other plants to bring a deeper emotional healing state to them. Oregano oil is highly concentrated. It’s easy to take too much or to use it for too long. When used wisely, oregano oil should be safe. In too-high doses, it may have detrimental effects. Oregano appears in the Bible, as one of the healing plants God bestowed upon us, humans. Ancient Greeks named the herb “Joy of the mountains”. Therapeutically, essential oil of Oregano is said to relax the mind, balance the emotions, eliminate emotional fatigue, declutter “stuck energy”, promote clear thought and bring happiness, joy and equilibrium. "Oregano oil also has some interesting emotional and energetic uses. It can be described as an overly powerful oil that can be forceful and/or intense. Oregano cuts through the superficiality of life and teaches individuals to do the same. It removes blocks, clears negativity and cuts away negative attachments. Oregano teaches a person to be humble and non-attached to their own Ego and the false identities they’ve built into their lives. It may help a person to release the need to be right, diminishing harmful forms of pride, let go of unhelpful opinions (or the need to share them in unhelpful ways), and to learn not to cling tightly to the non-permanent. Think of these things like emotional viruses that this oil clears swiftly and powerfully. This can help a person dive into the flow of Life and their own spiritual practice without the common blocks (our own mind) getting in the way. Oregano’s sharp and herbaceous aroma makes one feel secure and safe. It releases the fear of completion and thoughts of vulnerability. Those who have a need to be “right” all the time or always attempt to convert other people to their fixed opinions can make good use of Oregano. Their strong will makes them closed off to change and unwilling to budge. They hold on tightly to their opinions and belief systems. But Oregano is powerful and resolute in its nature. It has the power to break through a strong will. On a more profound level, Oregano dispels materialism and attachment that stifles a person’s ability to grow and progress. While using Oregano, a person may feel encouraged to end a toxic relationship, quit a taxing job or end a lifelong addiction. Because this is the oil of non-attachment, it encourages the soul to live in non-attachment because toxic attachments limit one’s ability to feel a healthy connection with the Self and the Divine. Oregano teaches that devotion to one’s Higher Power (Divine Spirit or God) involves letting go of rigidity, willfulness, negative attachments and materialism." Saffron Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) has demonstrated antidepressant effects in clinical studies and extensive anxiolytic effects in experimental animal models. It reputedly has acute effects. Saffron is an incredible medicinal spice, it's become one of my rescue remedies. My mood was crashing a bit, some symptoms returning so I cooked with a bit of PRN saffron for lunch. It's not overly expensive to get a bulk decent quality Iranian saffron from the right places. Quite quickly, it increases mood, reduces anxiety and manages stress without side effects in studies. It has been traditionally used for the treatment of insomnia and other diseases of the nervous systems, it has sleep quality improving effects. Crocins attenuated schizophrenia-like behavioural deficits. It has a satiating effect and decreases the frequency of snacking events. It's been used in emotional disorders and it was found that using saffron (30 mg/day) was effective in relieving symptoms in some cases. Crocin can regulate HPA axis activity and has therapeutic effects in stress disorders, potentially PTSD where it is effectve in an animal model. It may serve an appropriate treatment for subjects who experience a extremely stressful or traumatic event. Saffron and its metabolites have proven to be effective in different models of psychiatric disorders, including depression and anxiety. It is as least effective as first-line medications for MDD in quality studies with less side effects. It's got a good safety margin, while 30mg may prove effective “to a daily maximum dose of 1.5 grams there has not been any risk documented. Lethal dose is 20 g and the abortive dose, 10 g, because as such it was employed in the past due to its stimulating action on the smooth muscle of the uterus. 5 g daily dose can already cause intoxication accompanied by vomiting, bloody diarrhea, hematuria, skin hemorrhages in nose, lips and eyelids, vertigo and dulling. The skin and mucous membranes take a yellowish colour similar to jaundice”. Crocin is an isolated chemical compound that belongs to a group of commercial carotenoid derived from the stigma branches of dried saffron. The spice’s high antioxidant capacity explains most of its preventive or healing properties in relation to chronic and degenerative diseases Crocin and crocetin may have a neuroprotective effect because of their anti-inflammatory action in microglial cells, as tested in rat brains, accompanied by a reduction in neurotoxic molecules (TNF-α, interleukin-1β and intracellular ROS. The restoration of a redox balance in brain tissues can be a good therapeutic strategy to limit neuro-inflammation and consequently tissue oxidative damage). Many of the anti-inflammatory