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The Corroboree


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Everything posted by Alchemica

  1. 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 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 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 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
  2. Comprehensive review on the interaction between natural compounds and brain receptors: Benefits and toxicity [sci-hub] In case anyone wanted things to add to their bucket list... or needed a natural product for that receptor... Includes: Natural products interacting with nicotinic nAChR and with mAChR. Natural products interacting with ionotropic and metabotropic glutamate receptors. Natural products interacting with γ-Aminobutyric acid type A receptors (GABAAR). Natural products interacting with cannabinoid (CBR) type 1 (CB1R) and type 2 (CB2R) receptors Natural products interacting with dopamine receptors (DAR). Natural products that act on insulin receptors and insulin-like growth factor receptors (IGFRs). Natural products acting on receptors for advanced glycation end-product receptors (RAGE). Natural products interacting with receptors associated with neurotrophic factors (NTF). Natural products that interact with immune system receptors. Natural products that interact with the scavenger receptors associated with oxidative stress. Natural products that interact with peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPAR) Natural products that interact with ApoE or LDL receptors.
  3. Having a proper read through the tables, a little disappointed. One that stood out to me was 3',4',5',5,6,7-hexamethoxyflavone (Eremophila debilis) Flavonoid Binding activity to M1 mAChRs "The aerial parts of the endemic Australian plant Eremophila debilis (Myoporaceae) contain 3% dry weight of the biologically active 5,6,7,3',4',5'-hexamethoxyflavone" [1] I'd in the past experimented with some different Eremophilas (longifolia etc) thinking it might be phenylpropanoid EOs making it such a respected bush medicine. This adds an interesting aspect - a flavonoid muscarinic.
  4. Alchemica

    Tagetes lucida

    Said three people but I'll likely have enough to send with the next lot of Roselle @superdan Thanks all for the interest.
  5. Still going with this. I particularly enjoy a Radish and Broccoli mix. I buy a wheatgrass/barley grass, spirulina and chlorella affordable mix (from Aldi of all places) that is much easier than doing the wheatgrass though Sorting out the Value of Cruciferous Sprouts as Sources of Bioactive Compounds for Nutrition and Health Edible sprouts are a valuable vehicle and opportunity to impact health, delivering beneficial bioactive compounds once incorporated in the diet on a regular basis. Sprouts of Brassicaceae, like broccoli, radish, kale, mustards, radishes etc are noticed because of their high content of micronutrients, nitrogen–sulfur compounds (glucosinolates (GLSs) and their derivatives, isothiocyanates (ITCs), and indoles) and phenolic compounds (mainly phenolic acids, flavonols, and anthocyanins) Apart from broccoli, red radish sprouts contain high concentrations of glucoraphasatin (4-methyl thio-3-butenyl) and glucoraphenin, which are its major GLSs. Glucoraphenin is hydrolyzed to the ITC sulphoraphene (SFE) It is possible to get "reduction of fasting blood glucose and insulin concentration and resistance to almost [normal] physiological levels. There is notable normalisation of blood glucose levels and the lipid profile
  6. Well modulating 5-HT did something helpful, temporarily... In a moment of impulsivity went back to what was my first point of call after abstinence. Cheap old thiamine, was my body really getting enough or could that help explain the scary deteriorating struggle town I was in each day? Not going to neglect the other vitamins see table in this article The B vitamins: nomenclature, dietary sources, coenzyme forms (roles), symptoms of deficiency, and risk factors (over and above low consumption). Of all the evidence based things I've tried to stay on top of, thiamine was one major legitimate concern. Thought I was including enough to try and cover that concern... but I upped the thiamine quite a bit.... and felt slightly better. A few days, even better. These days of supplements being so dodgy in quality, I'll only use simple cheap pharmaceutical grade thiamine I trust from the chemist not some novel derivative. B1 Thiamine - brain deficiency particularly seen in alcohol abuse, obesity Mild deficiency: irritability, emotional disturbances, confusion, disturbed sleep, memory loss Deficiency: Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (neurodegeneration, within the medial thalamus and cerebellum). Ataxia, abnormal motor function and eye movement, amnesia, apathy, confabulation - Thiamine deficient rats developed learning and memory deficits as well as aggressive behaviour " [it] may have considerable potential for use in the control of aggression " [ref] - There was significant cognitive deteriorations in the psychoneurotic scales in thiamine deprived participants . - There was significant association between improved thiamine status and enhanced performance across a range of cognitive-function test [ref] Thought I was on enough but if you start getting weird neurological symptoms and cognitive decline, it seems to be a really good thing to knock out as a potential causative factor ASAP rather than fluffing around, particularly if you've been on anything thiamine depleting. Not just take a bit but saturate your system with it for awhile... Particularly when if you're getting changes in mental state and cognitive deterioration - disoriented, inattentive, agitated etc Any thiamine experts? How much thiamine is actually needed for abstinence recovery? How long do you need to maintain high-dose supplementation for? I used 100mg/day for a bit then I was using about 50mg/day. Maybe that simply wasn't enough Alterations of serotonergic parameters have been demonstrated in experimental thiamine deficiency. "...data suggest that 5-HT neurons, although structurally intact, are functionally affected early during the progression of thiamine deficiency. These alterations, which are likely a part of adaptive neuronal change consequent to thiamine dysfunction, may be important in the physiological manifestations and the learning deficits commonly encountered in experimental thiamine deficiency. " Stuck with it a few days, got out in the garden more. Feel just clearheaded, been more able to persist with goal-directed tasks, not irritable. Calm and collected in the most grounded way I've felt for awhile. Stability of mood. I've actually slept in past my usual 3.30am wake up time, too. With 50mg in healthy subjects: An improvement in thiamine status was associated with reports of being more clearheaded, composed and energetic. These influences took place in subjects whose thiamine status, according to the traditional criterion, was adequate. Once again, this seems to have antidepressant augmenting effects in human studies [1]. In a small study, thiamine supplementation significantly improved anxiety scores, general well-being and reduced fatigue in patients with Generalised Anxiety Disorder. "Interestingly these patients were able to discontinue taking anxiolytic and β-blocker medications." [2]. It has also been found thiamine supplementation shows a beneficial clinical effect on children with autism [3]. [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26984349 [2] https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/7c1b/53c8c4dbfdccf441a16bcc1464b2b26c9c55.pdf [3] http://article.sciencepublishinggroup.com/pdf/10.11648.j.ajpn.20130102.11.pdf "Thiamine is being used to improve brain function and it is also shown to help treat neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons" It's established "thiamine supplemented abstinent rats made a faster recovery of hepatic and neuronal damage than in the abstinence group. Changes in neurotransmitter levels in brain were also reversed by thiamine supplementation. DNA damage was decreased and DNA content increased in thiamine supplemented group compared to abstinence group showing a faster regeneration" [1] It is claimed Steve Jobs took massive doses of thiamine when he was experimenting with other stuff and said both were about equally effective as idea stimulators, but B1 did not have the psychoactive effect. Thiamine compounds may act by boosting anti-oxidant cellular defenses and prevent stress-induced inhibition of hippocampal neurogenesis [2] Thiamine has antidepressant/anti-stress effects that are associated with reduced GSK-3β expression and conditioning of adverse memories [3] High doses have some utility in dementia potentially due to a cholinomimetic effect of thiamine in the central nervous system [4] Thiamine is required to synthesise acetylcholine (ACh). Thiamine is involved in the presynaptic release of ACh; thiamine binds to nicotinic receptors and exhibits anticholinesterase activity The treatment with thiamine led to a significant improvement of Parkinson's symptoms. Experimental findings showed an increased dopamine release in rat striatum after the intrastriatal thiamine administration and "high doses of thiamine, could lead to an increase of synthesis and release of the endogenous dopamine, to an increase of activity of the thiamine-dependent enzymes" [5] A thiamine derivative promotes voluntary activity through dopaminergic activation [6] The same derivative has been found to make mice engage in more passive cuddling-type behaviours. Likewise acute sulbutiamine induced a modulatory effect on glutamatergic and dopaminergic cortical transmissions in the rat brain It has anticonvulsant effects [7] One report of a healthy subject taking mega-doses: "I have been using megadoses of Thiamine (Vit. B1) on and off for over a year and am greatly impressed. I always take a 250 mg or 300 mg B1 pill with a Vitamin B Complex (100 mgs/mcgs of the various B Vitamins) usually twice per day (once with breakfast and once with lunch). Good things about Thiamine megadoses: - Greatly improves my attention to detail on reading tasks. Without it I often struggle reading through pubmed articles for example, with it I read every single word quickly and understand what the article is about without giving up (I often 'give up' without this given that I have inattentive type ADD). - Greatly improves ability to do 'boring' mundane tasks. For example, when doing boring checking tasts at work, this helps me rip through them better than anything else. Also lets me rip through chores easily. - Improves my motivation. It allows me to follow a more disciplined lifestyle (eating healthier, sticking to routines, doing boring chores without too much hassle, etc.) - Gives me more mental energy and I feel more awake generally in the daytime." [8] [1] https://www.ijpp.com/IJPP archives/2013_57_4_Oct - Dec/406-417.pdf [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28506637 [3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27825907 [4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8251051 [5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4828997/ [6] https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-28462-2 [7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28766407 [8] https://www.longecity.org/forum/topic/65238-megadosing-thiamine-for-motivation-and-sexual-arousal/ I've learned with a potential deficiency ie thiamine, don't skimp on doses of the safe ones. Doses of high magnitude for longer periods are required to replenish many B vitamin levels and correct enzymatic activity, particularly with those who have restriction in their ability to absorb them. There is a linear dose response following single oral doses of thiamine in terms of whole blood and plasma levels up to the maximum administered dose of 1500 mg (corresponding to more than 1000 times the RDA). Higher doses have also been used such as 3g. It's seemingly better to get those levels up. "Epidemiological evidence suggests that the benefits of B vitamins extend well beyond the accepted biochemical cut-offs for deficiency or marginal deficiency" Other B deficiencies from [ref]: B2 Riboflavin Fatigue, personality change, brain dysfunction B3 Niacin - Particularly seen in alcohol abuse Depression, anxiety, progressing to vertigo, memory loss, paranoia, psychotic symptoms, aggression (Pellagrous insanity) B5 Pantothenic acid Encephalopathy, behaviour change, demyelination B6 Vitamin B6 (referring to: pyridoxal, pyridoxamine, pyridoxine) Particularly seen in Alcohol abuse, age-related malabsorption, contraceptive medications Irritability, impaired alertness, depression, cognitive decline, dementia, autonomic dysfunction, convulsions B7 Biotin - particularly seen in Type II diabetes, poor gluco-regulation Depression, lethargy, hallucinations, seizures B9 Folic acid/folate - particularly seen in Common genetic polymorphisms (inc. MTHFR C667T) Low Riboflavin and B12 B12 Vitamin B12 - particularly seen in age-related malabsorption, vegetarians, vegans, genetic polymorphisms Both cause affective disorders, behaviour changes, psychosis, cognitive impairment/decline, dementia (inc Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia) Observational and controlled trial research being focused disproportionately on just three of the vitamins—folate and vitamins B6 and B12. "Unfortunately, there is a general dearth of controlled trial research into the effects of the remaining B vitamins on brain function"
