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Natural SSRIs


This information will change your life if you choose to consider any of the information relayed today.


As I must advise, I am not a medical professional and I am not telling you to alter your current regime. I am informing you of research findings derived from data found on PubMed as well as sharing my real life experiences with these substances. I offer my neurodivergent self to all of you as a real life human test subject that aims to reduce the symptoms of depression, anxiety, OCD and ADHD. My efforts are also to directly and positively impact sleep, which is the absolute foundation to how we function; when we sleep better we feel and live better. This is a deep scientific fact and for those struggling with depression, I personally urge you to reclaim your sleep which ultimately means you will reclaim your life. Check out the life changing course on the website to begin your upgrade.


We need to get on the same page before diving into the amazing information of natural and holistic SSRI options.


The first page we need to get clear on is that depression is a very heterogeneous disorder, meaning, there are many different expressions of depression that come from a wide array of causal factors and present themselves differently from person to person. There is no single treatment approach that works for everyone with depression. Basically, we do not know what causes depression. More and more we are moving away from the idea that it is due to serotonin and may be more likely due to how much stress we choose to subject our Self to on a daily basis in conjunction with sleep quality.


The second page we need to clear up is a study published very recently (this week!) in the journal Molecular Psychiatry concluded that there’s “no clear evidence” that serotonin levels or serotonin activity is responsible for depression. Researchers from University College London conducted an umbrella review of past meta-studies and systematic analyses of depression’s relationship to serotonin. For years, a chemical imbalance of serotonin has been widely viewed as the culprit for depression, resulting in the widespread use of antidepressants like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which boosts serotonin in the brain. This recent review study is pushing back against long-held views in medicine that depression is caused by a serotonin imbalance in the brain.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in governing mood, sleep, digestion and other body functions.

Researchers are now saying these new findings call into question the basis for the use of antidepressants. A thoughtful approach to hopefully greater discoveries that will be helpful.

Separate research involved examining gene variation, including gene variation of the serotonin transporter, which is a protein targeted by antidepressants, and found no difference in the genes between people with depression and healthy controls. Other studies examined in the review found the more stressful life events a person experienced, the more likely they were to be depressed.

Major depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the U.S., impacting more than 8 percent of Americans.


As someone who has been personally experimenting with altering her own serotonin levels for the past 4 months, I can absolutely say it is absolutely helping reduce the symptoms of depression that I experience. Altering my serotonin levels has also resulted in immense insomnia, which we learned is the case in a previous supplementation episode touching base on tryptophan. Furthermore, because I live with Bipolar 2, increasing my serotonin levels created issues with inducing more manic states.

I have absolutely found things that have worked. My findings are quite aligned with amazing research studies, too.


The third page we are all meeting on is about cortisol, the main stress hormone in the body. When you’re under stress, your body releases cortisol from the adrenal glands which sit on top of your kidneys. Cortisol fuels the body under stress by releasing glucose or sugar into the bloodstream.

Today, the problem is not bears chasing us or deadly things in the night. Today, we are stressed trying to survive against the constant deadlines, emails and to-do’s resulting in high cortisol around the clock. Cortisol is normally highest between 6:00 AM and 8:00 AM, which is why you wake up in the morning. However, constant stress can disrupt this normal cycle causing you to awaken in the middle of the night instead.


I got my levels tested through an at-home test kit 2 years ago. During this time the pandemic was in full swing and I was living in a constant state of uncertainty. My mental health was very poor. I found that my cortisol levels displayed the way they would for those that are depressed. This means that instead of cortisol peaking in the morning to wake us up, mine was peaking at night around 9pm which resulted in inability to sleep and very intense anxiety. How did I fix this over the past two years?

I had to start making an immense amount of different choices every day and into every night. I had to say No to smoking marijuana in the morning and drinking alcohol at night. I certainly needed to supplement adequately, which you will learn throughout this episode. By reclaiming the choices I made I in turn upgraded and revised my habits to serve my needs and therefore regulated my nervous system. The more I stick to my healthy routine that I created the better outcomes I get every single day. I feel very normal most days, and I can;t believe I am saying that because it took 33 years to get here and it’s hard seeing the baby steps of progress along the long way.


