Search Term: " ranquilizer "
Bitter Orange Extract
November 22, 2012 10:46 AM
Indigenous to the Meditteranean region today, but brought to their shores by Arab tradesmen in 1200 , bitter orange or citrus aurantium was highly popular among herbalists all over the southern parts of Europe is mainly France, Greece, Spain and Italy. A botanical species commonly termed as seville orange and bigarade orange, this bitter citrus fruit is known for its oil extract, flavoring and use in the perfume industry.
However , the ancient Chinese used it for treating dyspepsia , abdominal distention and diarrhea. These uses also drew from its roots in ancient Greek experiments in aromatherapy, phyto-therapy and cosmetology. Its arrival in America can be credited to the Spaniards and the Portuguese who for very long had been using the fruit for its medical component. Bitter orange trees grew in abundance in the states of Florida, Louisiana and California way back in the middle of the nineteenth century.There have been numerous pharmacological indicators in the study of C aurantium actions and it has been termed as an anti spasmodic, anti fungal , anti bacterial, anti-inflammatory, sedative, tranquilizer and also a vascular stimulant.
Recent studies about its effect on cancer cells is underway. A Closer Look At Its Health Benefits Bitter orange peel, flower and seed are known to have varying effects on the human body and its studies date back centuries. Quite simply it has the ability to squeeze blood vessels, affect the heart rate and also change the level of metabolism. A closer look at its components would help focus on their particular impact on health.
It results in faster metabolism, increase in heart rate by affecting the adrenaline system, and in turn aid in weight loss. What needs to be seen is whether this metabolism booster is in any way a retardant with any other medication that you may be taking.
Many have reverted to bitter orange extracts to tackle their weight problem after the ban on ephedra by the US drug administration . what is needed is prudence as most consider bitter orange as a health supplement forgetting its rather potent effect on the body .
How Does GABA Help Brain Function?
May 16, 2012 08:43 AM
Gamma Amino Butyric Acid, GABA, is a neurotransmitter found in central nervous system. It has an inhibitory action on nerve transmission and helps in regulating brain activity and function.
Healthy functioning of brain is important to achieve optimal health. In today's fast paced lifestyle, work related stress and anxiety have taken a toll on man's health. Mental stress and anxiety can cause havoc on the internal systems of the body. According to American Psychological Association, stress can affect the physical as well as mental health of a person. It impairs the brain's ability to block certain toxins and can lead to certain aging conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Stress can affect brain's normal functioning and affect intellectual abilities and memory. GABA helps in calming the stress and thereby enhancing the functioning capacity of the brain. Let us understand how does GABA help in brain function?
Role of GABA in cerebral cortex:
The nervous system comprises of neurons, brain, spinal cord and neurotransmitters. The role of neurotransmitters is to transmit nerve signals from one neuron to another or from neuron to muscle or gland cell. The most abundant neurotransmitters in cerebral cortex, Glutamate and GABA, have opposite action on the neuron cells.
Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter, which results in neuron fires and sends an electrical impulse down its length. On the other hand, GABA, made from glutamate, has inhibitory action on the nerve cells and does not allow the electrical impulse to pass through the neuron. In case of deficiency of GABA, nerve cells will fire too often and too easily, resulting in wide number of anxiety disorders such as panic attacks, seizure disorders, headaches and other cognitive impairment disorders. Hence, GABA helps in stopping the transmission of nerve impulses from one neuron to another and thereby regulating brain activity. It has a calming effect on the brain.
Once the activity in the brain is regulated and cognitive abilities are restored by GABA, the person can think better and perform better. This natural tranquilizer allows your brain to function more efficiently. Studies have related many higher brain functions such as visual recognition and language comprehension with declining levels of GABA with advancing age. This results in easy firing of neurons by stimulus, slowing down processing of information in brain.
Health benefits of GABA:
According to studies, GABA plays an important role in healthy functioning of mind and body. It helps in:
1. Treating conditions like depression, anxiety, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and epilepsy. The result is due to the calming effect of GABA on brain activity. It helps in clear thinking and better reasoning.
2. Preventing age related conditions such as cardiovascular disorder, diabetes and cancer.
3. Inducing a sense of relaxation by providing tranquilizing effect. GABA increases dopamine hormone in the body and gives a sense of euphoria. You remain happy and of course this has a positive effect on sexual system.