  7. Finally got around to exploring this but in a different way. Want to see how it goes for exhaustion at very low doses, not in the stacks that I used to be into... The science of liquorice: whether you love the dark root – or hate it Glycyrrhizic acid itself seems to have neuroprotective effects and other constituents antidepressant and beneficial effects Making my own liquorice Licorice root with Star anise, a little or a lot, to taste has been used to flavour such things [1] It is suggested to consume only low doses at a time of the root I used root (I'm using Glycyrrhiza uralensis) and home grown Aniseed Myrtle, Star Anise etc Aqueous extraction of a decent qty of herbs afforded this solution that I didn't even end up colouring. Smelled delightful. No need for sweetener. Which was then set into little squares with only small doses of root in each. I also made sugar free homegrown Hibiscus, Monk Fruit, Cinnamon and Clove 'jam' that turned out really nice for Hibiscus' medicine in a sugar free way and family enjoyed that
  8. Trying different proteins for serotonergic effects (along with Mg/Zn etc) these days Protein source tryptophan from seeds with a high tryptophan-to-total protein ratio can be comparable to pharmaceutical grade tryptophan in some studies [1, 2] They are nutrient-dense and mostly anti-nutrient-free. The seeds of Cucurbita sp.have been traditionally used as medicine. Among the Cucurbitaceae members, pumpkin seeds are big, abundant, and edible. Yet, these seeds are mostly discarded as agro-industrial wastes [3]. They are rich in protein, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), minerals (magnesium, phosphorous, copper and potassium, iron, zinc, manganese), carotenoids, beta-carotene, and Vitamin E "...a remarkable assortment of health-enhancing nutrients, from magnesium, protein, niacin, and zinc, to its high concentration of tryptophan and essential fatty acids, pumpkin seeds provide a powerful health punch" - anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties - protective activity against cardiovascular diseases - hypoglycaemic properties: Acute consumption of 65 g of pumpkin seed markedly reduced postprandial glycemia. Pumpkin seed has potential as a hypoglycemic food [4] - because of the high tryptophan content, pumpkin seeds might ease depression, anxiety, nervous irritability and insomnia - shown to improve the iron status I like other 'waste' products that are healing, too. [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18066139 [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16053244 [3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28463796 [4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30055778 Sure I try to put love into some meals but other times, just need sustenance. I chew through quite a bit of protein powder to keep at 0.8g/kg. Was doing well dropping weight by using that. I've tried so many proteins from hemp to soy but just settle on whey most of the time. Epidemiological and clinical studies have shown that dairy products have beneficial effects on cognitive decline and dementia, which may in part occur through whey peptides [1] As I've sort of subjectively noticed, chronic ingestion of diets differing in protein source elicits marked differences in the brain tryptophan concentrations and serotonin synthesis [2]. and tryptophan concentrations and serotonin synthesis in brain neurons are remarkably sensitive to which protein is present in a meal [3]. Whey protein has been proposed as a potential functional nutritional food supplement that prevents the progression of neurodegenerative disorders [4] and and useful for metabolic disorders [5,6] A hydrolyzed protein source may be more adequate to increase brain tryptophan and 5-HT function compared with intact alpha-lactalbumin protein or pure tryptophan [7]. While there have been "no significant changes in clinical outcomes" in some neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson's in human studies, it improves some biomarkers [8] Whey consists of a heterogeneous group of proteins, including beta-lactoglobulin (35%), alpha-lactalbumin (12%), proteose peptone (12%), immunoglobulins (8%), and bovine serum albumin (5%) Due to greater solubility, more rapid digestion, and resultant higher plasma concentrations of amino acids, whey appears to be a favourable protein to provide nutritional and functional benefits. alpha-lactalbumin: - Lactalbumin increased plasma tryptophan (3-fold) and the tryptophan ratio (50%) [9] - may enhance sustained alertness early in the morning after an overnight sleep, most likely because of improved sleep [10]. - Dietary protein rich in alpha-lactalbumin improves cognitive performance in stress-vulnerable subjects via increased brain tryptophan and serotonin activities. - Supplements of lactalbumin may be useful for nutrition research in relation to age- or disease-related memory decline [11] [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30011836 [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23395255 [3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19454292 [4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29199432 [5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26516411 [6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25888881 [7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18648776 [8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27423583 [9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23395255 [10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15883425 [11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16174675
  9. Yeah that's the one, I assume it could have been a niacin flush but have never had niacin as nicotinic acid, always nicotinamide and never had issues so not sure.
  10. Happy Bicycle Day all. One plant I was really impressed with over the heat was Hibiscus sabdariffa. I didn't know if it would do very well down here but it's pretty much everything I'm looking for in a plant over the warmer time of the year, it thrived in the crazy heat without being a pain to water. Easy to grow, super tough, high yielding as a medicinal and for food. First you get a barrage of beautiful aesthetic flowers then a continuous supply of calyx (albeit mine a little smaller than what I often see commercially) and leaf. The leaf is nice as a cooked/salad green (if you like lemon flavours) and if you want a hit of tasty sourish goodness, the calyx are nice even raw. Plants like this really do make your food your medicine. I have quite a bit of Roselle this year if anyone has interest in free seed soon (No WA/Tas), feel free to express interest. Actually after tips on the best way to collect the seeds, just let them ripen fully on the plant? if anyone has knowledge? I'm a bit conflicted, one source says "usually harvested ten days after the flower blooms. The large flowers fade and fall off, leaving behind their bright red, fleshy lotus shaped calyces. The Roselle flower seeds are then dried to be planted later and the fleshy red calyces are dried or eaten fresh." I've got lots of pods from when I was harvesting calyx - these viable or do the pods need more specific ripening time on the plant? These look viable and currently available: Some permaculture people "definitely recommend planting Rosellas in the garden if you are in a warmer climate." [Good review on this plant] [2] Review on the pharmacology The plant showed antibacterial, anti-oxidant, nephro- and hepato-protective, renal/diuretic effect, effects on lipid metabolism (anti-cholesterol), anti-diabetic and anti-hypertensive effects among others. [3] Using the leaf as a cooked green: Hibiscus sabdariffa is "high in essential nutrients required for optimal performance of health and the maintenance of good health together with the reduction of aging". 10 polyphenols including chlorogenic acids, quercetin, kaempferol etc were identified in the leaves along with good levels of carotenoids showing good antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity Hibiscus derived polyphenols are known to ameliorate various inflammation-related conditions, including obesity. The mechanism includes the regulation of energy metabolism, oxidative stress and inflammatory pathways, transcription factors, hormones and peptides, digestive enzymes, as well as epigenetic modifications [4] It can be considered as a food rich in lutein, chlorogenic acids and anthocyanins [5]. The organic acids such as hibiscus, dimethyl hibiscus, and hydroxycitric acid were strongly associated with some beneficial health effects [6]. A preliminary study on the use of this as an alternative source of iron for the treatment of anaemia and some other mineral deficiency diseases was promising Different works have demonstrated that Hibiscus sabdariffa extracts reduce blood pressure in humans - this effect is due to angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor activity [7]. The polyphenol content in H. sabdariffa works as an anti-inflammatory by improving antioxidant conditions and regulating the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 [8]. Other Hibiscus anthocyanins have anti-depressant properties through dopaminergic, adrenergic and serotonergic mechanisms [9] . Possibly Effective for: Hibiscus flower normalises blood pressure and exerts a protective effect on the heart. New research is underscoring the possibility of using hibiscus to normalise blood sugar. Reports have shown that H. sabdariffa derived bioactive compounds are potent in the treatment of obesity with an evident reduction in body weight, inhibition of lipid accumulation and suppression of adipogenesis through the PPARγ pathway and other transcriptional factors [10] Low doses of Roselle tea or supplements appear to be effective in reducing blood pressure, and may be anti-diabetic. High blood pressure. Some early research shows that drinking hibiscus tea for 2-6 weeks decreases blood pressure in people with mildly high blood pressure. Other early research shows that taking a hibiscus extract by mouth for 4 weeks may be as effective as the prescription drug captopril for reducing blood pressure in people with mild to moderate high blood pressure. However, an analysis of results from various clinical studies suggests that there is not enough evidence to draw strong conclusions about the effects of hibiscus in reducing high blood pressure [11]. Also heaps of Ashwagandha seed still left.