The fourth page is about taking SSRIs and what happens when we stop. Tapering off an SSRI or even missing a few doses can cause withdrawal symptoms, including agitation, anxiety, mental confusion, nausea, insomnia, dizziness, and brain zaps. The addictiveness of antidepressants has largely been downplayed from what data is showing. A team of researchers found that SSRIs are as hard to quit as highly addictive benzodiazepines.


Okay we are almost done dancing together on pages. Our fifth page to get clear on is what are adaptogens? The oxford dictionary defines adaptogens as a natural substance considered to help the body adapt to stress and to exert a normalizing effect upon bodily processes. Some well-known examples are Ginseng, Ashwagandha, and Holy Basil/Tulsi. Ashwagandha we discussed in the previous supplement episode and the 2 others we get into today. Adaptogens increase the state of nonspecific resistance in stress and decrease sensitivity to stressors, which results in stress protection, and prolong the phase of resistance (stimulatory effect).


Alright, our last page we are meeting up and getting cozy together with is about neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters relay messages between the billions of neurons or nerve cells in your brain. Neurotransmitters affect many aspects of your life, ranging from moods, productivity, stress management, memory and learning ability, sleep, food cravings, addictions, etc.

While all neurotransmitters are essential, the “big four” are:

  • Dopamine – impacts energy, drive, focus and motivation

  • Serotonin – affects mood, sleep, and immune function.

  • Acetylcholine – influences memory and attention span.

  • GABA – promotes calmness and contentment, optimal sleep and digestion

Really anxious and wired - more serotonin.

Pretty passive, low motivation - more dopamine.

Always examine your behaviors first. After we have deep dived into the daily choices we make, then we should consider including supplements into our lifestyle.


ADAPTOGENIC SUPPLEMENTS FOR NEUROBIOLOGY



INOSITOL


Inositol is one of the most versatile nutrients for promoting brain wellness, a positive and relaxed outlook, and restful sleep. It also is one of the most crucial nutrients for promoting female hormonal health through its role in supporting optimal liver function. Unfortunately, modern living with high-stress levels, inadequate sleep, and poor nutrition can rapidly imbalance your neurotransmitters. The great thing about inositol is that it works as an adaptogen – this means it promotes only what your body needs on an individual basis. To be physically and mentally healthy, we need a balance of neurotransmitters and inositol can help with that.

Inositol supports overall relaxation and helps maintain the proper metabolism of serotonin. It is used for nutritional support of brain wellness and female hormonal health through its role in healthy liver function. It may also aid in attaining a restful night’s sleep.

The most common forms are myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol.

  • Myo-inositol is the form of inositol found in the central nervous system. It plays an important role in cell membrane formation and serves as part of a crucial messenger system, supporting serotonin, norepinephrine and cholinergic receptor function. As a result, inositol may support healthy mood, emotional wellness and behavior, and help lessen occasional nervous tension. Research also suggests that myo-inositol may help to support healthy ovulatory activity, ovarian function, and reproductive system function. I take myo-inositol before bed at 1 - 2 gram dosage.


  • D-chiro-inositol is a member of a family of related substances often referred to collectively as "inositol". Studies show D-chiro-inositol is involved in proper insulin and glucose metabolism and may have a role in maintaining normal lipid profiles, cardiovascular function, and ovarian function. It may also help regulate inflammatory stress and modulate serotonin activity.

Inositol helps promote quality sleep and I have mentioned this almost weekly in previous episodes. After all, sleep is the foundation to our life and how we function. When we sleep poorly, we function poorly.

GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter, slows down brain activity and puts our body in a calmer and more relaxed state. Low GABA activity in our body is linked to insomnia and disrupted sleep. Serotonin is another brain chemical that affects how we sleep. If serotonin is low, it can disrupt sleep.

So if we are low in GABA and serotonin and struggle with sleep, inositol can help bring our levels back up. Alternatively, if you struggle to get out of bed in the morning due to low dopamine levels, inositol can help bring this up instead.

