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The Science of Fermented Fruits, Veggies and Plant Medicines

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A really cool paper, this is like an under-explored thing. Anyone here into fermented food and tried anything exotic? Come on people, get exotically fermenting up stuff....


I've done cacao fermentation (liked that), tried turmeric fermentation (didn't do this large scale to get a healing amount). Want to ferment things like green tea, ginseng and ashwagandha (more active compounds are formed fermenting these)


Keen one day to ferment more healing food with some select quality probiotic strains. Fermented up an Aptenia brew (alcoholic) to get an apple tasting refreshing beverage but I was worried oxalates were being liberated rather than degraded so didn't pursue. Past the alcohol days anyway. Done plenty of Aptenia fermentations, some with added yeast, little bit of Sceletium. Sometimes the Aptenia fermented really well, other times it fouled.


Fruits and vegetables, as a source of nutritional compounds and phytochemicals: Changes in bioactive compounds during lactic fermentation.


Fermentation belongs to some of the most ancient food processes in human history.


Microorganisms naturally present on the substrate, develop their fermentative activity. This leads to the transformation of the initial material and to modification of biochemical composition. Fermentation causes considerable changes that affect the organoleptic properties (taste, texture and in a lesser extend color), the nutritional value and the microbial safety of food. Therefore, human interest in fermentation lays on the four potential advantages for food: (1) improved shelf life and safety, (2) improved nutrition health properties, (3) organoleptic modification and (4) production of active principles of interest


The increase of nutrient density by lactic fermentation is mostly due to a decrease of sugar content. Thanks to the activity of various enzymes, fermentation of fruits and vegetables tends to improve bio-accessibility and/or bioavailability of various type of compounds such as proteins, amino-acids, vitamins and antioxidants compounds (such as polyphenols).


However, a common conclusion for several works is that the selection of starter can contribute to maintain or to increase antioxidant activity when compared to spontaneous fermentation. Changes in antioxidant activity point out that modifications of composition occur over fermentation. One of the main mechanism that could explain antioxidant activity variation is the release of bioactive compounds from conjugated phytochemicals. Metabolism of phenolic compounds by LAB has been reviewed by Rodriguez et al (Rodriguez et al., 2009). Interestingly, among LAB, Lb. plantarum is of great interest since it possesses enzymes leading to the production of high-added value compounds, such as powerful antioxidants


As a whole, molecular nature of phenolic compound can be modified through fermentation leading to new derived compounds with biological activities potential including modification of microbiota populations and gut immunoglobulin levels. In addition, polyphenols bioavailability can be positively influenced by glucosidase, over fermentation, thereby increasing in situ radical scavenging potential as well as putative stimulation of natural antioxidant body defenses




Fermented plant medicines:


Something as simple as fermented ginger has improved anti-inflammatory properties. Not sure how this applies to turmeric...


Sceletium, even Aptenia:


"...the process of bruising and fermentation alters the alkaloid profile, which we will deal with in some detail below. All that said, total alkaloid levels can range between 0.3% and 2.3% of dry weight. The average for cultivated material is generally around 0.8% total alkaloids, though there are certain high-yield stains that have been developed that can average double that.


the fermentation of Kanna accomplishes the following primary outcomes:

  • Lowers oxalic acid
  • Lowers 4′-O-demethylmesembrenol
  • Significantly converts mesembrine to mesembrenone and ∆7-mesembrenone
  • May increase total alkaloid levels (by a very small measure)"





Ashwagandharishtha style preparations can be made.

Ashwagandharishtha is a liquid polyherbal formulation traditionally prepared by fermentation process using the flowers of Woodfordia fruticosa. It contains roots of Withania somnifera as a major crude drug. Alcohol generated during the fermentation causes the extraction of water insoluble phytoconstituents. Yeasts present on the flowers are responsible for this fermentation.




Lemon Balm (and other base plants) for Kombucha:


 The use of lemon balm for kombucha fermentation can yield a beverage with improved functional characteristics compared to the traditional kombucha prepared from black tea.


Sweetened black or green tea (Camellia sinensis L.) is the traditional and almost only recommended medium for preparing kombucha because of high levels of nitrogen sources (like purine derivatives, caffeine and theophylline) which are necessary for growth and reproduction of SCOBY cells. Although it has been noticed that some herbal teas cannot be used as alternative nitrogen sources due to the lack of purine derivatives (12), sweetened echinacea (Echinacea purpurea L.) and winter savory (Satureja montana L.) have been demonstrated as suitable tea alternatives, yielding a fermentation product in a shorter time and comparable to the traditional beverage with regard to the basic chemical and microbiological characteristics. Also, lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.) can be successfully used as nitrogen source for kombucha fermentation. This aromatic herb is cultivated throughout the world because of its application in several fields. In medicine it is used for the treatment of headaches, gastrointestinal disorders, nervousness, anemia, bronchitis, high blood pressure, rheumatism, and enhancing memory.