  11. On that, I did use a bit of Nutritional Yeast for a bit thinking it would be good to be all dietary and stuff, bit of protein too. Cheesy and stuff. Good in theory. It's got a fair bit of niacin, don't know if that's why I'd break out in a strange peripheral reaction but really just doesn't compare to supplements many a time IMO. RDIs are not always applicable IMO
  12. Did you not anything @Xperiment Hope you're going OK! Trying to work out what I need without wasting money has been interesting. I've been on and off these. Simply supplementing only B1 leaves you open to not getting enough of the others but I wanted to see if those "Executive B Stress Formulas" etc do anything other than give you fluoro pee? That was what I wanted to see, how I'd go without them. What's your opinion? Do you use them? It is proposed that "supplementation, particularly with those higher in B vitamins, may improve cognition and mood, which might be facilitated by improving brain health" and that dietary intake above the RDI is often useful, particularly for brain health and even when vitamin status, according to the traditional criterion, is adequate there may be significant mental improvements [1]. I stopped my B-group supplementation for quite some time thinking I'd save some slight cash but despite attempts to eat well, I'm not sure it is providing adequacy for B-groups in particular, I started to show some potential deficiency signs physically. I was one of those that tried everything from L-methylfolate to thiamine etc at very high doses but there seems to be personally better effects with the spectrum. I use one with all B-groups at high doses (and methyl-B12), which is realistically affordable as a daily addition A meta‐analysis found that adjunctive treatment with high‐dose B‐vitamins significantly reduced total psychiatric symptoms among 297 long‐term patients in 7 different studies [2] I found thiamine quite a useful addition, but tended to feel it's better to go for the full spectrum at a higher dose. The B-group is proposed to be a useful "complementary therapy in several neuropsychiatric disorders" and "may have specific neuroprotective properties in attention/vigilance" in psychotic disorders [3] and "B vitamins can be useful as complementary strategies" [4] but currently the evidence is "inconsistent". It has been claimed that "administration of the entire B-vitamin group, rather than a small sub-set, at doses greatly in excess of the current governmental recommendations, would be a rational approach for preserving brain health" [5]. "Even in healthy humans, multivitamin supplementation has been shown to improve cognitive performance and reduce negative mood states, including depression, anxiety, and stress" and several studies point "toward the efficacy of vitamin and mineral supplementation, particularly B vitamins, in preventing and alleviating disease and disability" High-dose B-group supplementation [6]: - acutely may improve contentment and cognitive task performance in adults - shown to reduce negative mood states of personal strain, confusion, and depression when administered chronically in healthy individuals - reduced fatigue and improved performance during a cognitive tasks - shown to reduce blood markers for oxidative stress, inflammation and increase brain markers for oxidative metabolism and myelination [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9122365 [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28202095 [3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30771856 [4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29171643 [5] https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8020068 [6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30513795
  13. Alchemica


    Hope all are well. I'm still trying to manage this with diet and exercise before it becomes more problematic for me. I'm still dropping kg but have had lots of use of SGAs which cause severe lasting metabolic adverse effects, such as elevated blood glucose and insulin resistance (IR) Still like cinnamon and anthocyanins and a planty diet but have problems still. Trying to find as close to food options as possible. While plain tea can offer some slight dietary support, I'd like more glucoregulatory function Several herbs have also demonstrated benefit in glycemic control in clinical trials. These herbs and herbal extracts include berberine, ginseng, gymnema, banaba, cinnamon, fenugreek, and kudzu. While many of these herbs appear to be promising when used in isolation, the practice of herbal medicine most often utilizes polyherbal combinations for purported synergistic effects [review] While berberine is promising both for it's metabolic effects and on the brain, it's one I do have concerns with regard to interactions with that are clinically relevant "interactions should be considered when berberine is administered" for CYP2D6, 2C9, and CYP3A4. I like fenugreek but it does seem to have some effects on the GI tract that can be less wonderful. Cinnamon seems a useful adjunct as the "polyphenolic polymers, found in cinnamon, appear to potentiate insulin action by increasing phosphorylation of the insulin receptor, thereby increasing insulin sensitivity, which may lead to improvements in blood glucose control and lipid levels". [1] but often with "modest effects" [2] As an isoflavone option that is food based, I like the idea of Kudzu Pueraria lobata could interfere with SGA-associated IR and revert overexpressed IR-related proteins [3]. This is intriguing as it's also a promising rapid-acting antidepressant compound through AMPAR-mTOR signaling pathway activation and increased BDNF [4] exerts anxiolytic-like effects, which may be "associated with normalization of 5-HT levels and biosynthesis of allopregnanolone in brain" [5] and alleviated the behavioural deficits induced by chronic stress [6] and may be a "potentially valuable preventative therapeutics for memory-related nervous disorders" [7]. Have a big bag of standardised kudzu. While chromium supplementation has been promising results are mixed. Saffron is also promising. Review: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30616613 [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30144878 [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27618575 [3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30946280 [4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30284466 [5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29101599 [6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28740098 [7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28734961
  14. Really good review, some people here will likely be interested. One I'm surprised didn't get mentioned is β-caryophyllene for it's notable CB2 affinity. I've never been interested in potent CB1 agonists but these other plants interest me. New to me is seeing anthocyanins as cannabinoid modulators Cannabimimetic plants: are they new cannabinoidergic modulators? https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00425-019-03138-x [sci-hub] In nature, surprisingly many molecules act on the endocannabinoid system through cannabinoid receptors, degradation or synthesis enzymes. Phytochemicals and secondary metabolites able to interact with the endocannabinoid system have been recently described in a broad range of plants and fruits. It's interesting how changes to diet have likely altered our endocannabinoid system: "...the transition from high-protein hunting and gathering society, to one based on agriculture, and hyper-glucidic and -lipidic, has favored the over-activation of CB1R" Some plants Cannabigerol-like phytocannabinoids called amorfrutins have been identified in the genus Helichrysum Several amorfrutins have been isolated from liverwort belonging to the genus Radula and from two species of the Fabaceae family, Amorpha fruticosa and Glycyrrhiza acanthocarpa Molecules structurally similar to CBD are ferruginene compounds and methylpenanol analogs of CBD extracted from Rhododendron ferrugineum, species belonging to the Ericaceae family. Rhododendron dauricum, a flowering plant belonging to the family Ericaceae native to the North Asian forests, produces daurichromenic acid (DCA) Guineensine belongs to a class of N-alkylamide alkaloids, first isolated from West African pepper (Piper guineense). They are also abundant in numerous other species of Piper genus, such as in P. longum and P. nigrum (the dietary pepper species) guineensine has ability to inhibit the central reuptake of the major endocannabinoids Chelerythrine, present in the plants Chelidonium majus, Zanthoxylum clavaherculis, and Zanthoxylum rhoifolium, and sanguinarine, extracted from Sanguinaria canadensis, Argemone mexicana, Chelidonium majus, and Macleaya cordata, are two benzophen-anthridine alkaloid with potential cannabimimetic action Out of six kavalactones, yangonin has shown good selectivity for CB1R compared to CB2R γ-Sanshool is another alkaloid, extracted from plant genus Zanthoxylums uch as Z. clava-herculis, Z. armatum, Z. bungeanum, Z. piperitum. γ-Sanshool displayed an antagonist profile for CB1R and simultaneously an agonist activity for CB2R From Voacanga africana, three alkaloids with CB1R antagonism, voacamine, 3,6-oxidovoacangine, and 5-hydroxy-3,6-oxidovoacangine, have been isolated. The crude extract of Voacanga africana has been used for the treatment of diseases connected to endocannabinoid systems such as chronic inflammation, mental disorders, and convulsions in children. Indeed, based on binding studies, it was established that these three alkaloids could be considered modulators of CB1R. α-Amyrin and β-amyrin are pentacyclic triterpenes, ubiquitously distributed in the plant kingdom, known to have a number of biological effects produced via indi-rect cannabimimetic mechanisms. α-amyrin is isolated from the resins of Bursera and Protium species of the Burseraceae family. The key sources for β-amyrin include Amphipterygium adstringens, Eucalyptus globulus, Ficus carica, Ficus cordata, Nelumbo nucifera and Byrsonima crassa Even betulinic acid, a pentacyclic triterpenoid, can bind to both CB1R and CB2R Falcarinol, found in many plants of the Apiaceae family (Daucus carota specifically), exhibits binding affinity to both CB1R and CB2R but selec-tively acts as a covalent inverse agonist in CB1R Polyphenols: Biochanin A has cannabimimetic activity seems linked to inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase, an enzyme for anandamide degradation A growing body of evidence suggests that anthocyanins incl. cyanidin may have analgesic, neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties, and these biological effects are tied to its potential action on cannabinoid receptors. Cyanidin is a ligand with moderate affinity to human CB1R and CB2R There is moderate affinity of catechins to CB1R. Curcumin is an antagonist/inverse agonist towards CB1R but contradictory results have been also produced Magnolol showed a profile of partial agonist with selectivity for the CB2R, while honokiol possesses a signifi-cantly lower affinity for the CB1R The cannabimimetic action of kaempferol may be due to its inhibitory capacity towards the FAAH degradation enzyme. Quercetin, a flavonol associated with rutinose to form the glycoside rutin, showed an upregulation of CB1R Maca - Lepidium meyenii - has action on the endocannabinoid system N-alkylamide lipids show structural similarity with anandamide and bind to CB2R more potently than endogenous cannabinoids. N-alkylamides have been isolated from Echinacea purpureaand Echinacea angustifolia. Moreover, other extracts of Echinacea spp. have demonstrated anti-inflammatory property by PPAR activity. Even Otanthus maritimus (family: Asteraceae) possesses N-alkylamides with a good CB2R affinity
  15. If it is present to an appreciable degree, it is theoretically degraded so quickly by FAAH after oral administration that it's likely not that relevant but some propose there are N-acylethanolamines that slow degradation also in the chocolate. That said some of the fatty acid amides I've found orally sometimes do something at high enough doses. It may be that the abundant catechin flavonols, which seem to have moderate affinity to cannabinoid receptors (and other receptors) are more active. You've got a good lot of fatty acids, some with affinity to CNS receptors, that could also alter endocannabinoid tone. The pharmacology of the tetrahydro-beta-carbolines and isoquinolines in chocolate isn't well established from my understanding One fairly recent review links most of the psychoactivity to these main constituents: "...we would like to propose the “mood pyramid” as a model, summarizing the more general up to the more specific psychopharmacological actions of cocoa and chocolate. There is a large amount of scientific evidence that the flavonoids, more in particular CF, are involved in the cognition-enhancing effects, although this may not be very specific for cocoa or chocolate, since these constituents are widely distributed in nature and in food. At the second level, the methylxanthines caffeine and theobromine have additive and maybe synergistic effects on cognition and alertness, although the role of theobromine remains unclear. Methylxanthines are less common in nature than flavanols, but still not restricted to T. cacao. At the third and gradually more specific level, the tetrahydro-isoquinoline alkaloids, more in particular salsolinol, may exert additive or synergistic activities" [1].