effects of crocin demonstrated in animal models of neuronal degeneration could be mediated by its direct effects on microglia homeostasis. It also has anti-adiposity effects Crocin can be considered as healthcare product to prevent age-related brain diseases, it is able to enhance memory function in an aging model through anti-glycative and anti-oxidative properties which finally can suppress brain inflammatory mediators and increase protective pathways Crocin can improve learning and memory and may prevent neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease. Saffron is a source of novel acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. It is not mutagenic and prevents alcohol-induced disorders of memory and learning. Its mechanism is thought to be prevention of the inhibitory effect of ethanol on N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptors in the hippocampus. It has clear binding capacity at the PCP binding side of the NMDA receptor and at the sigma(1) receptor There is an anti-fatigue effect of crocetin - its intake improved performance when taken 4 h before a physical fatigue-inducing task Treatment with saffron extract for seven consecutive days in a study conducted in rats in an experimental model of MS improved learning and memory impairment and alterations in the parameters of oxidative stress in the hippocampus. Clinically saffron was able to reduce MS symptoms - crocetin might prevent demyelination and neurodegeneration. Such findings show that saffron may potentially prove useful in the treatment of MS through the inhibition of oxidative stress and the infiltration of leukocytes to the CNS. Saffron protects many cells of the dopaminergic system with relevance to Parkinson's disease. Studies on the bioactive substances of saffron in depression indicate that the crocin acts by inhibiting the reuptake of dopamine and norepinephrine neurotransmitters, while safranal inhibits the reuptake of serotonin. There are in vivo studies suggesting inhibitory effects on the monoamine oxidases, MAO-A and MAO-B, enzymes responsible for the degradation of the neurotransmitters, as mentioned above, leading to an increase in their levels in the synaptic space and reducing depressive symptoms. Saffron is a potential efficacious and tolerable treatment for major depressive disorder with anxious distress. [1] It increased mood, reduced anxiety and managed stress without side effects, offering a natural alternative to standard treatments [2] Saffron is as effective as fluvoxamine in the treatment of patients with mild to moderate OCD [3] [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27701683 [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28735826 [3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29062366 I found upping polyphenols on whole robust and relatively effective, with some time lag. Anthocyanins have relatively acute pro-cognitive and mood benefits. I have my handful a day of blueberries! Single-dose flavonoid interventions have produced improvements in attention, inhibition, visuospatial memory, and executive function between 2–6 h post-consumption, whilst supplementation of flavonoids for 1.5–8 weeks has been associated with improved visuospatial memory and improved long-term memory. Acutely, a flavonoid rich blueberry drink improved the mood of healthy children and young adults. In both studies, increased Positive Affect was observed 2 h after consumption of the flavonoid-rich drink (significant drink by session interaction). The flavonoid drink had no effect on Negative Affect. In older populations, addition of easily achievable quantities of blueberry (equivalent to one cup) to the diets of older adults can improve some aspects of cognition, including executive functioning. Supplementation with an anthocyanin-rich blueberry concentrate improved brain perfusion and activation in brain areas associated with cognitive function in healthy older adults. I've kept up the blueberries for quite awhile now. Least vicey habit I've ever had and it's easy to maintain, I'm going to keep going for a bit. I'm impressed - food-based anthocyanin consumption on both acute and long-term cognition appears promising. I wish instead of being tempted by looking for exotic nootropics at one stage, I simply did more berries. It's delivering cognitively, for weight management, on hunger levels and mood wise. On the plus, effects may persist beyond the cessation of flavonoid consumption The cognitive boost is nice. So to, mood improvements and anxiolysis. They seem to significantly improve executive function, this is seen in studies. A single dose increased positive affect. Pilot EEG data highlight an anxiolytic effect of the consumption of a single serve of berries, as indexed by a suppression of α spectral power, and an increase in the slow wave δ and θ spectral powers. There was also an indication of greater alertness and lower fatigue, as indexed by an increase in β power and suppression of α spectral power. They cause an acute increase in reaction times during the digit vigilance task. Longer term, in a cognitively impaired population, Improvements in verbal fluency, short-term memory and long-term memory are observed. There tends to be blood pressure reduction. They have really good anti-obesity/hypoglycemic/hypolipidemic and antidepressant-like