 Differences in microbial activities result in different cacao flavour characteristics. Catechins and epicatechins were present in large amount in cacao and quite unstable during fermentation. While it's possible to increase interesting alkaloid concentrations and form polyphenol breakdown products which are active, there are several pathways, polyphenols also undergo enzymatic oxidation by polyphenol oxidase and condensate in high molecular weight tannins.


That's where if you want the benefits of epicatechin (cognitive, cardiovascular etc healing), you're best without a fermented product. As raw as possible.


For a spiritual effect, the cacao fermentation seems to add something.The traditional cacao fermentations tend to rely on more than yeast, the presence of yeasts, lactic acid bacteria and acetic acid bacteria seems to be optimal. Maybe a kombucha is good, I didn't find my chocolate kombucha attempts brought out deeper chocolate flavour though but that was a one off trial. There are brewing cultures like prepared lambic culture that contains the Saccharomyces culture along with the lactic acid and Brettanomyces cultures. (Wyeast 3278). Don't know if they'd be interesting?


Green tea:


Lactic acid bacteria allow conversion of EGCG, EGC, and EC → GCG and GC in green tea


Green tea antioxidant power when treated increased 55% compared to untreated tea. Yerba mate antioxidant power increased by 43% compared to untreated tea. You get interesting polyphenol profiles.


Despite the benefits of polyphenols, many clinical studies and animal models have shown that these compounds, especially the polymers, esters, and glycosides, are abundant, but are not always absorbed by oral administration. The functional effect of the compound depends not only on the amount ingested, but on its bioavailability. Therefore, the enzymatic hydrolysis of polyphenols from food is a subject worth investigating. There are tannases etc.



Having specific β-glucosidase activity can be used to enhance the health benefits of Panax ginseng in either fermented foods or bioconversion processes. Bifidobacterium strains to cause production of ginsenoside aglycones. It also bioconverts a wide variety of polyphenols. Ginsenosides Rb1, Rb2, Rc, and Re continuously decreased, whereas ginsenosides Rd, Rg1, and Rg2 increased after 1-2 d of fermentation.  [ref]




 When common dietary polyphenols are subjected to fermentation, the newly formed biotransformation phytochemicals are more capable of causing a beneficial shift in microbial growth stimulation. New polyphenols are also created. This is sometimes beneficial, other times not - with cacao, polyphenol content and antioxidant capacity, respectively was reduced by fermentation; Epicatechin is degraded to less anti-oxidant substances. It can however allow for hydrolysis of things like initial glucosides and aglycons. Fermented grape pomace yields more total antioxidants and antioxidant activity than its unfermented counterpart. Anthocyanins often form gallic acid and protocatechuic acid


Remarkably, even fermented fish oil, an agent with well-documented anti-inflammatory and mood-support properties, has been shown to provide an enhanced anti-inflammatory activity versus its unfermented counterpart.


Yes, you can beneficially ferment herbal products. Unfortunately I can't find much on how alkaloids and constituents or other actives change, other than in sceletium, during fermentation.


Researchers have examined the in vivo properties of an herbal blend typically used in traditional medicine to treat inflammatory disorders, comparing its effects in the unfermented and fermented form. Blood LPS levels were significantly lower when treated with the fermented blend, as was C-reactive protein, a primary marker of systemic inflammation.


In separate work involving a singular traditional food or medicinal agent, the anti-inflammatory botanical Sophora flavescens, researchers, again using LPS as the inducing agent, found a more pronounced anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity with the fermented form


Magnolia flower as a source of polyphenols on fermentation increased the total phenolic contents, total flavonoids, and antioxidative and anticancer activities. Isoflavones ferment well, so do often other flavonoids.

For more fermented roots, fruits, veggies and plant medicines, see here


Edited by Alchemica
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Hi Alchemica, this is indeed an under-explored thing. and something i have a growing interest in.

I'll get right to my point; leonotis leonurus, and it's buddies.. after dozens of failed attempts to get it to "work" a while back, I took a breath from a 40 litre black plastic bag with a kilo of flowering stems that had been sitting in a hot car for 4 days and        WaHay!    an hour or so of "success???" coulda been a big old dose of chlorophyll IDK

I've read reports that beer made with it is good too.


I'm fairly dunce when it comes to chemistry but, i wonder, because it was a singular almost accidental experiment and life's circumstances stopped me from experimenting further. But this plant is starting to interest me again after reading your post. perhaps, like other African entheogen, it's all about the fermentation? but folks who are much smarter than me might be able to look at the science before i start?






Edited by freakazoid
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Today some Kimchi preparation.


