Jump to content
The Corroboree

Alchemica

Moderators
  • Content count

    1,509
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    49

Everything posted by Alchemica

  1. Life was throwing me challenges, my best friend Milly (my dog) dying, my life going nowhere. I'd lost passion, projects not working, life going downhill. I turned to passionflower. Here's the journey and some science. It turned into three days on high dose ad libitum Passiflora incarnata. Chewed through a few hundred grams exploring it. Then got gifted some P. capsularis I'll explore more ceremonially. Note Passiflora contain cyanogenic glycosides at times. Brew appropriately/cautiously to stay safe. Passiflora is used for Finding the Spiritual Learning in Difficult Times. Attuning to Christ Consciousness. It helps us understand the deepest possible meaning of our own personal suffering, after which it assists in the ascent to our truest calling of service on the planet. It is useful in strengthening one’s connection to selfless service and unconditional love Going to brew up a Passionflower dose today, should keep me going. I tried low doses and never got much, going to push it a bit after my social therapy in the city today. The genus Passiflora is popularly used to treat a variety of ailments. predominately anxiety. Passiflora incarnata is an important plant used in Ayurveda for the treatment of various disorders of the CNS and is a rich source of flavonoids (flavonoid content ~2.5%). It contains indole alkaloids (harmalol, harmol, harmane, harmaline and harmine) and flavonoids like orientin, isoorientin, vitexin, and isovitexin in the aerial parts. The recommended daily dosage of dried passion flower is 4-8 grams, some suggest starting at 2g. P. edulis (edulis and flavicarpa) also show anti-depressant and anxiolytic activity, containing O-flavonoids, C-flavonoids, cyanogenic glycosides and fatty acids. Harman type alkaloids found in P. incarnata were not detected in P. edulis. Passiflora edulis 'flavicarpa' (yellow fruit) is extremely different from Passiflora edulis 'edulis' (purple fruit). The six major flavonoid compounds isolated from the leaves of Passiflora edulis 'flavicarpa', lucenin-2, vicenin-2, isoorientin, isovitexin, luteolin-6-C-chinovoside, and luteolin-6-C-fucoside, had not been detected in Passiflora edulis 'edulis'. It is clear this plant shows considerable qualitative and quantitative variability with respect to its content. With P. incarnata, following oral administration at high dose, the extract exerted an anxiolytic effect that was comparable to diazepam and mediated by the GABAergic system. Findings suggest that the consumption of a low dose of Passiflora incarnata, in the form of tea, yields short-term subjective sleep benefits for healthy adults with mild fluctuations in sleep quality. It positively modulates circadian rhythms by inducing high-amplitude rhythms in the expression of several circadian clock genes. P. incarnata flowers has significant antiparkinsonian and cognition enhancing activity Analysis of plant material cultivated in Australia revealed two chemically distinct groups of P. incarnata - distinct intraspecific chemotypes exist in this species. The two distinct groups differ with respect to their C-glycosyl flavone profile, with little within-group variation. One chemotype was dominated by isovitexin and schaftoside/isoschaftoside, as is most widely reported in the literature for this species. The other chemotype was characterized by a high level of swertisin, with low levels of schaftoside/isoschaftoside. Passiflora incarnata has long been used in traditional herbal medicine for the treatment of insomnia and anxiety in Europe, and it has been used as a sedative tea in North America. Furthermore, this plant has been used for analgesic, anti-spasmodic, anti-asthmatic, wormicidal and sedative purposes in Brazil; as a sedative and narcotic in Iraq; and for the treatment of disorders such as dysmenorrhoea, epilepsy, insomnia, neurosis and neuralgia in Turkey. In Poland, this plant has been used to treat hysteria and neurasthenia; in America, it has been used to treat diarrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, neuralgia, burns, haemorrhoids and insomnia. Passiflora incarnata has also been used to cure subjects affected by opiate dependence in India. Passiflora edulis 'flavicarpa' displayed anxiolytic activity at lower doses and sedative activity at high doses while Passiflora edulis 'edulis' exhibited sedative effects. P. edulis induces stronger anxiolytic-like effects compared to P. alata. ~~~ I'm two days into high dose passionflower with my other plants, mainly trying to calm and uplift the spirit, get some sleep and attune deeper to heart. I've pushed it quite a bit, started at 20g. While it's not suggested more is always better, I wanted to relate to this plant on a deeper level. Got up to quite a bit more today. I've tried typical medicinal doses and never regarded it as personally useful for such. Actually got a half-decent sleep last night. If I had to describe it at higher doses - it's starts living up to being anxiolytic, slightly hypnotic/sedative, spiritually attuning, anti-neurotic but with the ability to remain functional. I want to use it a bit more. Definitely feels nicely flavonoidy. I've been trying two lots, one's mainly organic leaf from an Australian grown plant, the other is very stem laden. Have to try and note some differences. It can be used for inducing heightened spiritual states, greater awareness, channeling and even peak experiences of a religious nature The Cherokee used Passiflora incarnata as a 'social drink' and in religious ceremonies. It has been used in 'love medicine', to calm the heart and spirit and in sacred ceremonies for those who had passed on. Accounts of spiritual use have been recorded from Druid texts, to Ayahuasca type ceremonial practices. Amazonian species of Passiflora are used as an additive to ayahuasca to intensify the visions experienced during ceremonial rituals. Maracuja (P. edulis) juice plays a significant role in Brazilian jurema rituals, which are similar to ayahuasca rituals, but which are not particularly well understood at this time Passionflower is used to bring peace to the soul. Passionflower is thought to transfer Christ properties and vibration of Christ consciousness. This term is not associated to religious practice - the plant supports the re-patterning of consciousness to attain wholeness again. It's known to repair the ego - mending it to the superego - supporting a feeling of enlightenment day to day mental constructs. I'm finding it's quite anti-neurotic - "The mandala-like flower demonstrates the powerful signature of its use in circular thinking, passionflower is especially suited for folks who have a hard time letting things go, mulling them over incessantly in a repetitive manner." "The plant was used in purely sacred or sacramental rituals. It was allowed to grow wherever there were ritualistic places where worship, understanding of God and Earth, and working with energy of a more spiritual nature was taking place. The Lemurians, as they saw these energies in their rituals become permeated into the various plants, felt the loving and joyous energies from passion flower and from its vines and roots. This created a resonance, so passion flower was often used to close ceremonies." I'm going more for flavonoid resonances. While it contains harmala alkaloids more recent analyses of commercial passionflower samples indicated that harmane content ranged from 0 to 0.1 ug/g and harmine ranged from 0 to 0.27 ug/g . Another analysis found the average harmine level in Passiflora caerulea was 0.098 mg/g. This is much higher level of harmala alkaloid as compared to the levels found in the Passiflora incarnata samples, P. incarnata had an average value of 0.031 mg/g harmol and an average of 0.00935 mg/g harmine.That said, the levels of the harmala alkaloids varied widely between samples of Passiflora incarnata and every analysis seems to be different, it is suggested that time of harvest, growing conditions and even chemotypes play a role. Some ayahuasca-type brews have been successful with 300g of material to inhibit MAO, to me that level of flavonoid effect would be very different. Abourashad et al report the harmala levels detected in 104 samples of Passiflora, and 50 of the samples had no detectable levels of harmala alkaloids. Cavin & Rodriguez state that harmala alkaloids frequently occur in such small concentrations that they have not been quantified, which may be a reason that their presence in species of Passiflora is at times disputed and not always reproducible. ~~~ Find passionflower at very high doses nicely works as a restructuring healing resonance that doesn't cause weird ego phenomena and struggles. It's a real healing resonance if you attune to a high dose. While some of our stonger Allies can be mess with you a bit and can cause issues as far as I'm concerned - deluded struggles restructuring to a better place. Give you more than you need to work with. Cacao is nice in that it's a holistic shadow integrative emotional enhancer etc but