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Alchemica

Growing again after illness, listening to the medicine of the plants

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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.

 


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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.



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"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

 

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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


 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

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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.
 

Edited by Alchemica
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I've been struggling with really 'jagged' cognition which makes it super hard to focus which messes up the mood as a consequence. Trying more dietary stuff

 

One is some frequent culinary-medicinal shrooms. I've tried lots of Lion's mane, Reishi, Cordyceps etc but not more widely used culinary mushrooms apart from Oyster (and a little bit of Porchini).

 

Made a big batch of Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) and Oyster (Pleurotus ostreatus) and King oyster mushroom (Pleurotus eryngii) with my homegrown Reishi soup. Seaweed'd it up with the kale which was nice and made it extra shroomy

 

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Culinary-medicinal mushrooms may be developed as safe and healthy dietary supplements for brain and cognitive health

 

Mushrooms offer great potential because of the complexity of their chemical contents and different varieties of bioactivities. Available evidence suggests that mushrooms exhibit anti-oxidant, anti-tumor, anti-virus, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, immune modulating, anti-microbial, and anti-diabetic activities

 

These mushrooms are known to contain ergothioneine: shiitake, oyster, king oyster or maitake (hen of the woods) can contain up to 13mg in a 3-ounce serving compared to the 5 milligrams in common mushrooms. Ergothioneine may promote neuronal differentiation and alleviate symptoms of depression at plausibly achieved level of daily ingestion [1].

 

Other findings provide scientific evidence to support the use of Pleurotus ostreatus as a safe and effective mushroom to prevent and treat Alzheimer's disease through the polysaccharides [2].

 

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27134772
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27498414

 

Eating mushrooms may reduce the risk of cognitive decline: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releas…/2019/…/190312103702.htm

 

 

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Trying a few days on some simple rosemary tea over the weekend which I enjoy every now and then. It's one it's easy to dismiss

 

Data suggest potential beneficial properties of acute consumption of rosemary water in humans [1]. Rosemary tea administration exerts anxiolytic and antidepressant effects in mice and inhibits cholinesterase activity [2]

 

"The presence of 1,8-cineole and rosmarinic acid and the absorption of these (and other) compounds may facilitate performance through cholinergic pathways. Serum levels of 1,8-cineole have previously been demonstrated to correlate with task performance following exposure to rosemary aroma."

 

Rosemary polyphenols cause the regulation of several neurotransmitters (dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin and acetylcholine) and gene expression [3] while the volatiles activate the NGF pathway and the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, promoting dopamine production [4] Carnosic acid and carnosol, which are major components of the rosemary extract, were able to promote markedly enhanced synthesis of NGF [5]

 

Also incorporating more 'culinary' sage
 

Sage (Salvia) species effects have been considered and found effective in a range of population groups [6].

 

A double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial involving 30 healthy volunteers found it led to improved ratings in mood post-dose, with the lower dose reducing anxiety (300mg) and the higher dose increasing ‘alertness’, ‘calmness’ and ‘contentedness’ (600mg)

 

Improvements in mood (e.g. alertness, contentedness, and calmness) and cognition were also identified following the single administration of a S. officinalis extract to healthy young adults. The extract was associated with significant enhancement of secondary memory performance at all testing times. The same measure benefited to a lesser extent from other doses. There also were significant improvements to accuracy of attention following the 333-mg dose. In vitro analysis confirmed cholinesterase inhibiting properties for the extract

 

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30318972
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25910439
[3] https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0166-4328(12)00657-2
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29273038
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14600414
[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27888449

 

Made Ginkgo pesto from the season's leaves. It's a really nice way to have the stuff

 

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Various preclinical and clinical studies have shown a positive effect of Ginkgo biloba to improve cognitive abilities in impaired individuals and reducing anxiety under pathological conditions [1]

G. biloba is an effective complementary treatment for ADHD [2]

It had a significant difference in ameliorating total and negative symptoms of chronic schizophrenia as an adjuvant therapy to antipsychotics [3].

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27908257
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25925875
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25980333

 

And keeping the diet diverse
 

I feel you often can't put all your eggs in one basket "___ will effectively fix ___" etc. It's easy to get hyped up about one particular option, float on the wings of expectation, then crash and burn. When you're really mixing it up, I feel the magic starts to come alive.

 

Just like we see in the diet, if you eat the same food all the time, it simply doesn't work and it can easily be detrimental - healthy dietary diversity scores correlate strongly with depression and anxiety in studies. When dealing with healing plants, particularly those used as food, why is it not the same? Often we're tempted to say something will fix something etc and run with it exclusively as a therapeutic. In my experiences, not to discount individual healing potentials, they could be better mixed up in a diverse phytochemical rich diet than using it as a standalone in a more lackluster diet?

 

Today my sprout jar is packed with ready Radish and Broccoli again

Yesterday, made Ginkgo pesto with the season's leaves. Along with some Ginkgo, had a Rosemary and Savory tea. Few mixed berries. Have different sprouts with the Ginkgo pesto, which tastes surprisingly nice, also put it on some steamed kale an Roselle leaf with dinner

The day before it was a Hibiscus, raspberry, blueberry and citrus peel chia pod. Mistletoe. Green tea

The day before a pomegranate session with other healthy additions. Lots of sprouts

 

Unfortunately the "therapeutic merits" of plants and natural products is also propelled by commercial interest so it's easy to buy into that and think one plant is a magic elixir. That's not to say they're not often effective therapeutics but there are strong vested interests

 

Take for example, blueberry research literally funded by Big Blueberry
The latest spearmint research for cognition carried out on a propriety blend of a special, patented "high rosmarinic acid" type of Spearmint
Ginkgo propelled by trials utilising patented, standardised extracts
Saffron research occurring in Iran through government funding, seemingly with the hopes of fortifying the value of their "red gold"
etc etc

 

I was one who bought into the promises of Big Blueberry and used them as my almost exclusive fruit... That said, based on the current evidence, a recent review of the available evidence found "blueberries may improve some measures of cognitive performance when consumed for up to six months in duration" [1].

Take for example a variety of fruits are finding therapeutic merit

 

Blueberry, strawberry, pomegranate, blackberry, grape and plum juices or extracts have been successfully tested in cognitively impaired animal models. Published trials of the benefits of blueberry [2,3], pomegranate [4], grape [5.6,7], flavonoid rich orange [8,9,10] in the treatment of small numbers of cognitively impaired and healthy populations, including on mood, have recently appeared.

Some we hear little of - eg raspberries.

 

The health-promoting potential of red raspberries includes modulating metabolic disease risk, especially cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, obesity, and neurodegenerative disorders—all of which share critical metabolic, oxidative, and inflammatory links They contain a unique profile of anthocyanins and ellagitannins (with effects via ellagic acid). Red raspberries contain ~92.1 ± 19.7 mg anthocyanins/100 g of fresh fruit [11]

 

Really it seems they are best used as healthy additions to a balanced, varied diet, not trying to carry so much therapeutic weight on their own? That said, I try to avoid the more carbohydrate dense options a bit

 

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30999017
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28230732
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29882843
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23970941
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22468945
[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28429081
[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26864371
[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28091350 '
[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26280945
[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25733635
[11] https://academic.oup.com/advances/article/7/1/44/4524046

 

 

 

 

Edited by Alchemica
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Love the idea of Gingko pesto!

 

So much magic right under our noses, and basically for free.

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Wow, beautiful descriptive post mate, thank you, I'll be returning to this one a few times I reckon <3

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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

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