4. Relieving pain.
5. Promoting body building and losing extra fat.
GABA can be purchased as a supplement in the form of pill, capsule or powder form. It is a natural alternative for relieving stress and improving brain function.
How Does Lithium Help with Memory and Mental Disorders?
July 04, 2011 08:42 AM
Lithium And The Brain
Lithium is a chemical element whose ions have been observed to display pharmacological effects. It is best known as a treatment for mania and remains to this day an approved drug for mood disorders in several countries, including the US. It has been associated with countless scientific studies since the latter half of the 19th century. It is one of the most extensively studied of all drugs that alter mood.
Depression is an ancient disease of the mind that was referred to as melancholia in the ancient world. It has been noted in religious writings over the centuries. High energy levels and mental hyperactivity characteristic of bipolar disorder were once associated with supernatural causes. Religious beliefs have historically considered mental disorders as the work of the devil, and melancholia is not an exception.
Melancholia and mania were two separate mental conditions. The former was always tied to evil forces whereas the latter were thought to be triggered by other supernatural causes. Early Greek and Roman physicians noted that active behavior deemed to be pathological could be cured by drinking spring waters. Research have studied and reported that these spring waters actually contained lithium salts.
Manic depression was first posited in the 1950s to be a mental illness distinct from both melancholia and mania. It was in France when two psychiatrists independently observed the type of insanity that oscillates from between bouts of depression and mania. It was later categorized as a specific type of psychosis in that the condition was acute, and thus the patient functions normally after recovery.
Lithium was introduced as a treatment for manic depressive disorder in the form of lithium carbonate in the first half of the 20th century. Its use was discovered when lithium urate produced tranquilizing effects on animal subjects. Lithium salts were used as tranquilizers shortly after. Human experiments have proven to be effective in controlling patients chronically suffering from bouts of manic disorders.
Bipolar disorder is now the widely used term in psychiatry, though manic depression is still preferred by many medical professionals. It was first used in the 1950s to describe oscillations between two polar behaviors: mania and depression. It is a subtype of depression, the other one being major depression or unipolar depression. Lithium remains a drug for mania amid its changing descriptions.
Medicinal concentrations of lithium are generally considered safe in that they produce no apparent psychoactive effects. Instead, they work as a therapeutic treatment. It has been widely established that lithium possesses properties that stabilize mood, though its mechanism of action is still a matter of controversy. It is believed that lithium rebalances brain chemicals and alters gene expression.
Lithium appears to have an impact on several neurotransmitters present in the central nervous system, such as glutamate and serotonin Inasmuch as these neurotransmitters are noted for their role in mood and memory, some sources have ascribed nootropic effects to regular intake of lithium supplements.
Lithium is a wonderful supplement available over the counter. Try some Lithium today and feel the difference!
Passion Flower Herb
December 23, 2009 03:36 PM
The passion flower comes from a genus of about five hundred species of flowering plants. These herbs are mostly vines, although some are shrubs. A few of these plants are herbaceous.
Passion flower has been found to be extremely soothing on the nervous system. It is used for conditions such as insomnia, hysteria, anxiety, and hyperactivity. Additionally, it is useful for eye conditions such as inflammation, dimness of vision, and eye irritations. Native Americans use this herb as a tonic and poultice for both bruises and injuries. Passion flower was used by the Aztecs as a sedative and for pain. The juice was also used for sore eyes, while the crushed plant tops and leaves were used for treating hemorrhoids and skin eruptions. Passion flower was listed in the National Formulary from 1916 to 1936. This herb was called the nonpoisonous and not dangerous opium of the natural physician by R. Swinburne Clymer, MD.
This herb is able to depress the central nervous system, helping with insomnia, anxiety, and nervousness. It may also be useful in lowering high blood pressure. Combinations that contain valerian and passion flower are considered to be very useful as a natural tranquilizer. This herb is also thought to be safe for both children and the elderly.
Passion flower contains a variety of complex substances that work on the nervous system and act as a sedative. The components that are responsible for the overall effect are not specifically known. However, maltol, ethyl-maltol, and flavonoids are all thought to contribute. Most research has centered around the sedative action and has found good results. Passion flower extract has also been found to reduce locomotor activity and prolong sleep. Passiflorine is thought to be one of the active ingredients of the plant. It has some similar activity to that of morphine. It contains anti-inflammatory properties that may be helpful in treating those who are suffering from arthritis. An additional benefit of passion flower is its ability to kill a wide variety of organisms. Among these are yeasts, molds, and bacteria. Passion flower works as an antispasmodic on the digestive system smooth muscles and the uterine muscles. This makes it an effective digestive aid for menstrual cramps. This herb contains both calcium and magnesium, which are essential for the nervous system.