this is very simply spiritually and emotionally nurturing on all levels and I can see why they attribute Christ consciousness properties to it. ~~~ I'm quite impressed with where the high dose passionflower took me. It was a nice restructure to a better place. Chewed through a lot over 3 days in my 'dose escalation honeymoon get to know the ally' phase. Happy with where it got me to, in an uplift and re-integration on a holistic level. Enough anxiolysis, a spirit of compassionate acceptance towards myself and others and transcendence of suffering, a feeling of moving on, emotionally attuning, to start to reform some healthy social connections which was needed. Felt like a spiritual tune up. Got a few social things happening on the horizon. Feeling easier to talk to people, had a nice chat to a friend on the phone when I haven't really talked to a human closer friend properly for a long time, enjoyed that. Feel like approaching the day with more loving optimism. More gratitude Been enjoying going for walks, tending to the garden when recently it was a dreary sad depressing chore. Got myself in a giving without seeking return place, actually giving a crap about helping people more. Feel invigorated to restart living more with some projects. More embodied care and compassion. Not going to keep pushing it, want to see if I can maintain that without the high doses. ~~~ Kindly gifted some Passiflora capsularis material to explore. I'm going to treat this more sacredly and ceremonially and use lower doses. I'll grow this one in my garden, too. Passiflora capsularis (see analysis of various Passiflora here: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bjp.2016.06.007) contained isoorientin, orientin, vitexin and isovitexin while P. incarnata contained predominately isoorientin, vitexin and isovitexin. P. edulis f. flavicarpa contained isoorientin, isovitexin and P. edulis f. edulis isoorientin, vitexin or vitexin, isovitexin. P. capsularis samples showed the most pronounced difference in quantity of constituents in different samples with morphoanatomical variation. The concentration of flavonoid glycosides showed a sharp increase in leaves collected from sunny places. Nevertheless, the composition of flavonoids remained unchanged. Analysis results varied depending on whether it was grown in the shadow of trees or an open space with direct exposure to the sun. Such differences in concentration result from plant adaptations to different light intensities by regulating their physiological states and changing their primary and secondary metabolic pathways. In doing so, their anabolic and catabolic processes achieve their maximum functional status Isoorientin, orientin and isovitexin (from Cecropia pachystachya) exhibit antidepressant-like effects with antioxidant properties. Along with other properties, they may inhibit GSK3β. Orientin-intake could be beneficial as a preventive strategy for chronic stress-induced depression, with antidepressant effects mediated by BDNF. Orientin attenuated brain injury through the TLR4/NF-κB/TNF-α pathway. Vitexin is neuroprotective with effects related to inhibiting the activities of NR2B-containing NMDA receptors and reducing the calcium influx - Passiflora can potentially act as modulators of the glutamatergic system. Vitexin has anticonvulsant effects in the brain, possibly through interaction at the benzodiazepine site of the γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptor complex. The anti-depressant-like effect of vitexin is mediated through an increase in catecholamine levels in the synaptic cleft as well as through interactions with the serotonergic 5-HT1A, noradrenergic α2, and dopaminergic D1, D2, and D3 receptors.
  2. 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
  3. Who else sprouts/microgreens? I decided I needed a new healing hobby. Gardening is good but the effort involved when I'm not well and heat in summer is too much. I still appreciate being in close proximity to plant life. You get to watch the seeds spring to life magically and then without mass effort in the garden, get dense nutrition (and phytochemicals). I took up sprouting/microgreens after having a short trial on broccoli sprout powder and thinking it could be good longer term. They're also good as they are easy behavioural activation when I'm feeling unwell and force me to keep tidy - it's something that embodies care, embraces life, encourages things like growth, self-care and cleanliness, shorter-term and longer-term goals and nurtures your health in return. Also, after switching to a super planty diet, I noticed lentils etc don't agree with me but lentil sprouts are fine. In general, germinated seeds, particularly microgreens, have more bioactive compounds than raw seeds [1] "Seed sprouting is a widely used natural processing method, which not only improves nutritional properties, decreases levels of antinutritional constituents but also enhances concentrations of bioactive compounds and antioxidant activity resulting in improved nutraceutical properties of seeds and creates a functional component for healthy food production" The concentration of proteins, fibre and bioactive compounds as well as bioactivity increased in the sequence: raw seeds-sprouted seeds-microgreens, while the content of total carbohydrates decreased. "Iron and zinc are still the most widespread deficient micronutrients in global food systems, known as ‘hidden hunger’ and are currently of the greatest concern when considering the nutritional value of vegetarian diets: sprouted seeds and microgreens are a good source of Fe and Zn with possibly increased bioaccessibility." "Like isoflavone concentrations, the contents of other phenolic compounds and non-phenolic metabolites as triterpene saponins increased in the following order: raw seeds < sprouted seeds < microgreens." [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30602699 Now sprouted pretty much anything I could possibly find to sprout in the house. Soybeans, chickpeas, lentils, broccoli, mustard, radish, red clover, fenugreek etc. The works. Gut's finally coming back to some normality, contrary to simply cooked forms etc. Also set up a microgreens grow room, including wheatgrass. Sprouts are life potential, ignited. We awaken the nutrition inside the seed... "You’re growing a garden right in your kitchen, using your own energy to make the magic happen. It’s hyper-local food at its best! No chemicals or pesticides during the growing process, or fossil fuels for transportation. Could sprouts be the perfect food?! The quality of protein and carbohydrates improves, as the sprouting process begins to break down the complex proteins and starches into amino acids, peptides, and simple carbohydrates needed by the seed to grow. At the same time, anti-nutrients such as phytic acid, protease and amylase inhibitors are neutralized. This makes a sprout very easy to digest with highly absorbable nutrients [not to mention the enhancement of bioactive phytochemicals] Make sure that your jar or sprouting container is thoroughly clean, that you’re rinsing your sprouts with cool water twice daily, and that your sprouts have plenty of airflow." [1] I agree - Risks and Benefits "They are pretty energizing, and I enjoy the taste of them" "...a good choice for someone with a sensitive gut" "For people with problems digesting certain foods, sprouted germs might seem better for them, and they are less allergenic to people with sensitivities." "While sprouted grains and other nutrient-blocking seeds won’t be completely free from all antinutrients after soaking and sprouting, it’s a much better option". Broccoli: How to At least nine clinical studies of neurodevelopmental conditions like autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia are promising. Preliminary evidence that sulforaphane may improve symptoms of autism spectrum disorders with improvement in social interaction, in abnormal behaviour, and verbal communication. It is promising in neurodegenerative conditions in animal models. It is "possible that dietary intake of cruciferous vegetables including glucoraphanin (or sulforaphane) may prevent depression induced by stress and/or inflammation". It has potential to improve cognitive function in patients with schizophrenia [1] Sulforaphane may be a useful intervention for neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases because it "corrects underlying aspects of the diseases process, rather than merely alleviating symptoms". After Nrf2 pathway activation, over two hundred genes are induced and exert detoxification and antioxidant defense. - a naturally occurring Nrf2 activator - potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. - epigenetically enhances neuronal BDNF expression and its TrkB signaling pathways [2] - increased blood GSH levels in healthy human subjects following 7 days of daily oral administration [3] - prevented depression-like phenotype in mice after inflammation, or chronic social defeat stress [4] - following oral administration, it had an effect on histone deacetylase activity following a single dose in animal models. - improve glucose tolerance through the