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SEROTONIN, Kanna, related herbs.

This neurotransmitter regulates the onset of sleep, sensory perception, mood and depression, body temperature, hyperacusis (noise sensitivity) photophobia (sensitivity to light) "Low levels of serotonin are associated with increased carbohydrate cravings depression heightened sensitivity to pain, and troubled sleep patterns

Diet

Effects of Foods "Different food components have different effects on serotonin. Sugar (sweets): Triggers quick release of insulin that lowers blood levels of most large amino acids except tryptophan, which remains in the blood and can enter the brain. As a result, serotonin levels rise, but blood-sugar levels also rise and fall dramatically. Refined starch (white bread, white rice): Triggers release of insulin that lowers blood levels of most large amino acids except tryptophan, which remains in the blood and can enter the brain. As a result, serotonin levels rise, but blood-sugar levels also rise and fall, sometimes too low. Whole grain starch (whole wheat, brown rice, oatmeal): Triggers a slow, sustained release of insulin that lowers blood levels of most large amino acids except tryptophan, which remains in the blood and can enter the brain. As a result, serotonin levels rise gradually, and blood-sugar levels remain stable, without the rise and fall experienced with sugar or refined grains. Vitamin B6: Aids in the manufacture of serotonin. A deficiency of this B vitamin reduces serotonin production and affects mood and cravings. Estrogen: Might inhibit vitamin B6 status and decrease brain serotonin levels by its affects on neuropeptide Y (NPY). Tryptophan: Raises blood levels, then brain levels of tryptophan, which increases serotonin production. Protein: Raises blood levels of all large amino acids. As a result, only small amounts of tryptophan enter the brain, serotonin levels do not rise, and cravings for carbohydrates

might increase. A person might also feel more energetic and more clearheaded as a result of lowered serotonin levels. Fat: Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil raise serotonin levels, although how they do this is unclear. Carbohydrates "A desire for sweets is hardwired into the brain. As discussed in chapter 1, a carbohydrate-rich meal or snack stimulates the release of the hormone insulin from the pancreas, which lowers blood levels of all amino acids except tryptophan. Normally, tryptophan must compete with other amino acids for entry into the brain, but insulin eliminates the competition, allowing tryptophan levels to rise in the brain. Tryptophan is then converted into serotonin, the neurotransmitter that regulates sleep, reduces pain and appetite, and generally calms you down and improves your mood. The GI Tract, Dairy Ongoing research connects acetylcholine, GABA and serotonin to ASD [Autism Spectrum Disorder (a broad definition of autism)] problems. All affect GI motility and sensitivity in a variety of ways. [Notes: Because there are so many neurotransmitters in the gut, it is not easy to separate what is speculated to be a reaction from food versus a reaction with one of these other neurotransmitters. Dairy affects the promotion of serotonin [can lead to an overproduction of serotonin?].

Foods rich in tyrosine and trytophan Soy proteins Seaweed Cottage cheese, parmesan, provolone, mozzarella, plain yogurt, milk, romano Egg whites Turkey, chicken Mustard greens, turnip greens, spinach Kidney beans Sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, pistachio, almonds Mustard Tuna, cod, haddock, pike, red salmon, sockeye salmon, coho salmon, crab, shrimp, lobster, clams Beef round, top round, eye of round, ground, chuck The two active ingredients of omega-3 fish oil are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). EPA is considered to be the ingredient with the therapeutic effect, so it is important to buy omega-3 that contains more EPA than DHA. A pilot study of EPA on depressed patients produced a beneficial effect while in another study DHA proved a total dud. ess may also be more. Large doses may result in oxidative stress as omega-3 is being metabolized.. This may explain why some studies using EPA (see above) failed at higher doses. Accordingly, Dr Cott recommends omega-3 be taken with vitamins C and E.

a study of fish oil in 30 manic-depressive patients. Sixty-four percent of those who took 10 grams of fish oil per day for four months reported a marked improvement in their symptoms. By contrast, only 19 percent of those receiving the placebo benefited. On the biochemical front, researchers point out that cell membranes are made up partly of omega-3's. It is possible that increasing the omega-3 levels makes it easier for serotonin -- a chemical that carries messages from one brain cell to another -- to pass through cell membranes. "Research still needs to be done on the exact mechanisms involved," Stoll notes, "but we do know that omega-3 does affect the membranes and changes functioning." And increasing omega3 "has direct effects on serotonin levels." I was feeling down in the dumps and very tired for many months.. I looked online for some help and came across st johns wort and fish oil. St johns wort didnt do anything for me but the fish oils made me feel better that same day I took them. They made the bad thoughts stop racing through my mind and made me feel content. I have been using them for the last 3 months and it gives me energy to get through the day. Omega 3 Mood "High EPA" formula fish oil capsules to be a very good way of stabilizing my mood. I take 8 caps per day (4 in the am and 4 in the pm) for a total of 4,000 mg's of EPA. I tried just doing 1 or 2 caps twice a day but I didn't start to feel better until I went up to 4 caps twice per day

S. tortuosum can cause significant mood-elevation and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) action. In doses as low as 50 mg users have reported improvements in mood, decreased anxiety, relaxation and a sense of well-being. At higher dosages near 100 mg, kanna acts as a calming euphoriant and empathogen.[cita The alkaloids contained in S. tortuosum believed to possess psychoactivity include: mesembrine, mesembrenone, mesembrenol and tortuosamine.[2] Mesembrine is a major alkaloid present in Sceletium tortuosum, which is claimed by a US patent to be a potent serotonin reuptake inhibitor with stronger antidepressant effects than imipramine.[4] It is also believed to be a PDE4-inhibitor due to a strikingly similar chemical makeup and effects profile in comparison to rolipram.
[Rolipram is a PDE4-inhibitor. Like most PDE4-inhibitors, it is an anti-inflammatory

drug.[1] Rolipram is being researched as a possible alternative to current antidepressants.[2] [3] Recent studies show that rolipram may have antipsychotic effects.[4][5] Other beneficial effects of rolipram are:]
http://www.iamshaman.com/eshop/10Browse.asp?Search=Kanna