effects. They tend to be insulin sensitising. It's not just that they improve hippocampal neurogenesis and function. Berries have the potential to decrease memory impairment, oxidative stress status, and AChE activity and increase neuron density etc. Anthocyanins increase BDNF mRNA expression and may alter other important cognitive pathways. What's better than polyphenols alone is sometimes CNS active alkaloids in the mix. I do like adding lotus embryo tea these days as a healing tea. I do that on and off, just if I'm not in tune. I'm in agreement that this is quite a good mood tonic and fast acting. Neferine itself at lowish doses was able to acutely (within 30 minutes) exert anti-depressant like effects. A couple of dollars will get a supply from the Asian supermarkets. I find it way nicer than nuciferine/Nymphaea etc The bitter lotus embryos within the seeds are primarily used as medicines. The inner part of the seeds are considered “cooling,” and are used to treat the heart for “pathogenic heat.” Within Chinese medicine, the lotus embryo, or heart of the lotus seed, benefits the heart. The bitter components are said to include the isoquinoline alkaloids, which have calming effects. Embryos are mainly used to treat nervous disorders, cardiovascular diseases, inflammation, and cancer Alongside the CNS active sedative and anti-depressive (via 5-HT1A) bisbenzylisoquinoline alkaloids like neferine, recent studies have shown that the embryos of the lotus seed also have abundant phenolic compounds. It has also been reported that seed embryos of the lotus have antioxidant activities. Oxidative stress and immoderate inflammatory responses can be critical etiological causes of depressive and neurodegenerative diseases, for example, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia. Nelumbo Nucifera has a polyphenol concentration much higher than many other herbs. Neferine has anti-depressant and sedative properties which are seemingly potent, and some possible anti-obesogenic and anti-diabetic properties. It one of the most desirable herbs for those insomniacs due to fire excess from yin deficiency. Recommended dosage is from 1.5 to 3 grams in decoction or powder. I've gone higher than that. Other tools: Cacao is awesome. The cognitive boost from flavonols and the good nutrition highly recommended. Ashwagandha is beneficial for stress, anxiety and depression. It has neuroprotective and procognitive effects, in some psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder, it exerts beneficial cognitive effects. Effects are seemingly cumulative. Lavandula angustifolia essential oil has anxiolytic activity comparable to paroxetine and lorazepam for GAD. It's anticonvulsant and seems acutely effective, inhibiting VDCCs etc. I've found Clary sage essential oil to be useful. It can be safely used orally at a couple of drops and is good for stress and mood. Spanish Sage essential oil: A recent review of studies showed that species of sage could positively impact cognitive skills and protect against neurological disorders. "In vitro, animal and preliminary human studies have supported the evidence of Salvia plants to enhance cognitive skills and guard against neurodegenerative disorders." Other studies have shown that sage can also improve memory and mood in young, healthy adults. It has anti-hyperglycemic and lipid-profile-improving effects Turmeric essential oil: While we hear lots about curcumin, we often neglect turmeric volatiles. One of the main constituents, Aromatic-turmerone (ar-turmerone) from turmeric essential oil increases the proliferative activity of neural stem cells in vivo. ar-turmerone also possesses antiinflammatory properties resulting from the blockade of key signaling pathways in microglia. Because microglia activation is a hallmark of neuroinflammation and is associated with various neurologic disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases and stroke, ar-turmerone constitutes a promising therapeutic agent for various neurologic disorders. The whole oil has anxiolytic, sedative and anticonvulsant activities. Bacopa monnieri (Brahmi) extract has a positive effect on the treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders.Bacopa monnieri is useful in treating schizophrenia as an add-on medication to olanzapine. The plant helps prevent anxiety as a standardized extract, per a study performed on rats. These effects were comparable to the anxiety medication lorazepam. Bacopa extract is useful for managing the symptoms of ADHD in children and reducing the severity of epilepsy. Bacopa extract once daily for five days resulted in a significant antidepressant activity comparable to imipramine, an antidepressant prescription medication. It is effective in cognitive decline such as AD. For rapid acting plant antidepressants, I've explored the 'strong entheogenic stuff', tried the typical stuff like St John's Wort. I had some good experiences with Kanna but it didn't keep up sustainable growth, it was however effective at times of severe struggle. Strong plant medicine wasn't all it was cracked up to be for me. Strong stuff had some good things but severe downsides. Gardenia jasminoides which makes a really nice tea but didn't find robust. Tried the preclinically effective rapid antidepressant dihydromyricetin which I didn't find robust.