In short, the passion flower herb is used to provide anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, nervine, and sedative properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium and magnesium. Primarily, passion flower is extremely beneficial in dealing with alcoholism, anxiety, spasmodic asthma, high blood pressure, eye infection, eye tension, fevers, headaches, insomnia, menopausal symptoms, nervousness, and neuralgia. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating bronchitis, convulsions, depression, diarrhea, dysentery, epilepsy, eyestrain, painful menstruation, muscle spasms, pain, Parkinson’s disease, restlessness, seizures, and poor vision.
In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by passion flower, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Kava Kava Root
September 05, 2009 12:11 PM
Kava is an ancient crop of the western Pacific. The word kava refers to both the plant and the beverage that is produced from its roots. Kava is a tranquilizer that is primarily consumed to relax the body without disrupting mental clarity. The active ingredients found in this herb kavalactones. Kava extract is marketed as an herbal medicine in some parts of the Western world, fighting against stress, insomnia, and anxiety. It has been concluded that this herb is more effective than a placebo at treating short-term social anxiety. Safety concerns have been raised over liver toxicity, but research indicates that this may be largely due to use of stems and leaves in supplements, which were not indigenously used.
Kava is used by many island communities in the Pacific in their ceremonial drinks as a mild sedative and relaxant. Among these include Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia. This herb was used to relax the body and mind and to promote restful sleep. Kava is considered to be an important herb for pain relief. It is also helpful for insomnia and nervous conditions.
This herb is recommended to be used as a strong muscle relaxant. It is considered to be one of the most powerful of all of the herbal muscle relaxants. Kava is used as an analgesic sedative, for rheumatism, for insomnia, and to relax the body.
Studies have determined that kava contains anticonvulsant and muscle-relaxing properties. This may be extremely helpful to those people who have stress-related muscle tension or seizures. Those individuals who drink kava often relate the effects to a sense of tranquility and sociability. The herb helps to achieve a feeling of well-being and relaxation. Kava seems to have an advantage over other drugs that are prescribed for anxiety and insomnia because it does not seem to lose effectiveness over time. A variety of studies have shown that there is a significant benefit for individuals who are suffering from anxiety. This is extremely promising for those individuals who require long-term therapy for anxiety disorders. Kava is not addictive and is free of associated complications. This is different from many of the medications that are routinely prescribed.
Kava also provides benefits as an analgesic for pain relief. The chewed leaves of this herb cause numbness in the mouth. This anesthetic activity is similar to cocaine and it lasts longer than benzocaine.
The root of the kava plant is used to provide alterative, analgesic, anesthetic, antifungal, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, diuretic, and sedative properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium and magnesium. Primarily, kava is extremely beneficial in dealing with insomnia and nervousness.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating anxiety, asthma, bronchitis, fatigue, pain, rheumatism, uterine infections, vaginitis, and venereal diseases. It is important to consult your health care provider before taking this herb so that you do not have any adverse reactions to medication which is associated with this herb. In order to obtain more information on the many beneficial effects provided by kava, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
August 10, 2009 12:52 PM
The Cherokee tribe used scullcap as an emmenagogue. It was also used historically as an anti-convulsant. An Asian scullcap has been used by Chinese physicians as a tranquilizer, sedative, and to treat convulsion. The herb was used in the eighteenth century as a treatment for rabies by some physicians. Later, it was recommended by eclectic physicians for insomnia, nervousness, malaria, and convulsions. The herb was officially listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia from 1863 to 1916. It was also found in the National Formulary from 1916 to 1947.
This herb is responsible for treating a variety of conditions. Among these include pain, anxiety, high blood pressure, and epilepsy. scullcap is well known for its ability to calm the nerves and also to help with all nervous system conditions. Additionally, it has been used to treat infertility, fatigue, inflamed tissues, digestion, coughs, and headaches. Some herbalists consider scullcap to be one of the best nervine herbs that is available. It has been used as a nerve tonic. It also can promote a feeling of well-being and promote relaxed sleep. Some people recommend scullcap for problems that are associated with drug and alcohol withdrawal, as it may lessen the severity of the symptoms. Traditional uses of this herb have included infertility, regulation of sexual desire, and as a remedy for cramps and pain.
