Thyme Plant extract revealed to be more effective than ibuprofen


thymeoil

Significant research has found thyme essential oil and its constituent thymol to be antiseptic. In fact, many mouth washes and antiseptic wipes often contain thymol.

 New research is also finding that thyme oil also reduces pain. Who would have thought?

Well, traditional medicines have been using thyme oil and other essential oils to help relieve pain for centuries.

thymeoil

Study finds Thyme Oil beats out Ibuprofen for pain relief

Researchers from Iran’s Babol University of Medical Sciences has confirmed that thyme is not only an excellent pain-relieving herb. It also reduces pain of difficult menstruation better than ibruprofen.

 The researchers tested 84 women university students who had reported difficult menstruation. The young women were aged between 18 and 24 years old. All were suffering from primary dysmenorrhea.

Primary dysmenorrhea is usually defined as painful cramping that may or may not come with other symptoms such as back ache, nausea, headaches and dizziness. Secondary dysmenorrhea usually indicates menses pain that is related to another underlying condition.

Here the researchers added to the definition of primary dysmenorrhea that it appears within two years of the beginning of menses (menarche) and no pelvic pain during the other parts of the monthly cycle. This is logical because painful menses is more frequently seen among younger women within the first few years of the beginning of menses

OTHER HEALTH BENEFITS OF THYME OIL

Antiseptic: Thyme essential oil is a good antiseptic and safeguards wounds and sores against infections. This is mainly due to the presence of components like Caryophyllene and Camphene in thyme.

 Tonic: Thyme essential oil also tones up the circulatory system, heart, digestive system, nervous system, muscles, and skin while fortifying them and boosting immunity.

Hypertensive: You might raise your eyebrows about this medicinal property and may not see it as a benefit. However, this property is very beneficial for those who are suffering from low blood pressure. Those type of people run the risk of falling unconscious at any time, and feeling sluggish. This oil can normalize their blood pressure by raising it, which is just as important sometimes as lowering it.

Antirheumatic: There are two main reasons behind rheumatism, arthritis and gout. The first is improper or obstructed circulation, and the second one is an increasing concentration of toxins like uric acid in the blood stream. Thyme essential oil can sort out both of these problems. Since it is a diuretic, it increases urination and helps in the removal of toxins from the body. Being a stimulant, it stimulates or activates circulation and thereby sorts out this problem in a separate way. Both ways helps cure rheumatism, and related conditions like arthritis.

Additional uses include:

• Thyme is useful on infections of the urinary tract and bladder, and also acts as a diuretic, increasing its effectiveness

 • Also use for candida and vaginitis

• Use to kill nail fungus

• Thyme is an ingredient in natural hand sanitizers

• Add thyme to a hot compress to relieve rheumatic pain, muscular aches and pains, sprains, sports injuries, sciatica, arthritis, gout

• Crush the fresh herb or use diluted oil as first aid on insect bites and stings

 • Use on athlete’s foot. For this use, you can apply the oil neat, or undiluted, but protect the skin with some fatty cream. Other neat applications include animal bites and boils.

• Use a one percent solution as an antibacterial wash for fresh produce

• Use in hair and skin care regimes, as a hair tonic or in a face wash and for treatment of things like acne or warts

• Use thyme in a sitz bath or massage to stimulate menstruation for weak or missing periods

• Use to kill parasites

Soure:http://www.healthy-holistic-living.com

 

The Dose Will See You Now: The Astonishing Life-Saving Potential of Psychedelic Therapy in Modern Medicine


What is your impression after reading the results of this recent study on the potential of a promising new treatment for depression?

‘The main takeaway is that the effects are well-tolerated in this population, and not just that—the antidepressant potential of the treatment seems to be pretty considerable,’ […] ‘All 12 of the patients reported a reduction in the severity of their depression for one week after the psilocybin experience, and for most this was true after three months. At week one, eight patients met standard criteria for remission, with five remaining in remission at three months.’

Encouraging results, no? On the surface, it seems like more people could benefit from a treatment like this.

Unfortunately, at this point in time, they can’t. They’d be considered criminals, for the chosen treatment in this study is currently illegal. In fact, it’s a Schedule 1 substance as classified by the DEA, with “no accepted medical value,” “a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision,” and “a high potential for abuse”.

The study was conducted using psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, when given to patients suffering from treatment-resistant depression.

Despite seeing encouraging results such as the above study more frequently, psychedelic therapy remains a taboo topic in both general society and the medical community at large, partially due to the many myths still surrounding the psychedelic experience.

Why is this the case? Let’s dig deeper.

What Is Psychedelic Therapy?

Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy offers us an unparalleled medical opportunity. Currently, it is typically reserved for ‘treatment-resistant’ illnesses (when standard methods of therapy or medical treatment have previously proven unsuccessful).

The term ‘psychedelic’ comes from a Greek term, essentially translating to ‘mind-revealing’. For anyone suffering from unfamiliar mental illness or trauma, the definition is seemingly self-explanatory.

However, for the uninitiated, it’s helpful to refer to N. Crowley’s definition of ‘psychedelics’ as noted in The British Journal of Psychiatry (“A role for psychedelics in psychiatry?”):

The difference between psychedelics (entheogens) and other psychotropic drugs is that entheogens work as ‘non-specific amplifiers of the psyche,’ inducing an altered or non-ordinary state of consciousness (Grof, 2000). The content and nature of the experiences are not thought to be artificial products of their pharmacological interaction with the brain (‘toxic psychoses’) but authentic expressions of the psyche revealing its functioning on levels not ordinarily available for observation and study.

Psychedelic therapy combines traditional psychotherapy sessions with a trained practitioner, and injects selected sessions with a measured, monitored dose of a psychoactive substance. A placebo is used for some sessions if necessary, and not all sessions are paired with a psychedelic experience.

As with all entheogenic experiences, preparation and post-experience integration are just as, if not more important, than the experience itself.

A typical treatment may look like:

  1. 2-3 regular therapeutic sessions with the doctor.
  2. Preparation (discussion or low-dose introduction) for the experience.
  3. 1 session with a measured dose, under medical supervision/guidance with therapeutic discussion using points derived from preparation stage.
  4. Post-experience discussion and integration.
  5. The cycle of psychedelic session > integration session, can continue as necessary based on the therapist’s recommendation. This is also called psycholytic therapy.
  6. Post-treatment follow-up and monitoring of habits/insights integrated into daily life afterward.

The value of psychedelic therapy is that it can induce in patients a state of being where they can make genuine progress with their struggles. That might mean being able to discuss deep-rooted trauma without judgment or fear, feeling self-compassion for the first time, or removing the general anxieties associated with mental illness.

Remember that at this point in time, these treatments are being used only on patients who have already resisted all other forms of treatments, such as medication, therapy, or some combination thereof.

Psychedelic therapy is proving itself to provide effective treatment for patients who have already been deemed untreatable.

Many patients of these experiences have rated them “the most important [of their lives], or if not, in the top 5 most important experiences of their lives.”

The Unorthodox State of Psychedelic Therapy In Modern Medicine

The state of psychedelic therapy in modern medicine can best be summarized in one word: Taboo.

Taboo as defined as ‘a social or religious custom prohibiting or forbidding discussion of a particular practice or forbidding association with a particular person, place, or thing.’

In many countries around the world, particularly North America, entheogens are classified as a ‘Schedule 1’ substance. This means that they are considered “highly dangerous to user/society” and have “no applicable medical value”.

As we’ll continue to see, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, studies have shown that psychedelics are not linked to the development of mental health issues or suicidal behavior.

As a result, it’s deceptively difficult to begin studies into any potentially applicable values. Scientists, doctors, and therapists, excitedly exploring these treatments, can be ostracized, shunned, disbanded, or fired.

Without valid study opportunities, psychedelic therapy cannot move away from its current taboo state into a more socially and medically viable option to increase a patient’s overall quality of life.

As a result, previous work has happened in the shadows—in therapists’ homes for private, under-the-table sessions.

This coercion to the outer edges paints psychedelic therapy as a dark art, akin to voodoo from witch doctors, instead of the valid and tangible treatment it should be recognized as.

Recently, however, psychedelic therapy has begun to move out of the shadows and into the spotlight. Recognition from notable figures and interest from major institutions like John Hopkins Universityhave started to emerge. One organization at the forefront of these efforts is MAPS (The Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies), which is spearheading fundraising and medically-valid studies into the value and treatment of entheogens as a whole. The New York Times, Vice, The Guardian, and many others have begun to openly analyze the practice, and a more general discussion is emerging.

Early-stage results have come to fruition from initial studies, with outstanding results. Treatments are being shown as successful, and patients are retaining the benefits long-term.

Patients are getting their lives back.

No accepted medical value?

The successful treatment of ‘treatment-resistant’ patients should be considered outstanding medical value.

Of course, the psychedelic community at large has been saying this for years. Impressive anecdotal reports can be found by the hundreds from psychonauts online and in-person. Users who have effectively combatted depression, OCD, and persistent negative thought patterns.