I used red/purple cabbage - 36 anthocyanins have been detected in this


Started them with a quality broad spectrum probiotic


I made a few kimchi blends


- an isoflavone-rich one (small, just an experiment)
- an anti-inflammatory one rich in turmeric, ginger, black pepper, chili etc
- one with diverse healing polyphenols/phenolics (incl. catechins from Matcha green tea, anthocyanins from hibiscus, olive polyphenols, dihydromyricetin, p-coumaric acid)


Also brewed up some simple lacto-fermentations of Matcha green tea/hibiscus


So what am I hoping to achieve with my Kimchi's?
The anti-inflammatory Kimchi is fairly simple.
These are cheap to whip up, a couple of dollars buys cabbage and I had the other ingredients around.
I might make some other varieties today with 'less variables' and more science to them.
I've used a good mix of probiotics, including L. plantarum which is of great interest since it possesses enzymes leading to the production of high-added value compounds, such as powerful antioxidants
In my polyphenol blend, It has a fair bit of polyphenol rich Matcha green tea, fermenting this converts some of the catechins to new actives, with increased anti-oxidant activity and possibly better effects.
It contains olive polyphenols which ferment beneficially. Recent findings in animal models and humans show that polyphenols may have a role in regulating neurotrophins levels, in particular nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), suggesting that olive polyphenols may also induce their protective effects through the potentiation of neurotrophins action. NGF and BDNF They control oxidative stress, inflammation, apoptosis and mitochondrial dysfunction.
Olive polyphenols may increase the levels of NGF and BDNF in crucial areas of the limbic system etc, which play a key role in learning and memory processes and in the proliferation and migration of endogenous progenitor cells.
There things like dihydromyricetin "DHM exerts a more rapid antidepressant-like effect than does a typical antidepressant, in association with enhancement of BDNF expression and inhibition of neuroinflammation". It's not established exactly how this ferments, but it's possibly beneficial.
There are good levels of hibiscus anthocyanins. Anthocyanins often form gallic acid and protocatechuic acid
There is some p-coumaric acid. p-Coumaric acid itself enhances long-term potentiation and recovers learning and memory impairments. It also modulates GABAARs, exerting anxiolytic effects. Hydroxycinnamic acids were the main compounds stimulating the production of volatile phenols by LAB. Some hydroxycinnamic acids showed a beneficial effect on growth of Lactobacillus strains, while inhibiting other strains. This one, I have to see how it ferments... it may form 4-vinylphenol and 4-ethylphenol etc, this might add taste funkiness. The Nrf2 cell defense pathway is stimulated by alkyl catechols including 4-vinylcatechol, and 4-ethylcatechol but probably not by the monophenols. I'm not sure this is an ideal addition, so I might skip it in the next.

The turmeric laden Kimchi


The turmeric one has started to leach orange actives into solution, like the curcuminoids are being liberated as something more soluble. During fermentation, it is said curcumin transforms into different metabolites which can be more easily absorbed by the body, rather than the whole curcumin molecule, hard to find solid analysis results of fermented turmeric though but there is in vivo evidence that the beneficial activity of turmeric is significantly improved. Today the liquid is bright orange. Then you get your probiotics, too.


The potency of various phytonutrients can also be improved by fermentation. Polyphenols, a specific category of phytonutrients, occur naturally in fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, rhizomes, flowers and barks of plants. Fermentation causes a significant increase in the free soluble polyphenol content. Free soluble polyphenols have higher beneficial activities.

Fermentation also reduces the amount of non-digestible material in plant foods, leading to improved bioavailability of minerals and trace elements. Lactic acid bacteria also have the ability to increase the antioxidant potential and alter the phytochemical profile. Lactobacillus fermented beverage made from turmeric rhizomes was shown to have an increase in antioxidant activity. Plasma antioxidant concentration was higher in rats administrated the fermented turmeric than the unfermented version, fermentation of turmeric increases its bioavailability.


Turmeric has emerging interest world-wide mainly because of its remarkable chemical composition which includes protein, especially globulins and albumins, carotene, fatty acids, flavonoids and phenolics. The yellow colour in turmeric are mainly due to the presence of three major pigments; curcumin, demethoxy-curcumin and bis-demethoxy-curcumin. These curcuminoids are known to have high medicinal activity.


Turmeric itself has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, antidepressant activity, and plaque load in the Alzheimer's models and has promise in other neurodegenerative conditions, being potently anti-neuroinflammatory but is limited by bioavailability.

The isoflavone kimchi

The isoflavone kimchi, which is only a small jar, has really developed quite quickly. That was started with quite high levels of selected probiotics. Lactic acid bacteria and Bifidobacteria, if the strains are right, have the ability to bioconvert the glycosylated isoflavones to more bioavailable aglycones and in what I'm trying to do, daidzein, genistein etc to new metabolites, with superior bioavailability and higher potency at ERβ (the parent molecules are also CNS active as serotonergic 5-HT1A etc mediated antidepressants, anti-PTSD, anxiolytic, anti-seizure) and some with stronger anti-cancer effects (strong inhibitory activity against tyrosine kinases), such as dihydrogenistein, dihydrodaidzein, and equol/5-hydroxy-equol etc.

Last lot of fermented batches is the K.I.S.S. batches, still experimental.

How healthy can you make a fermented product with only common veggies, herbs and spices? How tasty, too?

More a functional food than some exotic creation straight from the 'R&D department'...

These attempts are really flavoursome right from the start, with quality nutrition. Not sure how these will ferment, so they're small sizes.