Research one in both Europe and Russia has proven the benefits of scullcap as a tranquilizer as well as a mild sedative. The herb is recommended for use in nervous conditions in order to induce sleep and relaxation. Some evidence has shown that Asian scullcap contains component which inhibit the enzyme sialidase. This enzyme is known to increase in certain disease states like cancer, infections, and inflammations. Another study done in vitro found an antibacterial and antifungal activity in scullcap. Some early evidence has also been found of scullcap’s ability to treat high blood pressure. The herb is used and prescribed widely in Europe. Studies using animals in Japan showed that scullcap has the ability to increase the levels of good cholesterol and prevent serum cholesterol levels from rising. This study was done on rabbits, as they were fed a high-cholesterol diet. These findings suggest that scullcap may also act as a heart disease and stroke preventive.
The entire scullcap herb is used to provide alterative, analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, antispasmodic, febrifuge, nervine, and sedative properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamins C and E, and zinc. Primarily, scullcap is extremely beneficial in treating anxiety, high blood pressure, convulsions, epilepsy, infertility, insomnia, nerve problems, and restlessness.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with alcoholism, poisonous bites, childhood diseases, chorea, poor circulation, coughing, delirium, drug withdrawal, fevers, hangover, headaches, hydrophobia, hypertension, hypoglycemia, insanity, neuralgia, pain, palsy, Parkinson’s disease, rabies, rheumatism, rickets, spasms, spinal meningitis, thyroid problems, tremors, and urinary problems. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by scullcap, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
July 20, 2009 11:51 AM
Valerian was used by ancient Greeks for digestion, nausea, and urinary tract disorders. A famous Greek physician, Galen, was known for prescribing valerian to be used as a decongestant. Herbalist John Gerard recommended valerian for chest congestion, convulsions, and bruises in 1597. Additionally, Native Americans traditionally used valerian for healing wounds. It was also accepted as a tranquilizer from 1820 to 1942 and was listed this way until 1950.
One of the most valuable properties of valerian is its ability to produce a deep, satisfying sleep. This herb acts as a relaxant and is an effective remedy for fighting against insomnia. The active ingredients that are found in valerian root are also responsible for relaxing smooth muscle tissue and also depressing the central nervous system. It seems as if there is no single component of valerian that is entirely responsible for all of its sedative activity. Instead, several of the constituents of valerian are responsible for causing the sedative effect when combined together. Like other standard sleep aids that are often prescribed, valerian works in the same way. However, it possesses an advantage in the fact that it does not cause the morning grogginess that is often linked to prescription sleep medications.
There have been many different studies conducted which have all led to the belief that valerian possesses benefits for insomnia, anxiety, and stress. Valerian is also extremely useful for all kinds f sleep disorders, especially when those sleep disorders are related to anxiety, nervousness, headache pain, or even physical and mental exhaustion. Research has proven that valerian is not only effective in treating insomnia, but also in reducing sleep latency and night awakenings.
Valerian has been shown to be great for the heart, lungs, liver, stomach, and the nerves and the brain. It has also shown possibilities in helping with epilepsy, hysteria, migraines, and the elimination of worms. It does all of these things because it works to calm anxiety, muscle spasms, and nervous tension. In addition to the ability to relax and calm, valerian can help to improve mental acuity and coordination. One study even found that those individuals who were hyperactive were able to concentrate for longer periods of time with the assistance of valerian.
Valerian is rich in calcium, which gives it to the ability to strengthen the spine, nerves, and brain. This herb is also high in magnesium and manganese. Both of these minerals work with calcium in order to build healthy bones and nervous system. Valerian is high in selenium, which strengthens the body against immune related disorders. The niacin content that is found in valerian helps to prevent cholesterol build-up, irritability, depression, loss of memory, and weakness. This herb also contains potassium, iron, sodium, zinc, silicon, and vitamins A and C. There appear to be no contraindications to the use of valerian during pregnancy or lactation. Valerian is thought to be safe for almost everyone. Although safe, this herb is usually recommended for short-term use.