So what exactly are these entheogens patients are using? How are they administered, and what do they address? The following are some of the substances being studied or advocated for in the psychedelic community currently.

Psychedelic Therapy

The Psychedelic Family and Their Therapeutic Applications

There are a plethora of entheogens with promising practical applications. The entheogens in point include psilocybin, ibogaine, LSD, and ayahuasca.

There are other, less prominent, psychedelics also being looked into on a smaller scale. These include DMT, mescaline, and 2C-B.

As each substance is unique in its biochemical composition, it fits that they each have their own neuropsychological effects. We can take a closer look at the proposed or proven benefits of each psychedelic in its therapeutic context.

Psilocybin

Psilocybin is the active ingredient in magic mushrooms. It is quickly claiming its stake as one of the most important substances to pair with traditional therapeutic techniques, due to its proven success at tackling treatment-resistant cases.

 Promising scientific and anecdotal evidence is emerging promoting the ability of psilocybin to alleviate or lessen the symptoms of depression, general anxiety, end-of-life anxiety, and trauma.

Coincidentally, psilocybin can also be effective in the context of couples therapy. It may be possible to save a marriage, or provide a deeper connection to your loved one if this was re-scheduled and introduced to society properly.

Who knew, magic mushrooms might just save your marriage!

Psilocybin is the focus of many emerging studies, and the results are beyond promising (see image below). The quote shared at the beginning of this article was in reference to terminal patients who had undergone their first treatment sessions with psilocybin.

Many ranked it as their most important life experience to date, with some putting on the same level or above the birth of their own child.

Psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy has helped to reduce symptoms and onset of chronic depression, with the effects for most patients lasting between 6-12 months after the experience. This can be extended with effective post-experience integration techniques and follow-up sessions.

Ibogaine

Ibogaine hasn’t had it’s big break yet. It remains on the outer edges to this day, even in the psychedelic community. However, ibogaine is shaping up to be one of the most promising treatments available for patients suffering from opiate addiction or withdrawals.

A single treatment of ibogaine can eradicate the addiction completely, with little to no withdrawal symptoms.

This is something no medical treatment or pharmacological approach has been able to replicate to date.

Ibogaine outperforms any approach to intense addiction currently known to modern science.

And yet it remains a Schedule 1 drug.

Let that sink in.

Despite its unparalleled efficacy, the persistent unpopularity of ibogaine may be due to the fact that the experience is intense. A visceral, multi-day exploration that surfaces key decisions and moments of an addict’s life can be profoundly jarring; it is not something to be taken lightly.

This isn’t your average club drug or even a casual full-day trip in the forest with your friends.

Specifics of the trip aside, the profound efficacy of ibogaine should not be passed up, and fortunately, there are a few organizations (here and here) around the world working to surface these incredible results. Ibogaine is not illegal around the world and is, in fact, a right of passage for some youth in select African countries.

With effective post-experience integration and therapy, addicts who just a few weeks ago had succumbed to the sensual allure of serious drugs are now able to move forward successfully and reclaim the life they may have lost.

Ibogaine can help a user take their lives back from the deathly, devilish clutches of addiction.

LSD

LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), more commonly referred to as acid, has been in the spotlight for some time. Known to most people as a substance that brings beautiful visual benefits and a deep sense of interconnectedness, when applied in a therapeutic setting, LSD can overhaul cemented opinion structures, altering the individual’s outlook on life and the potential they have in the future.

Due to the incredible introspection, openness, and lucidity LSD provides, there are a plethora of illnesses or vindications that LSD-assisted psychotherapy can effectively combat.

Among these illnesses are: alcoholism, quitting smoking, depression, and general/end-of-life anxiety.

As with the aforementioned substances, LSD is proving both in scientific studies and anecdotal reports to offer profound, life-altering benefits to the user.

Follow the white rabbit, reclaim your life.

A pretty good trade-off if you ask me.

A common report of LSD is its ability to offer a ‘third-person’ perspective on yourself. To sit outside of yourself as a spectator, rather than exist as the voice inside your head. Viewing life from this perspective can pull you away from self-destructive patterns, open your eyes to new ways of living, and bring about a level of acceptance you may not have experienced before.

To dismiss psychedelic experiences as childish, or without practical medical applications, is to say that reclaiming a firm hold on your life has no value.

All life has value. We should enable everyone to take hold of it again.

Ayahuasca

Ayahuasca is finding its footing now in modern culture. This ‘jungle juice’ has been growing in popularity amongst psychonauts, consciousness explorers, or even just the ever-explorative startup employee on their vacation to South America.

The active ingredient in Ayahuasca is DMT, commonly referred to as the ‘God molecule.’ In a similar fashion to the ibogaine experience we discussed earlier, Ayahuasca teleports users back to critical moments in their lives, often in their formative years of childhood, to come to terms with and face highly traumatic or unresolved issues in their lives.

In being able to approach highly traumatic experiences with love, sensibility, and receptiveness, patients can quite literally change their past.

What does this mean?

Jason Silva does a great job at explaining this. Your past, your personality, your life story, are made up of two things: the memories you have, and the language you use to describe them.

Ayahuasca, and the psychedelic experience in general, allows you to revisit experiences of your past and change the internal dialogue of these moments. In re-framing trauma as a catalyst for growth, or being able to view abuse as misdirected love, patients can heal deep-seated wounds that they could not tackle through traditional therapy.

Why are users able to do this in psychedelic therapy, but not in traditional sessions? Because the experiences are often blocked off, regressed, or the individual is hesitant to reopen these wounds through discussion. They are unable to arrive at an appropriate emotional state to effectively re-frame the problem and re-direct these misplaced emotions. Through no fault of the individual or the therapy structure, this is just a limitation we as a society face.

Psychedelics offer us a solution.

By inducing a state of profound love and tolerance, incredibly damaging experiences can be reframed and addressed at a level significant enough to allow for true therapeutic breakthroughs to occur.

This is the value of Ayahuasca, and this is why it is quickly becoming so popular in Western psychonautic culture. As a result, Ayahuasca is being studied in the treatment of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), persistent negative thought patterns, and chronic depression/suicidal tendencies.

Being able to re-frame personal problems and come to a place of unconditional self-acceptance is a goal of most therapy. Why then, are entheogens that are being proven to allow this, still so taboo in modern and medical culture?

Everyday Improvement: The Magic of Micro-dosing

Closely related to the value of psychedelic therapy are the potential upsides presented by micro-dosing.

 Micro-dosing is the act of taking sub-perceptual doses of a psychedelic substance on a recurring schedule to promote overall vitality and quality of life. You can read more on micro-dosing here.

Just as important, if not more important than the experience itself, is being able to integrate the learning and progress made on the psychedelic journey into everyday life.

One of the incredible potential upsides to psychedelic therapy is that unlike modern pharmacological approaches, the user need not take a daily pill or participate in the experience on a recurring schedule.

One or two single experiences can provide enough revelatory insight to fundamentally change the habits and performance of the patient.

There is, however, a way to derive the profound benefits of the psychedelic experience on a smaller scale in everyday life: micro-dosing.

Simply, micro-dosing is taking a sub-perceptual dose and going about your day as normal. Sub-perceptual means the experience does not cross the threshold of conscious perception. Though you experience the benefits of the substance, you do not ‘feel’ different than your default state.

The benefits of micro-dosing are endless; you can read some of the effects on users here.

Reports from users who have been micro-dosing on a set schedule indicate elevated mood, increased strength, a deeper connection to others, increased endurance, lessened anxiety/fear, and improved communication, just to name a few benefits. Although the direct experience is sub-perceptual, its benefits find their way into everyday life when applied correctly.

Micro-dosing is incredibly important because it can help maintain euthymia or what is known as ‘normal mood’ in the medical community.

In addition to micro-dosing, meditation and mindfulness training can help you maintain a regular, consistent mood. For patients suffering from mental illness, reaching a normal, functional state is the end goal of therapy and treatment, as depression and anxiety are negative deviations from this norm.

Once again, post-experience integration and maintenance are just as important as the experience itself, micro-dosing can be a valuable tool for self-regulation and sustaining the benefits derived from psychedelic therapy.

MDMA: A Notable, Non-Psychedelic Opportunity

As we know, “psychedelic” refers to the altered state of consciousness reached by ingesting or imbibing these different entheogens. MDMA does not fall into the psychedelic category, as it only amplifies existing characteristics, behaviors, and biochemical levels. It is often included by many publications as a psychedelic, but renowned psychedelic explorer James Fadiman, when speaking with Tim Ferriss, offers a succinct differentiation here:

It’s not exactly a psychedelic because you don’t leave your identity behind, but it is the single best way to overcome intractable post-traumatic stress disorder.

Known on the street as the ‘love drug’, MDMA can put users into an unconditional state of love and respect for themselves and for others. Legalization could be a pivotal moment. As we noted with Ayahuasca, this can be instrumental when working to address traumatic experiences, from depression, to rape, to PTSD.

MAPS is also funding research into MDMA, and it is currently moving into Stage 3 trials. Successful Stage 3 trials allow the drug to be administered by credentialed parties, a monumental leap for patients and therapists alike. This is incredibly promising, and users who have participated in the early trial studies came out with remarkable results.