up-regulation of insulin signaling [5] Tip: add some radish/mustard seeds to your sprouting mixture: "...the addition of radish, rocket and rape sprouts to broccoli sprouts could promote the hydrolysis of the glucoraphanin to sulforaphane to 2.03, 2.32 and 1.95-fold, respectively, compared to single broccoli sprouts while the formation of non-bioactive sulforaphane nitrile in these three groups decreased greatly" [6] There is evidence in favor of the safety of strategies that target the activation of Nrf2: Serum levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone, free thyroxine and thyroglobulin were not affected by the treatment, and neither was the thyroid autoimmunity status [7] [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30199394 [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27735126 [3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29888232 [4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30386243 [5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30091431 [6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30263824 [7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30735751 Fenugreek "Sprouting has shown to improve the nutritional profile of fenugreek seeds and decrease the fiber content such that it gets digested and absorbed in the system more easily. Also, germinated fenugreek seeds have higher antioxidant content and enhanced antidiabetic effect" [review] Fenugreek is known for its medicinal properties such as hypocholesterolemic, antidiabetic, anticancer and gastroprotective properties but it's healing properties extend beyond that. Fenugreek fibre in a breakfast meal increased feelings of fullness and reduced hunger, as well as reduced energy intake. It had comparable effects to metformin. When fenugreek was incorporated into food, it reduced the glycemic index (GI) by 21%. 10 g/day significantly decreased fasting blood glucose and HbA1c, serum levels of insulin, homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance, and total cholesterol and triglycerides, and it increased serum levels of adiponectin in type 2 diabetic patients Clinically fenugreek seed leads to improvement in insulin sensitivity [1]. An animal study shows significant anti-anxiety effects [2] and it improves learning and memory process and has significant potential as an antiamnesic agent [3]. It has neuroprotective [4] and antidepressant activity in part by modulation of MAO-A/B [5] It demonstrated significant anabolic and androgenic activity in human studies [6]. Improves sexual function and increases serum testosterone in healthy middle-aged and older men [7] and sexual desire and arousal in women [8] It contains flavonoids, terpenoids, phenols, proteins/amino acids, saponins, and tannins. Galactomannan from fenugreek seeds is a prebiotic [9] Fenugreek may help protect against liver changes induced by chronic alcohol consumption. Health Benefits of Culinary Herbs and Spices: https://doi.org/10.5740/jaoacint.18-0418 [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29518003 [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27639708 [3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29681009 [4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27893738 [5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25176235 [6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30356905 [7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26791805 [8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25914334 [9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29876118 Wheatgrass Along with chlorophyll, it is a source of a large variety of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids (while being considered gluten free). In the passage from grains to sprouts to wheatgrass, the quantity of flavonoids increases being rich in flavonoids, particularly apigenin. A source of triterpenoids, anthraquinol, alkaloids, tannins, saponins, sterols, squalene, caryophyllene and amyrins Clinical studies show benefit as an adjunct to cancer therapy and benefit in rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, hematological diseases, diabetes, obesity, and oxidative stress. Currently available evidence confirms the safety of wheatgrass and its products [1] [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26156538
  4. One ally that has been instrumental in me getting past vices is this common one which I think is totally underrated. I find my simple tea is so healing and you don't need to drift off to fancy teas all the time! Some tea drunk suggestions from others Tea - A passage to spiritual harmony Epidemiological investigations have reported that drinking tea reduces the risk of dementia and depression. Research suggests that tea catechins, mainly EGCG, elicit cognitive effects as well. EGCG administration has been associated with self-reported calmness and reduced stress in healthy subjects. It showed beneficial effects in related areas such as work performance and creativity [1]. Tea use was associated with reduced stress, increased calmness and increased electroencephalographic activity (increased alpha, beta and theta activities) in the midline frontal and central brain regions Green tea consumption in subjects with cognitive dysfunction (2 g/day for 3 months, approximately equal to 2 to 4 cups of tea/day) significantly improved cognitive performance. Along with the effects of lower doses of caffeine and small quantities of L-theanine, EGCG has sedative effects in the brain, partially through GABAA receptors, and consequently moderates an acute stress response in a dose dependent manner. With the feelings of euphoria, there can be a strong sense of focus and calm. Tea drinkers may experience acceptance of the world, a feeling of contentment, and pleasing lightheadedness or sense of floating. Others list symptoms such as a giggling, a bouncy feeling, a feeling of emotional bliss, a contemplative or philosophical mindset, or an introspective, sensitive mood. The overall effect is often described as a very Zen feeling. ...get in a mindset of focused observation of the physical, mental, and emotional/spiritual effects of the tea [ref]. EGCG may reduce the negative mood effects of caffeine in a similar manner to L-theanine. Several studies found that caffeine and L-theanine improve attentional performance but studies did not find any change in self-reported mood compared to caffeine. Some of the studies, even on more well-known combinations such as caffeine and L-theanine, failed at reproducing the same results as in other studies. L-theanine appears to be most beneficial in subjects that reported being more stressed and/or anxious during the study. Tea catechins have GABAA modulatory [2] and cannabinoid affinity [3] and tea consumption might reduce antipsychotic-induced side effects. While the tea catechin EGCG is known to inhibit COMT enzymatic activity in vitro this may not be relevant in vivo EGCG attenuates NMDA antagonist-stimulated behaviours "Much of orally ingested EGCG is hydrolyzed to epigallocatechin (EGC) and gallic acid. In rats, EGC is then metabolized mainly to 5-(3',5'-dihydroxyphenyl)-γ-valerolactone" These metabolites may promote neurogenesis in the brain [4] As ligands for the GABAA receptor benzodiazepine site, the higher catechins like EGCG being PAMS at some sites. EGCG reversed the effects of GABAA receptor negative modulators - picrotoxin and methyl beta-carboline-3-carboxylate, EGCG and chlordiazepoxide fully generalised in substitution studies. The phenolic acids are also GABAergic, potentially at different GABAA subtypes. Polyphenols and L-theanine for stress: Black Tea - regular consumption of black or oolong tea was associated with lower risks of cognitive impairment and decline "Following plants trends and rituals that don’t come from your personal lineage harms those who rely on such plants, especially colonized people, and the plants themselves (by overharvesting). Moreover, this routine does a disservice to your health. There’s no reason to chase plant wisdom outside your lineage for meaning - we miss out on a chance for a more genuine connection with plants already deeply rooted in our family histories by following plant trends that fall outside our lineage." [1]. There's lots of research around green tea/EGCG and theanine but "Theaflavins, black tea polyphenols, effects on brain function, especially mental condition, have not been elucidated". Recently there's been a bit. Oral administration with theaflavins can suppress neural inflammation and prevent inflammation-related brain disorders, improving memory impairment and depression-like behaviour [2]. Theaflavins from black tea have a stronger anti-inflammatory effect than many other polyphenols. Oral consumption of theaflavins induced anxiolytic effects via activation of the dopaminergic system in the frontal cortex [3]. Despite concerns about these reaching the CNS, oral doses are indeed CNS active in animal models. A standard cup of black tea was found to contain L-theanine 24.2 ± 5.7 mg and mostly thearubigens contrary to a cup of green tea which contains ~8mg theanine and ~70 mg EGCG per bag. That said, one