Inositol helps diminish the mood swings, depression, and anxiety of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and the more severe premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Taking inositol supplements can also positively improve polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) symptoms like menstrual irregularities, infertility, weight gain, high blood sugar, and unhealthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Several studies found that daily doses of inositol reduced blood triglyceride levels, improved insulin function, lowered blood pressure, and promoted ovulation in women with polycystic PCOS. Inositol supports ovarian function so well that some nutritional supplements specifically designed to encourage fertility contain inositol.

Several mental health disorders such as anxiety, panic attacks, OCD, and depression are linked to lower levels of inositol in the brain. Inositol affects neurotransmitters, so low inositol levels may contribute to decreased serotonin activity in your brain and impact behavior and mood. Research on inositol supplementation showed improved symptoms associated with conditions affecting serotonin and the brain. In some cases, inositol was more effective than the most commonly prescribed medications. For example, one study found that people taking inositol had fewer panic attacks per week compared to those taking SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) anxiety medication.

Like anxiety, inositol has benefits for depression and this is because inositol levels are lower than average in people with depression.

Inositol increases serotonin and creates SSRI effects, similar to antidepressant drugs like Prozac. In one study of 28 people with depression (a very small study), high doses of inositol (12 g/day) improved mood and all symptoms after four weeks. 12 grams per day is a very high dosage, to note. These studies suggest that inositol can be as effective, if not more, when compared to SSRI antidepressant drugs for different conditions. It is clear that dosage is still being explored.



KANNA - Mucuna pruriens


This magical bean is basically called the serotonin and dopamine bean. There is actually serotonin on the surface that causes irritation to the skin. Inside the bean is L-DOPA and data shows about 5% on average per bean is present. This is great news. Lets break down the effects and benefits of L-DOPA or fully known as Levodopa.

L-DOPA is known to notably degrade the effects of parkinson disease. It also is known for its reduction in prolactin, increases in feelings of wellbeing, reduction in mind irritation and reduction in pain from sciatica.

L-DOPA is in a class of medications called central nervous system agents. It works by being converted to dopamine in the brain.

L-DOPA has been reported to relieve depressive symptoms in new onset of Parkinson Disease, improving symptoms in 90.3% of patients (N=31) and resulting in a mean Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD) decrease of 11.7 points in one study. By enhancing availability of dopamine, L-DOPA improved processing and gait speed in depressed older adults. Even when treatment with antidepressant medication successfully reduces depressive symptoms, it often does not improve slowed processing speed or restore cognitive functioning to normal levels of performance. No studies have investigated the effects of antidepressant treatment on depressed older adults with gait slowing and if you ask me it seems like we are long overdue to include gait detail in research alongside depression.



PREGNENOLONE


Research has shown pregnenolone to be beneficial for mood support and balance.

Specifically, pregnenolone is reported to have a positive effect on:-

  • Neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity

  • Has many other functions associated with mood regulation

  • Neuroprotection from free radicals

  • Balancing the stress response

  • Improving cognitive performance.


In a study of 15 adults with mood imbalance, blood levels of pregnenolone were lower among those with low mood, compared to controls. Among 70 adults with mood imbalance who received either pregnenolone or placebo, the pregnenolone group trended toward greater improvement in mood, relative to the placebo group on rating scales. Additionally, an eight-week, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study that compared 30 mg/day or 200 mg/day pregnenolone, 400 mg/day of DHEA, and placebo found those given the 30 mg pregnenolone had significant reductions in positive symptom scores along with an improvement in attention and working memory performance. Further improvements were not found among groups given higher amounts of pregnenolone.


DHEA will be discussed in an upcoming From Struggle to Success episode.


Pregnenolone plays a key role in hormonal balance as a key precursor to cortisol, (DHEA) and progesterone, and helps to maintain balance in the body’s stress response system. In addition, pregnenolone has been shown to support a balanced mood and promote cognitive health by modulating the transmission of messages between neurons, influencing learning and memory processes. Since there is strong evidence that pregnenolone levels diminish with advancing age, restoring these levels may also help support overall brain function and sense of well-being.