Integrating Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy Into Current Psychiatric Care

We’ve shown that there are multiple entheogens available today that are proving, under scientific scrutiny, that they provide value and effective treatment to patients and situations that have already been deemed ‘treatment-resistant.’

According to the authoritative definition of “Schedule 1 drug,”, these experiences have “no applicable medical value.”

Really?

Do we, as a society, consider the effective treatment of treatment-resistant illnesses lacking any practical value?

At the very least, this should be up for discussion and intelligent debate in academia and modern psychiatric care.

Now, of course, we aren’t advocating to make these available at every corner store in each major city. No, not at all. We are discussing psychedelic therapy, and the use of psychedelics to augment therapeutic treatment when administered by an accredited, accomplished therapist or doctor.

In these environments, studies are showing that psychedelic therapy can be incredibly effective, and in the case of ibogaine, able to accomplish things previously unseen in the medical community.

If it is worth giving psychedelics their well-deserved shot in society, how do we go about doing this? MAPS can point you in the right direction here. What we need is for psychedelics to be re-scheduled away a Schedule 1 substance. This indicates that there are applicable medical values. This is similar to what is happening with marijuana across various states right now.

Additionally, we need entheogens to enter the rigorous scientific study and scrutiny that all other therapeutic treatments and drugs receive.

Why?

We need to validate and replicate the original studies that are happening now and move them along the stages of scientific and medical study to the point where they can be prescribed and administered by the appropriate parties. Just like you can be prescribed Lithium if you are diagnosed with depression, we should move entheogens to the point where you can be prescribed MDMA-assisted psychotherapy if you are diagnosed with PTSD.

To make a tangible impact in these initiatives, you can refer to the resources at MAPS, make a donation, and even consider hosting your own psychedelic dinner!

We must move quickly to bring the medical community up to speed, and to be able to provide patients with the care that could truly save their lives.

Being a superhero isn’t difficult. Sometimes it’s as simple as correcting a mistake that has been made in the past. Helping the past to catch up with the present.

Source:highexistence.com

How Music Helps Resolve Our Deepest Inner Conflicts.


Music unifies the world into a whole. Feliciano Guimarães/Flickr, CC BY-SA
Music unifies the world into a whole. 

Billions of people enjoy music; many feel that they can’t live without it.

Why?

It’s a question that has puzzled scientists and philosophers for centuries. 2,400 years ago Aristotle wondered, “Why does music, being just sounds, remind us of the states of our soul?”

In the 19th century Darwin tried to decipher if our ability to create music evolved by natural selection. Of all human faculties, only music seemed beyond understanding; flummoxed, he came to the conclusion that “music is the greatest mystery.”

More than 200 years ago, Kant declared music useless. And near the end of the 20th century, celebrated psychologist Steven Pinker – also unable to comprehend its purpose – called music “auditory cheesecake.”

A few years ago, the respected journal Nature published a series of essays about music. Their conclusion? That it’s impossible to explain what music is and why it affects us so strongly – and that it’s not even clear if music can serve “an obvious adaptive function.”

But my recent research suggests otherwise: music is an evolutionary adaptation, one that helps us navigate a world rife with contradictions.

The crippling effect of cognitive dissonance

Music’s effect on our brains is closely related to what’s been dubbed “the greatest discovery in social psychology” of the 20th century: cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is the idea that people experience unpleasant feelings when they either possess contradictory knowledge, or are confronted with new information that opposes existing beliefs.

One way we alleviate dissonance is through suppressing or rejecting this contradictory knowledge.

Aesop’s fable “The Fox and the Grapes” illustrates this common human response. In the tale, the fox is distressed over the fact that he can’t reach a bunch of grapes. Even more unpleasant is the dissonance he experiences: the grapes are so tempting and so close – yet unattainable.

‘If I can’t have it, I don’t want it’: the fable ‘The Fox and the Grapes’ illustrates cognitive dissonance, a core human response to conflicting information. 

As a result, the fox attempts to alleviate the dissonance by rationalizing, “Oh, you aren’t even ripe yet! I don’t need any sour grapes.”

During the 20th century hundreds of experiments confirmed this common psychological response. When faced with dissonant thoughts, children, teens and adults all responded the same way: if I can’t have it, then I don’t need it.

A manifestation of cognitive dissonance is the rejection of new knowledge. Even some great scientific discoveries have had to wait decades for recognition and acceptance, because they contradicted existing beliefs that people didn’t want to surrender. For example, Einstein didn’t receive a Nobel Prize for his Theory of Relativity – now considered one of the greatest discoveries in the history of mankind – because it contradicted our core beliefs about space and time.

Music helps us grapple with dissonance

So if people are willing to deceive themselves or ignore new information, how has human culture evolved? After all, the foundation of culture is the accumulation of new knowledge – much of which contradicts existing knowledge.

Consider language: when language emerged in our species, every new word was a nugget of new information that contradicted an existing idea or belief. A powerful mechanism of the mind must have evolved to enable our ancestors to overcome these unpleasant dissonances that split their world, and allowed them to keep contradictory knowledge – to absorb new words rather than immediately discarding them.

Could it be that this ability was enabled by music? While language splits the world into detailed, distinct pieces, music unifies the world into a whole. Our psyche requires both.

Several experiments have proven music’s ability to help us overcome cognitive dissonances and retain contradictory knowledge.

For example, in one experiment, an experimenter gave a group of four-year-old boys five popular Pokemon toys. Playing with each boy individually, she had them rank, one by one, their preferences for the five toys. Then the experimenter told each subject that she needed to leave for few minutes, and asked him not to play with his second-ranked toy. When she returned, she re-initiated play and found that the formerly second-ranked toy was entirely ignored. When confronted with conflicting information (“I like this toy, but I shouldn’t play with it”), each boy apparently rejected his initial preference for it.

But when the experimenter turned on music when leaving, the toy retained its original value. The contradictory knowledge didn’t lead the boys to simply discard the toy.

In another experiment, we gave a group of fifteen-year-old students a typical multiple choice exam, and asked them to record the difficulty of each question, along with how much time it took them to answer each one.

It turned out that more difficult questions were answered faster (and grades suffered), because students didn’t want to prolong unpleasant dissonance of choosing between difficult options. However when Mozart’s music played in the background, they spent more time on the difficult questions. Their scores improved.

Life’s big choices become more informed

Beyond multiple choice tests, we’re constantly confronted with choices in our day-to-day lives – from the mundane (what to buy for lunch), to the major (whether or not to accept a job offer). We often use both intuition and pragmatism when evaluating complex situations, but we also incorporate emotion.

And then there are choices related to two universal themes of our existence – love and death – which are inherently steeped in contradictions.

With love, we’d like to fully trust it. But we know that to fully trust is dangerous – that we can be betrayed and disappointed. With death, one of the most difficult contradictions of all is our longing to believe in spiritual eternity and our knowledge that our time on Earth is finite.

Is it any coincidence, then, that there are so many songs about love and betrayal? Or that we are drawn to sorrowful songs in times of mourning?

The idea is that music – which can convey an array of nuanced emotions – helps us reconcile our own conflicted emotions when making choices. And the more diverse, differentiated emotions we possess, the more well-founded our decisions become. Whether it’s choosing to play with a toy or deciding to propose to a boyfriend or girlfriend, our research shows that music can enhance our cognitive abilities.

Thus, because we constantly grapple with cognitive dissonances, we created music, in part, to help us tolerate – and overcome – them.

This is the universal purpose of music.

Source:http://scitechconnect.elsevier.com

Psychedelic DMT experience now legal in US; first ayahuasca retreat opens in Washington state


Ayahuasca, one of the healingest brews on the planet, is actually a brew of plants and water, heated to a syrup.

It begins with a 1-2 meter long stem/vine of a plant rich in DMT; though multiple plants are used, one plant called Banisteriopsis caapi is the most widely used for its quality.  This vine is broken into strips and boiled with Diplopterys cabrerana, a Herrania species, Ilex guayusa, Heliconia stricta, and an unidentified Malpighiaceae known as mukuyasku.  All of these ingredients bring out the most intense, days long experience that has changed the lives of countless.

DMT, also known as the spirit molecule, is produced by plants and animals.  In humans, it is produced in the pineal gland near the middle of the head.  Some creatures have more of it than others and it causes the dream state.  Some say it is the root chemical catalyst for consciousness.

The experience is said to be like time dilation; wherein the user experiences prolonged moments, even lifetimes, in the days of imagination.  It is also said to be extremely theraputic, as the body experiences it as well; the people come out changed, almost overwhelmingly for the better.

Here is some testimony. Watch the video.

source:www.minds.com

 

11 Amazing Health Benefits and Uses of Baking Soda


You probably have at least one box of baking soda in your home right now. If you’re like many Americans, you might have a box in your pantry for baking, one in your refrigerator to absorb odors and another under your kitchen sink to use for cleaning.