  16. Anyone else gone and planted a few common Camellias for tea purposes? It's quite debated whether non-sinensis teas are caffeine/theanine containing but those who have made tea from it often say it seems more potent. I like to have a mutual living relationship with the medicine I'm using - not simply a commercial consumptive one - so will plant a few common (related) C. japonica which can be used to make tea It, according to some, contains caffeine and catechins of the same kind as C. sinensis but "Japonica seems much more potent, even when processed as green tea." with >5% per weight caffeine in dry leaves but "..not all cultivars will be equally potent" [1] (another study on the contrary found no caffeine [2] and some say the "entire series of reactions required for the synthesis of purine alkaloids was deficient in both C. japonica and C.sasanqua". ) and triterpenes, flavonoids, tannins and fatty acids. It has 42% of C. sinensis' theanine compared to Camellia sasanqua which is slightly higher [3] [1] http://www.koreascience.or.kr/article/JAKO200403042358213.page [2] http://dx.doi.org/10.1270/jsbbs1951.34.459 [3] https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00021369.1984.10866604 Explorations into the effects of tea on behaviour and mental health come at a time of growing scientific interest in the role of nutrition in mental health and preventive medicine. Physicians need more ways of tackling anxiety, depression and age-related cognitive decline — these conditions place a huge burden on health systems, and treatment options are limited - due to the lack of available therapies — around one-third of all people with anxiety and depression never find an effective therapy [1] Tea is on the rise, because so is stress. It embodies mindfulness and the serenity that a lot of stressed people need in their lives, along with being connected to emotions, and promotes a calming sensation for many drinkers [2] [1] https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-00398-1 [2] https://www.sbs.com.au/food/article/2019/03/20/tea-drinkers-are-better-people-and-probably-less-stressed-too
  17. That was beautifully written @mysubtleascention I like the mention so often of harmony - that's a wonderful way to put it. Thanks for sharing.
  18. Alchemica

    Alcosynth - Safe alcohol alternative?

    Yeah I get you on that, it's sad that's the way things are for so many - I too sought the void all too often as life felt totally futile and full of pressures I couldn't handle. I've had to essentially disconnect from the majority of the ways our society runs, which isn't doable for everyone, as it is simply really bad for my health and not feel too guilty about it, the other way was literally killing me way too quickly Thing is, I got a 'safer alcohol substitute' like pregabalin (don't mention the way phenibut went) and tried to use that instead of drinking and got blatantly addicted to it. Dose escalations. Tolerance and withdrawals. These things, if they offer any sort of nice effect, they will have abuse potential and really serious potential for harm away from being not that damaging in themselves - eg people operating heavy machinery is just one I feel if many people got a clean break from drinking even to socially normal levels, ie a good period of total abstinence going, they'd find themselves in a better place where they didn't have to get persistently blasted by anything. So many., even those doing socially acceptable drinking, are in the cycle of use-withdrawal that they don't know what they feel like without it in their lives, which is scary. It really is such a nasty substance for mental health, for spiritual growth for everyone and society. They could too become teetotallers getting bent on a wholesome cup of tea etc I'd rather some decent kava be allowed in, or something planty that could build up a responsible culture of use around it. But while people are used to getting inebriated as culturally accepted there will be issues
  19. Alchemica

    Alcosynth - Safe alcohol alternative?

    Yeah originally they were looking at pagoclone but it could be any α-subtype GABAA targeting drugs/PAM But really, this is another cultural symptom... sure it may be safer than ethanol but seeking such a quick fix is a consequence of a problem, not a solution This was once my Holy Grail quest - to have a safe alcohol substitute/pro-social aid through through things like this Then I noticed how empty mere anxiolysis was. Spiritually devoid. It had no ability to grow you into your Divine Self, it just let you run away Sure, there's severe pathological anxiety which I know is all too crippling but we need more wholesome tools that allow one to be themselves. I still feel plants offer a better tool to return to wholeness. Sure, they may not offer blatant inebriated anxiolysis but that's part of the challenge I feel, to be comfortable with things like anxiety until they no longer over-power you. We need to consider why people are seeking such anxiolysis and feed their spirit to a place where they can have calm loving self-acceptance and compassion, not allow them to run away with another vice. For me, this weekend I could go out... but in all honesty I'd rather not. eg in our society, you have to be absolutely off your head to find the majority of people interesting enough to even be interested in having a convo with them thanks to their cultural conditioning...
  20. There could possibly be some changes but in my non-professional opinion, nothing dangerous. Best checking with professionals though. You have to consider your changes to self-concept too which would also impact the journey There is a strong modulatory influence of estrogen on the serotonin system: there seems to be cross-talk between estrogenic and serotonergic pathways "ovarian steroids bring induction of dendritic spine proliferation on serotonin neurons [with a ] profound effect on serotonergic transmission. " [1] ERβ negatively regulates 5-HT2A [a phytoestrogenic diet caused a significant decrease in the expression of 5-HT2A receptors ] and estrogen changes this receptor binding There is support for the effect of progesterone on 5-HT1A receptor expression by affecting the serotonergic system supporting "relation of the steroid hormone progesterone to 5-HT1A receptor binding. [2] [3] There could be some changes to CYP liver enzymes, too - this would alter how quickly things like beta-carbolines stayed active
  21. Thanks for sharing. I used to just aim to get loose on loose leaf tea. Then I noticed how potent a healing aid it was on a different level... Tea has powerful spiritual and ceremonial role - I'm not sure I'd go as far as soma but it's a potent ally. Tea mystics are spiritual psychonauts “Tea is Nature… Tea is Medicine… Tea is Heart and Spirit…” Tea is something that can help you forward in meditation, mindful absorption of the present, and self-cultivation. The Way of Tea is expressed in four Japanese characters: Harmony, Respect, Purity and Tranquillity “It’s hard to even speak now ‘cause that was so profound, and I don’t know that words are really poetic enough or descriptive enough, but I really felt — I feel different from the moment I started ’til the end; I really felt like I went through a journey.” [1] "Having been under the influences of rapid infusions of some 1950’s Red Mark Yin-Ji Puerh I feel justified in suggesting tea or Camellia sinensis as a possible candidate or substitute for Soma. With tiny orbs of qi coursing through my system after each sip I see a vision of the lineage of patriarchs of Esoteric Buddhism and thangkas of blue Bodhisattvas holding cups of amrita in their palm. Tea may not be the original soma, but the reverence, ritual and perhaps the shape into which it is pressed (especially in Tibet), make it a serious candidate as a soma-substitute or amrita." Tea "as a beverage that, when ritually prepared, allowed communion with divinities—suggest the reason for continued appeal in later ages in both China and Japan”. Tea’s constant domain within a sacred, often ritual context must be always remembered and it is retained even in the more secular literati circles that treated it as a near sacrament in their microcosmic ways and arts. "Tea’s special relationship with Buddhist and Daoist “ritual”, or combinations thereof, and persistent associations with Indian mystics and religious experience were instrumental in the spread of tea throughout ancient China, Korea and Japan." [2] There's much to be explored in a porcelain cup of alkaloids - we do not always think of tea as a potent psychoactive plant in the West, as it is so commonly consumed and readily available. One becomes liberated from earthly attachments and is able to commune with eternity, nature, and all living beings - a path to the essential self [1] People note a sense of well-being and peacefulness and appreciate the little things and not rush Erowid Tea "The effects were stronger than I expected. I hadn't had tea in awhile. Sounds around me were amplified. The wind was pressing against me. I felt like I had taken a strong sedative. My body felt heavy. The wind itself felt euphoric and I felt butterflies through out my body. I had a strong since of well being. The world was beautiful, the trees swaying in the wind were happy/excited. Every living things Qi/soul whatever you want to call it were reaching out to my soul/energy and intertwining. Almost like drinking the tea allowed me to shed energy blockage which was keeping us from connecting. We were friends. The birds chirped beautifully. I felt inspiration and connection to the earth. I was ONE and felt love!" "Vision crisps up ... more vibrant, bit sharper. Euphoria. ... It was an amazing time, carefree in the warm summer sun, fueled by fusion, almost god-like. There was no comedown, it simply ended. I would honestly consider that day a +++ on the Shulgin scale comparable to mushrooms." People have touched on the social, spiritual, and health benefits, noting that it opened one’s mind to the higher things. It encouraged quiet meditation, rustic simplicity, aesthetic judgement, appreciation of nature, and the significance of the present moment. It also necessitated “courtesy ... moderation in actions,” and purity of spirit [3]. Some assert ...the practice of tea will make you friendlier, kinder, and more concerned with serving your fellow human beings. In other words, the plant Camellia sinensis and its related Camellia species will make you into a better person. “茶禅一味” which translates to something like “Zen and Tea — the same taste.” In other words, consuming tea are both viewed by some as spiritual expressions [1] https://www.reddit.com/.../understanding_tea_mysticism.../ [2] https://sites.google.com/.../delawaretea.../Home/tea-as-soma [3] https://www.crisismagazine.com/2012/tea-and-christianity Ritual use of plants incl. tea