Pregnenolone supplementation is particularly important for those who have been found to have deficient hormone levels through testing, as well as those who need cortisol-to-DHEA ratio support.

Pregnenolone levels naturally peak during youth and begin a long, slow decline with age. I have taken pregnenolone for years to assist with my reduced progesterone levels. Progesterone is pivotal for energy levels, sex drive, mood, and ability to focus. Progesterone and estrogen are 2 hormones all humans should be aware of. If you don't know your hormone levels I strongly urge you to empower your Self with that life changing information and at least do a simple yet all-encompassing at-home test. You get at least 15% off all test kits via the link in the description below for Everlywell. Why do I bring up pregnenolone? 2 reasons: The first reason is that pregnenolone balances the stress response system which can directly reduce symptoms of depression. The second reason is that pregnenolone is that it assists and balances our hormones. If our hormones are out of whack then we will very likely feel and live a life out of whack, which further dysregulates our nervous system.


FISH OIL


Because depression appears less common in nations where people eat large amounts of fish, scientists have investigated whether fish oils may prevent and/or treat depression and other mood disorders. Depression has been linked to suboptimal levels of omega-3 essential fatty acids.

The best dietary sources of omega-3 fats are cold-water, fatty fish like salmon and sardines, but not likely not potent enough to offer the dosage we need to thrive. It is best to supplement Omega 3.

Deficiency of one particular omega-3, (DHA), is linked to depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.

Another omega-3, (EPA), has also been found to reduce depression.

If fish is not a regular part of your diet, consider taking a fish oil supplement that contains both DHA and EPA. Triglyceride is the quality form and I recommend taking this. The ethylated form is not as good.

In 1 study subjects were injected with lipopolysaccharides to induce depression. They were then given the EPA and depression did not rise. This directly shows that the presence of EPA reduces or squashes the ability to go into a depressed state.

Your best dosage for Omega-3 is 2 grams combining both DHA + EPA.

A current meta-analysis provides evidence that EPA may be more efficacious than DHA in treating depression. A 2017 meta-analysis found that combinations of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (EPA and GLA) helped to improve symptoms of inattention in children with ADHD.

These fatty acids are also vital for the maintenance of normal brain function throughout life. They are abundant in the cell membranes of brain cells, preserving cell membrane health and facilitating communication between brain cells. When animals are fed diets without omega-3 fatty acids, the amount of DHA in their brains decreases, and they tend to experience deficits in learning and memory. In older adults, lower levels of DHA in the blood have been associated with smaller brain size, a sign of accelerated brain aging. Additionally, people tended to see greater effects when the fish oil supplement contained higher doses of EPA


Having a low omega 3 index is comparable to humans that smoke cigarettes; overall state of health and life longevity is decreased and on par with cigarette smokers.

Omega 3 blunts and resolves all sorts of serious inflammation. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory that majorly modulates how we think, feel, age.

A big question is Krill Oil vs Fish Oil. Krill supplements are usually too low to get 2g of Omega 3 and notoriously rancid. Also, fish oil always stays stored in the fridge.

A bit more on Omega 3 because it is that important to all humans. Omega-3 fatty acids play a very important role during brain development, partly through their regulation of the serotonin system. Reduced intake of EPA and DHA during neurodevelopment results in decreased serotonin synthesis, storage, release, and receptor function. Meaning, if we do not receive sufficient amounts of omega 3 while growing up it could have affected us internally.

It is predicted that supplementing with vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and other key micronutrients to reach sufficiently high serum levels will boost serotonin production and function in the brain, thereby improving cognitive function and limiting impulsive behavior. Omega 3 supplements can give antidepressants a boost, particularly in those people who don't respond well to the medication, a new study has found. The international evidence review reveals fish oils, and Vitamin D, can increase the effectiveness of antidepressants used to treat clinical depression. So, take Omega 3 with your SSRi if you are prescribed one.