While using cabbage as a base, I used lots of onion, parsley (polyphenol sources), still some green tea, bit of garlic and ginger, bit of turmeric, a bit of chili, solid amounts of concentrated tomato for carotenoids etc, tried to bind one with chia, stop the sloppiness. These PUFAs strangely seem to ferment to superior anti-inflammatory substances.

Played around with some herbs and spices to get something tasty.

Few different attempts, see what happens.

You end up with colourful concoctions.

That will satisfy my fermentation curiousity, see if I get anything decent.


See how it goes.




Edited by Alchemica

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These are developing nicely.

The 'medicinal turmeric kimchi' I'm really happy with for an experimental batch. Fridge time for that but it's already quite nice personally. Little bit of an adjustment to Western food taste but palatable.


Turmeric lacto-ferments nicely and easily to likely more medicinal medicine, not only putative improved bioavailability of curcuminoids, good CNS characteristics, but improved whole body healing characteristics, one aspect of research on fermented turmeric is it's use in GI restoration, including H. pylori healing. the synergy between Lactobacillus and curcumin has been studied.


It's one I'd suggest to others, I'll probably make it again, with some more love and effort for taste and aesthetics. The more exotic polyphenols (sans simple isoflavones, or a green tea/hibiscus etc), there's too many fermentation variables, particularly chucking lots in. A strong turmeric base with some ginger and spices (incl. black pepper) is easy and healing. Even tasty on some quinoa, with a touch of saffron and a nice healing salad and some good oils (Olive and Kalonji)

The one I really like is the probiotic lacto-fermented Matcha Hibiscus. Quite tasty.


Tea consumption had significant acute benefits on mood and performance and creativity... I've wondered what happens when you hibiscus it and ferment it lacto style?


While EGCG, one of the main tea catechins, has been characterised - EGCG has sedative and hypnotic effects in the brain, partially through GABAA receptors, and consequently moderates an acute stress response. EGCG and chlordiazepoxide (a benzodiazepine) fully generalised in substitution studies, indicating that they induced indistinguishable chemical states for the brain.


Lactic acid bacteria allow conversion of EGCG, EGC, and EC → GCG and GC in green tea. GCG tea catechins may be effective in preventing hyperlipidemia by lowering plasma and hepatic cholesterol concentrations but their CNS properties are less known. They could be interesting.


I've got a good feel for the strong green tea doses, and the heart-purifying hibiscus, I find them really nice. The green tea I feel beyond the caffeine/theanine. I really feel the catechins, I have some isolated catechins that are caffeine free it's quite chill and anti-stress, these have GABAergic activity, seen in studies as GABAA modulators. They also are effective buffering of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, reducing stress which causes improved immune response. Low-caffeine green tea may be a beneficial tool for improving the quality of sleep of via the suppression of stress


The anthocyanins and phenolics from hibiscus are CNS active, not just anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory, neurotrophic, pro-cognitive, mood elevating. Hibiscus has antidepressant activity in studies, in high enough doses, involving 5-HT/NE/DA systems. The anthocyanins may form active compounds like gallic acid and protocatechuic acid. Both of these are neuroprotective and antidepressive. While you generally need quite solid doses of such things, it seems within reach and the effects of multiple phenolics and polyphenols cursing through your blood stream, quite nice.


Protocatechuic acid's antidepressant like activity might be related, at least in part, to its capability of modulating antioxidant defense system and oxidative damage induced by stress in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus and thus maintain the pro-/anti-oxidative homeostasis. Gallic acid itself has dual mechanism of action by increasing not only serotonin but also catecholamine levels in synaptic clefts of the central nervous system. Further alpha adrenergic, 5-HT2A/2C and 5-HT3 serotonergic, and D1, D2, and D3 dopaminergic receptors also seem to be involved in this antidepressant-like activity.


The turmeric/ginger etc one fermented nicely so far. That's an interesting flavour combination, slightly odd having that crisp acidic taste with turmeric but it's personally palatable. Even I think that one needs more chili.


The high polyphenol creation has potentially had some fermentation inhibition with regard to 'lactifying' at the pace of the others. It's also developed some kind of complex red wine flavours within a lactic-tasting base, considering I think red wine tastes pretty crappy, that's sort of personally undesirable. It's also potentially got a slight taint that's complex, not so much a fouled off taste but I'm regretting putting in the hydroxycinnamic acid source as that can lead to build up of flavours/aromas that are often less desired, and do things to inhibit and promote different Lactobacillus which might not be optimal.


As I mentioned, the isoflavone one fermented rapidly and nicely. It's not big on added flavours, it's mainly providing an environment for isoflavone bioconversion but it's OK, more a sauerkraut that can be dosed occasionally at low quantities, it's very isoflavone rich.


Fermented foods, microbiota, and mental health: ancient practice meets nutritional psychiatry


To what extent do ancient diets, fermented foods, and their effect on the ‘bacterial flora of the intra-intestinal contents’ converge to promote health?