  22. Art served as catalysing a spiritual wake up for me. One thing that surprises me is how mental health professionals seem to have little awareness of the dynamics of the spiritual life. "According to various surveys, 51 % of therapists have an anti-religious, anti-spirituality bias". "...few have any depth acquaintance with the spiritual life, simply because this was not an aspect of their training. Most, if not all of their education and training has been in the behavioral and social sciences, which, as indicated above, can have an anti-religion, anti-spirituality bias. Thus, while not outright hostile, they may be uninformed. A remaining minority of therapists may have ventured beyond the above biases and misinformation, to acquaint themselves with the world of the spirit. However, this may be limited to attending a seminar, or meditation classes, Yoga classes etc" In mental health, spirituality has been shown to be a significant and independent predictor of recovery and/or improvement in indices of treatment outcome. Religious/spiritual well-being might be considered an important resource to explore, in particular for affective disorder patients [1] What's often involved [2]? -the early stages of spiritual life describes the pleasant experiences—peace, tranquility, etc. They are not unlike the "falling-in-love" experiences Embracing a thinking type with a feeling function that had been so repressed and unacknowledged can burst out and overwhelm, one becomes a casualty of a life devoid of spiritual fulfillment. -difficult, taxing experience of wrestling with our character defects, sins and faults. The temptation here is to equate this experience with clinical depression. Probably what is happening in this stage is a complete reorganization of the psyche. It is essential that we trust the process - this equates with "Faith" as Faith equals Trust. We learn that grace is active in our souls, regardless our of awareness. With determination and faith, the purgative process comes to an end - illumination usually comes upon us gradually. We experience less anger and anxiety. Good behaviour comes more naturally. - The final stage is the experience of ongoing closeness in relationship In serious mental illness, negative symptom scores were inversely correlated with spiritual/religious well-being scores, and that general psychopathology symptom scores were inversely correlated with existential well-being scores [3] People often undergo intense spiritual awakenings that facilitate abstinence, too. Self-reports of spiritual awakening predicted improved drinking outcomes in one study [4] and recovery was often heavily reliant on spirituality and in one study spirituality was an important predictor of reductions in drug use while in treatment and at the follow-up interview, whereas religiosity was not [5]. Increases in day-to-day experiences of spirituality and sense of purpose/meaning in life were associated with absence of heavy drinking [6] - Spirituality was described as hope - When our God-image is contaminated and toxic, our spiritual growth is hindered. - Spirituality was credited with helping improve participants’ state of mind by giving strength and peace - It’s that relationship that you establish where you get honest with yourself, it’s all with yourself [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22797574 [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24449135 [3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15870619 [4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24335767 [5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2693037/ [6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17286347 The Hells of Illness To me, the Hells of Illness are places we often foolishly stay in through dis-empowerment, extremely contracted states of consciousness They are places of feelings of unworthiness of love, literally souls in exile. They are attachment to lower-states of Pride, Anger, Desire, Fear, Grief, Apathy, Guilt and Shame where domination by force is stronger than the power of Love. It is our job to work through those lower emotions and transcend that, otherwise people become demanding, blaming, antagonistic, disappointing, frightened, hopeless and miserable and cycle through hurting themselves and others. It's a loop of downward spirals of discontent, disconnection and devolution In stepping into our loving power and working through to transcend those lower emotions and embracing our Divine selves we reach a tipping point towards expansion, we gain acceptance, courage, trust, optimism, forgiveness, understanding, reverence, serenity and bliss Darkness of the Soul "...a growing number of scientific studies indicate individuals contending with depression and other potentially serious mental health conditions may struggle with their faith in ways that lead to adverse outcomes" If we approached suicidality with 'What is it in you that needs to die?' we could embrace transformation. We don't have that wisdom in our culture, we just go up to the person and say, 'Please don't die, please don't harm yourself, it's a really good world out there, there's lots to live for, there are people who love you, there are all these social services,' and of course that has no effect. People with negative religious/spiritual coping scores showed more protracted and severe symptomatology in depression. Unstable spiritual needs in people and lack of stable positive interests are prone to negative behaviours and spiritual struggle was a salient indicator of depressive symptom severity in both mood-disordered and psychotic patients. Spirituality promotes a healthy lifestyle, social connectedness, attachment security with God or a Higher Power, identity formation, as well as healthy brain development among high-risk groups and sense of interconnectedness, the experience of love, and altruistic engagement. People often struggle with perceived sense of loss or desecration of other beliefs, relationships, and/or practices that patients imbue with transcendent or penultimate value. For instance there could be unmet vocational goals or difficulty negotiating interpersonal realms Spiritual well-being plays a role in mental health through in part mediating the association of attachment and psychological distress. Spirituality, as marked by the meaning of self, inner independence, and transcendence, is distinct from mood. It cooperates, together with the affective states, to determine quality of life. Spiritual therapy can be used as an effective intervention to improve spiritual well-being, self-esteem and self-efficacy. It is seen as a pathway to positive self-concept/body image through gratitude and reduced self-objectification Struggles Review: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30772739 Greater severity of spiritual struggles was generally associated with worse depression symptomatology and less positive mental health and issues with ultimate meaning emerged as a salient indicator of mental health status at the two assessments as well as longitudinal changes in both depression symptomatology and positive mental health. Struggles with ultimate meaning may present similarly to depressed mood and anhedonia. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive/inappropriate guilt may add to the picture. Spiritual struggles also influence dimensions of emotional suffering. Spiritual interventions (e.g.,meditation/prayer, affirm divine worth or encourage acceptance of divine love) alongside psychological and biological approaches can help. Self-compassion predicted depressive improvement and bolstering this reduced mind-wandering [1]. We can shift to a place where health is transformed from a state that requires the absence of disease to a state where the central theme is the fullness of life. Health becomes not a static state of being, but a dynamic quality of living where body, mind, and spirit are fully employed to make the most of each day [2] [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30906796 [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30462340 Love Love and spirituality are inseparable - when spirituality grows, so does the capability for love. "...When you won’t love, or won’t let it out, it emerges anyway in the form of self-destruction. The alternative to self-love, in other words, is self-destruction. Because you won’t take the risk of loving yourself properly, you will be compelled instead to destroy yourself. The essential point is to consider love as a spectrum... you have to take it and let it grow where you find it." And noticed the whole organism - physical, psychological, and spiritual - is an erogenous zone. We learn the flow of love should not be channeled exclusively towards the physical but used for growth and healing https://progessnotperfection.blogspot.com/2009/08/spectrum-of-love-by-alan-watts.html The Power of Spirit Living an entirely rational existence seeks its opposite in intoxicants and other forms of escape, which lead to depression and self harm. Part of the intellect has to give over to the life of faith, and if it doesn't the ego will remain in a state of neurosis or mental illness. It has to actually give over to the force that is greater than itself "The purely material approach to mental illness, while often having some impact of course and the medication often has wonderful effects, but it rarely gets to the root cause of the problem. And so that's why I think it's now time for the modern approach to mental illness to revisit the ancient models which included the spirit and the soul." https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/spiritofthings/spiritual-sickness/ Awakening https://www.spiritualawakeningprocess.com/2013/12/the-embracing-your-light-phase.html "...some of us, we hit this point where we say, "Enough is enough!" We're tired of fighting ourselves. We tired of trying to re-create the old life which feels like stacking marbles in a corner. It all keeps falling apart. We're tired of being tired and doing things that don't help us. We've had it with the remaining unconscious ego that has been clinging on like concrete pants that threaten to drown us in the ocean of consciousness. This is actually a sacred turning point." At the start, it tends to be about facing the darkness while still clinging to old unconscious ego habits. The shadow and dispelling the darkness phase is an over-arching phase. Later on, people can make a choice to truly stand in their light because they no longer have any attachment or investment in the old unhealthy ways of living that caused so much suffering. Initially, a lot of people are terrible at interpreting how they feel. They've spent so much time ignoring and avoiding their feelings, sensations, and other information that they don't know what is what. That's another reason a spiritual awakening can overwhelm people. They feel lost in all this "new" information that they can't immediately understand. Awakening is the start to understanding oneself and finding freedom from the suffering. That freedom is the ability to be with whatever experiences or feelings may come. In the Embracing the Light Phase: The person steps into their love and light in a significant way The individual lets go more and accepts themselves more deeply as they are. The individual stays more focused on faith and trust. There is better integration because of a whole being level of acceptance. There's a deeper forgetting of issues. In this sense, we no longer understand why we should be afraid of something. The mindset that believed in the fear, anger, etc. is annihilated and we see through our own insanity. Finding Hope and Faith "Love overcomes separation and creates participation...there is also no true help which does not spring from love and create love” Spirituality offers a vast domain of potential connection. This connection is fitting insofar as spirituality is the antithesis of egocentrism and self-absorption "Whatever else it may be, spirit is social. It represents our sense of participation and membership in a humanity and a world much larger than our individual selves” It is impossible to conceive hope without faith. “Faith is the state of being ultimately concerned” and “the centered movement of the whole personality toward something of ultimate meaning and significance” as well as “passionate concern...a matter of infinite passion” Faith, hope, and love are impossible without active participation. Such a relation of reaching out and taking in exemplifies secure attachment as well as the caregiving context in which attachment security develops, and this embracing attachment sustains hope. We risk overlooking what might be more problematic for some people: the existential-spiritual impact of illness, which includes cynicism, bitterness, and alienation as well as loss of faith and hope People can experience profoundly insecure attachment. This plight leaves the person feeling psychologically alone in unbearable emotional states and can be associated with alienation, despair, and hopelessness—at worst, suicidal states. The instillation of hope requires restoration of security in attachment relationships, which serves not only to ameliorate distress but also to restore the self-worth and self-confidence essential for exploration and growth. Spiritual thinking—with or without God—might foster a sense of being at home in the universe, and I use “home” deliberately for its attachment connotations. Patients with psychosis showed a high prevalence of insecure avoidant attachment. Spiritual