study claims green tea was more effective for neuroprotection than red and black teas. One paper states black tea polyphenols are more effective than green tea polyphenols in body weight reduction [4]. Theaflavins are "promising functional food ingredients and medicines for improving insulin resistance-related disorders" and improve postprandial glycemic control [5,6]. Black tea possesses "marked aphrodisiac activity" and "can function as a quick acting, safe, oral aphrodisiac" [7]. [1] https://www.healthline.com/health/plants-as-medicine-history [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30696093 [3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30806570 [4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27941615 [5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30572687 [6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28049262 [7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18565706 Green Tea Improves “cognitive functioning [through affecting]…working memory processing at the neural system level by suggesting changes in short-term plasticity of parieto-frontal brain connections.” Beneficial for it's stress resistance, and neuroprotective and autophagy-promoting properties Green tea might reverse the development of depression through normalisation of the reward function. Green tea is promising for neuroprotective/neurorescue activities in a wide array of cellular and animal models of neurological disorders and is suggested as a prophylactic for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's etc - higher consumption of green tea is associated with lower prevalence of cognitive impairment A retrospective study with 278 consecutive Parkinson's patients reported that consumption of more than 3 cups of tea per day delayed age of motor symptoms onset by 7.7 years and green tea polyphenols provide a symptomatic benefit in Parkinson's Green tea is believed to lower the risk of dementia both through it's polyphenols and active metabolites that exhibit effects on nerve cell proliferation and neuritogenic properties. The consumption of green tea catechins is generally believed to suppress age-related cognitive dysfunction, The neuroprotective, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and iron-chelating properties of EGCG make it promising for neurorescue. Diet induced neuroinflammation was restored by EGCG supplementation and homocysteine-induced neurodegeneration and neuro-inflammation in the brain was attenuated. It inhibits brain damage and promotes regeneration in the cerebral cortex of rats. It shows promise for Down syndrome and is a TLR4/MyD88 antagonist and inhibitor of DYRK1A EGCG was able to effectively inhibit volatile anaesthetic-induced neurodegeneration and improve learning and memory retention, which is relevant to my case. There is evidence of hepatoprotective [see more - note high doses have been linked to rare hepatotoxicity] and restoration oxidative-nitrosative stress-mediated apoptotic signalling in cognitive deficits associated with alcohol Teas significantly reduced AChE activity and partially reduced fat accumulation. Green teas reduced memory deficits. They reduced reactive species accumulation and reduced plasma triglyceride levels. The tea polyphenol EGCG has been shown to ameliorate metabolic abnormalities and fatty liver. Some evidence suggests that daily consumption of tea catechins may help in controlling type 2 diabetes Green tea is promising for different neurodegenerative conditions, such as memory deficits. EGCG-treated rats displayed a superior behavioural performance and it enhances neuroregeneration after injury via alteration of levels of inflammatory cytokines. Green tea was more effective for neuroprotection than red and black teas. Green tea's theanine seems to have multiple beneficial effects on depressive symptoms, anxiety, sleep disturbance and cognitive impairments in patients with major depression [4] It may be beneficial in schizophrenia [5] Review Oolong contains more O-methylated catechins like (-)-epigallocatechin 3- O-(3- O-methyl)gallate with distinct physiological functions in animal models and humans compared to common tea, including antiallergy, antiobesity, the prevention of cardiovascular disease risks [review] Pu-erh tea fermentation forms simple phenolic acids (gallic) and theogallin while epicatechin, epigallocatechin gallate and theanine decreased during fermentation [review] It is reported that Pu-erh tea have a variety of pharmacologically activities, such as anti-hyperlipidemic, anti-diabetic, anti-oxidative, anti-tumor, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral effects. It is promising for it's effects on metabolic syndrome through remodelling the microbiome Pu-erh tea contains "biological compounds binding transcription factors and inhibiting the expression of mGluR5 and is a novel natural neuroprotective agent" as dysregulation of mGluR5 is implicated in multiple brain disorders particularly showing promise for pain, epilepsy, schizophrenia, drug addiction and Alzheimer’s disease Gallic acid in Pu-erh tea is reported to be a main constituent. This has neuroprotective, antidepressant [1] and anti-psychotic acitivities [2] It is also a rich source of other benzoic acid derivatives, phenylacetic, phenylpropionic, phenylvaleric and phenolic acid esters [3] Host your own healing tea ceremony Sure, there's 'recreational tea sessions'. There's also healing tea sessions When practised to foster harmony in humanity, promote harmony with nature, discipline the mind, quiet the heart, and attain the purity of enlightenment, the art of tea becomes "teaism" [1] It can re-inforce harmony of nature and self cultivation: refinement, an inner spiritual content, humility, restraint and simplicity Tea invites us to connect with nature, with our community, and with the deepest parts of our unknown selves. I believe if you dedicate your time to one plant such as Camellia sinensis, you can form a really therapeutic ally and it's often the easily dismissed plants that can bring us to where we need to be... I feel tea brings us back to better holistic health and spiritual harmony - you often don't have to be fancy and chase a multitude of exotic plants and potions. It turns into a wild goose-chase It's sacrilegious the way we as a culture make it about "a quick mediocre cuppa" when it's healing properties for the body, mind and spirit are so notable [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_ceremony Spirituality of Tea "I got nasty habits; I take tea..." - Mick Jagger "Tea is part of the spiritual activities of being properly engaged and aware, both of self and others. As J. Norwood Pratt relates: As an elixir of sobriety and wakeful tranquility, tea was also a means of spiritual refreshment and spiritual conviviality, a way to go beyond this world and enter a realm apart. Tea was an aid in Christian temperance. Tea is an equaliser, the approach to tea as an aid to meditation, and the emphasis on beauty in simplicity. It allows a Daoist concept of returning to a state of rustic simplicity. "Tea seeks social harmony through self-discipline and personal discovery and personal desire for salvation. Whereas Tea requires a degree of contemplation of, and concentration [it also] invites the participant to look into himself or herself, to discover a self that is no longer separate and potentially antagonistic but in harmony with the environment and all others. “I” and “Thou” are able to merge, where the “Thou” becomes the “I” and vice-versa. The distance between self and other, which upholds life in normal times, disappears in favor of unity. “I” and “Thou” become “we,” a “we” established and strengthened by ritual Freedom is sought not in large space or in unrestricted behaviour but, on the contrary, by accepting and “overcoming” restrictions. There is freedom through meditation and other forms of self-discipline. It invites humility, that is, a negation of self in the absorption in something else as expressed in the Buddhist notion of muichibutsu. This concept can mean many things. It points to the Buddhist notion of “nothingness,” “emptiness,” or the original unity of all things. ...tea is at once the center of the universe and a means to harmonize with the essence of things." [2] [1] http://walkerteareview.com/spirituality-of-tea-buddhism-ch…/ [2] http://anthropoetics.ucla.edu/ap0501/tea/ Other methylxanthines and synergies Theobromine may selectively enhance caffeine psychoactivity - increased “energetic arousal” as well. In terms of mood effects cocoa flavonoids may modify caffeine's psychoactive effects in a similar manner to L-theanine. Experiments found that combination of cocoa extract and caffeine attenuated the anxiety-provoking effects of caffeine alone Evidence for an improvement of executive function 90–150 min after the administration of cocoa flavanols. Caffeinated cocoa (70 mg caffeine, 179 mg theobromine, 499 mg flavanols) caused lower omission errors and improved accuracy in healthy subjects compared to cocoa alone (21 mg caffeine, 179 mg theobromine, 499 mg flavanols), but attentional performance was not better
  5. Alchemica