The most effective Omega 3 preparations appear to have at least 60% EPA relative to DHA. While DHA is thought to be less effective as an antidepressant, it may have protective effects against suicide. It is important to be more cautious in patients with bipolar depression, because the omega-3s may bring on mania, as can most antidepressants. In these individuals, I recommend using omega-3 cautiously, and preferably in combination with a prescription mood stabilizer.



TRYPTOPHAN


Tryptophan is an amino acid I was weary to talk about in the previous supplements episode because you have to be very careful with it. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that’s a precursor to both serotonin and melatonin, your body’s natural sleep hormone. It’s an amino acid we get from our food. Tryptophan converts to serotonin in the brain, not in the gut, just to be clear. It also increases dopamine, endorphins, and norepinephrine, three brain chemicals vital to positive mood.

Several clinical studies have shown that it works as well for depression as prescription antidepressants. A wide variety of disorders have been correlated with low levels of tryptophan.

Besides depression, tryptophan has therapeutic value for anxiety, insomnia, migraine headaches, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).


There’s a strange paradox when it comes to getting tryptophan from food.

Tryptophan is found in animal protein foods like meat and eggs, but the presence of protein blocks the synthesis of serotonin from tryptophan. For this reason, tryptophan supplements work better to increase the body’s level of tryptophan than the tryptophan found in protein based food. Produce foods that contain high levels of tryptophan are tart cherry, kiwi, pineapple, plantains, bananas, plums, and tomatoes. I talked extensively about Kiwi and Tart Cherry in the Food & Supplement episode. An upcoming Happy Foods episode will cover all the rest and then some.

A word of caution: Do not take supplemental tryptophan along with an SSRI. When taken together, they can cause a potentially serious condition known as serotonin syndrome.

Acute tryptophan depletion is associated with increased pain sensitivity, acoustic startle, motor activity, and aggression in humans. Tryptophan deficiency increases anxiety and irritability in humans and may modulate aggressiveness and the response to stress in animals.

Supplementing tryptophan may result in insomnia, which I absolutely experience and therefore cannot directly supplement tryptophan without negative effects. I also do not think it is safe to intake tryptophan as our body creates serotonin on its own and I am keen to not directly impact natural processes. If I need tryptophan AKA more serotonin then I eat pineapple, kiwi, and supplement tart cherries as well as kanna.


EGCG (IN GREEN TEA)


Drinking green tea daily can significantly reduce the risk of depression.

EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), one of the main active compounds found in green tea, is thought to be largely responsible for tea’s antidepressant properties.

A single cup (200 ml) of green or white tea contains 25–200 mg of EGCG. EGCG supplements are considered safe for most people when taken at commonly used doses (300–400 mg/day), but high doses (800–1600 mg of EGCG per day) may negatively affect liver function.

EGCG increases resilience to stress and is as effective for anxiety as anti-anxiety drugs.

One way it works is by normalizing the activity of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), a primary relaxing brain chemical often referred to as “nature’s Valium.”

Another way that EGCG works is by altering brainwave patterns, putting you in a “relaxed yet attentive” state similar to meditation.


Initial research was focused on green tea but they later found that the GABA levels increased not only in green tea but also in black tea and oolong tea.

EGCG may reduce caffeine-induced increases in blood pressure and heart rate and may decrease the levels of catecholamines in the blood. Therefore, EGCG counteracts caffeine-induced cardiovascular activity. The stimulant effects of caffeine should be reduced by the amount of EGCG in green tea. Knowing that the stimulating effects of caffeine are actually reduced by the presence of EGCG make me feel hopeful because my anxiety doesn't permit me to comfortably consume caffeine. If you’d like to dive into the neuroscience of caffeine check out episode number 2.

It is best to get EGCG from green tea rather than from a supplement since EGCG supplements are prone to degradation and are very poorly utilized by the body.

Additionally, you’ll miss out on the synergy between EGCG and two other substances in green tea — caffeine and l-theanine, another relaxing compound.

These three potent substances work together to improve memory, attention, and learning.

Drink green tea if your depression is accompanied by stress, anxiety, or problems with focus and concentration.