entities functioned like attachment figures in two thirds of cases [1] The person plays and explores confidently as long as the attachment figure is accessible. Thus security optimally balances relatedness and autonomy This sense of being at home and connected is the antithesis of the most profound sense of hopelessness seen in severe mental illness; that is, feeling disconnected, alone, and alienated in emotional pain https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24354604 [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26446496 A heart for compassion "When individuals are in a state of increased awareness, they are conscious of their thoughts and emotions and move from the reactive mind to the responsive mind. They are able to perceive experiences with more clarity than when their thoughts are clouded by conditioning and/or intolerance. Awareness frees individuals to experience people and circumstances as they are without judgment or the confines of preconceived ideas, The inherent paradox of tolerance is distinctively different from stress in that tolerance involves acceptance. It is an acceptance of people and an acceptance of what “is” in the present moment. Acceptance quiets the tension of the inherent paradox. Spiritual awareness may lead to lower psychosocial stress (belief or thought that demands and expectations being placed on one exceed their ability to cope, decreased neurohormonal activation, low allostatic load (the level of wear and tear on the body that accumulates as an individual is exposed to repeated or chronic stress), and better health outcomes. The process is mediated by decreased intolerance and increased compassion. The goal is to extend the periods of time during which we are in a state of increased awareness, recognizing our connectedness with ourselves and others, collectively present in space and time. Individual and collective awareness fosters tolerance through the mechanism of compassion." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6210378/ The message Our generation suffers the disease of distorted perception of self and lack of regard for others. Egocentric thinking is elevated among millennials. Greater exposure to materialistic culture also seems to exacerbate individual feelings of deprivation. People often use negative coping to meet the developmental need to fit in, while drowning out a pervasive sense of not being ‘good enough’ People "reach a point of spiritual emptiness and corresponding sense of low self-worth that can be addressed by strategies that reframe one's life (and its stresses) to make it more meaningful while also improving one's self identity" [1]. "Spiritual experience, in shifting the motivational structures of the self to sincere other-regard, may activate this complex caregiving circuitry. When this occurs, spiritual awakening aligns with character development by substituting humility for self-aggrandizement, connectedness for isolation, generosity/helping for taking, and a spiritual sense of purpose for a lack of meaning. Spiritual experiences also provide a lens for reinterpreting what might otherwise be debilitating negative experiences from the past in ways that enhance a sense of well-being" "If spiritual experiences, and especially the experience of divine love, move the motivational structure from Buber's classic “I-It” to “I-Thou” (the genuine discovery of the other as a center of value equal to or greater than one's own), then perhaps the benefits of service to others will be greater because of the purity of motive that such experiences foster". "Spirituality has been found to shield against risky behavior and emotional problems, such as depression, anxiety, and suicidality. Studies have also demonstrated that spirituality is significantly associated with indicators of subjective well-being – higher levels of positive emotions and more life satisfaction There is also mounting evidence that spirituality contributes to prosociality – more compassionate feelings and behaviors toward needy others, higher levels of civic engagement, and heightened peer likeability, which, in turn, facilitate social adjustment and functioning. Some studies also point to spirituality as a source of optimism for good outcomes and of unwillingness to fall into despair during difficult times. Although optimism is considered a personality trait that is relatively stable over time, there is empirical evidence that optimism is reinforced by spiritual experiences . Mofidi et al. noted that the relationship between spirituality and optimism is often bidirectional in that spirituality may promote optimism and optimism may support spirituality. Spirituality can add more passion and meaning to people’s intrapersonal and intellectual aspirations; it can moderate how people interact with others; it can redefine the goals people pursue; and it can help people in reappraising life events and transcending hardships and difficulties" [2] Spiritual experiences like divine love may inspire and deepen motivation to serve others. Engagement in spiritual activity may benefit cognitive function [3] [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4964962/ [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30873082 [3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24088403
  23. Making Love - How spirituality changed my relationships Keen to hear what spirituality has changed for your life? There are a few things that have shifted for me through some recent spiritual experiences. In two words: My relationships Most notably towards life. Just a peaceful calm acceptance of it with some re-invigoration. And of death. Also, my relationships: Aiming for my healthy relationships with friends, family and myself but also 1. towards substances 2. towards suffering 2. towards sexuality 3. towards "others" 4. towards love ...some people are evolving in their spiritual awareness toward meaning-making, healing, and peace, while others remain in a state of chronic anger and suffering. I was stuck in the cycles of painful devolution WAY too long The pain in the human heart needs to be attended to by rituals and practices that, when practiced, will lessen anger and allow health and creativity to flow anew Some individuals start to explore new spiritual paths, becoming more aware of higher realms of consciousness, and a sense of divine presence Towards substances These days I'm a teetotaller. Literally just drink black tea. After so long of pharmacological exploitation of biological mechanisms (and maladaptive behaviours) that normally generate healthy attachments between friends, family and lovers one can use a core strategy of grief therapy to facilitate growth of the individual into new healthy pre-occupations, habits and relationships [1] Connections between unhealthy behaviours, mental illness, and attachment abnormalities are real, but quite complex and nuanced. Over time, it has created a pathological limitation of their free will and capacity to enact adaptive choices. It has limited their motivational-behavioural repertoire to an abnormally narrow set of ‘programs’ at the expense of healthy motivations and behaviours We can see the great difficulty of producing a therapeutic rescue and liberation of the patient from their imprisoning behaviours, because it is also about a ‘love affair’ that is keeping them imprisoned. One can attempt to form strong therapeutic attachments with people that can ‘over power’ their pathological attachments Helping people bear and mourn what are often tremendous and irreplaceable losses is often critical to protecting them against future relapses and worsening depression. Bringing empathy, honoring patient’s humanity and need for connection, relieving them of shame could all be valuable therapeutic ingredients to recovery From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6383361/ Towards Suffering I have some greater compassion but also a less biomedical approach to illness Each time our world cycles through a winter of the human spirit, there is an invisible summer within us, an invitation to reinhabit our deepest decency and live up to our most ennobled nature. Humans are generally experts at finding ways to place ourselves into spiritual bondage, it is this very spiritual “woundedness” that becomes the path to our healing and recovery. While illness is slavery to a cruel god, it can also be the pathway to a deeper spirituality than is experienced without it. It is through our wounds that we can allow spirit and others to enter our lives and help make us whole. "There Is a Crack in Everything, That’s How the Light Gets In" "Sometimes one has simply to endure a period of depression for what it may hold of illumination if one can live through it" "...the most withering aspect of depression is the way it erases, like physical illness does, the memory of wellness. The totality of the erasure sweeps away the elemental belief that another state of being is at all possible — the sensorial memory of what it was like to feel any other way vanishes, until your entire being contracts into the state of what is, unfathoming of what has been, can be, and will be." You learn to build fires where you can warm yourself as you wait for the tempest to pass. These fires — the routines, habits, relationships, and coping mechanisms you build — help you to look at the rain and see fertilizer instead of a flood. If you want the lushest green of life (and you do), the gray is part of the natural cycle. [1] [1] https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/12/08/tim-ferriss-tools-of-titans-depression/ I'm interested in using the current wisdom of induced altered states of consciousness [1] as a backdrop to navigate and heal from what would otherwise be dismissed as simple pathology. I've had some quite intense experiences lately which have actually helped me. It's surprising how what could be glossed over as 'poor mental health', if navigated as a compassionate journey, seems to unfold towards some better wholeness. Sure, you want to taper the intensity to a safe tolerability when needed but safely exploring your craziness can be really therapeutic. In 'illness' there are endogenous altered states of consciousness, changes in ego and self-concept and heightening of physical sensations, emotions, and memories and hallucinations; some of which can be traumatic What happens when this is approached in a way that allows an unfolding and working through of intense experiences, rather than dismissing them? Shifting from plain symptom reduction to a psychotherapeutic and spiritual framework? What does meaningful integration look like? - normalise the experiences "From a purely psychological perspective, integration involves a reuniting of the parts of ourselves that have been split off, banished from consciousness, deemed unfit or unsafe to acknowledge, experience or express. This fragmentation of the personality and of the psyche leads to a host of mental health problems and disorders and interpersonal relationship difficulties. When the identity, or sense of self, is impoverished or unstable, a person will experience excessive self-criticism, chronic feelings of emptiness, and dissociation (a state of disconnection from mind and body). In psychotherapy, we focus on the integration of the ego and the development of a continuous and stable sense of self. Ego is a Latin word that means “I.” When a person has an integrated ego, they have a reliable sense of their “I” and of their personal identity. They also have a reliable sense of others as distinct from themselves and an understanding of how these two constructs (self and other) interact to form a sense of reality. The integration of the ego is the process of organizing the aspects of the personality (drives, attitudes, beliefs, goals) and the split off parts of ourselves (due to shame, pain, trauma, etc.) into a balanced whole. In so doing, we become more effective in managing our lives and our relationships with others. We reconnect the fragmented parts of ourselves that have been split off or exiled because of the shame and the pain that they hold. These are the parts of ourselves that we don’t like; the parts that are vulnerable and