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Hey everyone long time no see, I was visiting one of those big 'warehouse' style pharmacists just half an hour ago and I got really excited by something I saw on the shelf. I was a big fan of Kava before the import/sale of it was prohibited in Aus. I used to buy at least 1kg/month from my local fijian foods store. Back then my partner had some anxiety issues too(thankfully she has moved past that now) so she was also a big fan, it's much milder and safer than the benzodiazapenes doctors were trying to throw at her. Anyways, browsing the shelves at the pharmacy waiting for them to fill my script I spied Kava tablets! Wtf? The pharmaceutical companies are basically the reason it got controlled here, but they are allowed to go on merrily selling it? I'm slightly offended by that but I won't lie, I am currently sipping on a beer and enjoying an awesome sense of relaxation as 2 of those tablets get to work on my GABA system. According to the bottle it's a water extraction with each tablet containing the equiv. of 2.4g of rhizome(no aerial parts this time!) which has 60mg of Kavalactones. That's not much Kava and at the price they were, I don't plan on getting the levels of relaxation/intoxication I used to aim for when I was buying root powder by the kilo for $30. But I am loving that taste at the back of my throat. Kava I missed you. (Sorry if this is old news but as you can all tell, I'm back on the scene, and have alot of catching up to do with ethnobotanical subjects.)
Ayahuasca- bowl (clay) from the shipibo in Amazonia (with Yagé and Chacruná): Tree-needle- baskets from the Tarahumara in Mexico (with Oncidium cebolleta- bulb, Scirpus atrovirens- tuber and dried Peyote): Betelnut-cracker- antique (bronze) from India with betelnuts: Betel- chalk- repository (bone) from Southeast-Asia: Chillum from Ladakh (from old monk, wood with wire-cladding and metal in it): Old apothecary Coca-leaf- jar: Coffee-jug (Djabana, copper with silver)- antique from Axum- Ethiopia: Yarn-fancywork (Peyote-vision) from the Huichol (Mexico): Kava Kava- bowl from the Fiji- Islands (wood) with Kava Kava: Opiumpipe (wood and jade) and Opium-weights (bronze, antique, from Burma) in chicken-form: Hempfarmer-cap (woven) from Manali (a souvenir from the ancient origin of Hemp, the Himalaya): Shipibo- Schamanspipe (red wood) from the Amazon-rainforest: Coca-chewer- figure (clay) from Ecuador: And my particularly proud: A selfmade mush-stone from ONE piece soapstone. Model: a Maya-mushroom-stone, found in Guatemala, from 300 - 600 AD: Ayahuasca-fancywork from the Shipibo:
For a long time no real natural CB1-cannabinoid-agonists were known except of the ones in Cannabis, then came exotic substances like 2-Sciadonoylglycerol from the seeds of Sciadopitys verticillata. This is a analog of the endogene 2-AG but has only a tenth to 1/20 of its action, so its not usable. The Echinacea- and Spilanthes- Alkylamides, noni-juice, pinen-derivatives, Tabernanthine and beta-Caryophyllene only act on the CB2-receptor in the immune system and not on the CB1. In a liverwort from New Zealand there was found Perrottetinene which has a very similar structure to THC, but it is thought to be an inhibitor of the receptor. Also Capsaicin, Falcarinol, Cinnamaldehyde, Voacamine and Voacangin-derivatives are inhibitors, and as such not usable for THC-like effects. Beta-Asarone is a allosteric modulator of the receptor, Thujone and Grenadamide are only very weak agonists. So it was a long way to find natural substances which act on the CB1-cannabinoid-receptor and now there came studies which described the occurence of them in well known plants. But: be aware of deducing psychoactive effects only from neurological findings of a plant with unknown psychological action. The neurological interrelationships are extremely complex and there are always new findings. They can only be used as a hint. In the following cases of plants, their actions are also well known, so there could be seen some coherences: First of all there is a study on Kanna (Sceletium tortuosum), which describes an action on CB1-cannabinoid-receptors of the alkaloid-extract. Its not the Mesembrine but other alkaloids responsible for this action and mainly from the nonfermented material. Additional to the SSRI-action, PDE4-inhibiting now there you can see a CB1-cannabinoid- activating and Acetylcholinesterase- inhibiting effect. It should