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Monday, December 21, 2015

Common & Rare Safety Advice, Precautions when Using Herbal Supplements and Guidelines for Researching Herbs/Herbal Constituent's

Herbal Supplements - they can be life-saving, disease preventing and treating,.. and also dangerous.

I am a HUGE ADVOCATE of herbal remedies (but also some pharmaceuticals where they are needed/necessary). The basis for Health, in Regards to Supplementation - should be herbal and dietary.

Herbs should be used PRIMARILY to PREVENT disease and health complications - and to MAINTAIN IDEAL HEALTH. They should however, be researched with EXTENSIVELY - especially if they have known Profound effects on Blood Pressure and Even More So if they interact with the CNS; Central Nervous System or are PSYCHOACTIVE..

The most primary examination that must be made is If you are ALREADY ON MEDICATIONS in the Pharmaceutical Class - this includes blood pressure meds and anti-depressants - and then go forth to take INGEST an herb or even smoke an herb that also has complimentary and synergistic effects ; but in an imbalanced proportion where the herb also ends up having OTHER EFFECTS such as slowing metabolism or speeding up the metabolism of your drug/drug regimen.

  • A COMMON Example is Grapefruit Juice; which has constituent's (certain chemicals in the rind, fruit, flesh, root etc) that alter the amount of drug in your body - ESPECIALLY Psychotropic drugs (Psychiatric Drugs used to Treat DEPRESSION And/OR ANXIETY, or other disorders like BiPolar and Psychotic Symptoms). To Be Safe : Grapefruit Juice and EVEN HIGH-Amounts of VITAMIN C can impact meds absorption so should be dosed or ingested AT LEAST ~4 HOURS away from the medication.
  • Another example is taking herbs that lower blood pressure by acting on adrenaline mechanisms - for example; something ANTI-SYMPATHETIC or deemed a "Sympatholytic" which would mean a sedative herb ; an herb with sleep-inducing properties that ALSO reduces adrenaline - should NOT be used with beta-blocking BP Meds like PROPANOLOL or BICOPROLOL.
  • However, stuff that doesn't interact against adrenergic receptors and something LIGHTER (and more GENERALIZED) like Turmeric / Curcumin can be used Safely with most common medications; including blood pressure meds. :)


I see this all too often - men and women attempting to use Sups to enhance their cognitive performance - and then they 'investigate' things thoroughly (or so they think) in terms of mechanism of action or WHAT SEEMS synergistic or complementary...everyone is searching for that 'perfect cocktail' to give them that mental edge in Perfomance ; and there's nothing wrong with that..but definitely, please DO YOUR RESEARCH beyond JUST MECHANISM OF ACTION.

  1. The HALF-LIVES and CNS Clearance of herbal meds is VERY IMPORTANT and should be attended to and observed many people make this basic mistake of taking a little more' thinking 
'' a little more can't hurt because I know the mechanism of action'' etc

     .2.         Take into non-EXCLUSIVE consideration the REGIONAL DIFFERENCES associated with whatever compound you want to take in - this includes ORGAN SELECTIVITY. In other words, some herbs are concentration-dependently going to affect the HEART AND BRAIN differently!!

Some herbs may block adrenaline receptors in the heart and NOT in the Brain .

    3.   A PERFECT example is the herb 'KUTAJ' (HOLLARHENA ANTIDYSENTERICA; botanical name/plant name; genus / species) which contains substances such as 'Conessine' , 'OXYCONESSINE', 'ISOConessine' and kurchinine, among others like hollarhenine (1).

  • It has stimulant effects (H3 Antagonism; which boosts noradenaline and histamine levels as well as Dopamine, GABA, Acetylcholine) and also has high affinity for adrenaline receptors; acting as preferably an alpha-2C/2A antagonist which further boosts noradrenaline levels (2) (3) (4) (5).
  • So small amounts of the herb boost motivation and mental clarity while large amounts offer the rapid increase in heart rate and anxiety. Ironically, higher amounts ALSO have somewhat opposite effects in the heart of mammals and humans ; than in the brain..what that means it can 'trick your brain' into thinking it has high adrenaline but in the heart it can reduce calcium influx/reabsorption and depress heart rate and in SUPER HIGH doses can cause heart block and even cardiotoxic effects/ heart failure!! (6) (7)
  • The long-half life and slow brain clearance (removal) of Conessine makes it an INCREDIBLY Unpredictable substance; with heart rate constantly fluctuating from high and low and high and low blood pressure cycling - the active life of Kutaj/Conessine is about 24 hours but some have noted >72 hours before anxiety-provoking and heart-related side effects wear off (8) (9).

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