afraid. However, in burying these painful parts of ourselves, we inadvertently also bury the other more joyful parts of ourselves. If we numb our fear, we numb our joy. We drink and abuse substances of all kinds to numb the pain or to feel something else or nothing at all. We constantly shift the external experience when the current one overwhelms us. This means we aren’t being present. We aren’t still. Integration is about collecting all of the parts of ourselves and weaving them back together like the multifaceted diamonds that we are. We are like diamonds that shatter in response to trauma and difficult life experiences, fragments chipping off with each blow. The work in traditional psychotherapy is to unite, or integrate, the various parts of ourselves into one brilliant whole. By bringing awareness to the various parts of ourselves (the mind, the body, the breath, the senses) they can become integrated. ...while integration in psychotherapy involves creating wholeness within the ego, and integration in spiritual practices involves bridging the ego with that which lies beyond it" - language may not be available to express what we’ve experienced, nor is it necessarily the best or most effective way to express it. Drawing and painting and working with mandalas are great ways to express nonverbal material. - somatic practices can be helpful. What affects the mind affects the body, and vice versa. Becoming embodied and aware of the breath while moving through sensations helps us to integrate on the physical level. - It is through an increased awareness of the body, the mind, and the spirit that we become whole. [1] https://chacruna.net/integration-psychedelics-spirituality/ I see so much suffering is a process of grief. Grief as a Mystical Journey - from Loss to Faith We learn that a broken heart is capable of great love. Those experiencing loss, difficult and painful times can find many areas of compassion and comfort, particularly "Grief dares us to love once more." — Terry Tempest Williams "The risk of love is loss, and the price of loss is grief - But the pain of grief is only a shadow when compared with the pain of never risking love." Hillary Stanton Zunin There is no renewal without a ‘small’ death of our personality, our set positioning in life or our childlike naivety. Sure there's the heavy grief. Loss of loved ones including pets, adjusting to illness but there's also other levels which can impact life "Grief of not being welcome, wanted, enough, or of not knowing enough, have enough support, money, skills etc...Paralysis, shame and envy can become the new guests in our beings.... We stop, numb and stay small not to feel our sadness, our numbness, our fears and anger. We are not skilled in Grief neither in Love. A terrible poverty takes place in our heart..." - Soul and making the world of our longing From Francis Weller's The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief 1. "There is some strange intimacy between grief and aliveness, some sacred exchange between what seems unbearable and what is most exquisitely alive." 2. "Grief and love are sisters, woven together from the beginning. Their kinship reminds us that there is no love that does not contain loss and no loss that is not a reminder of the love we carry for what we once held close." 3. "Grief is subversive, undermining the quiet agreement to behave and be in control of our emotions. It is an act of protest that declares our refusal to live numb and small. There is something feral about grief, something essentially outside the ordained and sanctioned behaviors of our culture. Because of that, grief is necessary to the vitality of the soul. Contrary to our fears, grief is suffused with life-force.... It is not a state of deadness or emotional flatness. Grief is alive, wild, untamed and cannot be domesticated. It resists the demands to remain passive and still. We move in jangled, unsettled, and riotous ways when grief takes hold of us. It is truly an emotion that rises from the soul." 4. Many who undertake the full journey into grief come back carrying medicine for the world. “Deep in our bones lies an intuition that we arrive here carrying a bundle of gifts to offer to the community. Over time, these gifts are meant to be seen, developed, and called into the village at times of need. To feel valued for the gifts with which we are born affirms our worth and dignity. In a sense, it is a form of spiritual employment - simply being who we are confirms our place in the village. That is one of the fundamental understanding about gifts: we can only offer them by being ourselves fully. Gifts are a consequence of authenticity; when we are being true to our natures, the gifts can emerge.” Summarised by Darcy K. Butcher ...we are not locked in to the images of God that have been handed to us by family and culture. Interpretations of faith are dynamic rather than stagnant, and they are subject to change and evolution, with the spiritual shakeup resulting from loss and trauma as a common trigger. When one’s sense of equilibrium is disturbed, it can result in a "shifting of the field of consciousness from lower to higher levels ... the necessary beginning of any process of transcendence". This shift can push us through Fowler’s stages and lead us toward a new equilibrium Five stages of mystical development - an "awakening" experience that jolts us into a new reality - purging of the old familiar self - a period of illumination - a surrender to emptiness - a state where the usual conflicts and challenges are viewed from an elevated perspective. Here, instead of merely seeking relief from pain, one seeks meaning Some putative stages: Primal Faith: a foundational state of either trust or mistrust, depending on the care it receives and its sense of safety in the world. From this foundation, preliminary images of "God" begin to form Intuitive-Reflective Faith Mythic-Literal Faith Losses are triggering curiosity and questioning that can lead them to the next stage, where, Fowler explains, there is an ability to imagine other possibilities and other realities Synthetic-Conventional Faith Centred on building a personal identity and building relationships with the world outside the immediate family. "God" is a significant other who knows the depths and the secrets of the self, and offers companionship, guidance and support Individuative-Reflective Faith "The person is pushed out of, or steps out of, the circle of interpersonal relationships that have sustained his life to that point". This turning point can move a person toward deeper awareness as the result of a life-altering loss, that is, any experience that Wulff (1991) describes as causing one to "reflect on the relevance of established beliefs and values" Conjunctive Faith "waking up", one learns they can feed grief and pain or feed wonder and faith. Loss was not a meaningless accident. Open up to a greater potential and gained a reference point from which they contribute to the universe in new ways - reclaiming and reworking of one’s past -a view beyond separateness and dualism. It is a universalized faith rather than a personal one, functioning more in a transcendent reality than in a material reality. "This is where there is access to a quality of transcendence more concerned with personal revelation than with symbols or doctrines". In terms of grief resilience and recovery, this stage represents an emergence from grief with a positive outcome that includes a heightened awareness and a peaceful acceptance of the natural ebb and flow of sorrow and joy". Universalizing Faith "walk the talk" It is possible to now see the self as part of a universal collective concerned with the energy of the whole rather than as an individual, autonomous island only concerned with personal, ego-centered needs. From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29224518 Towards sexuality Anyone else feel we need to literally re-program our mind, body and spirit away from most of our culture’s devolution of the sacred life-force energy that is so rampant today? I feel it is our need to bloom a love beyond our immature, rebellious, uncertain and sexually confused carnal natures to vision of ourselves which will generate aliveness and hope.To form the capacity for loving intimacy. There is a strong and positive correlation between sexuality and spirituality as well as wellbeing. One can be certain that any improvement in one of the areas may have a positive implication on the other area [1]. Unfortunately in our culture, sexuality gets reduced to a physical hedonistic high, power/control and lust and other negative ways - aiming then to gratify ‘our’ needs, ‘our’ desires - to fill a void - but it is not simply "hunger to be satisfied". We also live so dualistically, failing to see each-other equally, with love To merge spirituality with sexuality means to connect sexuality with love, beauty, wonder, equality and joy. To affirm the wonder of life, the beauty of the human spirit and embrace love and care. Sexuality and spirituality are both deeply personal and connected to our life force energy. Our attitudes about life, love, care and compassion are all connected to our feelings about sexuality. Getting beyond our self absorption and being able to tap into the wonder and awe of creation can help us deepen our experience with sexuality - we need to associate sexuality with love, care, joy and commitment - where we open our minds and hearts If we think of the body, mind and spirit as one, then to have a sense of wholeness associated with our sexuality is to be tuned into all aspects of our being–our spiritual life, senses, feelings and thoughts. Connecting to our sexual energy is also about feeling joy and passion that come from honest conversation, giving to others, being in nature, being active and being of service. "Relationship gives us access to Divinity through the portal of love. God is love, the attraction that brings beings together. Oneness is the realization of our intrinsic continuity with all of existence and the source of existence. The recognition of our oneness is an expansion of the "self-system" into a holy context, to be a Godself in relationship with infinite Godselves, the entire evolving chain of being beheld in your lover as a reflection in a Sacred Mirror." Development is linked to these areas Physical Perceiving one’s body, gender, and growth-producing sexual behaviour as well as that of the opposite sex with a positive attitude. Emotional Feeling comfortable, confident, and competent with one’s body and sexuality, and that of the opposite sexes’ Social Relating with persons of the same and opposite sex in a healthy way; having the capacity for self-disclosure; being able to sustain friendship and intimacy. Moral Valuing the ways of allowing and encouraging the behaviours necessary for ongoing growth. Psychologically, the major challenge is to become more fully the persons they were meant to be by becoming more single-minded, more loving and caring, and more whole. It means achieving better balance between autonomy and intimacy and between self-interest and self-surrender. Into generative behaviours Spiritual Spiritually, the task is to develop spiritual intimacy. Individuals at this stage can respond to the dual desire and longing for intimacy and transcendence by becoming more sensitive to relationships through putting others’ needs and interests first and by becoming more meditative and prayerful. Individuals in this stage are more attracted to Centering prayer and related forms of meditation than in previous stages. When any of these six dimensions are absent or limited, or if they develop in unhealthy ways, our journey toward sexual integration will in some way be hindered or slowed down leading to our sexual energy being expressed in ways that are hurtful to ourselves and others http://www.claretianformation.com/psycho-sexual-development/ Modified from: https://charlottekasl.com/sexuality-spirituality-and-relationships-a-guide-to-bringing-them-together-in-our-lives/ [1] https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/6ee6/fe5add99f90502e571417e7603feacff1529.pdf Towards others I was always stuck in you vs me... We become incapable of