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My herbal attempts at an alternative to adderall/SSRI

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Sep 3 08 4:53 AM

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Hello, I have done extensive research for over 8 weeks, (and ultimately 3 years) over herbs and the pathophysiology of the litany of physical and mental ailments I have. I ultimately realized I was experiencing symptoms similiar to fibromyalgia/PTSD/Chronic fatigue syndrome. I believe my problem, whatever it may be has to do with a overtaxed central nervous system, chronic GI inflammation, and chronic fear/apprehension. So I have been studying herbal supplements extensively.

I discovered that regarding nootropics, and serotonergic compounds, particularly 5-htp, I experience very little relief or effect, without deep restful sleep prior, by 9 to 10 pm, and can only get proper absorption/benefit from combinations of herbs, notably the BEST brands of rhodiola rosea, between 5 am and 8 am. I believe the underlying complex (very complex... ) physiology of a properly functioning CNS and mesocortical limbic reward system, undergoes some important metabolism at this time of the day. But to make my point: I mixed a particular assortment of herbal teas that I believed could be combined with rhodiola and 5-htp to effectively deal with my mental/motivation/adhedonia problems.

The most important issue here, is that I felt lasting effects for hours, the effects were pronounced balanced, clean, sense of well being. This was not a high, or a buzz, it was a very well balanced feeling, that I had previously only associated with a few lucky instances of rhodiola working.

The ingredients were a mixture of standardized
Cat's Claw, Passion Flower, SkullCap, Valarian, St.Johns Wort, Chamomile, Licorice, Kava, added DL-Phenylalanine and L-Phenylalanine, L-Theanine, Magnolia, Phellodendron, Lavender, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Spearmint, and Indian Sarsaparilla

Normally, the elicited effects would have worn off quickly, and never would have worked at the time of the day (7 pm), and I was also in a state of sleep deprivation. The fact that it could work against what all my prior attempts of herbal mixtures outside the 5 am to 8 am window, is worth noting. I look forward to trying this at 5 am, with rhodiola, and yerba mate, and other herbs. I will comment further then.

This combination may very well allow me to alleviate my reliance on caffeine as a motivation drug, and prevent me from having to go to amphetamine. The nature of my psychological issues puts me in a situation where I strongly desire a euphoria rushing sensation to motivate me to do (practically anything constructive). My body cannot handle the stimulant effects, but my mind craves them. Hence, the sustained calm feeling this mixture produced, is a very important finding.

I am sure there are far more experienced studiers of pharmacology and herbology on these boards, what do you make of this?

-note, moderator, if you need to change the title to take out vendor, you can put amphetamine? I'm new here, sorry for any mix-ups.

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#1 [url]

Sep 6 08 9:31 AM

I am also curious what an adrenal cortex supplement along with wild dagga, mugwort, damiana, oats, hops, and mullein would do if combined with most of the above, especially cat's claw + (stronger source of catacholamines)

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#2 [url]

Sep 6 08 5:25 PM

To be honest, an organic diet will fix your chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. I work for a health food store and have seen several lives transformed by switching from processed fake "food" to real nutritious food the way nature intended it. I wouldn't try to cover up the symptoms if I were you; I'd want to cure the root cause. Sometimes I eat organically, and when I do I feel massively increased energy, euphoria/ mood lift, less pain, better mental functioning, and pretty much everything is improved.

For your mental difficulties, I suggest trying the phenethylamine recipes we have on this forum. It's a great anti-depressant/calming stimulant (no idea how that works but it does)/ motivational tool. Makes me feel perfectly euphoric and want to do something productive, or just dance to wonderful music. Completely healthy and non-toxic.

Sorry to not prefer what you suggested, but I truly think organic dieting is the way to go to fix practically any disease (unless it's genetic, but even then it can help). The body wasn't meant to be fueled by processed food, and it can't heal itself unless it's unclogged and running well.

For your combination of herbs, it looks good and well thought out. Sorry I couldn't be of more help in this area. :)

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#3 [url]

Sep 7 08 12:01 AM

SWIM agrees with toastus, find the root cause first and treat with medication as a last resort.... SWIM hates how society is built upon covering up symptoms than rather dealing with the core problem (nothing against you sam7777).