Story at-a-glance

  • Baking soda can be used to remove plaque and odors from your teeth and also promotes whitening
  • Use baking soda for minor injuries, including insect bites, bee stings, poison ivy, splinters, and sunburn
  • Baking soda can be used as a natural deodorant, foot soak, detox bath, and exfoliator
  • A mixture of baking soda and water is often effective for relieving heartburn, indigestion, and ulcer pain

What you might not have considered is that baking soda can be used for health purposes, too, so you might want to stash another box in your medicine cabinet.

What Exactly Is Baking Soda?

It’s 100 percent sodium bicarbonate, which can be used as a leavening agent in baked goods. When mixed with an acid, baking soda reacts, making bubbles and giving off carbon dioxide gas, which causes dough to rise. Anecdotal reports throughout history suggest that many civilizations used forms of baking soda when making bread and other foods that required rising.

In its natural form, baking soda is known as nahcolite, which is part of the natural mineral natron. Natron, which contains large amounts of sodium bicarbonate, has been used since ancient times. And no, you don’t need to get aluminum-free baking soda (you are confusing that with baking powder), as baking soda is already aluminum free.…

For instance, the Egyptians used natron as a soap for cleansing purposes. However, it wasn’t until 1846 that Dr. Austin Church and John Dwight began to manufacture and sell the compound we know as baking soda today. By the 1860s, baking soda was featured in published cookbooks but was still primarily known as a cooking additive.1 By the 1920s, however, its versatility was expanded on and by the 1930s it was widely advertised as a “proven medical agent.”

11 Ways to Use Baking Soda for Your Health

You can purchase a box of baking soda for under $1, making it one of the least expensive home remedies to keep on hand. In addition to using it for minor accidents and injuries, baking soda can become a part of your regular hygiene routine.

1. Natural Deodorant

If you want to avoid the parabens and aluminum found in many deodorants and antiperspirants, try a pinch of baking soda mixed with water instead. This simple paste makes an effective and simple natural deodorant. You can also simply brush some dry baking soda under your arms.

2. Insect Bites and Poison Ivy

Apply a paste made of baking soda and water to insect bites to help relieve itching. You can also try rubbing the dry powder onto your skin. This is also effective for itchy rashes and poison ivy. Baking soda helps to relieve minor skin irritation and itching by neutralizing toxins and irritants on your skin’s surface.2

3. Heartburn, Indigestion, and Ulcer Pain

Most over-the-counter antacids contain some form of bicarbonate. Baking soda works by immediately neutralizing stomach acid, helping to relieve heartburn, indigestion and even ulcer pain. I have personally recommended this to many, including family members, and have been surprised how remarkably effective it is.

Dosing is typically ½ teaspoon fully dissolved in a half a glass of water, taken every two hours (do not take more than seven ½ teaspoons in 24 hours, or three ½ teaspoons if you’re over 60).3

This should only be used as an occasional (not chronic) treatment, however, and be careful not to consume excessive amounts, which can cause serious electrolyte and acid/base imbalances.4

4. Foot Soak and Exfoliator

Add three tablespoons of baking soda to a tub of warm water for an invigorating foot soak. You can scrub your feet with a baking soda paste for additional exfoliation. A paste made from three parts of baking soda combined with one part water can be used as an exfoliator for your face and body, too. It’s natural, inexpensive and gentle enough to use every day.

5. Relaxing Soak

Baking soda and apple cider make a wonderful spa-like bath for soaking. It also cleans the tub and the drain, as a bonus!

6. Hand Cleanser

Mix three parts baking soda with one part of water to make a natural hand cleanser that will scrub away dirt and neutralize odors.

7. Splinter removal

Add a tablespoon of baking soda to a small glass of water, then soak the affected area twice a day. Many splinters will come out on their own after a couple of days using this treatment.

8. Sunburn Remedy

Add ½ cup of baking soda to lukewarm bathwater, then soak in the tub for natural relief. When you get out, let your skin air dry, rather than toweling off the excess baking soda, for extra relief. You can also add a mixture of baking soda and water to a cool compress and apply it to the sunburn directly.

9. Enhanced Sports Performance

Distance runners have long engaged in a practice known as “soda doping” — or taking baking soda capsules — before races to enhance performance, a measure that’s thought to work similarly to carbohydrate loading. It’s also been shown to improve speed among swimmers.5 While I don’t suggest you try this at home, it’s another example of baking soda benefits. Researchers noted:6

Essentially, sodium bicarbonate is an alkali substance that increases the pH of the blood. This seems to reduce and offset the acidity produced in the muscles during intense, anaerobic exercise that produces lactic acid most quickly, such as fast running or swimming.”

10. Tooth and Gum Paste

Baking soda has a mild abrasive action that helps to remove plaque and polish, clean, and deodorize your teeth.7 One review of data from five controlled clinical studies found that toothpaste containing baking soda “enhanced plaque removal effectiveness of tooth brushing to a significantly greater extent” than brushing with a non-baking soda toothpaste.8

Baking soda also has antibacterial activity and has been found to kill Streptococcus mutans bacteria – a significant contributor to tooth decay.9 For an incredibly effective tooth and gum paste, use a mixture of six parts of baking soda to one part of sea salt.

Place them in a blender and mix for 30 seconds, then place in a container to use. Wet the tip of your index finger and place a small amount of the salt and soda mixture on your gums.

Starting with the upper outside gums and then the inside of the upper, followed by the lower outside of the gums then the lower inside, rub the mixture onto your teeth and gums. Spit out the excess. After 15 minutes rinse your mouth. This mixture is incredibly effective at killing bacteria.10

You need to exert some caution in this area though as many believe baking soda can be too abrasive on your enamel, and Dr. Curatola believes that killing the oral microbiome may be highly counterproductive.

11. Teeth whitener

For a natural way to whiten your teeth, crush one ripe strawberry and mix it with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Spread the mixture onto your teeth and leave on for five minutes. Then brush your teeth and rinse. This method should be used no more than once a week, as excessive use could potentially damage your tooth enamel.

How to Use Baking Soda as a Natural Cleanser

If you find it hard to believe that something as simple and inexpensive as baking soda could really clean your home, consider this: baking soda was used to clean and restore the inner copper walls of the Statute of Liberty during its 1986 restoration. It effectively removed grime without damaging the copper11 – so think it might work around your home, too? Here are some of baking soda’s top uses for cleaning:

 

Baking soda is great to scrub your bath and kitchen with. Put it in a glass grated cheese container with a stainless steel top that has holes in it, and just sprinkle the baking soda on the surfaces and scrub. You may add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to this. Lavender and tea tree oil have potent anti-bacterial qualities. Baking soda mixed with apple cider vinegar is a bubbly combination that has many uses. As a drain cleaner, sprinkle baking soda down the drain, then add apple cider vinegar and let it bubble for 15 minutes, then rinse with hot water. This is a safer alternative to dangerous drain cleaners.
Soak pots and pans in hot water and baking soda for 15 minutes to easily wipe away baked-on food. Use baking soda to scrub your barbecue grill.
Clean baby toys in a mixture of 4 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 quart of water. Baking soda can also be used as a fabric softener in your laundry, or to get your clothes whither and brighter (add one cup to your laundry load).
Baking soda is a natural carpet cleaner. Sprinkle it onto carpets, let it sit for 15 minutes, then vacuum it up. To polish silver without using toxic silver polish, fill your kitchen sink with hot water, add a sheet of aluminum foil and baking soda, and let the silver pieces soak until clean. It is an easy and fun way to clean silver.
Sprinkle baking soda in your shoes for a natural deodorizer. In the event of a minor grease fire in your kitchen, use baking soda to help smother out the flames.
Sprinkle baking soda on a vegetable brush to help remove dirt and residue from fruits and veggies.

 

Make a paste of baking soda and water and use it to scrub away grime from your shower and bath.

Watch the video. URL:https://youtu.be/VMoLIU0Kxlw

Source:mercola.com

How to Get Rid of a Headache in 5 Minutes Without Pills


When you have a headache and the pill you need isn’t at hand, the situation seems hopeless. But it isn’t so. There’s a scientific way to get rid of a headache called acupressure.

Today Bright Side will tell you about this technique which removes a headache effectively and quickly.

Acupressure is a kind of massage, the effectiveness of which is confirmed by numerous scientific studies. By its nature, it’s a form of acupuncture and reflexotherapy, but it doesn’t require special medical knowledge.

How to massage acupressure points

First, take a comfortable position and relax. The massage doesn’t take much time: from 30 seconds to 1 minute on average.

Massage a point with light pressing or circular movements. Usually, the headache disappears during the massage or 5-10 minutes after it.

There are 6 main points to get rid of a headache

The point of the third eye, or Yintang, is situated between the eyebrows in the place where the bridge of the nose passes into the forehead. This point is also responsible for eye fatigue removal.

These symmetrical points are located at the base of the inner edge of the eyebrows. Massage of this area also relieves a runny nose and improves visual acuity. Massage for 1 minute by pressing or circular movements.

