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    Naturopathic Alternatives

    May 6, 2017

    This is for reference and educational purposes only. Only a licensed medical professional can provide guidance in medication management. 

     

    Naturopathic Alternatives
    Herb/Vitamin/Other
    Neuro Chemistry Affected
    Ailments/Disorders Addressed
    Tryptophan

     

    Serotonin and also helps to produce niacin
    This neurotransmitter produces relaxation and sleep. Foods high in tryptophan are cheese, chicken, eggs, fish, milk, nuts, turkey, soy, tofu, green leafy vegetables, dairy products, bananas, peanut, peanut butter, pineapple, avocado, soy, lentils, sesame seeds, and pumpkin. There is not an abundance of foods that contain tryptophan, and those that do may not contain amounts sufficient to make it into the brain if they are competing with other amino acids, especially tyrosine. However, carbohydrates help carry the tryptophan to the brain. It is better to eat tryptophan-rich foods and carbohydrates in the evening when you want to relax and prepare for sleep.

    Depression, “anxiety episodes”, OCD, Insomnia, Bipolar, PMS, PMDD, and other conditions
    5-HTP (hydroxytryptophan)
    It is also produced commercially from the seeds of an African plant (Griffonia simplicifolia).
    Serotonin
    “Doses of 50-3000 mg daily for 2-4 weeks can improve symptoms of depression. Some early research also shows that 5-HTP might be as beneficial as conventional antidepressant therapy. Taking 5-HTP by mouth appears to improve symptoms of fibromyalgia including pain severity, morning stiffness, and sleeplessness.” Depression, “anxiety episodes”, OCD, Insomnia, PMS, PMDD, and other conditions. Taking up to 300 mg of 5-HTP daily along with carbidopa seems to reduce anxiety. Early research shows that taking 5-HTP with D-phenylalanine and L-glutamine for 40 days can reduce alcohol withdrawal symptoms.”
    St. John’s Wort
    Serotonin
    Hypercin, hyperforin (act on chemical messengers on the nervous system that regulate mood)
    “Likely effective for mild to moderate depression. Decreases anxiety and insomnia related to depression for short term tx of mild depression. Possibly effective for skin redness & irritation (plaque psoriasis) in its liquid form. Somatization disorder-Need to take for 6 weeks before seeing a reduction of symptoms. Wound healing-3x daily for 16 days improves healing and reduces scar formation”
    S-Adenosylmethlonine (Sam-e)
    Serotonin
    “People with bipolar disorder (an illness characterized by mood swings, from depression to mania) should not take SAMe for their depressive symptoms except under the supervision of a health care provider because SAMe may worsen symptoms of mania.”

     

    Cannabidiol — CBD— is a cannabis compound that has significant medical benefits, but does not make people feel “stoned” and can actually counteract the psychoactivity of THC. The fact that CBD-rich cannabis doesn’t get one high makes it an appealing treatment option for patients seeking anti-inflammatory, anti-pain, anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic, and/or anti-spasm effects without troubling lethargy or dysphoria. 
    CBD is metabolized into an analogous compound, 7-hydroxy-CBD. There may also be some 6-OH-CBD.
    “Technically, CBD is forbidden in any form (pure or from a plant) in the USA, despite its total lack of addictive potential or any rational danger. Cannabidiol and all other plant cannabinoids are Schedule I drugs in the USA. The code number for cannabidiol in Schedule I is 7372. CBD is not psychoactive, but it is illegal in the eyes of the federal government. You may find it listed here: under Schedule I where it says tetrahydrocannabinols. The part saying “and others” includes all phytocannabinoids, even CBD. However there are exceptions. American scientists with a DEA license in some cases are permitted to experiment with pure synthetic CBD. Envelope-pushing medical marijuana entrepreneurs claim that it is legal to import CBD-rich oil extracted from industrial hemp grown in other countries, as long as the THC content of this oil is less than .3 percent (in accordance with federal rules regarding industrial hemp products). But this is a rather grey area of the law. Thus far, U.S. authorities have not moved against a handful of companies that purport to import “CBD hemp oil” with trace levels of THC. The situation is different in many other countries, where CBD is not controlled at all.”