Great herbs like valerian are available in capsule, tablet, and liquid extract forms at your local or internet health food store. For more information about valerian and its benefits, contact your local health food retailer. Always purchase name brands to ensure quality and purity of the valerian product you purchase.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Natural herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
June 08, 2009 10:39 AM
For thousands of years, blue vervain has been used as an herbal remedy. The Chinese used this herb to treat malaria, dysentery, and congestion. It was also used during the middle Ages to help cure plagues. Blue vervain was also used by Native Americans as a natural tranquilizer for treating nervous conditions, along with female problems. In Germany, modern research has been found to support the use of blue vervain for the nervous system and for pain relief.
Because of its bitter taste, vervain is used by herbalists to improve digestion. Additionally, this herb was used to treat people with depression and spastic pains in the gastrointestinal tract. Blue vervain was also used as a mild diaphoretic and for all manner of female reproductive system problems that are associated with melancholy or anxiety. Physicians in the United States during the early 20th century believed that vervain may be helpful for mild digestive problems. This herb also had a reputation of being a traditional remedy for stimulating the production of breast milk. Although the active constituents of vervain have not been thoroughly demonstrated, it is believed that glycosides such as verbenalin and acucubin, as well as a volatile oil may be the key contributors to its activity.
Additional research shows that blue vervain has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties that can help to relieve respiratory inflammation. These properties are also calming for coughs. This herb works to fight mucus, especially for coughs that are associated with colds. Dr. Edward E. Shook, a herbalist, recommended using blue vervain to treat all diseases of the spleen and liver. This herb is also used to restore circulation and alleviate menstrual symptoms, epilepsy, indigestion, and dyspepsia.
A vervain tea made from leaves and flowers can be prepared by adding one to two teaspoons to a pint of hot water. This is then left to steep, covered for ten to fifteen minutes. Doctors typically recommend that a person takes three cups each day. Because the taste of the tea is somewhat disagreeable, the majority of people prefer to take this extract in a tincture or pill form. A tincture of one to two teaspoons, three times daily, is also suggested to consume this extract.
No adverse effects of vervain have been reported to this date. However, vervain should be avoided during pregnancy. Even though it was used traditionally during the last two weeks of pregnancy to facilitate labor, if it is used during pregnancy, one should only do so under the guidance of a healthcare professional that is experienced in herbal medicine.
The entire herb is used to provide alterative, anti-inflammatory, antiperiodic, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, expectorant, nervine, and purgative properties. The primary nutrients found in blue vervain include calcium, manganese, and vitamin C and E. Primarily, blue vervain is extremely beneficial in dealing with asthma, bronchitis, poor circulation, colds, colon problems, congestion, convulstions, coughs, fevers, flu, gastric disorders, indigestion, insomnia, liver disorders, lung congestion, nervous conditions, pneumonia, seizures, upset stomach, sore throat, uterine problems, and worms.
Additionally, this herb is extremely helpful in treating catarrh, constipation, diarrhea, dysentery, earaches, epilepsy, gallstones, headaches, kidney problems, malaria, menstrual symptoms, excessive mucus, pain, skin diseases, sores, and spleen ailments. For additional information on the many beneficial effects of blue vervain, please contact a representative from your local health food store. Always purchase name brands to ensure quality and purity of the product you buy.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Blue vervain is not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
March 26, 2009 03:13 PM
Passion flower has been long known and appreciated for its nervine abilities. The Aztecs used this herb as a sedative as well as for pain. From 1916 until 1936, it was listed in the National Formulary as a sedative. During the early twentieth century, passionflower was included in many over-the-counter sedative and sleep aids. Today, passionflower is available as an over-the-counter sedative in Germany. It is also used in many German homeopathic medicines to treat pain, insomnia, and nervous restlessness. Professional herbalists use passionflower today in combination with other calming herbs to help treat insomnia, tension, and other health problems that are related to anxiety and nervousness.
Passion flower is a perennial climbing vine that grows to a length of nearly ten meters. Each leaf on the passionflower has petals that vary in color from white to pale red. It possesses a fruit that is orange-colored, multi-seeded, and egg-shaped. This fruit is edible, containing a sweetish yellow pulp. According to folklore, the passionflower was given its name because it resembles the crown of thorns worn by Jesus during the crucifixion.
Recent research on passion flower has concluded that it is also useful for insomnia, fatigue, spasms, and nervous tension. The majority of the research done on this herb has focused on its sedative action and found good results. Studies have even found that an extract of passionflower can reduce locomotor activity and prolong sleeping. Some additional tests indicate that this herb has pain reliving abilities as well as sedative effects. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties which make it useful for those who are suffering from arthritis.