    Aptenia cordifolia (A Zulu traditional medicine)

    The latest study Antidepressant Potential of Mesembryanthemum cordifolium Roots Assisted by Metabolomic Analysis and Virtual Screening Depression is a common mental disturbance that can be categorized as mild, moderate or severe. Mesemberine alkaloids, the main recognized phytoconstituents of some plants belonging to family Mesembryanthemaceae, are well-known as serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Therefore, the objective of this study is to evaluate the antidepressant activity of the alkaloidal fraction of Mesembryanthemum cordifolium L.f. (Aptenia cordifolia) roots, family Mesembryanthemaceae using forced swimming test, assisted by metabolomic analysis and in silico ligand-based and structure-based screening. Results showed that the alkaloidal fraction displayed an antidepressant activity superior to imipramine hydrochloride, a standard antidepressant agent. Nine alkaloids were annotated from the metabolomic analysis. Interestingly, among the dereplicated constituents, mesembrane (5) displayed strong binding affinity to SERT protein, which is slightly higher than the antidepressant drug venlafaxine. In conclusion, the alkaloidal fraction of the M. cordifolium (A. cordifolia) root exhibits an antidepressant activity which can be attributed in part to mesembrane (5).
  6. I ditched the loop of putting something in to heal and instead embraced self-directed creativity as therapy. I never considered myself creative in any good way What would the world be like if we all spent more of our energy transmuting problems to creative, compassionate solutions? I'd like to hear of anyone who's done similar and what it helped you get through? For me, I found if you invest the time and energy, even part of it, you spend on ruminating, analysing, judging, blaming, shaming, denying, complaining, consuming, absorbing, hurting, grieving, projecting etc etc into creating, exploring, playing, loving you end up re-friending your Self/Soul and others from a much better place. It lets you embrace positive potentiality even when you're hurting and learn to not project that negativity into other's worlds. Once you make the choice to direct your energy, actions and time on the planet toward creation, expression, emotion, communication, connection... Throughout history two conditions have exerted themselves: “awakening,” which reflects our highest truth, beauty, and innocence, and “insanity,” which reflects humanity’s taste for the negative, greed, and the subjugation of one people by another. Like this person, "I pulled out the paints and painted a picture.... I laughed at how bad it was and felt an untainted, simple pleasure. I didn’t feel any pressure to be good, or productive." “It’s literally externalising an internal experience in a contained form, so then one can reflect on it with a degree of autonomy, that ‘I have control over this experience, to a degree’" “It doesn’t matter if it’s artistic" “whether the dog looks like a dog, or a camel; the person who drew it knows it’s a dog. The meaning they derive from it — that’s what’s important.” “It bridges your emotions. It does the talking for you.” https://www.independent.ie/au/life/health-wellbeing/mental-health/drawing-strength-how-art-helped-me-beat-depression-37833222.htm Soon enough I had an "unscrambling the egg" portfolio. Unfortunately modern, Western culture has largely emphasized the verbal and analytic Art making was found to assist mental health through enhancing eight different elements of the self [1]: •Emotional exploration and expression. •Participation and learning. •Enhancement of thought processes. •Movement beyond an illness identity. •New perspective and awakening. •Spiritual growth. •Political voice and social expression. •Development of interpersonal relationships. "We live in a time when our capacity for imagining is being thwarted by things that encourage us to tune out of life and become passive consumers rather than active imaginers. We have become paralyzed by our own busyness. We are lulled into passivity, and our creative capacity is dulled through a constant barrage of media images and frenzied life pace. In a culture that demands we hurry up and do, produce, move faster and higher up the ladder, become breathless, worship speed and efficiency, it can be a real challenge to find space. Creativity is about honoring another kind of intelligence that originates from within us rather than from outside sources. By giving attention to the process of art-making we may begin to notice stirrings within ourselves – resistance, insight, joy, sadness — all of which are food for self-insight and spiritual growth. By engaging neglected dimensions of ourselves, we begin to bring a holistic approach to our spirituality and reclaim the inner intelligences What could we discover from the spiritual dimension of our lives if we expanded our access to ways of knowing and used multiple entry points to experience and create meaning?" [2] Studies have noted significant reduction in negative symptoms as well as an improvement in positive quality of life outcomes, such as a non-destructive way of expressing and communicating problematic feelings and life experiences. [1] https://www.instituteforcreativehealth.org.au/sites/default/files/part2theroleofartmakinginrecovery.pdf [2] https://www.spirituality.ucla.edu/docs/newsletters/3/Paintner_Jan07.pdf What is recovery? To me, the essence of recovery is not about "fixing" or going back. It's about acceptance, progression, change and growth. It's not a science but an art. Not a one-way process but a dance It's about taking that lead that weighs you down and transmuting it. Taking lower processes and bringing them to new levels Revitalising and liberating the stagnant Chi Dancing your creative potentiality to the holistic heights of Soul Becoming a wholer, healthier human and letting go of the things that hold you back In the past, I saw the brain, and life, extremely dualistically. You/me, normal/abnormal etc. The brain and life was a puddle of mechanistic, reducible 'stuff' and life was a science experiment. That's the way we're programmed unfortunately These days I see that there is also Beautiful Whole Divinity in there too. You are not your mind or that dualistic thinking but beautiful Whole Divinity no matter how broken you feel. Life is not something to be broken apart but built together If you let that chaos in your mind unfold, out from it is born the Beautiful Sacredness that is Life How art has changed me. How has it changed you and your world? I was in the darkness. Locked in my own colourless world of thought and pain/pathology. Back turned to love, building walls from letting the light get in, no growth, stagnant decay. Loveless - No will to play with the world around me. In return falling deeper and deeper into isolation from my Self and the world around me. Darker and darker was my world Then I found I could play with my world not through manipulating it pharmacologically, but through art. I could explore myself away from thought to uncover emotionality, spirituality, deep connection to Self and kindle inner light. Awaken aspects of me that were dead dormant. Learn to love myself, learn to grow through challenges healthily. The primary thing I've re-embraced through art is that each moment is a moment to create better - be truer to our Divinity What sort of world are you creating today? Divinity or Disorder? Progression or Stagnation? Love/Acceptance or Fear/Judgement? Harmony or Hate? Humanity or Individual Ego? Past or Presence? Unity or Disconnection? Wholeness or Fragmentation? If you're not happy with where you are... re-create. I was in a spot where I couldn't follow conversations, had no expression, could only read things relying on some cognitive reserve, short hits of analysis and scattered attention, couldn't even watch TV... was going nowhere It just left me frustrated. I tried cognitive tasks trying to restore some cognition and change thinking with thinking. I was continuously trying to "recover a pathway that was damaged and failing" to no avail. These have become my mainstay cognitive remediation tasks that I do throughout the day, along with reading and music stimulation. Should get more social stimulation eventually I've discovered that by using aspects I would normally dismiss I can get back some attention, some goal-oriented direction, better affect and more. The quality of my thinking changed drastically and emotionality is there, along with a more coherent sense of self. There's a meditative aspect and a spiritual one. Before and after short-term self art-therapy self-concepts - Disorder to Divinity... In short: From an ill analytical/rational being of ego infiltrated by unconscious 'not knowing my own Self' and seeing the material for gain, to embrace more. To see new layers of Self beyond illness - be in touch with my unconscious, my symbolic, my rational/cognitive/analytical, emotional, aesthetic and spiritual aspects with less need to bottom dwell through the material for sort-term 'sustenance' It allowed me to add the very basics: More structure in the day, something positively creative to do, channeling the energy from destructive to creative, freedom of expression, goal-oriented activity, a connection to the moment, self and other, behavioural activation and regaining a sense of choice and a simple challenge and novelty and fostering a healthy self-concept. For example when I feel totally stuck, I can simply think to myself, "what colour do I want to choose?" "how do I want to do it?". With each choice you make, you regain a sense of agency and freedom from suffering For me, I'm deliberately using things I'm particularly weak at skills in and steering clear of writing as I feel the ties to language are not always the best for all. “Art therapy can also provide a nonthreatening way into mental health treatment for other groups often resistant to traditional forms of therapy. Creating art has been proven to increase psychological and emotional resilience and resistance to stress." "It helps people to free themselves from destructive patterns and to work on satisfying their basic needs as independent and responsibly functioning individuals in a positive connectedness with themselves and their surroundings.The strength of art therapy may be the experiential level and the appeal to the capacity to play, to flexibility, and to be creative. This makes experiences easier to reach, and developing from there into a Healthy Adult mode is possible in a manner that is more felt than thought." “Arts therapies do not rely on artistic knowledge or ability,” they say. “They work by accessing imagination and creativity, qualities which all human beings possess, in order to generate new models of living and contribute to the development of a more integrated sense of self.” https://www.theguardian.com/anglicare-nurturing-your-body-and-mind/2018/may/04/therapy-imitating-art-improving-mental-health-through-creativity So far, I've noticed it has: - served as a way of practicing gratitude and nurturing our positive elements like hope and joy - catharsis of things holding you back - opportunity to truly meet ourselves - opportunity to connect with the moment and flow - to embrace challenge at your own pace - freedom and acceptance for our emotions and fully embrace them, likewise for yourself. "...your art does not have to look a particular way to be appreciated because that actually supports what we’re trying to accomplish with our inner emotions and conflicts. We remove the “should” from the art and indirectly even ourselves so that we allow a space for ourselves to be fully