  8. This is the first human data I've seen for oregano: In humans "a single dose of this extract induced a state of wakeful relaxation, enhanced vigilance and improved concentration in addition to increased mental capacity but did not affect sleep structure"' A single dose increases calmness, vigilance, mental information processing capacity, with an increase in processing speed With the conclusion it "is safe and does not exhibit any adverse side effects at the dosages providing the functional benefits, a result that was also confirmed by behavioural studies" Coupled with experience with the oil in severe mental illness Carvacrol also exerts several actions on the neuronal system including acetylcholinesterase inhibition as well as having anxiolytic and antidepressant properties having the ability to likely modulate mood and cognitive processes. It also modulates central neurotransmitter pathways, such as dopaminergic, serotonergic and GABAergic systems, a terpene rich oregano extract acting as a triple reuptake inhibitor [1]. It also improves aspects of Parkinson's in animal models [2] It seems to cause a specific increase of DA levels in PFC and "ingested in low concentrations, it might determine feelings of well-being and could possibly have positive reinforcer effects." [1] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/49728029_Monoamine_reuptake_inhibition_and_mood-enhancing_potential_of_a_specified_oregano_extract [2] http://www.scielo.br/pdf/anp/v76n2/0004-282X-anp-76-02-0071.pdf
  9. 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
  10. Alchemica

    Getting science-y in the garden

    Yeah I have done a little bit with aspirin a long time ago. Thanks for the tip Results are in. Using a foliar and feed solution of 2.5g/L K2SO4 was really seemingly beneficial for getting good growth and yields of Brassica like the purple cauliflower. I didn't have a control for this one but they grew really well, strongly and quickly and nicely anthocyan-y With the melatonin, there seems to be tight constraints on how much enhances growth, and a point where it instead drastically inhibits it. Initially, there was a nice improvement on the growth of Kale seedlings, then I kept going with foliar feeding them and it turned into rapid growth suppression. Melatonin's poor water solubility also poses issues. Most notably, initially there were improvements in promoting initial rapid brightly green new growth... then a fine cut off where application drastically inhibited growth. control vs melatonin (1 μM) foliar feed initial growth improvements
  11. I'm a big fan of oral lavender oil ca. 80mg or so capped up (Lavandula angustifolia from the chemist/supermarket), it's as efficacious as paroxetine and lorazepam for GAD. Now if you're stressed or have been stressed, huff the stuff! Inhalation of a racemic mixture (R,S)-linalool by rats experiencing restraint stress alters neuropeptide and MHC class I gene expression in the hypothalamus. Some odorants have physiological and psychological effects on organisms. However, little is known about the effects of inhaling them, particularly on the central nervous system. Using DNA microarray analysis, we obtained gene expression profiles of the hypothalamus from restraint stressed rats exposed to racemic (R,S)-linalool. Hierarchical clustering across all probe sets showed that this inhalation of (R,S)-linalool influenced the expression levels of a wide range of genes in the hypothalamus. A comparison of transcription levels revealed that the inhalation of (R,S)-linalool restored the expression of 560 stress-induced probe sets to a normal status. Gene Ontology (GO) analysis showed that these genes were associated with synaptic transmission via neurotransmitters including anxiolytic neuropeptides such as oxytocin and neuropeptide Y. These genes also included several major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules necessary for neural development and plasticity. Moreover, Upstream Regulator Analysis predicted that the hormone prolactin would be activated by the inhalation of (R,S)-linalool under stress. Our results reveal some of the molecular mechanisms associated with odor inhalation in the hypothalamus in organisms under stress.