This plant contains passiflorine, which is thought to be the active ingredient, as its principles are similar to that of morphine. This herb is even occasionally referred to as the nonpoisonous, safe opium of the natural physician. It is extremely soothing to the nervous system. It is a good way to treat hysteria, anxiety, and hyperactivity. This herb possesses the ability to depress the central nervous system and also lower high blood pressure. Herbal combinations that contain valerian and passionflower are considered to be very useful as a natural tranquilizer. Additionally, passionflower contains calcium and magnesium, both of which are essential for the nervous system. This herb has been proven safe for both children and the elderly.
Passion flower remedies are made from either fresh or dried flowers as well as other ground parts of the plant. Whole and raw plant materials are used. The flowering shoots, which grow 10 to 15 centimeters above the ground, are harvested after the first fruits have matured. They are then either air-dried or hay dried. Passion flower is available as an infusion, tea, liquid extract, or tincture. For adults taking an infusion, the recommended amount is 2 to 5 grams of dried herb three times a day.
Fluid extracts should be taken three times a day, using about 10 to 30 drops, while a tincture should also be taken three times a day using 10 to 60 drops. For children, the recommended adult dose should be adjusted to account for the child’s weight. Since most herbal dosages for adults are calculated on a 150 pound adult, a child who weighs 50 lbs should receive an appropriate dose of passionflower of 1/3 of an adult dosage. Generally speaking, passionflower is considered to be safe and nontoxic. Passionflower should not be taken if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Passion flower can be found at your local and internet health food store and available in capsule, tablet, and powder form. When looking to purchase this supplement, stick with name brands such as Solaray and Source Naturals. Name brand companies back their product for any reason and put in pure quality ingredients in each bottle.
August 26, 2008 04:58 PM
GABA is gama amino butyric acid, and is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is essential for the proper function of your brain and the central nervous system, and has the effect of reducing excessive brain activity and promoting a state of calm.
For many people, the rush of daily life, with its problems, worries and external stimuli, can over-stimulate the brain to the extent that it can all seem too much for them. They feel anxious and overwhelmed, and wish that they could just go into a quiet corner to get away from it all. Most people have felt like that at some time, but the demands of life do not allow them that luxury. They just have to bear it and get on with life.
That is where GABA can come in. It can be used to bring your nervous system back to base, and make you feel more relaxed, calmer and more able to meet these challenges that life often throws at you. When you feel that you just can’t relax or concentrate on what you are doing, GABA can help you. If you look around you and everybody else seems OK, without apparently feeling the stress and irritability that you feel, and then perhaps your problem is due to a GABA deficiency. GABA is the principal inhibitory neurotransmitter in your brain, and a deficiency would certainly give you the symptoms that you are feeling. Let me explain why.
As your brain becomes excited, it can run out of control and needs some form of modification or inhibition to keep it acting as normal. Without this you would become increasingly more restless and irritable, and ultimately have seizures. GABA is not only the main inhibitor in your brain, but also helps in the production of endorphins that provide you with a sense of well being. That sense of calm you feel when endorphins are produced, for example during exercise or sexual intercourse, is commonly referred to as the ‘endorphin effect’.
GABA is at its highest concentration in specific areas of the brain, including the hypothalamus, the hippocampus and the central brain area, and is present in up to 40% of all synapses, the small gaps between neurons across which brain cells can communicate with each other.
It is produced during the Krebs or Citric Acid Cycle that is responsible for cell respiration or the production of energy from carbohydrates. It is synthesized from alpha-keto glutarate, which is produced just before the Succinyl Co-A stage of the Krebs Cycle in the brain. Vitamin B6 in involved in its metabolism, and a Vitamin B6 deficiency can lead to a deficiency in GABA that might result in seizures.
Basically GABA works by inhibiting the firing of neurons in your brain, and thus reducing general brain activity. The GABA receptor allows more chloride ion to enter the brain cell, thus helping to maintain the electrical charge within the cells. Bezodiazepines (e.g. diazepam) work by increasing the effectiveness of GABA in opening the chloride ion cells to allow more chloride ion to enter the neurons, and caffeine does the opposite, and inhibits this property of GABA. Thus diazepam works as a minor tranquilizer and caffeine as a stimulant.