     

    Periactin (Cyproheptadine)
    Antihistamine

    Blocks serotonin at its receptor sites. It is used to prevent serotonin syndrome.
    DL Phenylalanine-Amino Acid
    It is one of the few amino acids that can cross the blood brain barrier

     

    Endorphins
    By increasing endorphins it is believed to relieve minor pain and promote elevated mood. Some recovery centers will promote this as it assists in a variety of unhealthy cravings and minor addictions. 
    AQ-QL-Glutamine-Amino Acid
    Glutamine is the most abundant free amino acid in the body. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Glutamine is produced in the muscles and is distributed by the blood to the organs that need it. Glutamine might help gut function, the immune system, and other essential processes in the body, especially in times of stress.
    500-1500 mg up to three times daily
    It is used for fatigue and depression. Effective for fighting off sugar and starch cravings. Helps with nerve pain. Also assists with ADHD and alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
    N-acetyl cysteine
    A form of the sulfur-containing amino acid cysteine is a precursor to the brain neurotransmitter glutamate.  
    600 mg 2x daily for addictive behaviors
    1500mg 2x daily for gambling addiction

     

    Herbal Remedies for Bipolar Disorder
    Many herbs have been used to treat different conditions through the ages. Herbalists call these substances nervines, and some may prove useful for treating specific symptoms of bipolar disorder.
    Of all the herbs, the nervines group of plant extracts are among the strongest and so are the most likely to cause serious side effects. Because of this possibility, you should always consult with your physician first before trying any of these herbs — especially if you are already taking medication for bipolar disorder.

     

    The common types of nervines that have been tried by people with bipolar disorder include:
    •    Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa). A nervous system depressant and sedative, sometimes used by people with autoimmune conditions for its anti-inflammatory effects. Its active ingredient appears to bind to estrogen receptor sites, so it may cause hormonal activity. 
    •    Damiana (Turnera aphrodisiaca). A traditional remedy for depression. As its Latin name indicates, it is also believed to have aphrodisiac properties. Whatever the case may be there, it does seem to act on the hormonal system. Its energizing quality might be dangerous for bipolar patients. 
    •    Gingko biloba. An extract of the gingko tree, advertised as an herb that can improve your memory. There is some clinical evidence for this claim. It is an antioxidant, and is prescribed in Germany for treatment of dementia. It is believed to increase blood flow to the brain. 
    •    Ginseng (Panax quinquefolium). Has an energizing effect that may be helpful to people whose depression is accompanied by extreme fatigue and lethargy. 
    •    Grapeseed oil and pycogenol. Both are extra-powerful antioxidants. (Pycogenol is derived from marine pine trees.) 
    •    Gotu kola (Centella asiatica, Hydrocotyl asiatica). An Ayurvedic herbal stimulant sometimes recommended for depression and anxiety. 
    •    Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra, Liquiritia officinalis). Boosts hormone production, including hormones active in the digestive tract and brain. 
    •    Sarsaparilla (Hemidesmus indicus). Like licorice, it seems to affect hormone production as well as settling the stomach and calming the nerves. 
    •    St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum). Has gained popularity as an herbal antidepressant. It has the backing of a decent amount of research. Those choosing to use this remedy should follow the same precautions as with SSRIs and MAOIs, two families of pharmaceutical antidepressants. It can also cause increased sensitivity to light. It is available by prescription in Germany, where it is the most widely used antidepressant. It is potentially dangerous to use St. John’s Wort with prescription antidepressants or any other medication that could affect serotonin. (retrieved on 05/04/2015 from www.psycentral.com.) Author Jim Haggerty, M.D..

     

    In a small open-label study, 20 children and adolescents who met DSM-IV-TR criteria for bipolar disorder and had a YMRS score of greater than 15 were given 1290 to 4300 mg of fish oil. In a 6-week open-label study, 18 children and adolescents with bipolar I or II disorder were treated with purified v-3s (DHA 1560 mg/d and EPA 360 mg/d). The results showed significant reductions in clinician-rated mania and depression relative to baseline.

     

     

    In a subsequent case series, 10 patients with severe treatment-resistant agitated manic bipolar disorder who received a continuous intravenous magnesium sulfate infusion (200 mg/h) for 7 to 23 days while continuing to take psychotropic medications (lithium, haloperidol, and clonazepam) showed significant improvement in functioning on the clinical global impression (CGI) scale. Results showed that patients treated with verapamil and magnesium oxide had significant improvement on the BPRS from baseline compared with patients who were treated with verapamil and a placebo.

     

     

     

     

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