  12. Alchemica

    IMG_20181018_092359.jpg

    From the album: Healing in the gardens

  13. Also experimented with dermal administration, sure you smell floral but does it work well? In depression "aromatherapy massage showed to have more beneficial effects than inhalation aromatherapy." [1] and it is suggested to apply aromatherapy massage treatment once or twice per week. For aromatherapy massage, 1–5% essential oil is used "Application of aromatherapy on both hands in addition to the effect of inhalation aromatherapy showed a significant improvement in depressive symptoms which was superior to the improvement observed when using inhalation aromatherapy" Terpenes possess good transdermal permeation and are readily absorbed due to their liphophilic nature Application to the skin resulted in a fast increase of plasma levels, with maximal plasma levels in 10 min for things like cineole and pinene Cutaneous application of lavender essential oil allowed the penetration of the active molecules especially linalool and linalyl acetate by inhalation and transdermally. The lipophilicity of aromatic compounds facilitates the transfer from blood to brain Pharmacokinetics of linalool in plasma displayed a peak 20 min after lavender essential oil application, this period corresponds to the main behavioural infuence on lavender essential oil [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5241490/ Pharmacokinetics of linalool content in human plasma after the application of 1 g of lavender essential oil (2%) in oil. The dermal administration mode of 1,8-cineole or linalool has a major influence on CNS activity: There was significant activation after dermal application, whereas after inhalation no such changes were detected in one study. In an earlier study, dermal 1,8-cineole in comparison to linalool and a placebo enhanced cognitive performance in a sustained attention task as well as physiological arousal, particularly respiration rate, but did not alter affective state. In another study, performance on cognitive tasks was significantly related to concentration of absorbed 1,8-cineole following exposure to rosemary aroma There was a significant performance enhancing effect of dermal linalool, particularly in males with activation of subcortical limbic brain areas and increased activity of the DMN suggesting a relaxing effect. Linalool enhanced cognitive performance by inducing a more relaxed state. After dermal 1,8-cineole, significant functional activation of the frontal cortex was noted which has been reported frequently during tasks requiring attention. 1,8-cineole possesses a stimulating effect after dermal application. [1] [1] http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ffj.3436
  14. Aromatherapy vs oral oils Orally essential oils seem to be reliant on pharmacological effect but aromatherapy seems to be more overlapped with socio-emotional states of consciousness and a way to ingrain some mindfulness: Olfaction is intimately related to social communication and emotions Scent playlists have been proposed It's like a very gentle, non-threatening catalyst for stuck and stagnant negative thought patterns and emotions. The longer you sit with the fragrant stream aligning your body-mind-spirit, the more there is a gentle unwinding of rigid patterns, deeper embrace of yourself and a gentle positive merger with the world around you It gives you: - a sense of control over your environment - you choose what's diffusing - even when you feel life's out of control. A safe "grounding" base - a sense of connection: to the moment and to the world around you. Deepens your connection to yourself (and nature) - ingrains simple breathing as a positive mindful experience/makes you more aware of it, attunes you to deeper layers of yourself -particularly emotions - and to a connection in the world beyond you - a spiritual element - environmental enrichment with ability to tap into socio-emotional-spiritual aspects - ability to shift the valence of the emotional landscape to more positive experiences along with emotional exploration and reminiscence. Ability to shift thoughts in line with the emotions - As studies have noted, nocturnal olfactory stimulation leads to better sleep quality and a higher level of vigor in the morning "Odour can colour perceptions about the world both positively or negatively through emotion processes and thus can modulate mood and behaviour" Effects of inhaled essential oils cannot be explained by pharmacological mechanisms alone. "Olfaction is intimately linked to emotional processes, sharing some same neural bases and thus constitutes a valuable emotion-inducer" [1]. Expectancies play an important role in the subjective effects of inhaled EOs [2]. Odour pleasantness selectively shifts human attention in the surrounding space [3] and modulates the hedonic value of rewards [4] In monotonous situations it improved mood and other measures [5] Odours that evoke positive autobiographical memories being able to increase positive emotions, decrease negative mood states, disrupt cravings, and reduce physiological indices of stress, including systemic markers of inflammation [6] Odour may serve as a powerful cue for the recovery of autobiographical memories, inducing subjective reliving and more positive memories after odour exposure [7] producing a number of and