seeing the spectrums of life... moral discernment is simplified and greatly inhibited. It becomes easy and necessary to "other" (including parts of ourselves) who gets lumped into the "the other". Healing becomes hard because we destroy through categorisation that which we can no longer hold in empathy. Our view of other people and life itself is also split into polarities... As a result, we view the whole universe through a tainted lens. Splitting and the dualism it entails results in a repression of spirituality because it is a disconnect from deeper reality: my own Self, other people, and the whole universe. We repress the profound: spirituality, unity consciousness, and imagination, into an unconscious spiritual shadow self. In the attempt to protect ourselves from pain through compartmentalisation, we plunge ourselves deeper into it. The disconnect of splitting is more painful than pain itself because it cuts us off. We need to prioritise personal and collective healing if we want to experience the joys of spirituality, the freedom of wholeness and connection. Polarity is indeed part of the natural order, but we lose touch with life when we cut off consciousness of connection. Dualism is the idolisation and immortalisation of polarity through the destruction of relationship. ...systems of othering are so tempting because they appeal to our sense of separation and offer a solution that resonates with our suffering. Dualism protected us as children from the beauties of life and the wonders of spiritual experiencing being swallowed up by suffering. But dualism no longer serves those of us who aspire to move beyond childhood wounding into adult thriving. Modified from: https://lifeafterdogma.org/2019/02/11/psychological-splitting/ Towards Love “If we are stretching to live wiser and not just smarter, we will aspire to learn what love means…" Our society continually casts love as something that happens to us passively and by chance, something we fall into, something that strikes us arrow-like, rather than a skill attained through the same deliberate practice as any other pursuit In spite of the deep-seated craving for love, almost everything else is considered to be more important than love: success, prestige, money, power — almost all our energy is used for the learning of how to achieve these aims, and almost none to learn the art of loving. Most people see the problem of love primarily as that of being loved, rather than that of loving, of one’s capacity to love. Hence the problem to them is how to be loved, how to be lovable. That said, a love predicated on possession inevitably turns into fear — the fear of losing what was gained. "Love is concerned with growth and evolution. It is — though as yet hardly acknowledged in that connection — a root-factor of ordinary human growth; for in so far as it is a hunger of the individual, the satisfaction of that hunger is necessary for individual growth — necessary (in its various forms) for physical, mental and spiritual nourishment, for health, mental energy, large affectional capacity, and so forth. And it is — though this too is not sufficiently acknowledged — a root-factor of the Evolution process. Love is a complex of human relations — physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and so forth — all more or less necessary. And though seldom realized complete, it is felt, and feels itself, to be imperfect without some representation of every side. To limit it to the expression of one particular aspect would be totally inadequate, if not absurd and impossible. The intense chemistry of the psychic elements produces something like an actual flame. A fresh combination is entered into, profound transformations are effected, strange forces liberated, and a new personality perhaps created; and the accomplishment and evidence of the whole process is by no means only joy, but agony also Love does more for the moralizing of poor humanity than a hundred thousand Sunday schools. It cleans the little human soul from the clustered lies in which it has nested itself — from the petty conceits and deceits and cowardices and covert meannesses." [1] [1] https://www.brainpickings.org/2019/03/31/edward-carpenter-love-marriage-in-free-society/
  24. Alchemica

    Sceletium use for anxiety in dogs.

    Interesting but have you tried simple tryptophan? Seems to be a commoner approach with a better established safety profile
  25. My Brahmi propagation reminds me of our journey of life. From the Mother plant, Our True Nature, you break off as a segment, often severely struggle, try to become an individual, go off the path for awhile, get corrupted by environmental influences you're growing around... until a loving influence lets you re-root in new fertile soil... there you find new ground to grow as a beautiful Soul, blossoming into your Divine Self. Here's my Brahmi in flower. I enjoy propagating these and handing them to people. Brahmi is a most precious herb. It is a "herb of grace". I started off using commercial extracts, being a real science evidence based doser, often with Gingko to heal my mind. I required high doses and it took quite some time. It's been a stable plant in my life for quite awhile, just helping heal gently. It seems interesting in that it's a plant that grows with you as you heal, you tune into it and need less and less. It becomes a plant that provides better health for me, quite a spiritual plant when you attune to it. I hope others find that journey with it. I use it in salads etc, slight bitter taste but there are other ways you can use it. Somewhere I probably wrote a technical spiel on it's pharmacology, try and add that soon if I can find it. Brahmi is a wonderful herb for opening the mind, enhancing the intellect and promoting spiritual growth. "Brahmi is an Ayurvedic medicinal herb which has been used for centuries. Certain neurological disorders have limited therapeutic options in Western medicine and hospitals and research institutes across the globe are increasingly looking into Ayurvedic science for effective and safer alternatives. Brahmi is a well-known nootropic herb and its uses in neurological and psychiatric disorders are well recognized. Its efficacy and safety is supported by research and thousands of years of knowledge and experience." The good news is that Bacopa does not need too much of your attention for it to grow. All it needs is an adequate source of water, it likes lots of water, and enough light. Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri) is a popular herb in Ayurvedic medicine. The bacopa herb is commonly known as a nootropic herb, which means that it can help repair damaged neurons and improve brain function. Safety: The intake and use of this herb should be avoided by pregnant and breastfeeding women so as to avoid possible ill effects. While there are no studies that prove that Bacopa causes side effects, people have observed that excessive intake of bacopa may lead to stomach upset, diarrhea and nausea. To avoid the risk of suffering from these adverse effects, it would be a good idea to gauge your tolerance for this herb. Start with the lowest possible dose and build up your threshold. It's highly recommended to use this herb in moderation, just like other herbs. Health Benefits Bacopa monnieri offers an impressive list of health and nutritional benefits, which are usually credited to the alkaloids, saponins and sterols that this herb contains. These benefits include the following: Has antidepressant and antianxiety properties. it was observed to show antidepressive properties in animal studies. In a human study, people over the age of 65 who used Bacopa showed a decrease in both anxiety and depression. Promotes normal blood pressure. This herb has been observed to help in vascular muscle function and the complete utilization of nitric oxide. These two processes help in normalizing blood pressure. Functions as a nootropic. As mentioned above, Bacopa can boost cognitive function and improve memory and creativity. It also helps in improving focus. May improve memory and information retention. In a study, subjects were given placebos and Bacopa monnieri supplements. The individuals who were given the Bacopa monnieri showed a higher ability to retain newly introduced information. Improved cognition was also observed in people who took bacopa regularly. Acts as an adaptogen. Bacopa has the ability to regulate the body's response to acute and chronic stress. In an animal study, rats were treated with Bacopa monnieri and subjected to high amounts of stress. Their dopamine and serotonin levels were then measured, which showed that there were no observable decreases in both of these hormones May improve epilepsy symptoms. In Ayurvedic medicine, bacopa has been used to reduce the frequency of epileptic episodes. In one study, the herb's effect on the GABA receptors, which are responsible for maintaining and regulating neuronal excitation, was measured. An imbalance in these receptors causes the abnormal occurrence of seizures. The use of Bacopa showed a change in GABA receptor activity, decreasing the frequency of seizures and epilepsy symptoms. Brahmi drink: Soak a small quantity of Brahmi leaves in water overnight. Then make it into a paste with a few ground almonds, and milk. This is a first-rate tonic and cooling beverage, excellent for health and strength. This drink is especially useful for nervous debility, while invigorating and improving the brain. Brahmi Pesto Ingredients: 1 cup cashews, soaked overnight and drained 1/2 packed cup basil leaves 1/2 cup packed brahmi/bacopa Juice of 1 lemon 1 teaspoon Himalayan salt 50 milliliters (1.69 ounces) water Procedure: 1. Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender. 2. Blend until smooth. 3. Transfer to a jar and keep refrigerated. This will last up for up to three days. Brahmi with Lentils (Vallarai Keerai Kootu) Ingredients: 1 to 2 cups tightly packed bacopa leaves 3/4 cup mung beans 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder 1 teaspoon homemade ghee 2 teaspoon coconut oil 1 teaspoon mustard seeds 1 dried red chili 1 teaspoon black lentils 1 teaspoon chickpeas A pinch of asafetida 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds 5 to 6 curry leaves Himalayan salt to taste Lemon juice, freshly squeezed Procedure: 1. In a pressure cooker, pour 2 cups of water. Add the lentils and turmeric powder. Cook for about 10 minutes or until done. Set aside. 2. Wash the greens with cold water. Make sure that the leaves are clean and free from dirt. Blend the leaves in a food processor or a blender until it becomes a coarse paste. 3. Using a pan, heat the coconut oil and ghee on low-medium heat. Add the mustard seeds to the coconut oil and ghee mixture. Once the mustard seeds start popping, add the red chili, mung beans, chickpeas, asafetida, black lentils and cumin seeds. 4. Add the bacopa puree and cook until the raw smell is gone. Add the Himalayan salt to taste. 5. Add the cooked lentils and mix until thoroughly combined. If the mixture is too thick, feel free to add a little water until you get your desired consistency. 6. Add lemon juice to taste. Serve. http://www.prohealth.com/library/showarticle.cfm?libid=30992 " Brahmi-derived from extract of Bacopa monnieri (EBm). Studies have shown that EBm promotes free radical scavenger mechanisms and protects cells in prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and striatum against cytotoxicity and DNA damage implicated in AD. It also reduces lipoxygenase activity reducing lipid peroxidation, increases glutathione peroxidase and chelates iron. Administration of EBm was seen to protect the cholinergic neurons and reduce anticholinesterase activity comparable to donepezil, rivastigmine, and galantamine. " [1] Bacopa monnieri may offer benefits [1, 2, 3] Increased expression of TPH2, alterations to histone acetylation, VGLUTs, GABAergic activity and anti-inflammatory/immunomodulating properties add to bacopa’s broad spectrum of activity See more: Antipsychotic activity of standardized Bacopa extract against ketamine-induced experimental psychosis in mice: Evidence for the involvement of dopaminergic, serotonergic, and cholinergic systems.