Modern research is highlighting the potential value of ancestral dietary practices on mental health, and on resiliency against depression in particular. This has recently been extended to cognitive decline [1]


....we argue that the consumption of fermented foods may be particularly relevant to the emerging research linking traditional dietary practices and positive mental health. The extent to which traditional dietary items may mitigate inflammation and oxidative stress may be controlled, at least to some degree, by microbiota. It is our contention that properly controlled fermentation may often amplify the specific nutrient and phytochemical content of foods, the ultimate value of which may associated with mental health; furthermore, we also argue that the microbes (for example, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria species) associated with fermented foods may also influence brain health via direct and indirect pathways.


Probiotic-rich diets, either prepared naturally or with industrial fermentation processes, showed positive effects on stress relief and memory enhancement, potentially via gut microbiota improvement One possible explanation is that fermentation modulates the chemical constituents, improving the activity and bioavailability of the food. A number of studies have reported the chemical changes such as enriching bioactive peptides and creating phytochemicals during the fermentation process. The fermented food’s functional aspect of neuroprotective effects along with the improvement in brain and cognitive function is becoming more evident as studies of animals and humans with positive results are accumulating.


Depression and other mental health disorders are characterized by chronic, low-grade inflammation and oxidative stress. Conversely, a traditional diet rich in antioxidant, anti-inflammatory foods may confer some level of protection against depression. An intestinal ‘inflammatory microbiome’ appears to exist, one that may contribute to altered mood


- These probiotics can improve fasting insulin levels and glucose turnover, related to mood: beneficial microbes appears to be a central mechanism in the promotion of normal glycemic control

- In humans probiotic administration (Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum) for one month in healthy individuals caused significant improvements in depression, anger, anxiety, and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol versus placebo. This was repeated and improvements were seen, particularly in somatization, depression and anger-hostility. A fermented product boosted activity of brain regions that control central processing of emotion and sensation.

- When a strain of Lactobacillus rhamnosus is administered to healthy animals under stress, there is a reduction in anxiety and depression-like behaviours. Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum added to animal drinking water can increase nerve cell resiliency and reduce apoptosis during conditions of experimental physiological stress. In humans, consuming Lactobacillus fermented beverage for three weeks; vs. placebo, significant improvement in mood scores were noted upon the among those with the higher baseline depressive symptoms. A separate placebo controlled pilot study, one using the same Lactobacillus involved 39 chronic fatigue syndrome patients. After two months, depression scores remained unchanged between the groups, however Beck Anxiety Inventory scores showed significant improvements in anxiety versus placebo

- soil-based microorganisms widely distributed in nature, which can easily find its way onto edible plants, has been shown in experimental models to improve cognitive function and diminish anxiety-like behaviours

- supplementation with Bifidobacterium appears to attenuate an exaggerated stress response and maintain adequate levels of the neuropeptide brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), levels of which are known to be low in depression

- during fermentation, novel bioactive compounds capable of producing beneficial CNS, immune, glycemic, and anti-inflammatory activities are formed. When common dietary polyphenols are subjected to fermentation, the newly formed biotransformation phytochemicals are more capable of causing a beneficial shift in microbial growth stimulation

-Feeding of probiotics can also attenuate the HPA-mediated stress responses. Considering that cognitive deficit is associated with HPA axis hyperactivity, administration of probiotics in fermented foods may improve cognitive function by normalization of HPA activity.

Specific items within traditional dietary patterns have been individually associated with protection against depression and, experimentally, these components have also demonstrated antidepressant properties. Examples include, but are not limited to soy foods, turmeric, cocoa, green tea,
coffee, blueberries, pomegranate, and honey. The isolated polyphenols and other phytochemicals within these foods have also been documented to provide antidepressive properties in experimental models. In addition, specific nutrients such as magnesium, zinc, vitamin C, folic acid, and vitamin B12, have also been connected to resiliency against depression or improvement in depressive symptoms


[1] A Review of Fermented Foods with Beneficial Effects on Brain and Cognitive Function: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5216880/

Edited by Alchemica
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Love it! Keep up the great research. 

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More lacto-fermenting teas, even some UV experiments at potential photoconversion. Enjoyed the fermented Hibiscus, Spearmint, Ashwagandha lacto-brews etc.


Got some energy to do some experimenting. Thought I'd do some chamomile with a L. plantarum containing starter. Done my turmeric, ginger, Matcha and black pepper. Also done some Kudzu isoflavones with a broad spectrum culture. Trying Heimia at the moment


The microbial fermentation of phytochemicals can be applied in diverse ways to enhance the medicines of plants. I've mentioned the benefits of fermented turmeric and many polyphenols


Although apigenin is the major flavonoid in chamomile, various other phytochemicals also coexist in chamomile extract could be bioconverted and/or hydrolysed to have higher bioactivities. It has improved polyphenol profiles, antioxidative and cytotoxic activities and may be a superior medicine [1]



This ferments really nicely...




In the past I would have gone phht at the concept of chamomile intoxication, or it ranking as a feasible interesting psychotropic for clinical level use. Probiotic chamomile tea sounds like the hippiest granny health tonic... out of all the lacto-fermentations so far, it the scariest potent one I've come across, blend that with some stuff and literally knock out potential IMO. Have to do more experimentation...