These points are located on both sides of the nostrils in line with the eyes. To find them, feel a dimple in the bottom of the cheekbones. It helps to open sinuses, reduce headache and toothache, and relieve stress.

The points are located in the back of the head in the middle, between the ear and the beginning of the spine. Massaging these points helps to relieve nasal congestion, pain in the eyes and ears, severe headache, and migraine.

The Shuai gu points are situated 2-3 cm from the beginning of the hairline in the temple area. Feel a small dimple to find this point. Pressure applied to this area relieves pain in the temporal region and eye fatigue.

These symmetrical points are located on the back of the hand between the thumb and forefinger. Pressure applied to this area also relieves back pain, toothache, and tension in the neck muscles.

Source:https://brightside.me

New tuberculosis drug leads from naturally occurring compounds


Highlights

The development of anti-tuberculosis (TB) compounds from natural sources is reviewed.

A number of natural product-derived candidates have entered late-stage development.

Drug leads with novel modes of action is required to combat the alarming increase in drug-resistant TB cases.


Summary

Tuberculosis (TB) continues to be a significant cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. An estimated 2 billion individuals are infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis and annually there are approximately 10 million new cases of clinical TB and 1.5 million deaths. Currently available drugs and vaccines have had no significant impact on TB control. In addition, the emergence of drug resistant TB is considered a public health crisis, with some strains now resistant to all available drugs. Unfortunately, the growing burden of antibiotic resistance is coupled with decreased effort in the development of new antibiotics. Natural sources are attractive starting points in the search for anti-tubercular drugs because they are extremely rich in chemical diversity and have privileged antimicrobial activity. This review will discuss recent advances in the development of TB drug leads from natural products, with a particular focus on anti-mycobacterial compounds in late-stage preclinical and clinical development.


Emergent drug-resistant tuberculosis

The spread of drug resistant TB is a major threat to global TB control. These strains are now entrenched in most countries and are spreading at an alarming rate. Multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB isolates are resistant to isoniazid (INH) and rifampicin, the two frontline drugs for TB treatment, and have been detected in every country surveyed. In 2015 there were an estimated 480,000 new cases of MDR-TB, however only 50% of patients on MDR-TB treatment were successfully treated.1 This means hundreds of thousands of people worldwide are going untreated and continuing to spread drug resistant forms of the disease. Extensively drug-resistant (XDR) TB strains, first detected in 2006, are resistant to front-line and second-line anti-tubercular antibiotics. XDR-TB is now present in over 100 countries and represents approximately 10% of MDR-TB cases.1 Delayed diagnosis and inappropriate treatment leads to multiplication of resistance; this is best highlighted by the alarming emergence of totally drug resistant (TDR) TB, which is essentially untreatable using current drugs.2 In addition, TB treatment is long; standard treatment for drug sensitive strains is 6 to 12 months, while patients with drug resistant TB must endure a longer course of treatment (24 months or longer) with harsh side effects, high cost and a low chance of cure. The combination of long treatment and side effects results in poor compliance, which is a major contributor to the development of resistance. Thus it is evident that current methods of treatment and control for TB are not sustainable in the face of highly drug resistant TB; there is an obvious and urgent need for the development of new TB drugs that are effective against drug resistant M. tuberculosis strains, as well as strategies to reduce duration of treatment regimens.

Natural products as new treatments for TB

The search for new anti-TB agents has been slow; the last major anti-TB drug to be licensed for human use was rifampicin in 1963. Since that time a handful of compounds have entered human trials, and encouragingly two compounds, bedaquiline and delamanid, have recently received fast-tracked approval for use against MDR-TB.3However both drugs are associated with side-effects and are only recommended for those without other treatment options. Considering the restrictions on bedaquiline use, and the fact that XDR and TDR strains cannot be adequately treated with currently available antibiotics, many more compounds must enter the TB drug development ‘pipeline’ in order to adequately combat the TB problem. New anti-TB compounds must overcome the issues with current treatments (Table 1). The ideal anti-TB drug must display high potency, particularly against drug-resistant strains, and possess an adequate safety profile. In addition drugs should be active against latent and replicating forms of M. tuberculosis and have limited drug/drug interactions, particularly with anti-retroviral agents.

Table 1.Desired properties of new anti-TB drugs.

Problem with existing therapy Desired characteristics of new drugs
Lengthy treatment Increased capacity to inhibit bacterial growth and shorten treatment time (e.g. <4 month).
High pill burden Lower the number of pills and frequency of doses by using highly potent and bioavailable drugs. Also aim for intermittent treatment.
Expensive Cheap to make and easily available to the developing world.
Side effects Less toxic drugs. Intermittent treatment.
Interaction with other drug Minimal drug-drug interaction with anti-virals, diabetes and non-TB drugs.
Drug resistant M. tuberculosis strains Novel drugs with new mechanism of action.
Lack of efficacy against latent TB Active against non-replicating bacteria and work effectively in hypoxic conditions. Drugs that can penetrate granulomas.

Source:http://www.sciencedirect.com

7 Ways Cannabis Can Protect The Brain


Cannabis kills brain cells, right? Think again…

It’s true, most of us can think of at least one committed stoner with a memory of a goldfish and a vacant, thousand yard stare. So it may seem counter-intuitive to suggest that the cannabis plant can actually protect the brain and prevent certain neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s from forming.

And yet, even though the US government officially denies any such therapeutic use of cannabis, it has taken out a patent on cannabinoids saying they ‘are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia’.

So, instead of damaging memory it would seem that cannabis could actually do quite the opposite, and even protect against age related memory loss and dementia.

 7-surprising-ways-cannabis-can-protect-the-brain

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) – a therapeutic target:

Scientists have known for some time that the body’s Endocannabinoid System – the complex network of chemical compounds and receptors found throughout the central nervous (CB1) and the immune system (CB2) – is directly involved in the mechanisms of diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.  An increased CB2 expression (1) found in post-mortem brains Alzheimer’s patients has been thought to be the ECS’s attempt to counteract the chronic inflammation found in the disease, while in another study (2) on Alzheimer’s patients, reduced levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide were found, although conversely were elevated in Parkinson’s disease (3).

Researchers believe then that by targeting the Endocannabinoid system, therapeutic answers can be found for many of the neurodegenerative diseases affecting people in the 21st century. And much research is being carried out into how phytocannabinoids like THC and CBD can not only treat disease progression, but also even prevent certain neurodegenerative disorders from happening.

So why exactly is cannabis being posited as the brain protector of the future?

1. Cannabis protects the brain by reducing inflammation

It’s commonly held that chronic inflammation is at the root of many illnesses, including Alzheimer’s. Although it still remains unclear whether inflammation is a by product or a direct contributing factor, bringing an excessive inflammatory response into balance again, is generally believed to be of benefit.

Gary Wenk, PhD, professor of neuroscience, immunology and medical genetics at Ohio State University, has studied how to combat brain inflammation for over 25 years. He says, ‘PET imaging studies of humans have shown that after age thirty the brain gradually displays increasing evidence of inflammation. With advancing age, brain inflammation continues to worsen leading to a decline in the production of new neurons, called neurogenesis, that are important for making new memories’.

He coined the phrase ‘one puff is enough’ after suggesting that ingesting small amounts of cannabis over years can be enough to protect the brain against inflammation, saying ‘the evidence available from studies of humans and animal models of Alzheimer’s disease do indicate that long-term, low-dose daily exposure, during mid-life, to the complex blend of compounds found in the marijuana plant can effectively slow the brain processes underlying Alzheimer’s disease’.

2. Cannabis is a powerful antioxidant protecting against toxic build up in the brain

As well as patenting Cannabinoids as neuroprotectants, the US government also named them antioxidants. But the two qualities are indelibly linked.

An ageing brain has a tendency to accumulate excessive levels of glutamate, a neurotransmitter that is involved with nerve cell signalling. This can lead to glutamate toxicity, an overstimulation of the cell and ultimately cell death. When glutamate causes cellular damage, it becomes an excitotoxin. Excitotoxicity is viewed as a potential cause of many neurodegenerative diseases of the central nervous system, as well as strokes and hearing loss.

In one study (4) carried out on rats, the cannabinoid Cannabidiol was ‘was demonstrated to reduce hydroperoxide toxicity in neurons. In a head to head trial of the abilities of various antioxidants to prevent glutamate toxicity, cannabidiol was superior to both alpha-tocopherol and ascorbate in protective capacity.’  And in another, (5) THC was shown to reduce the levels of glutamate in the brain following a traumatic brain injury.

An additional age related toxicity that researchers believe may bring about the onset of diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s is excessive levels of iron in the body.

Researchers from Pontifical Catholic University in Brazil (6) examined the relationship between high levels of iron and cell death in neurodegenerative diseases. In particular they studied the potential use of CBD, which they found may protect the rapid cell death associated with iron.

3. Cannabis helps promote new brain cell growth

7-ways-cannabis-can-protect-the-brain-1This is the one that really stops people in their tracks. Surely cannabis kills off brain cells, right? While it’s true in young, adolescent brains, cannabis can have a negative effect on brain development, scientists do know that the Endocannabinoid system is closely linked with the process of adult neurogenesis (brain cell growth).