L-Theanine is an amino acid naturally found in the Camellia Sinensis (tea) plant, and it is what gives Matcha its slightly sweet notes. Compared to all other teas, green tea is known to have the greatest amounts of L-Theanine, and within the green tea category, Matcha is known to have the highest concentrations. I love L-theanine and take it every evening. I recommend it weekly on social media for cognitive stress reduction. Magnesium is its stress reducing homie for our body. Learn loads on L-theanine in the previous supplement episode number 5.



ACETYL-L-CARNITINE


I can't get enough of this stuff, and started taking carnitine years ago for my movement practice and training.

Acetyl-l-carnitine (ALC or ALCAR) is an amino acid with well-documented brain-boosting properties.

ALC works largely by creating acetylcholine, the primary neurotransmitter associated with memory and learning. Acetylcholine is major, okay? I won’t get into the science of it today; you can choose to trust me on this or research on your own. Acetylcholine activity is the target of Alzheimer’s drugs, for example.

I am going to refer to Acetyl-L-carnitine as either ACL or carnitine moving forward. Just know that when I mention these they are always referencing acetyl-L-carnitine.

ALC has fast-acting antidepressant properties. Carnitine kicks in often within a week, working faster than prescription antidepressants. This effect is even noticed in seniors who are typically slow to respond. L-carnitine has an essential role in the transfer of activated long chain fatty acids into the mitochondria in a series of reactions called the “carnitine shuttle”, so that they can undergo β-oxidation. I just have to say it, the carnitine shuttle sounds adorable. Imagine if they changed it to the carnitine shuffle. The carnitine shuttle is essential to prevent accumulation of long chain fatty acids and long chain acyl-CoAs which can be deleterious to cells

Just to be clear, ALC is the acetyl derivative of L-carnitine. ALC has been shown to have greater absorption in the small intestine than L-carnitine.

ALC has also been shown to significantly increase dopamine levels in parts of the brain, including the hippocampus, striatum, and cortex.

A 7-day administration of ALCAR in rats increased dopamine and serotonin output in the nucleus accumbens shell


Emerging findings suggest that supplementation with iron and acetyl-L-carnitine may reduce symptoms of distractibility and inattention in some cases of ADHD. I 100% agree. I have to supplement iron thanks to my anemia and I take it alongside my daily dose of acetyl-L-carnitine. Large prospective placebo-controlled studies are needed before zinc, iron, or acetyl-L-carnitine can be generally recommended for the treatment of ADHD, but this is an exciting launchpad in my opinion. I also serve as a direct example that combining with iron calms me the F* down which helps me focus rather than bounce from thought to thought.


Endogenous (we make it our Self inside of us) L-carnitine and its derivative acetyl-L-carnitine play antidepressant roles by improving brain energy metabolism, regulating neurotransmitters and neural plasticity. Research has found that the levels of ALC in people and rodents with depression are significantly reduced. Chronic acetyl-L-carnitine alters brain energy metabolism and increases noradrenaline and serotonin content in healthy mice. Clinical studies have shown that L-carnitine supplementation can improve the depression state of male uremic patients and cancer patients.

In contrast, ALCAR increases much less dopamine release; although it is faster than conventional selective serotonin and/or norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor and tricyclic antidepressants, ALCAR is a less potent and slower antidepressant than Ketamine and is devoid of abuse risk. I interviewed a psilocybin business owner that offers microdosing to her clients. This is the next episode for From Struggle to Success. She shared a terrifying story of a depressed client that became addicted to his clinically prescribed ketamine nose spray. Microdosing psilocybin not only got rid of his depression but also his newly formed addiction to ketamine.



KAVA


Kava (Piper methysticum) is a traditional relaxing tea used in South Pacific cultures.

Its extract has been standardized and used as a natural remedy, mainly for anxiety.

It’s as effective for anxiety as prescription anti-anxiety medications, but it’s also been found to be an effective alternative to antidepressant drugs. It also helps humans kick the alcohol dependency. I talked about kava in length in the previous supplement episode. As promised, I am going to get into life-changing kratom, but please be mindful that you can become addicted to kratom.