be half as potent as THC. I wrote books about Kratom and Kanna, so this is of great interest to me. Also others and I could observe a potentiating effect on Cannabis from Kanna. They don't describe the Ki. The study: http://www.ifrj.upm.edu.my/17%20(02)%202010/IFRJ-2010-349-355_Alfi_Netherlands_(S).pdf (you may copy the complete link) Kava (Piper methysticum) was also tested positive for CB1-cannabinoid- action. Yangonin was the main active kavalactone with a K(i)= 0.72 μM on the CB1-receptor. THC is 15-times as strong but if one consumed a great dose of kava there must be some cannabinoid action additional to the others. The studies: http://sciencealerts...ml#.UEnAdbLN_k8 http://members.iif.h...resentation.pdf Then there is green tea (Camellia sinensis), which is also CB1-cannabinoid because of its catechins (3 of them). They found that EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate) has a Ki of 33,6μM on the CB1-receptor, so it is much weaker than Yangonin, but it is also possible to drink a great amount of greentea... The study: http://www.missclass...a/cannaboid.pdf This one is for science: In a marine sponge Dasychalina fragilis from Papua New Guinea they found Haplosamate A, which was tested positive for cannabinoid action: http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/19175306 The cannabinoid-like action of Lion's tail (Leonotis leonurus) isn't yet explained by action on CB1-receptors but Leonurine could be an Adenosine-reuptake-inhibitor (structurally very similar to Dilazep) or an action on the vanilloid-receptor (structurally similar to Capsaicin). Leonurine could in general produce cannabis-like effects (Auwarter, 2009).
Macropiper excelsum... the Maori-Kava from New Zealand, the leaves are used there as flavouring in food ("maori-food") and also used for medicine and rituals: bladder problems, blood purifier, boils, buises, colds, eczema, for kidneys, stomach pains, toothache, aphrodisiac and stimulant. A really big Macropiper excelsum in New Zealand (North Island): another member from the Piper- genus: Piper auritum, the Makulan, with one of the highest Safrol-contents in plant-kingdom. In Mexiko it is used for flavouring: fish, meat and tamales are wrapped and cooked in the leaves and mole verde is made from mashed leaves. It is also used for medicine and incense for aztec rituals, for wound care, fever and diarrhea. Betel (Piper betle, thin leaf- variety), the famous second component of betel quids (with Areca nuts). In Oceania there is a clear line between "Betel- culture" and "Kava- culture". It has psycho-stimulant and used medicinally to cure worms. And the famous Kava, Piper methysticum, I got this plant today, because here in europe it is very hard to get the real Kava, because as a sterile species there are no seeds and as a plant nobody is shipping it to europe... but now I found a nice seller who does. I was searching for it for at least 15 years and now I'm very happy. It is a cultivar from Piper wichmannii in Papua-Newguinea and carried by the polynesians on their journeys from island to island in the pacific. The liver-toxic principles are only in the leaves and stems, not in the root. There have been some bad manufactured Kava with stems in circulation, which causes liver toxicity. the leaves were fallen off during the long shipping, but the stem and roots look very healthy: The black pepper (Piper nigrum), is a very tricky plant in cultivation, so I didn't order it, although I know a seller in europe. This is a picture of grains from the closest relative of the wild black pepper in India. They are from the Periyar- nationalpark in Kerala, south india and tastes delicious. Periyar-pepper, 24-fold: Piper guineense (Aschantipepper or Westafrican pepper) is used as spice in africa and is one of the best insecticides against thrips, which was testet from a university in Nigeria. It contains much piperine and is antiinflammatory. Piper cubeba (cubeb, java pepper or tailed pepper), tastes like a cross between allspice and black pepper. It is used in chinese-, tibetan- and many other medicine-systems. There were also cubeb-cigarettes for asthma. Too much (over 10g) can cause anxiety and deliria. It is used as aphrodisiac, euphoric and weakness of memory. Piper longum (Long pepper) is a good aphrodisiac in India and is mostly wild-harvested. The flavour is very warm and milder than black pepper. In Ayurveda it is used as stimulant and aphrodisiac.