Once again mice were the subjects of research (7) that showed the administration of plant cannabinoids promoted hippocampal neurogenesis – new cell growth in the region of the brain associated both with memory and learning – but also depression and anxiety.

In a follow on study (8) by the University of Saskatchewan, researchers sought to find out whether this hippocampal neurogenesis could explain the apparent anti anxiety and antidepressant effects of cannabinoids. Using a synthetic cannabinoid called HU-210 on rats, they found it gave rise to both the growth of ‘newborn neurons’ in the hippocampal area but also reduced anxiety and depression like behaviour in the animal subjects.

Thus showing that ‘cannabinoids appear to be the only illicit drug whose capacity to produce increased hippocampal newborn neurons is positively correlated with its anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like effects’.

4. Cannabis may slow the progression of some neurodegenerative diseases

We’ve seen that cannabis can potentially be a neuroprotector, but what effect does it have on slowing the progress of illnesses related to the brain and central nervous system?

So far, as generally is the case with research into the use of cannabis to treat disease, most findings are at the pre-clinical stage on animal models, or in the laboratory.

One such trial (9) has shown how CBD can reduce neural inflammation in mice injected with amyloid-beta, the protein that scientists believe leads to neuronal cell death in Alzheimer’s.

Research (10) carried out in 2014 at the University of South Florida showed that extremely low doses of THC actually reduces amyloid-beta production. “THC is known to be a potent antioxidant with neuroprotective properties, but this is the first report that the compound directly affects Alzheimer’s pathology by decreasing amyloid beta levels, inhibiting its aggregation, and enhancing mitochondrial function,” said study lead author Chuanhai Cao, PhD of the study.

By increasing mitochondrial function it also means a healthier brain due to a better energy supply and improved signalling.

5. Cannabis can make Alzheimer’s patients less agitated

A small amount of clinical trials have taken place on Alzheimer’s patients using cannabinoids to lessen levels of agitation.

One double-blind, placebo-controlled, six-week, crossover study of 12 patients suffering from Alzheimer-type dementia reported that 5 mg of dronabinol (delta 9-THC) daily was associated with a decrease in disturbed behaviour (11).

 A recent study (12) carried out on 11 patients in Israel found that out of the 10 patients that completed the trial ingesting medical cannabis oil, researchers recorded “significant reduction” in behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia. Researchers concluded that ‘adding medical cannabis oil  to Alzheimer’s patients’ pharmacotherapy is safe and a promising treatment option’.

6. Cannabis may protect the brain against serious brain trauma

5.3 million people live with traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the US, a number comparable to those living with Alzheimer’s. It is caused by a severe blow to the head and resulting symptoms can include cognitive problems such as headache, difficulty thinking, memory problems, attention deficits, mood swings and frustration.

TBI is also proving an exciting area of research for the potential therapeutic use of cannabinoids. THC in particular has been shown to protect the brain from long term damage following a traumatic injury. In a study (13) carried out on mice by Professor Yosef Sarne of Tel Aviv University, very low doses of THC administered over a long period of time were found to ‘protect the brain from long-term cognitive damage in the wake of injury from hypoxia (lack of oxygen), seizures, or toxic drugs’.

Not only did they find that THC minimised the damage to the brain following an injury, but if administered before the incident it could prevent brain injury from occurring in the first place. It seems strange to suggest taking THC just in case a brain trauma might occur, but in instances such as major surgery when blood supply to the brain is interrupted, THC’s neuroprotection could be of benefit.

This theory appears to be backed up by a study (14) carried out at a hospital in California reviewing the data of 446 adults treated for brain injuries. Overall 1 in 5 patients tested positive for THC and compared to the patients who hadn’t tested positive, they were statistically 80% less likely to die from their injuries.

While this doesn’t demonstrate a direct cause and effect between THC use and survival from serious brain trauma, the findings certainly highlight the potential use of cannabinoids for giving the best chances of recovery.

7. Cannabis could limit brain damage resulting from strokes

7-ways-cannabis-can-protect-the-brain-strokeWhereas a TBI is caused by an external force injuring the brain, a stroke occurs when due to a thickening of the arteries, there is poor blood flow to the brain, resulting in cell death, partial paralysis etc.

Scientists are slowly beginning to realise how the endocannabinoid system is activated during a stroke (15) whereby ‘activation of the CB receptors leads to cellular changes that are extremely relevant to ischemic injury (stroke damage): they regulate glutamate release, nitric oxide synthesis, growth factor expression, cellular antioxidant activity, the release of inflammatory cytokines, and leukocyte adhesion to cerebral vessels.’

Both CBD and THC’s ability to block the neurotransmitter glutamate, produced when the brain is deprived of oxygen, once again come to the fore as a way to limit cell death following a stroke. In a study (16) published in 2010 scientists concluded that ‘CBD had a potent and long-lasting neuroprotective effect and prevented progressive post-ischemic injury’ and ‘that repeated treatment with CBD from 1 day or 3 days after cerebral ischemia improved the functional deficits, such as neurological score and motor coordination, and survival rates’.

Another rodent study (17) showed Cannabidiol to have ‘a protective effect on neuronal death induced by ischemia (stroke)’ indicating that it ‘might exert beneficial therapeutic effects in brain ischemia’.

So contrary to the commonly held belief that cannabis leads to the loss of precious neurones, studies increasingly show the potential benefits for protecting our ageing brains against neurodegeneration and even injury from external forces.

It’s clear that there is a lot still to understand about the endocannabinoid system’s role in these particular diseases, but scientists remain hopeful that the many theories honed in the lab may one day move forward into the realms of clinical trials, and eventually to treatment for patients.

References:

  1. Solas M1, Francis PT, Franco R, Ramirez MJ (2013). CB2 receptor and amyloid pathology in frontal cortex of Alzheimer’s disease patients. Neurobiol Aging. 2013 Mar;34(3):805-8.
  2. Kwang-Mook Jung,a,1 Giuseppe Astarita,a,1 Sevil Yasar,d Vitaly Vasilevko,c David H. Cribbs,c Elizabeth Head,c,2 Carl W. Cotman,c and Daniele Piomelli (2012). An amyloid beta 42-dependent deficit in anandamide mobilization is associated with cognitive dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease.Neurobiol Aging 2012 Aug; 33(8): 1522–1532.
  3. Pisani V1, Moschella V, Bari M, Fezza F, Galati S, Bernardi G, Stanzione P, Pisani A, Maccarrone M. (2010) Dynamic changes of anandamide in the cerebrospinal fluid of Parkinson’s disease patients. Movement Disorders.15;25(7):920-4.
  4. Hampson AJ1, Grimaldi M, Lolic M, Wink D, Rosenthal R, Axelrod J.(2000) Neuroprotective antioxidants from marijuana. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 899:274-82.
  5. Esther Shohami, Ayelet Cohen-Yeshurun, Lital Magid, Merav Algali, and Raphael Mechoulam (2011). Endocannabinoids and traumatic brain injury. British Journal of Pharmacology.  163(7): 1402–1410
  6. Vanessa Kappel da Silva, Betânia Souza de Freitas, Arethuza da Silva Dornelles,Laura Roesler Nery, Lucio Falavigna,Rafael Dal Ponte Ferreira, Maurício Reis Bogo, Jaime Eduardo Cecílio Hallak, Antônio Waldo Zuardi, José Alexandre S. Crippa, Nadja Schröder (2014) Cannabidiol Normalizes Caspase 3, Synaptophysin, and Mitochondrial Fission Protein DNM1L Expression Levels in Rats with Brain Iron Overload: Implications for Neuroprotection. Molecular Neurobiology. Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 222–233
  7. Jin K1, Xie L, Kim SH, Parmentier-Batteur S, Sun Y, Mao XO, Childs J, Greenberg DA. (2004) Defective adult neurogenesis in CB1 cannabinoid receptor knockout mice. Molecular Pharmacology. 66(2):204-8.
  8. Jiang W1, Zhang Y, Xiao L, Van Cleemput J, Ji SP, Bai G, Zhang X (2005). Cannabinoids promote embryonic and adult hippocampus neurogenesis and produce anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like effects.The Journal of Clinical Investigation. (11):3104-16.
  9. G Esposito, C Scuderi, C Savani, L Steardo, Jr, D De Filippis, P Cottone, T Iuvone, V Cuomo, and L Steardo (2007). Cannabidiol in vivo blunts beta-amyloid induced neuroinflammation by suppressing IL-1? and iNOS expression. British Journal of Pharmacology. 151(8): 1272–1279
  10. Cao C, Li Y, Liu H, Bai G, Mayl J, Lin X, Sutherland K, Nabar N, Cai J. (2014) The potential therapeutic effects of THC on Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 42(3):973-84
  11. Volicer, L., Stelly, M., Morris, J., McLaughlin, J. and others. (1997). Effects of dronabinol on anorexia and disturbed behavior in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Int.J.Geriatr.Psychiatry. 12: 913-919.
  12. Shelef A, Barak Y, Berger U, Paleacu D, Tadger S, Plopsky I, Baruch Y. (2016) Safety and Efficacy of Medical Cannabis Oil for Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia: An-Open Label, Add-On, Pilot Study. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. 51(1):15-9
  13. Fishbein M, Gov S, Assaf F, Gafni M, Keren O, Sarne Y. ( 2012) Long-term behavioral and biochemical effects of an ultra-low dose of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): neuroprotection and ERK signaling. Experimental Brain Research. 221(4):437-48
  14. Nguyen BM, Kim D, Bricker S, Bongard F, Neville A, Putnam B, Smith J, Plurad D. (2014) Effect of marijuana use on outcomes in traumatic brain injury. American Surgeon. Oct;80(10):979-83.
  15. Cecilia J. Hillard (2008) Role of cannabinoids and endocannabinoids in cerebral ischemia. Current Pharmaceutical Design 14(23): 2347–2361.
  16. Kazuhide Hayakawa, Kenichi Mishima, and Michihiro Fujiwara (2010). Therapeutic Potential of Non-Psychotropic Cannabidiol in Ischemic Stroke. Pharmaceuticals 3(7): 2197–2212.
  17. Schiavon AP, Soares LM, Bonato JM, Milani H, Guimarães FS, Weffort de Oliveira RM.(2014) Protective effects of cannabidiol against hippocampal cell death and cognitive impairment induced by bilateral common carotid artery occlusion in mice. Neurotoxicity Research 26(4):307-16