Kanna....It is wonderful and I have been able to stop taking the Lexapro that was prescribed for me. No side effects from the kanna.I just feel normal.thanks for offering this. We all tried it and it seems like good stuff. It is a good mood enhancer/anti depressant. I can tell you that all of the people (approx 10) we have given them to like them. I certainly hope they don't make it illegal. Health and home issues were really getting me down recently - I've REALLY been feeling hopeless these days (not so sad or anxious, just very under-inspired and purposeless). Anyway, I remembered the kanna and started on some. And from nearly the very first day, I've been feeling better than great, like when I was a teen! Way more elevated mood and energy with outright (and sometimes barely containable) elation at times. That stuff is a literal lifesaver! . Kanna also builds up in the system, with 2-3 day lasting residual effects. Kanna I take two a night and sleep like a baby. I have not been ale to sleep well for over twenty yrs.

I have resolved unbelievable personal "issues" by using kanna. I am now much more calm, blissful, euphoric, and not like I was then: rather uptight, paranoid, suspicious, regretful, mad, and very resentful about things. For me kanna is a friend, a blessing, and a gift, not just a plant. I value this South African herb very, very, much, and in my opinion, Sceletium Tortuosum (kanna) is totally GREAT!
Kanna or Sceletium, Africa's oldest natural mood enhancer and anti-depressant. This remarkable herb is considered to be at least 10 times more effective than St John's wort as an antidepressant. Sceletium tortuosum has been used by hunter-gatherers and shepherds as a mood-enhancing substance for millennia, and is far more effective and rapidly acting than the well-known European plant Hypericum (St John's Wort). The mood-elevating action of sceletium is caused by a number of alkaloids including mesembrine, mesembrenol and tortuosamine which interact with the brain's dopamine and serotonin receptors.Sceletium elevates mood and decreases anxiety, stress and tension. Mesembrine has been demonstrated to be a very potent serotonin-reuptake inhibitor. Intoxicating doses can cause euphoria, initially with stimulation and later with sedation. Sceletium is not a hallucinogenic. Sceletium Tortuosum is a small groundcover plant native to Southern Africa. For hundreds of years the Hottentots of Southern Africa used Sceletium tortuosum as a mood enhancer, relaxant and empathogen. It is also known as Kanna or Kauwgoed, Kougoed and Canna. Benefits of Sceletium Tortuosum: Uplifts the mood. Gives you energy Decrease anxiety, stress and tension NO severe adverse effects have been documented. Contra-Indications: There have been no confirmed reports of drug interactions, However, because of the neuroreceptor activities of Sceletium there may be interactions with other pharmacokinetiv drugs. People taking any psychiatric drug (including all anti-anxiety drugs, sedatives, hypnotics, antidepressants and anti-psychotics and so-called designer or recreational drugs) or any cardiac medications, are advised not to take Sceletium-containing products. As with most supplements and modern drugs, safety in pregnancy has not been established. Historically Sceletium Tortuosum was eaten/chewed, smoked or used as snuff producing

euphoria and alertness which gently fades into relaxation. If chewed in sufficient quantity Sceletium has a mild anesthetic effect in the mouth, much like kava. A tea made from Sceletium is sometimes used to wean alcoholics off alcohol. Although the plant has been used for thousands of years in Africa, it is only now being sought by the West for its remarkable capacities to uplift the mood, increase energy levels and concentration spans. Sceletium is also being used as a natural anti-depressant that is safer than the pharmaceutical alternatives. Kanna (sceletium) is used to rebalance the brain and nervous system and thereby relieve symptoms of depression. 1) Sceletium is a little bit of a wierd herb. Every so often, you may experience a slight nausea (or not so slight if you take too much) or headache, or simply some unusual sensations. It is nothing to worry about. Out of 100 times using it, it may happen once or twice. It is just one of those strange things. Just "ride it through", try again, and do not stop using it if that happens to you. You will be missing out on an incredible herb. It is very rare, and it may never happen, but it should be mentioned just in case you experience it. 2) Sceletium should be taken on an empty stomach. It is very important. Otherwise if you take it with food, it cancels out the effect of the sceletium almost completely. Also, some herbs go great with sceletium (for example Tongkat Ali, and American Ginseng) but rhodiola and kava are not recommended to be taken with sceletium. They seem to make you extremely tired when mixed. But it is not that bad, and it may not affect you that way, but Ken Johnson, the owner, says it is an extremely heavy and irritating feeling to mix sceletium and kava or rhodiola for him. It is fine if you take them several hours apart, but it is not recommended to take them both at the same time. 3) Sceletium is awesome for assisting with getting a good night's sleep! Sometimes, otherwise impossible to cure insomnia attacks are greatly relieved with a healthy dose of kanna right before bedtime. It is also a great way to enjoy your sleep to a greater degree. What a beautiful feeling of drifting off to sleep with kanna. Ah!

Vitex is a herb with d2 binding, as well as mild serotonin uptake inhibition I only bought Kanna from iamshaman once and it was *ok. Nothing spectacular. I've bought other herbs from them however that were completely inactive (kratom) They are suppose to be "reputable" but when I emailed them about selling inactive Kratom they never responded. I since never ordered from them again. The once place I ALWAYS had good experience was is psychoactiveherbs.com http://kanna-sceletium.blogspot.com/