Apigenin containing plants like chamomile are interesting as it's not just a GABAA modulator, it has been shown to have antidiabetic (this has been recently popular news [1]) , anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties in a number of cell and animal models [2]. It's also showing antidepressant effects [3,4] Apigenin is a ligand for the central benzodiazepine receptors exerting anxiolytic and slight sedative effects (competitively inhibited the binding of flunitrazepam with a Ki of 4 microM)


There's notable effects at pushing the dose of plain chamomile for me, more anxiolytic than getting smashed (lightweights can sometimes relate to simple chamomile tea, I can't). Interestingly, the lacto-fermented chamomile seems to knock me much more than normal high dose chamomile, haven't had a chamomile experience as strong as the lacto-fermented one before... almost concerned at how strong it was vs normal. It's likely the bacteria hydrolyse the flavonoid glycosides in chamomile etc [5] but there could be something more funky.


I've never tried pure apigenin but flavonoids may also be metabolised by the resident microbiota and the resulting products may have greater bioactivity, which differs from that of the parent compounds. The bacterial degradation of flavonols and flavones starts with the reduction of the C2-C3 double bond yielding the corresponding flavanonols and flavanones. In general, flavanones have shown little or no activity in benzodiazepine-binding studies [6]. Apigenin may partly convert into naringenin, which "does not produce anxiolysis by modulation of the GABAA receptor; however, the findings indicate that naringenin decreases motor movements" What a spectrum of fermentation microbes does is a good question.


[1] https://www.independent.co.uk/…/camomile-tea-diabetes-contr…
[2] https://www.nature.com/articles/srep31450
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26416673
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26826594
[5] https://www.tandfonline.com/…/full/10…/19490976.2016.1158395
[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3087128/




Heimia is a nice tea, an attunement to relate to I find but is there something that brings out the medicinal aspects that the traditional use alludes to that we haven't quite got right for optimal effects?


Some of the more experienced people get an opaque milky sun fermented tea, that's the medicine they relate to. That makes me wonder if they are inducing some kind of (bacterial/yeast) bioconversion in their fermentation. Even as a clearer tea that's sun exposed for a day, I find it nice. Good flavours. Nice bit of meditativeish effect. Feeling of more that things are "OK".


I want to see what providing some other conditions does to Heimia.


I've got two batches, one I'm going to sun-expose and lacto-ferment with broad-spectrum probiotic strains. It's possible that the alkaloids will bioconvert and highly likely the polyphenols will...


The other, I'm going to UV irradiate @254nm for some time, see if there's a UV conversion/some kind of photoisomerisation etc that takes place, hence the reason for using sun fermentation.


Using 80g/L Heimia - mainly stem.


Gave this over 6hrs of intense UV exposure @254nm.
This didn't develop the same taste as sun fermented... much milder flavour.

@equivalent 10g dry "shamanic inititiation dose" on just diet and exercise, after a bit of time, it feels seemingly on par with more traditionally sun fermented material at th
e same dose, light mellow relaxation with enhanced 'presence' so far. Nice walk in the sun.

Wouldn't say it's uncovered anything different effect wise nor a drastic potency increase that warrants using UV, from initial impressions.

@20g, the walk was "much more interesting" in the moonlight, saturation of being in the moment, somewhat anxiolytic, soaking up the present
By day 4 this is a nice cloudy lacto-tea brew.


Kudzu is said to be a nervine, promoting feelings of well-being, it is said to have soothing effects, combat excessive stress and helps create a relaxed mood to work with emotions. Getting back to splashing around standardised extract in the diet.


With Kudzu, which has puerarin as the main isoflavone glycoside (8-C-glucoside of daidzein), fermented Pueraria radix might be more effective than non-fermented versions [2] and can be useful as a functional food. Kudzu root in the diet is associated with a decrease in fasting glucose and improvements in both glucose tolerance (oral glucose tolerance test) as well as insulin tolerance (indicative of insulin sensitivity) [3].


Lactobacillus strains facilitate the conversion of isoflavone glycosides (daidzin, genistin) into bioactive aglycones (daidzein, genistein) and this is used in traditional oriental medicine systems [4]. Dihydrogenistein and dihydrodaidzein are produced by Lactobacillus rhamnosus [5] and some Lactobacillus strains create equol [6].


When given orally, daidzein, daidzin, and puerarin decreased ethanol intake by 75%, 50%, and 40% so optimising diadzein concentration and other isoflavones may be promising [7]. While daidzin in vitro is a strong, selective and reversible inhibitor of aldehyde dehydrogenase which is promising for many addictions from alcohol to cocaine, the other constituents may also act on the CNS receptor gene expression through the opioid system, exhibiting antagonist activity by influencing the opioid receptors mu, delta and the expression of endogenous opioid precursors (proopiomelanocortin) [8] The reversal of alcohol preference produced by these compounds may be mediated via the CNS and converting to more CNS active and permeable isoflavones may enhance the antiaddictive potential.


Puerarin-related compounds have strong preclinical support in favour of use in neurodegenerative diseases, partly through ERβ. The actives modulate neurotransmitter levels [9]. Equol is potent in attenuating microglial activation and potentiates neuroprotection [10].