Source:https://wakeup-world.com

Role of psilocybin in the treatment of depression


Abstract

Psilocybin is a naturally occurring alkaloid, pharmacologically similar to the classic hallucinogen lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Although primarily used as a recreational drug or an entheogen in particular cultural settings, recent population based studies have shown that it does not lead to serious physical or mental health problems or dependent use. In view of recent work demonstrating psilocybin’s potential to increase subjective sense of wellbeing and because of its novel mechanism of 5-HT2A serotonin receptor agonism, it is being explored for possible therapeutic utility in mood and anxiety disorders.

Keywords: depression, hallucinogen, psilocybin, treatment

Classical hallucinogens have been categorized into three groups: tryptamines, such as psilocin, the psychoactive metabolite of psilocybin; lysergamines (a subgroup of tryptamines), prominently lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD); and phenethylamines, such as mescaline [Geyer et al. 2009]. Psilocybin is a naturally occurring alkaloid. Though primarily considered a recreational substance, recent population-based studies have shown that it does not lead to serious physical or mental health problems, including dependence [Krebs and Johansen, 2013; Johansen and Krebs, 2015]. The psychopharmacological action of psilocybin is thought to be mediated via binding to serotonergic 5-HT2 receptors, primarily 5-HT2A receptors, although non-5-HT2 receptors are probably also involved [Tylš et al. 2014]. Downregulation of 5-HT2A receptors is purported to mediate antidepressant and antianxiety effects of antidepressants and atypical antipsychotics [Van Oekelen et al. 2003]. Because of the high binding affinity of psilocybin to the 5-HT2A receptor, its effects are thought to be mediated through modulation of 5-HT2A receptors, in addition to second messenger signalling and gene-expression effects [Gonzalez-Maeso et al. 2007].

In view of recent work demonstrating psilocybin’s potential to increase subjective sense of wellbeing [Griffiths et al. 2008] and because of its novel mechanism of 5-HT2A serotonin receptor agonism, it is being explored for therapeutic utility in mood and anxiety disorders [Vollenweider and Kometer, 2010].

A recent study made an attempt to investigate the feasibility, safety and efficacy of psilocybin in treatment-resistant unipolar depression, when administered along with psychological support [Carhart-Harris et al. 2016]. This was the first open-label study in patients with moderate to severe unipolar depression who had not responded to two or more adequate trials of antidepressants from different pharmacological classes. The authors administered 10 mg (low dose) oral psilocybin, followed 1 week later by another dose of 25 mg (high dose). Psilocybin was well tolerated by all patients, and no serious or unexpected adverse events were reported. Relative to baseline, depressive symptoms were markedly reduced at 1 week and at 3 months after treatment. This study paves the way for more rigorous trials in the future to further investigate the therapeutic potential of psilocybin in depression.

The foremost requirement for any pharmacological agent to be used as a medicinal drug is that it should be acceptably safe when administered to humans. The doses of psilocybin used in the present study have been shown to be safe previously when administered to both healthy individuals, and patients with medical and psychiatric illness. A study in 36 healthy individuals who received 30 mg of psilocybin found no sustained deleterious physiological or psychological effects [Griffiths et al. 2006]. Another study exploring the effects of psilocybin on anxiety in 12 patients with advanced-stage cancer reported no clinically significant adverse effects [Grob et al. 2011].

Second, for a psychedelic drug to be feasibly used as a pharmacologic agent in humans, its acute effects themselves should be well tolerated, and easily managed. Psilocybin has been found to have mild, pleasurable and nonthreatening effects in 110 healthy individuals in a pooled analysis of eight double-blind placebo-controlled experimental studies [Studerus et al. 2011]. This study concluded that administration of moderate doses of psilocybin in well-prepared subjects in a carefully monitored environment was associated with an acceptable level of risk.

There is a growing evidence base suggesting a neurobiological basis for the possible efficacy of psilocybin in unipolar depression. A functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study showed that the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) was consistently deactivated by psilocybin [Carhart-Harris et al. 2012a]. Medial PFC has been shown to be hyperactive in fMRI studies in depression, and effective treatment of depression has shown to normalize this hyperactivity [Holtzheimer and Mayberg, 2011]. Thus, the deactivation of mPFC by psilocybin is consistent with its proposed effect in depression. The fact that the magnitude of deactivation of mPFC was found to be correlated with the drug’s subjective effects further supports this assumption [Carhart-Harris et al. 2012a]. Other fMRI studies have found that psilocybin attenuates amygdala activation in response to threat-related visual stimuli [Kraehenmann et al. 2015a], and decreases threat-induced modulation of top-down connectivity from the amygdala to the primary visual cortex [Kraehenmann et al. 2015b]. Both of these mechanisms are proposed to induce positive affect states. Given that the amygdala plays a central role in the perception and generation of emotions, and given that amygdala hyperactivity in response to negative stimuli has consistently been related to negative mood states in depressed patients [DeRubeis et al. 2008], the effect of psilocybin strongly points at a therapeutic mechanism in depression. Though psychedelics have historically been used to assist psychotherapy, recently a neurobiological basis for the same is emerging. Psilocybin has been found to robustly facilitate activation of various areas of the brain, including the limbic system, in response to autobiographical memory cues [Carhart-Harris et al. 2012b]. Such facilitation of the recall of salient memories during psychotherapy may be of significance. In addition, ayahuasca, a naturally occurring hallucinogen with a pharmacological profile similar to psilocybin, has been shown to significantly reduce depressive symptoms [Osório Fde et al. 2015], and increase blood perfusion in brain areas implicated in regulation of mood [Sanches et al. 2016].

The study by Carhart-Harris and colleagues [Carhart-Harris et al. 2012b] suffered from a few methodological issues. As it was an open-label, non-placebo-controlled study, it is not possible to differentiate between pharmacological action and the placebo effect of administering psilocybin, as the placebo effect has been shown to have a significant beneficial effect on depression on its own. However, designing double-blind, controlled studies with agents such as psilocybin is difficult, given the ease with which its psychotropic actions are recognizable. Also, as 5 of the 12 participants reported previous psilocybin use, it is possible that a predisposition towards the pleasurable effects of the substance may have contributed to the improvement in symptoms, thus confounding the results. Adverse effects such as paranoia, as described by one of the participants, may also hamper the effectiveness of such drugs. In addition, patient compensation may influence outcomes in such studies, and this information is not adequately elucidated in the paper in question. Finally, the authors have declared support from one of the many private foundations which finance research into hallucinogens [Dakwar, 2016]. Since detailed information on conflicts of interest has not been provided, skepticism may arise as to the role of such foundations in study design and execution, potentially biasing the results. Such studies also face practical issues, such as procuring supplies of hallucinogens. By overcoming limitations such as unclear information on the conflicts of interest, such studies may gain more acceptance in the medical community.

Thus, although limited, the current evidence base suggests that psilocybin may prove to be a safe, feasible, and efficacious pharmacological agent for depression, at least in patients not responding to conventional therapies.

Footnotes

Funding: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Conflict of interest statement: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Contributor Information

Ananya Mahapatra, Department of Psychiatry, 4th floor Academic Block, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi 110029, India.

Rishi Gupta, Junior Resident, Department of Psychiatry and National Drug-Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC), All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, India.