mindful of everything without discrimination. There is a beauty in being able to recognize and embrace each emotion without making them either good or bad. When we practice doing this often, we cultivate acceptance, self-compassion, and a chance to restore inner peace." https://walk-with-blue.com/art-therapy-ideas-meet-your-true-self-through-creative-arts/ "All are connected with a sensibility that art—or, more specifically, creative response — is something we do, in answer to the question “What kind of world do you want to live in?” ...we pull us apart, placing “I” above “we.” We need to get back to creative response as the antidote to the individualism, consumerism and cynicism that now define our culture. Creative response can shift how we think, how we see; it leads us to feel something different about our experience and the world. It advances the odd, the idiosyncratic, the impossible; its elusiveness is both anti-ideological and universal as it rallies us around our common humanity. It compels us to take an active participation in the world by challenging the destructive ideologies that corrupt our society. It can generate inventive actions in every area of society The new, emerging “we” own the future: because our rejection of cynicism and apathy free us from the trap of history’s bad ideologies; because embracing compassion as a cornerstone of democracy allows us to imagine ourselves in the position of another; because transforming the narrow thinking of the past and problems of the present opens up possibilities for the future; and because the moment we see ourselves as citizens of the world, the future is ours." ~ Antonino D'Ambrosio How it Evolves Consciousness "Archaic Structure: There is no perspective, no sense of otherness, and the distinction between object and subject does not exist; there is no differentiation between self and nature, or between self and universe. The apprehension of individual self is at this stage dormant, and all that exists is complete unity, “a time of complete non-differentiation of man and universe” Magical Structure: This structure marks a beginning in the growth of self-consciousness. However, there is still a strong association of self with nature. Identity is in terms of collective, or tribe, and space and time are present in each moment. There is no interior experience, only an outer awareness and man’s consciousness is at once separate and part of his environment. It does not lie within him but is of the world. From this standpoint man assimilates this consciousness as a confrontation, and he learns to be aware of, and a part of the forces of nature. Within this structure man’s desire to have nature, as opposed to being part of it, has germinated, and this need develops man’s conscious will Mythical Structure: With this structure imagination becomes a distinctive component. Feuerstein (1987) said language became the way to enter into a relationship with reality. He stated it was a way to communicate and construct it, and through language or symbolization of reality, the human being becomes, in a sense, creator of his world Man’s entrance into the mental structure is characterized by a tremendous leap in consciousness. Gradually the gods become replaced with man’s apprehension of his own thinking. While the mythical structure could be said to be related with speech and storytelling, the mental structure is defined by vision and space. It was not that depth and space did not exist previously, but the birth of perspective brought something new to the human experience. Through the awareness of location in relation to objects a heightened sense of depth and spatiality became a new component of consciousness, and this new capacity allowed the world to be viewed in terms objectivity. The realization of being an internal creature in an external environment finalized the separation from nature, and man’s ability to think in terms of perspective allowed him to rationalize and reason. Unlike the previous structures, this consciousness mutation has a heightened sense of individuality and a capability of directing and discursive thought. However, the ability of man to rationalize has come with the cost of his disregard of, and need to cut apart, the world. Perspective gives dominion over space, but an ever increasing need for dominion has created a separateness of man from the whole. We currently exist in the mental structure which is dominated by the paradigm of a separation of consciousness and matter; what is commonly referred to as the Newtonian Cartesian model consciousness. Breaking free of this and into a new dimension of reality requires more than just an expansion of consciousness, or an acceptance of new ideas. ... the expansion of consciousness is still just a quantitative and spatial conception, and an illusion. It is related to the material concept of consciousness, or consciousness as the accumulation of ideas. What is needed is the growth of consciousness, which is an intensification of it. The role of perspective in the mental structure is contrasted that of the aperspectival in the Integral. This term refers to a transcendence of perspective. In comparison with the chronological orientation of time of the mental structure, this structure is free of temporal and spatial limitations; it is an egoless and a holistic view of reality" https://digitalcommons.ciis.edu/cejournal/vol12/iss12/2/ Recovering the Divine from within the disorder There is often a strong spiritual component and a search for existential or transcendent meaning Weaving a disorder into a life-affirming personal mythology is important - people embrace living in the present, accept life’s challenges with dignity and maturity, and grow - renewed hope and determination for a brighter future - relationship with the sacredness of life, nature and the universe - strengthened understanding of themselves and others, their true personality or Self 'emerging from the ruins' - personal limitations become ground from which spring unique possibilities - develop a source of hope, inspiration, love, joy, courage, comfort and guiding values or a moral code by which to live a complete and meaningful life - teaches people not to take their mental health, happiness or life for granted - begin to foster the characteristics of inner strength, peace, a sense of meaning and purpose, self- reflection and interconnectedness - a positive outcome from their suffering http://www.psychosocial.com/IJPR_13/Healing_of_the_soul_Gardner.html One of the core characteristics that makes people vulnerable to issues is a sense of internal emptiness—a pervasive feeling of being hollow, empty, of something missing. "Each time we wake up from a modus operandi state of unconscious reflexive autopilot thinking and reacting and become mindfully aware of our internal and external experience, there is an awakening of spirit." From one example [1] ...it wasn’t that all his thoughts had disappeared, rather, a particular kind of self-referential thinking had cut out what he calls “the blah blah network.” (“default mode network” (DMN), that is, the endlessly ruminative story of me: the obsessive list-maker, the anxious scenario planner, the distracted daydreamer. I just don’t have this ongoing emotionally-charged, self-referential narrative gobbling up bandwidth.” What disappeared along with the “me” narrative: any sense of being a separate self, and with it, all mental and emotional suffering. “...the entire world just opened up. I mean it literally opened up. I dropped into this magnificent expansiveness – a vast empty space without any thoughts whatsoever.” - we see glimpses of the much bigger picture around us and find humility in the moment. We can become aware that humility is not thinking less of oneself, but rather thinking of oneself less, and that we are worthy of self-compassion. Compassion for others means appreciating their pain and experiencing a heart-based response to it. Compassion evokes an interest in offering support, understanding, and kindness to others when they struggle, make mistakes, or fail. Awakening may occur in situations of stress, depression and loss. For example, a woman described how she was devastated by the end of a seven-year relationship, "facing a suffering that I didn’t imagine could possibly exist.'" However, in the midst of this suffering, she "began to experience a clearness and connection with everything that existed…I was in a state of such pure happiness and acceptance, that I was no longer afraid of anything. Out of that depth arose such a compassion and connection to everything that surrounded me." [2] One person had a powerful awakening experience while suffering from intense depression during which she "felt the most intense love and peace and knew that all was well." The world is a much more benign and meaningful place than we normally perceive it to be. And once we have glimpsed this, it becomes a permanent reality to us. A clear attitude change Personality change Improved outlook on life Increased ability to share and feel emotions Overall improved well being https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/some-assembly-required/201404/what-constitutes-spiritual-awakening [1] https://upliftconnect.com/a-scientists-spiritual-awakening/ [2] https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/out-the-darkness/201802/the-after-effects-awakening
  7. This year, I moved on to some new patches at home along with my own medicinal herbs and culinary stuff: For the herb beds I used Red Clover and Self-Heal as edible living mulch and focused on plants like Chamomile, Moldavian Dragonhead, Lemon Balm, Yarrow, Mexican Tarragon, Roselle, Tulsi, Marshmallow, Echinacea etc The other things were - A bee and butterfly and flower garden (even has a bee motel) - A 'medicinal weed patch' The Bee and Butterfly flower garden has things like Rose, Yarrow, Chamomile, Anise Hyssop, Mexican Tarragon, Lemon Bergamot which are useful medicinally, but primarily this is also a place away from consumption where I make room for and nurture the feminine in life. It is a place I appreciate beauty, sensuality and healthy sexuality I find rather than being something you need to consume from the garden, often it's connecting with the moment and multi-sensory enrichment via nature that is more therapeutic. It's also good to have a dynamic of novelty/new elements coming into play so each day you get to notice something. It's a 'Positive Vibes Garden' with a free plants box still. I tried to incorporate elements that to me are useful to day-to-day boost mental well being, particularly that encourage contact with the moment and a sense of connection. To me, those beneficial aspects include multi-sensory enrichment and company from 'friends'. I know it makes my day when something like a cool insect comes to visit. It provides sensory enrichment with vibrant bold colours (sunflowers, Cosmos etc) and diverse plants, tastes and smell. It tries to draw in nature - particularly winged creatures. The Medicinal Weed Patch has Dandelions, Wild Chicory, Crystal Ice Plant, Milk Thistle There's also purple carrots, chamomile etc spread between it It's a patch where I reflect on our need to love the unloved aspects of both ourselves and others to heal. Where we have to not fight with the darkness within and around us but accept and grow beyond it. Where when we nourish the darkness with mutual kindness, care, compassion and respect, it can lessen it's hold and be food for healing where we don't fight the old but focus on building the new of better, more loving ways It teaches us we can take the unloved weeds of life and through loving them, nourish health
  8. Alchemica