[1] https://dx.doi.org/10.1631%2Fjzus.B1600063
[2] https://scialert.net/fulltext/?doi=ajava.2014.556.567
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23123226
[4] https://link.springer.com/artic…/10.1007%2Fs12257-012-0073-7
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29081087
[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5813953/
[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8800381
[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24501814
[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28928659
[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28264445


Fermenting protein

Bioactive Molecules Released in Food by Lactic Acid Bacteria: Encrypted Peptides and Biogenic Amines

Who's eaten fermented soy protein products to a good degree? Do they have CNS effects you can pick up, mainly looking towards feelings of anxiolysis, vs other proteins? Not just on the potential phytoestrogenic actions of the fermented isoflavones in less refined fermented soy, but the feeling of the protein, what do you think of it?


Proteins: Soy and maybe Hemp - I have this totally bland soy protein, I want to ferment it... anyone seen a recipe for making a tasty fermented soy protein drink?


Normally, enzymatic hydrolysis or fermentation is used to enhance the functionality of protein ingredients, which may lead to the production of short peptide sequences with various bioactivities. Many experimental evidences demonstrate that some LAB strains also produce anti-hypertensive, anti-thrombotic, cholesterol-lowering, metal-chelating, antimicrobial, anti-oxidant, immune-modulating, chaperone-like and opioid/opioid antagonist peptides from food proteins


Fermenting soy liberates opioid peptides (i.e., soymorphins-5,-6, and -7, and rubiscolin-5 and -6, respectively), displaying anxiolytic effects, food intake controlling action and enhancement of memory, have been described. These are produced by LAB proteolytic action toward soy betaconglycinine. These are similar to the β-casomorphins


While I didn't find Lactium interesting, it is αS1-casein tryptic hydrolysate containing bioactive decapeptides that act on GABA receptors. Lactium (150 mg/day) may be helpful in reducing stress and stress associated symptoms promote relaxation and can be useful.


There are neuromodulating peptides found from degrading β-conglycinin that extend beyond opioid peptides.

Fermentation on soy protein increases digestability and changes the protein microstructure [1]. Fermentation increases the number of small bioactive peptides and free amino acids (AA)

"Studies on the favorable effects of soy products have indicated that the effects are mostly exerted by the protein itself although isoflavones contained in an isolated soy protein fraction might make a minimal contribution to these effects. A number of animal and human studies showed that β-conglycinin, when compared with milk protein (casein), has anti-atherosclerotic, serum triglyceride-reducing, cholesterol-lowering, and anti-obesity effects" [2]

There's potential for optimising things like:
-the soymorphins and rubiscolins, displaying anxiolytic effects, food intake controlling action and enhancement of memory as mentioned earlier
- Orally active decapeptides like soy-deprestatin, which exhibited antidepressant-like effects at a dose of 0.3 mg/kg via a novel pathway mediated by 5-HT1A, followed by D1 and GABAA systems [3]
- dopaminergic undecapeptides [4]
- Exogenous ghrelin-releasing peptides [5]
- anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects have been suggested for some protein hydrolysates

β-conglycinin is itself interesting for those without aversion to soy - it improves carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, exerting hypolipidemic effects through an acceleration in carbohydrate consumption associated with an increase in adiponectin in rats [6]. β-conglycinin may increasing insulin sensitivity, regulating lipid metabolism, improving renal function markers, and inhibit ACE activity in diabetes [7]

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28975646
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4911586/
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28970253
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29577906
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27416956
[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25913002
[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25205218


I haven't seen fermented Hemp?


Also want to ferment omega-3's into the protein blend, these lactoferment beneficially





Edited by Alchemica

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“The Social Network” – How the Gut Microbiome Governs Our Social Behaviour


As I continue, I'm quite a bit into my fermented probiotic, polyphenol laden, omega-3 rich, veggie/herb/greens, vitamin and mineral rich and quality plant protein food and beverage bender with exercise (which includes fermented soy, fermented turmerics etc, most beverages are lacto-fermented etc),


The fermented cabbage intake wasn't enough, nor caps of probiotic, nor more prebiotic food, this time I'm going balls to the wall. One thing I'm keen to observe as I shift the bacteria laden food I'm consuming is not just mood, cognition and anxiety parameters but if it shifts social engagement etc.

I'm noting a few subjective things:


- I feel way less perma-stressed, little less anxious, less fragmented with stress hormone pep. Much less emotional dysregulation
- mood is more stable. More functionally grounded. Feels a bit literally soothing without needed to use soothing plant meds. I'm not chasing non food things to lift my mood. Even caffeine use is less tempting, not so much pep required to lift mood.
- Hunger is down
-people aren't giving me the typical annoying 'bloody humans' feelings that normally arise, normally a large portion of the population tends to give me the sh*ts. There's an emotional approach that feels softer. Not quite prosociality but tending that way


Both urbanisation and social isolation may alter the microbiome to pathology "Urbanization is on the rise, and environments offering a narrow range of microbial exposures are linked to an increased prevalence of both physical and mental disorders." Urban environments are linked to immunoregulatory deficits - "prospective human and mechanistic animal studies strengthen the idea that an exaggerated immune (re)activity plays a role in the development of mental disorders"


A normal, healthy, and rather non-parasitic microbiota may provide developmental cues that facilitate social behaviour. Socially shared microbiomes could drive the evolution of population-specific mating signals and it has been established common group membership and dietary intake can influence and predict gut microbiota composition. More complex socially driven behaviors can modulate microbiota populations [1].