References

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Source:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Resveratrol’s Link to Slowing Alzheimer’s


Alzheimer’s Treatment

Story at-a-glance

  • Alzheimer’s disease currently hits someone in the U.S. every 66 seconds and affects 5 million Americans annually
  • In testing high doses of resveratrol, scientists found individuals with mild Alzheimer’s were experiencing brain shrinkage until they found a certain molecule that may be responsible for decreasing brain inflammation
  • Resveratrol, a compound found in red wine, raspberries and chocolate, appears to slow the encroachment of cognitive problems in Alzheimer’s patients by repairing “leaky” blood-brain barriers and stabilizing mitochondrial function

What do pomegranates, grape skin and raw cacao have in common? If your first thought was that they’re all plant-based foods, you’d be right, but if you also knew they all contain a powerful antioxidant called resveratrol, you’d get a gold star!

Resveratrol is a polyphenol released by plants to help them resist damage from things like bacteria, excess ultraviolet light or injury, say, by aphids or other microorganisms.

The amazing thing is when you eat foods containing this compound, you, too, may experience similar benefits.

Resveratrol has been the object of scrutiny by scientists all over the world in relation to its effect on Alzheimer’s disease, which currently hits someone in the U.S. every 66 seconds and affects 5 million Americans annually.1

Alzheimer’s Disease Is on the Rise in the US

Most people know Alzheimer’s as a disease that causes memory loss. In its earliest stages, it manifests itself in small ways, such as forgetting important dates or where things are; later, checkbook balancing becomes an increasingly frustrating challenge.

More progressed Alzheimer’s patients confuse what day it is and where they are, and find words and distances difficult to discern. Following a conversation may become difficult for them. Progressively, their moods and personalities change. An Alzheimer’s Association report reveals:

“The number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease is growing — and growing fast … Of the 5.4 million Americans with Alzheimer’s, an estimated 5.2 million people are age 65 and older, and approximately 200,000 individuals are under age 65 (younger-onset Alzheimer’s).” 2

How and why it happens has been hypothesized about for years, but medicine has only been able to treat the systems rather than nailing down the root cause.

One of the downsides in humans, too, was that when it’s taken in, resveratrol quickly metabolizes and is eliminated, which prevents your body from gaining much benefit.3The Alzheimer’s Association website also states:

“Alzheimer’s is the only disease among the top 10 causes of death in America that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.”

But in recent scientific findings, high doses of resveratrol given to individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s appeared to either slow the symptoms or stop them completely.

The results were presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Toronto in July 2016, providing a “bigger picture” of how resveratrol might work.

Initial Study: High-Dose Resveratrol May Hold Promise for Alzheimer’s Patients

In 2015, the journal Neurology published a year-long study4 — the largest clinical trial in the U.S. on high-dosage resveratrol — on 119 subjects with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. Principal investigator Dr. R. Scott Turner said one of the objectives was to see if high doses of resveratrol might be safe in the long term.

Half of the study subjects were given a placebo; the other, resveratrol, starting with 500 milligrams (mg) per day and ending with two doses of 1,000 mg per day.

Scientists already knew that age-related diseases in animals could be decreased by caloric restriction and that resveratrol could imitate caloric restriction by means of releasing the same sirtuin proteins thought to play a role in the regulation of skeletal muscle mitochondrial function.

Restricting caloric intake is known to alter genes related to longevity by slowing the aging process in worms, rats and fish, but there’s evidence it has the same effect on humans. As reported by Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC), where the research took place:

“The researchers studied resveratrol because it activates proteins called sirtuins, the same proteins activated by caloric restriction.

The biggest risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s is aging, and studies with animals found that most age-related diseases — including Alzheimer’s — can be prevented or delayed by long-term caloric restriction (consuming two-thirds the normal caloric intake).”5

As dementia increases, a protein known as amyloid-beta40 (Abeta40) weakens. Researchers found the resveratrol group showed higher levels of amyloid-beta proteins in their spinal fluid, and their brain volume loss was increased by resveratrol treatment compared to placebo.6 According to a CNN report:

“Although accumulation of amyloid-beta in the brain is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, patients actually have lower levels of this protein outside of the brain. The study finding suggests that resveratrol could help change the balance from amyloid-beta buildup in the brain to circulating protein in the body.”7

So when the scientists examined brain MRIs on the patients both before and after the study, they discovered that those in the resveratrol group lost more brain volume than those in the placebo group. Their supposition was that the treatments reduced the brain swelling common with Alzheimer’s sufferers.8

Those findings were called “paradoxical” and “puzzling,” providing a segway for a follow-up study.

New Findings: Inflammation Versus Resveratrol

Turner was lead investigator in the second trial on resveratrol, working with Dr. Charbel Moussa, scientific and clinical research director at GUMC. In the new clinical trial, 19 subjects received high doses of resveratrol, equal to 1,000 bottles of red wine, and another 19 received a placebo.

One of the scientists’ main goals was to investigate levels of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) molecules in Alzheimer’s patients’ cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Sure enough, tests showed the number decreased by 50 percent in comparison with the placebo group. Medical News Today noted:

“This is significant because MMP-9 is reduced when sirtuin1 (one of the proteins linked to caloric restriction) is activated. Higher levels of MMP-9 are known to cause a breakdown of the blood-brain barrier — a blockade that normally prevents proteins and other molecules from entering the brain.

Additionally, the team found that resveratrol increased levels of compounds linked to a long-term ‘adaptive’ immune response; this suggests an involvement of inflammatory cells that are resident in the brain. This type of reaction degrades and removes neurotoxic proteins.”9

Besides brain inflammation, Alzheimer’s patients are often further compromised by nervous tissue inflammation, linked to degraded neurons and subsequent cognitive decline, caused by the MMP-9 molecules. However, resveratrol seems to act as a sort of gatekeeper, keeping the harmful immune molecules from entering your brain.

Scientists said similar decreased brain inflammation has been noted by scientists in drugs used for patients with multiple sclerosis, another brain disease characterized by too much inflammation.

While the high resveratrol doses caused some of the study participants to experience nausea, diarrhea and either slight weight gain or weight loss, researchers said the supplements caused no other side effects.

Besides finding a more significant role that inflammation may play in causing Alzheimer’s, scientists expressed excitement about resveratrol’s measurable anti-inflammatory effects and plan further investigation.

Resveratrol Mitochondrial Benefits

A number of reviews have described other health benefits from resveratrol. The journal Nature said resveratrol improves the health and survival rate of mice on a high-calorie diet, possibly revealing a treatment option for obesity-related disorders and diseases of aging.10

Another showed resveratrol improved mitrochondria, the tiny, vital engines in nearly all your cells producing more than 90 percent of the energy currents in your body, and protected against metabolic disease, diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance.11 Mitochondrial protection via resveratrol was discussed in another study, which noted:

“Age-specific mortality rates from heart disease, stroke, complications of diabetes, Alzheimer disease and cancer increase exponentially with age …

The evidence (supports) the hypothesis that mitochondrial protective effects of resveratrol underlie its anti-aging action that can prevent/delay the development of age-related diseases in the cardiovascular system and other organs.”12

Resveratrol has been shown to improve mitochondrial function and protect against metabolic disease by its ability to activate SIRT1 and PGC-1alpha, the primary driver for mitochondrial biogenesis. Science Direct13 noted resveratrol’s potential anti-aging and anti-diabetic properties via Sirt1, essentially recharging your mitochondria. According to a review of pre-clinical studies for human cancer prevention:

“Resveratrol is known to have potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects and to inhibit platelet aggregation and the growth of a variety of cancer cells.

Its potential chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic activities have been demonstrated in all three stages of carcinogenesis (initiation, promotion and progression), in both chemically and UVB-induced skin carcinogenesis in mice, as well as in various murine models of human cancers.

Evidence from numerous in vitro and in vivo studies has confirmed its ability to modulate various targets and signaling pathways.”14 Still another study used mice to show that PGC-1α prevents the formation and accumulation of lactate in the muscles.15

Caveats in Regard to Obtaining Resveratrol From Your Diet

One little known but powerful source of resveratrol is itadori tea,16 a traditional herbal remedy used in Japan and China for heart disease and stroke. Both itadori tea and red wine contain high concentrations of resveratrol. But while you may be thinking of upping your red wine intake to glean the resveratrol benefits, keep in mind that alcohol can damage your brain and other organs, so it’s counterintuitive to drink it in order to help your brain.

Because resveratrol is most concentrated in the skin of grapes, and muscadine grapes are thick-skinned, this would be a better source. However, grapes are high in sugar (fructose) and should only be eaten in moderation, making it difficult to obtain therapeutic quantities of resveratrol.

Excess fructose consumption has been linked to metabolic syndrome, adverse endocrine effects, kidney damage and pancreatic cancer, to name a few problems.

My recommendation for fructose consumption is an average of around 25 grams per day, including from whole fruits. However, if you have a problem with insulin resistance, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease or cancer, your fructose intake should be cut down to 15 grams.

Understand, too, that the long arm of Monsanto has reached even into grapes used to make organic wine. Studies also show that wine may contain high levels of arsenic and carcinogens. Even without those factors, it stresses your liver and increases your insulin levels, which altogether can lead to a wide array of health problems and serious illness.

Even Turner, who helped author the study, conceded that one glass of red wine a day could help with mild Alzheimer’s, but he cautioned: “No more than that.

Source:mercola.com