more specific memories after odour exposure than without odour [8]. Beneficial effects of same nature to odour and music exposure were observed for autobiographical characteristics (i.e., specificity, emotional experience, and mental time travel) [9] [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27633559 [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25183507 [3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28872341 [4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25543090 [5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27633559 [6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27447673 [7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31185649 [8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30890017 [9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29040475
  15. Been getting the aromatherapy into me, rather than ingesting. I was in the past fixated on oral ingestion being 'the way to go therapeutically' for things like lavender but I've often wondered if it really is... More and more people seem to be using the Silexan oral oils, particularly now they are widespread at Australian chemists, have you had any experience, good or bad with them, particularly compared to lavender as aromatherapy? Aroma via a diffuser has lately been a important aspect to enrich my environment with day-to-day, without those it becomes too easy to get lost in the void of your own inner world without things like that stimulating you via the environment in isolation as some form of modulating connection to the world around you, in the moment, with a degree of impermanence and day-to-day flux "Aromatherapy seems to drive autonomic nervous activity toward a balanced state." In anxiety and stress, sympathetic activity is often increased, together with decreased parasympathetic activity. It has been noted there are higher sympathetic activities for depressed and anxious subjects than for normal subjects:"Positive emotions result in altered autonomic nervous system activity, characterized by increased parasympathetic nervous system activity, whereas negative emotions (e.g., anger) result in parasympathetic withdrawal and sympathetic activity" It is said there are parasympathetic-stimulating oils like lavender and the sympathetic-stimulating oils like rosemary but a study has noted that short inhalation of essential oils suppresses parasympathetic nervous activation while continuous inhalation suppresses sympathetic nervous activation [1] Oils that cause parasympathetic stimulation of the autonomic nervous system in turn are associated with decreased anxiety, improved mood, and increased sedation whereas the sympathetic-stimulating oils have been associated with increased arousal, improved cognition and memory, and enhanced performance on cognitive assessment tests [2] Essential oil inhalation is often effective in reducing the stress index, and that it effectively regulated the activity of the hypothalamus to provide stable and relaxing conditions by creating balance and harmony in the sympathetic nervous system "A clinical study with depressed patients revealed that it was possible to reduce the needed antidepressants' doses by inhaling a mixture of citrus oils; moreover, inhalation of the oil by itself was antidepressive and normalized neuroendocrine hormone levels" [3] With regard to agitation and anxiety, in a clinical mental health population, there were significant reductions in needed medications for anxiety or agitation With regard to depression, significantly more improvement in scores on depression, anxiety, and severity of emotional symptoms, studies finding effects independent of personality traits, psychological status, and psychotherapeutic medication [1] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/288053919_Effects_of_essential_oils_used_in_aromatherapy_on_the_autonomic_nervous_system_A_study_using_three_different_methods [2] https://libres.uncg.edu/ir/uncg/f/M_Shattell_HealingScents_2008.pdf [3] https://www.mitchmedical.us/essential-oils/psychopharmacology-of-essential-oils.html Lavender is rising through the ranks of anti-anxiety medications Lavender oil and its active component, linalool, has anxiolytic, mood stabiliser, sedative, analgesic, and anticonvulsive and neuroprotective properties with antidepressant, prosocial and anticonflict effects in animal models It shows efficacy in anxiety disorders and the treatment of agitated behaviour as a neuropsychiatric symptom [1] Simple olfactory stimulation in healthy subjects has been shown to induce changes in brain including the frontopolar, orbitofrontal, and temporal cortex. Olfactory processing depends on dopamine metabolism and orbitofrontal cortex functioning and altering cortical olfactory processing has been associated with improved hyperactivity and impulsivity in some conditions [2] and essential oils may rehabilitate brain dopamine function [3]. There is sensory input-dependent regulation of dopamine and GABA [4] The effect on the nervous system is summarised in [5]: Inhaled it showed anxiolytic properties, increased social interaction, and decreased aggressive behaviour and exposure to lavender effectively improved anticholinergic-induced memory deficits It has potent anxiolytic effects via VDCCs and while linalool does not act directly on GABAA receptors it appears to