    tulsi varieties

    I've generally thought Tulsi Vana was 'clove basil' ie O. gratissimum while the other Tulsi were the O. sanctum/ O. tenuiflorum but could easily be wrong? From The Medicine of Basil post O. gratissimum The plant exhibited various biological activities including antidiabetic, muscle relaxant, anthelmintic, antinociceptive, antihypotensive, antileishmanial, antioxidant activity, anticonvulsant and anxiolytic activity. O. gratissimum contains a high quantity of essential oil (3.2-4.1%), ocimol, gratissimin, β-sitosterol, flavonoids, linolenic acid and polyphenolic compounds and is a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory with neuroprotective effects [1] The chemical analysis of essential oils showed eugenol and 1,8-cineole as principal compounds and trans-caryophyllene as a sesquiterpene in higher proportion [2]. The essential oil anti-convulsant, sedative and anxiolytic properties and leaves of O. gratissimum contain constituents which possess anticonvulsant and anxiolytic-like activities [3] [1] https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3109/13880209.2010.506489. [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20559750 [3] http://www.phcogres.com/article.asp?issn=0974-8490;year=2010;volume=2;issue=1;spage=36;epage=40;aulast=Okoli O. sanctum/ O. tenuiflorum O. tenuiflorum is used for treatment against a headache, constipation, kidney infections, cough, cold, and diarrhoea. The medicinal properties in Tulsi are mainly due to the presence of a variety of phenolic acids such as caffeic acid, rosmarinic acid, flavonoids, and essential oils. Chavicol methyl ether (estragol), linalool, eugenol, 1, 8-cineole, and methyl cinnamate are the main compounds responsible for the typical aroma in the basil plant. Leaf extract enhances specific cognitive parameters in healthy adult volunteers [1]
  9. Decided that before I start my stack of powder extracts, I'll get into some licorice root to see if I want to add that to my stack. I'll use a low dose ~500mg of plain powdered root, not DGL Anyone use it? Dose recommendations? I've given myself enough stress and hope I can use this rather than stimulants. I don't have CFS just persistent fatigue. About licorice root: https://examine.com/supplements/licorice/ Chronic fatigue syndrome and liquorice (Letter). New Zealand Med J 1995; 108:156-7. Summary: In a letter to the editor, Mr. Baschetti from Padova, Italy, reports his success in treating his own case of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) with licorice. After unsuccessfully trying several different therapies over a 20 month period, Mr. Baschetti began using licorice. He adds that licorice dissolved in milk (2.5 g/500 ml/day) was the delivery form. There is no information as to the source of the licorice. After several days of use, he reports a return of physical and mental stamina. http://www.encognitive.com/node/15023 "A staple of traditional medicine for adrenal exhaustion, licorice root influences the balance of cortisol throughout the body. Available in many oral dosage forms, licorice root’s primary active compound is glycyrrhizin. Natural health and wellness expert Christiane Northrup, MD suggests starting with a small amount of licorice and gradually working up to the desired dosage. When it comes to the adrenal benefits of licorice, more is not always better. A standardized extract dosage of licorice root is approximately 25-75 mg per day. Good quality liquid extracts are also available, and should contain around 30mg/ml glycyrrhizin. As published in the October 2009 edition of the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines, Chinese researchers investigated the effects of a licorice root extract in an animal study. Their research found that a component of licorice root significantly inhibited fatigue in the subjects. However, licorice root does have some potential safety concerns: Excessive intake of licorice root can exacerbate hypertension and other heart problems by disrupting the salt and water balance. Make sure to monitor blood pressure, as licorice may increase blood pressure in susceptible individuals. Glycyrrhizin-containing licorice may interact with a number of drugs, including diuretics, insulin, laxatives and blood-thinning medications." http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-licorice-root.html Eventually, my night time stack might end up looking more like 2:1:1:1 rosemary, lion's mane, Uncaria rhynchophylla and brahmi extracts with a low dose of licorice root. In addition to my blueberries and minerals. Anyone have suggestions on dosing the root powder for depression/fatigue/overuse of stimulants?
  10. Did you ever get far on this @LikeAshesWeFade? While I think you can do a lot medicinally with Salvia officinalis and that should be more widely appreciated medicinally, showing potent modulation of CNS receptors [1], AChE inhibition etc with cognitive and mood-enhancing efficacy [2], I'm interested if the White Sage is even more useful for cognition and mood - as you've highlighted, as far as we know, the biological properties extracts from S. apiana aerial parts were limited to the screen of the cannabinoid or opioid receptors activity (It showed moderate CB1 activity and some constituents opioid activity) [3] S. apiana is particularly rich in phenolic terpenes. [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31196061 [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5318325/ [3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28025900 Full thesis on the topic including extraction etc : http://thesis.honors.olemiss.edu/622/1/Taylor Hayes Thesis.pdf
  11. For rapid result tasty microgreens during the warmer weather while waiting for other plants to mature, sunflowers have become a definite favourite. A couple of dollars gets you a HUGE bag of birdseed (attract some birds while you're at it). Just wash, soak overnight, super densely plant out in soil and harvest in a couple of days... and repeat From experience, birdseed is a little too unclean to try sprouting in a jar even after washing but is fine done as microgreens Sunflower microgreens, contrary to many of the greens I have, have a super pleasant, mild sweetness that would be enjoyed by most They are high in protein and minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc and iron and a source of good fats. They demonstrate numerous beneficial effects [1] including antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antihypertensive, wound-healing and cardiovascular benefits. The antioxidant capacity of H. annuus was also much stronger than other microgreens and a proposed to be beneficial for metabolic disorders and diabetes [2]. [1] https://dx.doi.org/10.1186%2Fs13065-017-0328-7 [2] https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf300737y
  12. On this Weekend of Christ-energy Full Moon Sacred Plant Medicine - Today a Sacramental Full Moon 'Spice of Life' w. Galangal Brew Anyone else used this medicinally/spiritually at high doses? It's quite a nice energy. One of a bit of Yang while being integrating after other medicines. My Intention is: To bring the Divine Feminine Energies into Balance in My Life With The Masculine and Christ-Unity Consciousness. "Medieval mystic Hildegard of Bingen recommended the herb as a tonic for the heart, and called it “the spice of life” and said it was a gift from God meant to keep diseases at bay." I've got quite a few of these plants to people now. They're not flavoursome pungent but they have a really nice profile. Galangal which can either be: http://entheology.com/plants/kaempferia-galanga-galanga/ Or Alpinia officinarum is used traditional medicine for treatment of different diseases. It is proposed to be useful with it's CNS properties, including strong neuroprotective effects and activity attributed to opioid and benzodiazepine receptors have been implicated [1]. The aerial parts too have at least 12 flavonoids and 4 diarylheptanoids in the leaves. More generally, it exerts neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant, antiobesity, anticancer, enzyme inhibitory/ NO modulating and remarkable antiviral properties. This medicine is nice. I prefer it to store bought A. galanga (this has documented psychostimulant properties: efficacy to enhance mental alertness and the increase in alertness score as compared to placebo. Synergistic and prevents crash from caffeine) A. galanga itself is a nice Yang tonic. I find you need to use the older rhizome for stimulatory effects. Father Sky, The Divine Feminine and the Struggle to Return to a Healthy Masculine As I sit in the Garden on the Spice of Life, nourishing Food for Body, Mind and Spirit... We've been so lost finding Healthy Masculine. There's little in the Culture that reflects what I see as a healthy Masculine, no wonder we're stuck with so many issues. Transgenerationally, through culture etc, we've been literally screwed. "Although there has been a tendency in most cultures to stereotype, classify, and hold the sexes in one predictable type of energy and behavior. Unfortunately, I believe this has kept us immature, unwhole, compulsive and unready for living a life of true love – human or divine." Words cannot explain the distance the mind and the heart can coexist in. I thought I had struggled previously — that I had seen the darkest pits of my soul and had survived long enough to understand how my emotions manifested in the face of fear, depression, and sadness—but until my dog died, I didn’t know grief at all. Through Grief I have been trying to find Faith and Grace. I had to fully get to know each stage, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Climb to the bottom of each stage, and explore it fully before I could gain any refinement in my emotions, poise in my heart. I'm not there yet in finding ultimate emotional refinement but it's a journey, not a destination. I'm a strong proponent of seeing autism as a hypomentalising brain through hyper-masculinised brain energies (imprinted transgenerationally as patriarchal dominator culture, hierarchy, power etc) and psychotic states hypermentalism through imbalances brought often forward through culture, and strengthened between opposing Yin/Yang energies. I don't believe the brain systems are chemically faulty all the time, just that they are in aspects under-developed. Where there's autism, you need to strengthen the receptive, feminine socio-emotional-spiritual and in psychosis address the areas that need strengthening A masculine spirituality would emphasise action over theory, service to the human community, truth etc - Without a complementary masculine, spirituality becomes overly feminine Unless I find some way to awaken and love my own inner feminine. Without it, I am merely self-centered, a would-be creator, a dried-up root. "A man without his feminine will move toward the outer superficial world and his head will be his control tower. He will build, explain, use, fix, manipulate, legislate, order and play with whatever he bothers to touch, but will not really touch it at all. For he does not know the inside of things." Healthy masculine is not dominating others through power, climbing ladders etc. "A masculine spirituality would be one that encourages men to take the journey from their unique beginning point, in their own unique style, with their own unique goals – without doubt or apology or imitation of their sisters (or mothers, for that matter). That of itself takes immense courage and self-possession. Such a man has life for others and knows it. He does not need to push, intimidate, or play the power games common to other men because he possesses his power with surety and calm self-confidence. He is not opinionated or arrogant. He is not needy or bothered by status symbols because he is. He does not need monogrammed briefcases and underwear, his identity is settled and secure – and within. He possesses his soul and does not give it lightly to corporations, armies, nation-states, or the acceptable collective thinking."
  13. Alchemica