Self diagnosis can always be WAY off.... did the same thing and found out later by a professional that it was something entirely different... even though the "symptoms" were similar.

As far as your tea combination, it looks interesting and SWIM would like to hear more about its effects, duration, dose ( /ratio of herbs), and about any side-effects. The last point is probably the most important, as SWIM see's there is a LOT of CYP inhibitors and other inhibitors (and reactions) present in your tea (chamomile, kava, passion flower, cats claw, etc). Has SWIY looked into the FULL pharmaceutical effects before trying the tea? If so, SWIM would like to hear SWIY's findings on what synergies with what and SWIY's take on the combination. (As SWIY can tell, SWIM's a nut for safety )


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#4 [url]

Sep 7 08 10:30 PM

I agree with the above statements. My diet is clean, but I do not eat 100% organic. In all likely hood, the pesticides, etc on my produce have an effect on my health. My almonds and coconut milk even ( I really rely on these?). For the record, I do eat wild salmon and grass fed beef, and believe that THAT is the only reason I am not FAR FAR more ill. The grass fed beef keeps me from having severe depressive symptoms, its quite amazing just food could do such a thing. But I do believe I ultimately have adrenal exhaustion, and that unless I change my approach and perspective to things (more optimism, less fear/anxiety), sleep 8-10 hours, exercise daily, I wont heal. With that being said, I have severe insomnia, and severe fatigue, and was hoping my herbal supplements could help me establish a better routine.

SWIM is reasonably a cautious safety driven person. In fact, the above benefits of that tea did lessen with repeated trials, so at least a degree of tolerance is evident. The doses and amounts are quite small, and in fact SWIM especially wonders what more adequate effective dosages of individual ingredients are typically advised. Especially for things such as the Passionflower and Cat's Claw. With the St. John's Wort, Licorice, and Kava, the doses are especially low, and SWIM would not exceed the dosage correspondingly. SWIM would not consider such a large combination as above to be a long term thing, it was more for curiosity/novelty, but believes certain key herbs may be beneficial to health for a time.

Dosages are all within the mg range, Cat's Claw is quite low. SWIM is curious about chamomile side effects, as SWIM may have have overlooked chamomile. Passionflower and Valarian and Skullcap dosage are within 100ish mg dose, and in fact probably lacking in adequate effectiveness. SWIM not a ardent Valerian fan, and is more concerned in Skullcap, Passionflower, and Cat's Claw more than others in above mixture for the most part.

SWIM recommends rhodiola as something people could regularly benefit from, even those against the kitchen sink approach (which SWIM is increasingly also losing taste for).

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#6 [url]

Sep 9 08 4:44 PM

I am particularly concerned with the effects that just the synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides on my produce/almonds/coconut milk could have.

I do not eat 100% organic but,

I do not eat grains or legumes
I do not eat any processed packaged non whole food, especially sugar, granola bars, packaged snacks
I do not eat safflower/soy/polyunsaturated hexane filled veggies oils,etc
I am an ardent supporter that the body needs animal cholesterol and fat to function properly
I do not eat factory farm meat or eggs
I avoid dairy period.

I think If I did eat these things I would be dead, as I was just about so before I changed my diet. That being said, I still seem to have a lot of symptoms consistent with those who are allergic to things and have to go on special diets, you see this pretty consistently with people who have celiac disease or fibro.

I wonder just how bad the magnesium stereate in the pills is?

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#7 [url]

Sep 10 08 12:29 PM

  I read recently that magnesium stearate is not good at all, even if not being a poison, but i can't remember the source... sorry.
Good diet the yours, it seems. But the animal fats in my opinion are not needed: why you're convinced they are ?
So do you eat fish ? I read almost one year ago that most of the ichthyic fauna, even in remote rivers (of USA), was found contaminated with mercury so I don't think it is healty for people like you who has neurologic imbalances.
Why you don't feed a bit with integral grains and legumes ( lentils, for example) ?
Are you exposed to some source of environmental pollution?  maybe the carpet in you bedroom, or some plastic releasing lots of phtalates and bisphenols, or nearby sources of microwaves, or broken LED bulbs waste near your home... Have you tested the amount of heavy metals in your blood ?
Lecithins and similar phosphates are surely very useful to sustain the nervous system.