activate them via olfactory neurons in the nose in order to produce its relaxing effects [6]. While opioidergic neurotransmission and cholinergic neurotransmers appears to play a role, the essential oil and its main components exert affinity for the glutamate NMDA-receptor in a dose-dependent manner and also bind to the serotonin transporter. After 8 weeks of administering the essential oil, a reduced binding potential at the 5HT1A receptor in the hippocampus and the anterior cingulate cortex has been observed It affects autonomic neurotransmission and reduces the stress response in the CNS. In one study the concentration of oxytocin in serum, 2-3 days after the treatment was upregulated with effects on improved neurogenesis and dendritic complexity [7]. It also acts on microglial populations with anti-inflammatory actions "...stress-altered genes involved in synaptic transmission via GABA, dopamine, acetylcholine, and glutamate may potentially recover to normal levels due to a reduction in stress in response to linalool inhalation". It was capable of reversing stress-induced social aversion in animal models, acting as an antidepressant agent [8]. Application of 10% lavender in humans activated the primary olfactory cortex, entorhinal cortex, hippocampus and parahippocampal cortex, thalamus, hypothalamus, orbitofrontal cortex, and insular cortex and its extension into the inferior lateral frontal region [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11994882 [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21178380 [3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26295793 [4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28411275 [5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23573142 [6] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/10/181023085648.htm [7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30825591 [8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30347669 Tried things like Lemon and Rosemary as a stimulating option Terpenes seem to work as a symphony with seemingly synergistic effects to me when you really inhale a good stream of them. A bit of a linalool oil is good but... it's better with a bit of limonene in there... even better with α-pinene rich oils etc The polytherapeutic effects of natural compounds are a "are a real alternative for nervous system therapy" [1] Rosemary essential oil is a "powerful tool in helping to clear the mind and for increasing mental awareness. It has also been shown to possess excellent brain-stimulating properties as well as an aid for memory improvement". It made humans more attentive, more alert, vigorous and cheerful [2] and people "felt fresher, became more active, and less drowsy after exposure to the rosemary oil". It also produces a significant enhancement in memory performance and mood [3. 4]. Inhaling lemon essential oil causes antidepressant and anti-stress effects through modulating monoamines and significantly enhanced attention level, concentration, cognitive performance, mood, and memory during the learning process [5] The chemistry: α-Pinene and 1,8-cineole generally dominate the Rosemary essential oil compositions, but camphor, verbenone, camphene, and myrcene may also appear in high concentrations [6] Pharmacology: α-pinene [(+)-α-Pinene was the predominant enantiomer] and 1,8-cineole are potent therapeutics. Performance on cognitive tasks is significantly related to concentration of absorbed 1,8-cineole following exposure to rosemary aroma, with improved performance at higher concentrations [7] 1,8-cineole offers NMDA antagonism, with a weaker AChE inhibitory effect [8] and psychostimulatory effects, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects [9] α-Pinene brings along effects on learning and memory [10] with anti-stress effects, also modulating NGF and dopamine [11] Monoterpenes such as α-pinene and 1,8-cineole exert neuroprotective effects by regulating gene expression and α-pinene was observed to initiate soothing physiological and behavioural responses with a significant impact on physiological and psychological relaxation [12]. Citrus oils have their pharmacology well sumarised in [5] [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30378477 [2] https://www.mdpi.com/2218-0532/77/2/375 [3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3700080/ [4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12690999 [5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29976894 [6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5368539/ [7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23983963 [8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28088901 [9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27771935 [10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29234406 [11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29273038 [12] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5402865/ Spanish sage: Spanish sage is proposed to be an "excellent essential oil to diffuse when concentrating" and "For soothing anxiety, tension and stress" Salvia lavandulaefolia aroma inhalation produced a significant enhancement effect for memory [1] and orally at 50 µL of the essential oil, improvement in mood and cognition was observed [2] - therapeutic effect for cognitive disorders attributed to its anti-cholinesterase, estrogenic, and anti-inflammatory properties - potential natural antioxidant activity to prevent oxidative stress accompanying degenerative diseases Enjoying a blend of Spanish Sage, Lavender and Lemon (all on the "blends well with..." list on one site) like the Rosemary blends, similarly to which it brings along 1,8-cineole and α-pinene. I also notice that having scent as an enriching environmental stimulus stops the desire to generally snack on anything and there is a role for scent in modulating blood glucose [3] [1] http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/aces.2014.43037 [2] https://doi.org/10.1177/0269881110385594 [3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5820856/