KRATOM


Kratom is a wild one.

In a low dose, kratom acts like a stimulant, similar to medications commonly used to treat ADHD. At higher doses, it's like an opioid. The most common uses of it are to relieve pain, depression, and opioid addiction.


Almost everyone I know has puked the first time they consume kratom. This being said, it is usually a far more potent beverage than I ever consume as well as it is mixed with kava. Furthermore, most people drink it fast. How I safely consume kratom is by scooping no more than ½ teaspoon into half a cup of water and then top with oj. I also like to mix in D3 and dicalcium phosphate. L-theanine and inositol mix well with kratom, too. I drink this from 9am to no later than 1 pm. It’s a very slow consumption and the effects last all day. Keep in mind kratom can increase acid in the gut especially when paired with citrus juice.


The difference between kava and kratom is that kava is made from the roots of a plant, whereas kratom is made from the leaves of a different plant in Asia. There are different veins of kratom that are served. The white and yellow veins typically give people energy, whereas the red veins calm consumers down. I consume yellow borneo or green meandga during the day. I have a red blend, and though it does offer euphoria and a relaxed body, it still can feel stimulating on the mind and heart.


Some science on kratom that might sound confusing thanks to some big words, but offer insight into its awesome abilities. Its major bioactive alkaloid is mitragynine. Mitragynine exerts its analgesic properties by acting on the opioid receptors. One of its active metabolites, 7-hydroxymitragynine, is found to be 40 times more potent than mitragynine and 10 times more potent than morphine. Interestingly, current research suggests that mitragynine behaves as an atypical opioid agonist, possessing analgesic activity with less severe side effects than those of typical opioids. I can absolutely attest that kratom feels like an opiate as well as feels like caffeine but without the jitters. My heart feels OPEN and my mind feels ALERT when I consume kratom.

There's a lot of science on kratom that I think we could get lost in. There's also more words that likely cannot be pronounced. In summation, it is a plant to be very careful with and to not exceed a dosage of 1 tablespoon per day if consuming loose powder.

Long-term administration of kratom causes insomnia, anorexia, weight loss, dry mouth, polyuria, psychosis and the development of tolerance and dependence. I make sure to not consume kratom at least once per week. On my non-kratom day I have to supplement L-theanine more than usual.



GINSENG


Ginseng has been used as an adaptogen to treat illness, both as a tonic and as a rejuvenator. In modern societies, we rarely depend on herbal remedies as the only treatment for critical and potentially fatal diseases. However, our lives involve excessive amounts of brain activity and modern life involves constant exposure to stress. When under certain kinds of stress, the human body secretes hormones and inflammatory cytokines, and chronic stress can promote the development of anxiety, depression, and in severe cases even panic disorders. Therefore, adaptogens are often used to cope with day-to-day and/or workplace stress. Ginseng shows superior regulation of stress, as compared with that shown by other adaptogens. This efficacy as an antistress agent has been demonstrated using various behavioral conditioned stress tests, such as swimming and immobilization tests. In vivo studies have also shown that ginseng has excellent anti stress effects, as compared to appropriate controls

Ginseng is effective in memory improvement, and in the direct prevention of degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. The neuroprotective effect of ginseng may be useful in the prevention of depression. Indirectly, ginseng's ability to enhance memory can ameliorate anxiety. Are you noticing a trend here with memory enhancement and anxiety reduction?


The mechanism by which ginseng prevents disease via regulation of the endocrine and immune systems. Ginseng regulates the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis. Ginseng thus prevents various diseases by ameliorating tissue injury and immune cell death, while modulating immune cells in order to limit inflammatory responses. The HPA axis is the major pathway regulating the immune response to stress. HPA is important to all of us, and if you live with PTSD, depression, or anxiety ginseng is certainly one to consider.

When a person faces a stressful environment, ginseng can improve their response by regulating the function of the HPA axis. Ginseng also has applications beyond everyday use in healthy people. It provides a potential treatment agent for patients with HPA axis disorders associated with hypersecretion of cortisol, including depression, asthma, hypertension, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Identification of the mechanisms underlying these effects of ginseng could have the potential to provide approaches to the prevention of various diseases. Therefore, further research is needed to investigate how ginseng modulates hormone secretion.