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#8 [url]

Sep 10 08 5:17 PM

the wild salmon is heavy metal free because it comes from such a remote part of the world (not lower 48 states).

I am exposed to plenty of electronics and computers, but no waste, I live in a rural area. For what it is worth I do believe most of my health problems are after effects of a lifetime of poor eating, and not so much what I am currently exposed to.

The animal fat thing is an argument in of itself, beyond the scope of an herbal forum, and it involves quite a lot of complex medical science.

Organic vegetables could help me some, I may have to play around with the idea.

The root cause of my illness has something to do with nutrient deficiencies, but its not so easily solved, by now its pretty obvious to me, my body doesn't process food/supplement into said needed nutrients correctly.

The herbs I do take, are meant to try and restore normal organ function so that they will process the nutrients correctly, I will try to post some of these herbs later, they are interesting.

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#9 [url]

Sep 13 08 2:00 AM

Key things for protecting the mind from stress:
Frankincense (boswellia)
Curcumin Extract
Myrrh Extract

Other adrenal tonics I am taking (these are all part of one supplement mostly):
blue wiss, three-lobe leaf cow pea, Clerodendrum phlomidis, indian kudzu, oroxylum, celestrum, calamus (elephant leaf), almond, chinese pistachio, guduchi(tinospori), chebulic myrobalan, chebulic terminalia, Arjuna terminalia, Amla, Solanum anguvi, Pentatropsis capensis, Polygonatum cirrhifolium Royl, Ularia picta Desv, Piper longum (long pepper), Tribulus terrestris, bael tree, malay bush beech, Malabar nut tree, cyperus, caper bush, curcugilo, teri pod, eclipta, Mucuna puriens (velvet bean), Nutmeg, Cardamom, ajowan, clove, yarrow

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#10 [url]