Alcohol has a similar effect to the benzodiazepines, increasing the release of chloride into the neurons, and is the major way in which alcohol affects the brain. In fact, tolerance to drugs and withdrawal symptoms can be explained by the receptors adapting to the drug. They may increase in number, which means that more of the drug is needed to work on them, and they can become hypoactive in the event of the drug being withdrawn, that enhances the symptoms that the drug was intended to treat.
So basically, that is the way that GABA works. In simple terms it increases the flow of chloride electrolyte to the brain, and in so doing affects our mood. This effect is enhanced by prescription drugs such as Valium and Ativan, which are used by those that suffer the effects of a GABA deficiency. However, these drugs have side effects, not the least of which is dependency due to the GABA receptors becoming modified to suit the drug. There is a more natural way to overcome many stress problems and symptoms of mood swings.
Knowing what causes these symptoms, it makes sense to eat foods that stimulate the creation of neurotransmitters to replace those that are deficient. Since GABA is produced in the Krebs Cycle and complex carbohydrates produce glutamine that is an important part of that Cycle, and is also the precursor to GABA, then the consumption of such foods should in theory produce more GABA. In this case the theory works, and you should eat foods rich in complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, brown rice and oats as part of your diet.
Other foods that are high in glutamine or its precursors, glutamic acid and glutamate, include citrus fruits, beef liver, broccoli, halibut and lentils. A useful supplement to take is L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea, and available in supplement form. L-theanine can calm your nerves while maintaining clarity of thought. In other words it calms you down, but doesn’t make you drowsy and allows you to enjoy your day with anxiety.
Your doctor can determine whether or not you have a neurotransmitter deficiency through a simple urine test, and might also test your saliva for hormone content. A GABA supplement might be indicated, and if so it other beneficial effects on your body other than its effect on your brain cells.
It improves your sleep cycles and promotes vivid dreaming, and can also have a positive effect on your blood pressure. It is also an effective pain killer, and can provide relief from such conditions as back pain and arthritis. Its stimulating effect on the anterior pituitary gland to secrete Human Growth Hormone might also be regarded as a benefit by many. Increasing the level of HGH in your blood can lead to fat loss and improved anabolic activity (increase in muscle tissue). This can be of benefit to older people whose level of HGH secretion has dropped off, and who find it more difficult to lose fat.
GABA is a substance that has many known benefits and no known side effects other than a slight tingling and increase in heart rate when the supplement is first used. It has a definite benefit for people to whom the world seems too hectic and overwhelming.
Is it safe?
May 29, 2008 12:35 PM
Aside from the occasional allergic reaction, deer antler velvet does not seem to cause many obvious or immediate side effects. The biggest concern stems from the use of tranquilizers and anesthetics during the removal of the antlers from the deer. One substance used is xylazine, a known carcinogenic. Safety has also not been established for use by children, pregnant and nursing women, and people with severe kidney or liver disease.
Deer antler velvet is being tested for many uses in promoting vitality and energy. It is also being researched as a key nutritional and pharmaceutical product for building, strengthening and maintaining the immune system. As a natural product, deer antler velvet promises many potential benefits with a low level of risk and complication for the user.
July 25, 2005 10:33 PM
Natural progesterone in cream or other transdermal forms appears to be one of the most effective and safe supplements for the treatment of various hormonally related disorders. It may well be superior to estrogen replacement therapy in some cases and should be utilized and evaluated for its superior therapeutic actions. No longer the “forgotten hormone,” natural progesterone, especially in the form of wild yam extract, is nothing less than remarkable in its physiological actions. While so many women are turning to synthetic hormones, tranquilizers, and analgesics to manage PMS and postmenopausal miseries, natural progesterone may well be the best and safest alternative. Getting the word out while scientific studies continue to support the credibility of using natural progesterone is currently underway. It would be nothing less than tragic if an affordable and safe substance like wild yam extract remained unused due to a lack of knowledge. The word is spreading rapidly. Dr. Lee put it well when he stated:
I must conclude with a tribute to what I call the women’s underground communication network, the vast informal woman-to-woman communication network that spreads hormone and health information with astonishing speed and extent around the world. An informational and health revolution is underway, thanks to the networking of intelligent, concerned women.33 I consider myself most fortunate to have become acquainted with natural progesterone synthesized from wild yam. For me, the discovery of this safe and marvelous supplement has been nothing less than extraordinary. It has made what was once a life lived at the mercy of the hormonal upheavals into one that is much more even-keeled, healthier and full of optimism.