The takeaway here is that ginseng effectively suppresses stress, which is a major cause of depression. Additionally, the more stressed we are, the poorer we sleep. Poor sleep is one of the greatest causes of depression, and continued poor sleep will exacerbate depression. I talk about sleep a lot because it is literally our life line and anchor for mental health wellbeing.



HOLY BASIL


Holy Basil is a powerful nootropic supplement. It should help improve memory by boosting acetylcholine in your brain. And may help protect against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia. You can safely take up to 3,000 mg of Holy Basil daily if needed.

Research suggests that tulsi helps maintain catecholamines like epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine. Serotonin levels may improve too.

Holy Basil is a culinary and medicinal aromatic herb that has been used within Ayurvedic medicine for more than 3000 years. In Ayurvedic medicine holy basil is called “tulsi,” which translates as “the incomparable one.” It is one of a small number of herbs categorized as Rasayana, the category applied to elixirs and tonic herbs prized for rejuvenation and revitalization. It was believed to guard the body from stress of all types while keeping the mind sharp and the body healthy. In modern times, holy basil is categorized as an adaptogen, supporting a healthy stress response.

Supports memory and learning, working memory, executive function, attention, sleep, serotonin signaling, dopamine signaling, adrenergic signaling, acetylcholine signaling, brain antioxidant defenses, and neuroprotective functions.

A 2009 study in India demonstrated a 39 percent reduction of symptoms of stress (insomnia, heart palpitations, headaches, fatigue, irritability, sexual dysfunction, gastrointestinal distress, and more) over a six-week period with participants taking 1,200 milligrams per day of holy basil.

Studies show that holy basil has antimicrobial, adaptogenic, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, radioprotective, immunomodulatory, neuroprotective, and cardioprotective actions, among many other benefits.


I really wanted to have the time to talk about Lemon Balm, my nighttime go to herb. But, I also really felt the need to discuss schisandra. So, I am going to mention Lemon Balm in detail in the upcoming Happy Foods episode (not sure if that will truly be the name, but you get the gist) and then we are going to get into the amazing antidepressant properties of schisandra.



SCHISANDRA


Schisandra has been known to be taken for depression. A recent animal study found that Schisandra extract had an antidepressant effect on mice. Additional mouse studies, run by the same lead researcher, solidified this finding. However, Schisandra and its potential effect on depression hasn't been extensively studied in humans. If you are a human that takes schisandra for depression please share your findings in the youtube comment section or in the website forum.

It is suggested that Schisandra extract could improve the depression-like emotional status and associated cognitive deficits in CUMS (chronic unpredictable mild stress ) in mice, which might be mediated by regulation of brain derived neurotrophic factor levels in hippocampus, as well as up-regulating the signaling pathway that mediates a variety of neuronal events and plays an important role in maintaining normal brain function. It also up regulates the pathway that has been shown to play a pivotal role in neuroprotection.


Important Info


It is recommended that if you're taking a prescribed SSRI to take it along with omega 3 and/or D3. Definitely do not take tryptophan alongside SSRIs.

What I discussed here today is unfortunately not widely known by primary and family doctors. The effects of supplements on a neurobiological level is growing in research, but is not commonly taught information. In America, doctors are taught to push agendas and prescriptions as to get financial pay backs. If you ask me, a lot of doctors have become sales people even if they initially intended on helping people through the practice of medicine. Alas, money makes people do selfish things though they show up acting and looking like they are helping the community. Take every single thing in life with a hefty grain of salt, implement due diligence, and always stay up to date and informed on your own.


Furthermore, if we want to feel better and live better than we need to do better at saying no to alcohol as any sort of remedy in our life. It is also crucial to eliminate intake of caffeine, especially if living with anxiety.


It is always up to us! We always have control, even if it seems we have lost it. It never slips away from our grasp.


All the best today Beeb!


YOU GOT THIS


Breezi


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