    Galangal, refinding the Healthy Masculine

    I've been revisiting this, switching caffeine for Alpinia galanga Ended up fermenting a non-alcoholic galangal beer (similar to ginger beer) with 25g/L dry A. galanga (found a nice pungent powder) and some fresh rhizome. Several attempts have been made to develop another natural product which has similar effects as caffeine without producing adverse cardiovascular and nervous system side effects. Of the galangal extracts, the aqueous extract of A. galanga was found to be the most efficient in enhancing the mental alertness which was further assessed by a well-designed clinical study in the human population: it was "more efficient compared to caffeine to maintain the mental alertness without inducing the caffeine-crash like symptoms" It has actions of inhibiting dopamine reuptake leading to an attention-enhancing effect with additional AChE inhibition and has neuroprotective effects. [1]. [1] https://m.scirp.org/papers/86091 I modified the recipe from [2] and did a quick ferment using (for a 5L batch): 300g grated fresh galangal 125g dry galangal 1tsp cinnamon powder Tsp of cloves 250g sugar (added a non-fermenting sweetener to taste) 5 L of water 3 lemons Got a brew I enjoy but my taste buds are fried so be warned - a family member who had never had galangal didn't like it. You'll want to filter the majority of the galangal out after making the tea if you don't want a thick mess
  14. Alchemica

    Milly's Seeds of Love

    Milly was the Morning Glory of My Heart. Today I harvested 'Milly Seeds of Love'. If anyone would like to get close to Milly in spirit and would like some 'Milly seeds', I'll try and send you some. Just to a couple of people to start with, send soonish but need to not rush. No cost. They're a hardy pink Morning Glory, or if you prefer, a Native Convolvulus angustissimus. In loving memory of this beautiful Soul.
  15. An experiment in 'Plant Spirit Art' Do you feel plants have a spirit? If nothing else, they have an personal, often unconscious imprint of how you relate to them which you can seemingly tap into through things like art. Been trying Plant Spirit 'Art', art purely for the process, not the outcome, where I take a moment to sit with the plant and actually connect. Taste a bit, maybe make a tea, smell it, see what feelings and memories it brings etc then quickly as possible without letting my analytical judgement get in the way, paint with the plant and it's 'energies' Some are quite intense energies that inspire a depth of feeling and connection, others are more subtle This is probably the most 'in the moment with the plant' and connected I've let myself be and it's in a way liberating and nourishing, even though super simple For example, tried to create a piece of succ-y art. Wanted to see what would happen if I shut my thinking off and just 'became one with the succulent' - what would happen merging the succulent spirit with paint, in the moment? Painted 100% with succulent, connecting with the spirit of the plant and just totally going with it. It succs but what do you expect? Feel it's an interesting way to explore the space and spirit of a plant, if I actually had artistic ability
  16. Inspired by something my sister gave to me to give to my mum... Yep, it would succ without you, friends, family, caring kind people and supportive people I've met through SAB. So I've been sowing succulent seeds and got some free spares - Delosperma bosseranum x 2 significant quantities - Mesembryanthemum crystallinum (50 seeds) x 2 I've checked viability for both and they've germinated fine on the heat mat for me If you want a pack of each sent to sow, the first two people to tell me what their life would succ without in this thread get free seeds Sow with intent to manifest a kinder, more loving world Soon I'll hopefully have "life would succ without you starter packs of plants" to give to people of succulents I've known and loved In case no one has said it to you today and you're feeling down:
  17. Alchemica

    Life would succ without you.... free seeds

    Complimentary plant material - PM me. Not intended for therapeutic use or otherwise consumption - if anyone has TLC plates or anything, love to see something like that M. crystallinum (lots) or D. bosseranum (less) aerial parts, dried not fermented.
  18. I'm interested in getting Mesembryanthemum crystallinum growing. I've got some seeds to germinate and in the picture of that one, the plant is covered in glistening bubbles. Is that a defining feature of M. crystallinum? From Wikipedia: "The plant is covered with large, glistening bladder cells or water vesicles..." Today I spotted this plant sold as "Mesembryanthemum crystallinum "Rainbow" deep pink flowers" This doesn't have the glistening bladder cells? Could it still be M. crystallinum? Or wrong ID? In a study, the alkaloid content obtained from the leaves of M. crystallinum was found to be 4.2%, compared to Sceletium which had 1-1.5% http://dspace.univ-tlemcen.dz/bitstream/112/6936/1/REBIAHI-RAHMOUN-Malika.pdf It's also got culinary use
  19. Alchemica

    Mesembryanthemum crystallinum

    Cheers @Micromegas Pretty confident it's the one that gets used as a green for culinary purposes, game enough to have a taste anyway after checking with a few places. Being not a coastal person, haven't spotted it myself but haven't been looking Interestingly. the Garden of Eden states it contains "large quantities of oxalic acid" as sodium and potassium salts so it's odd it's finding such wide use in culinary circles without much mention of any risks.
  20. Alchemica

    Mesembryanthemum crystallinum

    Can anyone confirm that this wild find in fields of mallow is what I'm after? Edible: The crystal ice plant can be used steamed, stir-fried or blanched and is a great complement to seafood dishes. Medicinal: Aside from the above findings: May be a "promising functional food for the prevention of diabetes" [1,2] and have anti-obesity effects [3] It also has beneficial dermatological effects [4] [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31089648 [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24374864 [3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26390196 [4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25592948 If so, happy to offer dried research material etc
  21. Alchemica

    Visitation by birds

    How is your attunement to the spirits of the skies going? I've been exploring this, more as feather finding. It's a really nice (and 100% free) flow state searching for feathers and you really attune and connect to the environment around you - I feel you can interpret your 'feather findings' psycho-spiritually, in a more spirited way than reading tea leaves... I find I often find feathers that are in some way deeply relatable to life. I like to make little objects out of them. For example, yesterday's feathers to me are a reflection of my current struggle between lower and higher energies, learning to re-integrate shadow aspects, embrace dark and light and coming to a greater peaceful unity between the opposing duality to a greater whole Today, this one found me: To me, this is the feather of 'spirit triumphing over darkness'. Even when life is beating you down, there's a glimmer in the spirit to overcome the darkness.
  22. Alchemica

    Mesembryanthemum crystallinum

    For reference: From a reputable source, the seeds of M. crystallinum gave seedlings with expected glistening bladder cells
  23. 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.
  24. Alchemica

    Share your art

    This is a new start for me. I got a mandala mindfulness mug started by a woman and finished it. It's simple art for me but it's a personally big step I used to gaze at women with the eyes of fear, now I'm finding I can gaze into theirs with eyes of love and healing. They are my mystery angels and medicine women. How can I love them better? Having a bit of trouble sleeping as for once, I have those divine beings called women running wild in my mind
  25. Thanks @HillLily. Hard to hear about your isolation, without knowing the reason could you try to form some connections in your community that might break that via your front yard? Ie. over here we have "Grow Free" carts where it's give what you can, take what you need but a simple something even a box that could form connection? A shared simple herb bed etc. Wish you brighter days, best wishes
×