May 30 13 5:23 AM


Hi:)  The body need minerals first. It cannot process vitamins etc without them.  Nor absorb water. Without minerals-a sufficient supply- the body will just urinate out vitamins etc from the body when you drink water, and so depleting the body further.  Himalayan pink salt is Great- it's got 82-94? minerals. Never ever use iodized ie, processed ie. refined ie "table salt"  - it funks with the blood pressure and sucks like all processed foods/drinks. Never ever drink any bottled water than lists potassium chloride on the label- and you'd be surprised it's not just Dasani but legit looking ones-so Always read the label.  Don't drink distilled water. It is dead and will just flush out nutrients from body.  A Great water to drink is Evain. It really isn't more expensive in the grocery store than about a dollar per bottle and you can Tell when you drink it- it is So drinkable-straight from the mountain.  I was drinking bottled water and just couldn't dig it until got evian and it was so Water-y!  I can drink it all day long. The other stuff just made me full but evian is that whole awesome water thing that ya tend to forget water has goin' on:)  Another great source of minerals is seaweed. I don't know where you're from but the grocery here has simple truth brand roasted sea weed snack with seasalt(seasalt unrefined is as good as Himalayan- make sure it's unrefined- ya never know, they do crazy stuff! always check out every label- because even when you check, months or years later I've found on all kinds of things they change ingredients-jerks).  I fold the squares of seaweed snacks into little squares and scoop into humous to tame the taste. I try to eat four packages a day- two minimum- that's me right now with my body.
Nettles awesome source of minerals. Get yourself a pot just for filling with water and throwing herbs into and get a cup sieve to strain the decoction (I call it tea) into.  Nature's Way green cap bottles are whole herbs in capsule if you prefer pills and extracts are great also.  Best to use whole herbs for example: use turmeric powder or extract(also referred to as tincture) rather than curcumin (from turmeric) and rather than a blend or the whole herb plus extra curcumin added...nature balances these things just right.
I worked about 14 years at whole food store- slingin' herbs. You are taking a ton of herbs- and I did too at one point- it's just hard to tell what's working for you taking that many-truth.
calamus can give a disconnected feeling...get  and check out the herbs you are taking -they won't all be in there but you will appreciate what you learn from it. Valerian makes the thoughts to rest, is heating and sometimes stimulating. Passion flower is sedative but ya gotta lay yourself down to go to sleep.  Lemon balm great for sleep.  Please look up elecampane- google elecampane Ayurveda. Here is one link(not ayurvedic):
Cat's  claw:'s%20claw.aspx?activeingredientid=395&activeingredientname=cat's%20claw  
Also great for sleep: mix sesame oil(any works but sesame penetrates all dermal layers) with ginger powder into a paste, rub onto the sides of Achilles tendons and put on socks(even without the foot part) so as not to smear all over sheets. Get in bed, turn out lights, sleep like a babay. Lemon balm tea is awesome- just sayin' it again...  YUP Lemon Balm:
Rhodiola is awesome-an adaptagen(help one adapt mentally, physically, emotionally/nerves/psychological)   I like to just eat a piece smaller than a pea..get the root sometimes the pieces are real tiny and other times not so tiny-if tiny, take a small pinch- don't need much. Don't look for drastic nor for first day results. One day you will just realize that you have just that it's alright kinda thing goin' on- it's easy to not realize it but one day you will notice- it's subtle- but enough to just feel alright-yaknow?  And don't take in evening-take in morning. You won't feel compelled to go to bed if ya take it in early evening.  Valerian is great if not too stimulating - I loved it for a long spell of maybe several months. I took it whenever I felt(glycerin extract) throughout the day to get me through days filled with relentless unhappy thoughts. One day I just stopped taking it-didn't need it anymore- just kinda realized I wasn't reaching for it and gee:) yea, I don't need it- nice.  Keep it simple.  First get your minerals, ...  Wokring over 14 years in whole food store I got to the point where I realized you can only do so much because the shit is everywhere- even the seafood- with the japan radiation flowing through all the waters- there really isn't much water than isn't touched by it- but the good news is that seaweed is the answer to radiation!:)  My point is that it's in the air, water, rain, soil- the nutrionally depleted soil is even sprayed in the air- it's too much to do anything but adapt and do the best you can but don't knock yourself out- that is stressful as HECK.  Don't think you need ten herbs to heal yourself-you don't.  I know, I did that Big Time.  I wanted to try them all at Once- I told myself I should just try one at a time but I wasn't sure exactly what I needed because they all sounded like what I needed!  I was Funkedup!:)  I will also mention skullcap. It is Great for finding a line through a bunch of revolving thoughts or when you can't kindof follow One line of thought, can't quite choose one.  I suggest when googling herbs try to find the old herbal uses- google a modern herbal. Not every herb is there but it's good. Traditional uses and contraindications...anecdotal evidence is so helpful. is a great site alternative minded people will appreciate-just to tell ya for future - but for now, keep it simple it's amazing and magical how just the right single herb can do the trick. Pick four herbs and stick to just those four atleast four weeks. Get your Minerals:)  Best Regards
Darnit- forgot the kava- that suff is not for takin' every day all day.  It's just not.  I know it got popular but when herbs get popular, they tend to get almost misuded, or used in not the most appropriate circumstances- kinda like st. john's wort when everyone and their mother were getting it for depression.  By the way, st. john's wort needs to be used while it is still read to get that effect(i know the flowers are yellow) and it makes one photsensitive to a degree. It may have it's place for "depression" but is a nice example of a page with pretty balanced info about it...there are pretty significant cautions, and by the way:  
and some lemon balm cautions:

Ashwagandha is Great also know that it can cause or aggravate ama(toxins) and increase pitta dosha, and...


Last Edited By: skullcap May 30 13 6:17 AM. Edited 1 time.

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#11 [url]

Jun 1 13 12:52 AM


Wow, thanks for that contribution skullcap!

I'm currently bio-assaying Valerian essential oil (indian), yarrow oil (instead of german chamomile oil re enzyme inhibition) and camphor oil (for absorption amongst other things)

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