  16. [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
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    Tagetes lucida

    Tagetes lucida As the last one from my garden I enjoyed over the last growing season, aiming to spread the love of this plant to 3 people this year who want to grow it with some free seed (No TAS/WA). Post a reply and I'll get back to you once seed is soon harvested. Once again, I'm just going by the way I've harvested seed from other Tagetes like patula. Hope it's the same. It has a rich spiritual background of traditional use with anti-anxiety and sedative-like properties It's been said to be "vitally important to use very fresh leaves" and experimenters state a dose of 2,000 mg - most participants felt no need to increase the dosage further to “...creates a ‘lucid’ state which can be appreciated in a number of ways: listening to music, contemplating, grooving, introspection, communication, etc. Some of the effects noted are: clarity, alertness, closed-eye visuals, body warmth, body tingles, feeling of well-being, and some time-distortion. The period of alteration lasted 2 to 3 hours in most cases and there was no interference with sleeping afterwards, although many reported increased dreaming (sometimes with weird content).” [1] It is used historically in religious ceremonies including Huichol Indians who ceremonially smoke it with Mapacho and it is also used with other sacred plant medicines [2,3] T. lucida is recommended for treating emotional and nervous disorders, often as part of a mixture with other anxiolytic plants [4] Mexican traditional medicine prescribes T. lucida for “nervios” and “susto”, two culture-bound syndromes described as illnesses characterized by a “state of bodily and mental unrest” able to decrease the ability to achieve daily goals and as a condition of being frightened and “chronic somatic suffering stemming from emotional trauma” "It is used for producing a fragrant smoke (sahumar) to ritually clean houses of evil spirits. The use in sweat baths (temazcal) and for ritual cleansing (“limpias”) are related" Anxiolytic and sedative-like activities through 5-HT1A and GABA/BZD receptors possibly through 6,7,8-trimethoxycoumarin (dimethylfraxetin). Other coumarins have also been reported from the species, such as herniarine (7-methoxycoumarin), scoparone (6,7-dimethoxycoumarin), and the dimethyl allyl ether of 7-hydroxy-coumarin, umbelliferone, esculetin and scopoletin along with flavonoids, some of them with known anxiolytic-like activity, have been reported in polar extracts of this species. Significant anxiolytic-like response effects were found in animal models from 10 mg/kg onward of the aqueous extract An influence on serotonergic neurotransmission by T. lucida was also reported in the antidepressant effects which were likely the result of modulation of serotonin reuptake/release, dependent on 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A receptors. There is not only a significant involvement of the serotonin neurotransmission in the mechanisms of central effects of this species, but also GABAergic participation [5] It is is a source of phenylpropanoid EOs: "at least four chemotypes can exist, characterized by the main presence of (a) high levels of (E)-anethole (up to 74%) and low to very low levels of methyl chavicol (11.57%) or methyleugenol (1.8%), and germacrene D; (b) high levels of methyl chavicol (up to 97%), in addition to methyleugenol, methylisoeugenol, and germacrene D; (c) high levels of methyl eugenol (up to 80%), in addition to methylchavicol and methylisoeugenol; and (d) high amounts of nerolidol (around 40%), in addition to methyleugenol, methylchavicol, and caryophyllene oxide" [1] https://www.world-of-lucid-dreaming.com/mexican-tarragon-tagetes-lucida.html [2] https://www.americanherbalistsguild.com/…/jahg_spring_2017_… [3] http://entheology.com/plants/tagetes-lucida-marigolds/ [4] https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/23/11/2847/pdf [5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26873624
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    Tagetes lucida

    Got leftovers of seed if anyone else wants some (No WA/Tas) send me a PM.
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
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    IMG_20181017_155142.jpg

    From the album: Healing in the gardens

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    IMG_20181218_114110.jpg

    From the album: Healing in the gardens

  24. Alchemica

    IMG_20181218_121251.jpg

    From the album: Healing in the gardens

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