Animals with an altered microbiome spent significantly less time with a conspecific and did not show the typical preference for a novel mouse when given a choice between a familiar and a novel interaction partner.


A "possible mechanism predisposing those with an urban upbringing, relative to those with a rural upbringing, to develop mental disorders in which inflammation has been identified as a risk factor, is an exaggerated inflammatory response following psychosocial stress exposure. Increased inflammation in urban environments may be due to impaired immunoregulation, which is thought to be dependent, at least in part, on reduced exposure, especially during early life, to microorganisms with which mammals coevolved, as has been proposed by the “biodiversity” hypothesis, “missing-microbes” hypothesis, or “old-friends” hypothesis, which all have been evoked to explain the epidemic of inflammatory disease in urban environments." [2]


We may be so removed from old-friends that it is altering social behaviour and as we spread our urbanicity, be spreading pathology: "social behavior affects the composition of the microbiota and vice-versa and differential expression of RNAs has been observed in cognitive disorders that are associated with altered social behaviour. It is well-documented that microbes can directly target the host's transcriptional regulatory machinery. There are several potential routes for microbes to interact with host cellular function and even behavior and some of these may be mediated by alterations of the epigenetic gene regulation in the brain." [3]


"The development of the forebrain, esp. the neocortex, in social mammals and ultimately primates and humans depends on correct and timely signals from microbial symbionts—which is disturbed, when the microbiota is absent or disturbed. Likewise when the microbiome is disturbed, there is evidence of increased hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis activity in response to acute stress. The immune pathway within the brain–gut–microbiome axis may be a plausible mediator of the effects of this axis on social behaviour"


Recent data provide evidence that related bacterial species can interact specifically with a variety of different neuronal populations. For example some bacteria affects the functioning of CNS neurons in the hippocampus and amygdala, and alter PFC funtioning. They can alter vagal tone, HPA axis activity, neuroinflammation/microglial activation, alter serotonergic transmission, levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, NMDA receptor subunit expression, GABAergic signalling and receptor expression etc [4] There are links to oxytocin with some Lactobacillus.


Altering the microbiome has been shown to do things like:
-improve mood, but only in those who have poorer mood at baseline and alter anxiety related measures
-reduce cortisol output in response to an acute stressor
-alter brain activity when processing information related to emotional facial expressions
-improvement in sustained attention in healthy older adults


[1] http://www.microbiomeinstitute.org/…/social-constructs-and-…
[2] http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/04/24/1719866115
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4212686/
[4] https://academic.oup.com/…/doi/10.1093/nutrit/nuy009/4985887


The microbiome in addictions


What's also interesting to me particularly is how alterations in the gut microbiota affect pathological reward-related behaviour like the intake of drugs of abuse/alcohol and food etc. There seem to be changes in the microbiota that are associated with substance use [1] across an array of SUDs and eating disorders [2]

Ethanol drastically changes the microbiome and increase in gut permeability and induces a pro-inflammatory responses. Microbiome alterations were shown to be correlated with alcohol use disorder-related symptoms, i.e. craving, depression and anxiety and manipulations in the gut microbiota may affect cocaine-related behaviors (Animals with reduced gut bacteria showed an enhanced sensitivity to cocaine reward and enhanced sensitivity to the locomotor-sensitizing effects of repeated cocaine administration [3]) and methamphetamine [4].

There is a strong negative influence of alcohol dependence on gut microbiota [5] and "Intestinal flora between cocaine users and non-cocaine users and have found that cocaine users have a higher mean relative abundance of Bacteroidetes and a lower abundance of Firmicutes than non-users; are more likely to smoke; have a lower mean percentage of body fat; and consume more alcohol than non-users."

Phytonutrients impact the microbiome “eat the rainbow” AND eat prebiotic and probiotic foods" so to do omega-3's: Some of the health-related benefits of omega-3 may be due, in part, to increases in butyrate-producing bacteria.

You can shift the microbiome with probiotics. Some of the other non-LAB are also now available as supplements. Probiotic intake induced an increase in Proteobacteria and in the Clostridiales spp. Patients taking probiotics had an increased numbers of butyrate-producing bacteria, especially Faecalibacterium and Clostridiales spp. Probiotic intervention modulated the fecal concentrations of butyrate in a manner dependent on the initial levels of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) [things like live B. bifidum cells affected the relative abundance of dominant taxa in the fecal microbiota and modulated fecal butyrate levels]

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5472629/
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28482009
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27752130
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5575146/
[5] https://microbiomejournal.biomedcentral.com/.../s40168...

Edited by Alchemica

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