I heard that you can substitute the benzos in the "thomas recipe" with valarian root from health food stores. Just curious if anyone has used it before and can vouche for that substitution. It's difficult for me to access benzos, and would like to know if this is a viable option before I go through a lot of work just for valium.
Yes, Ive used Valerian Root and swear by it....although it may not for you. I know you didn't ask but since Valerian Root is at the top of my list...hey, I thought Id slide you the whole thing for good measure:
The herb Valerian root (Valeriana officinalis) is used as a sedative on the nervous system and a relaxant for the muscles (Reader's Digest, 2009, Pp128). It also helps with headaches, which can sometimes be a result of an anxiety attack. According to Mosby's the recommended dosage of Valerian extract is 400-900mg, before bedtime (2010, Pp592). It is recommended that Valerian not take with MAOIs.
The herb Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis L.) is used as a sedative and it has mood-enhancing abilities(Reader's Digest, 2009, Pp73). The leaves are the part of the plant that is used and can come in an extract. According to Mosby's the recommended dosage is 80mg of Lemon Balm extract combinewith120mg Valerian root extract, tid (three times a day) (2010, Pp390).
The herb Kava (Piper methysticum) has a sedative and it is an anxiolytic (Skidmore-Roth, 2010, Pp.369). Anxiolytic is defined, by the Mirriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary, as a drug that relieves anxiety. It acts directly on the limbic system, which is the parts of the brain that are concerned with emotion and motivation. According to Mosby's the recommended dosage of Kava extract is 45-70mg tid (2010, Pp370). Take it with a meal for increased absorption. It is also recommended that it not be given to children under 12 (Skidmore-Roth, 2010, Pp370).
The mineral Magnesium works as a muscle relaxant, which can be helpful to someone suffering from anxiety issues. The stress of anxiety can take it's toll on the shoulder muscles and the neck muscles. According to the Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements the recommended daily intake of Magnesium is 280mg (Murray, 1996, Pp161).
Although all of the B vitamins can aid in the calming of anxiety issues, vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) seems to be the most important because it helps to form chemical transmitters in the nervous system (Murray, 1996, Pp100). According to the Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements the recommended daily intake of vitamin B6 is 2mg (Murray, 1996, Pp101).
I'm a big herb promoter as they have worked so well for me...but I am aware they don't work for everyone.
Great info above, I'd only add St. Johns' Wart as another option, that's what I used with the Thomas Recipe, I could actually feel it working. Lots of people here don't want to use Benzos and have used herbs as an alternative.
I didn't have insomnia with my wds, actually I slept a lot. But now, all the sudden I have it. Or rather, the pain wakes me after about two hours, then my mind takes over.
I'm around day 32.
I bought Valerian Root for this. Well, I took it and slept too hard. The scary kind of sleep that a bomb could go off and it wouldn't wake you. I don't like that, but still need something.
I have spent a fortune on supplements, so I can't just go out and try everything.
Which of these do you all think is more light weight?
It's strange because in the past, pre opiates, I have taken Ambien and it was like taking speed. But Ritalin or Adderall in the past, again pre opiate, made me sleepy.
So I guess my question is what herb works well, but isn't as strong as Valerian? I realize everyone is different. But no more Valerian for me. I would sleep through a fire alarm, phone calls, etc, and with a 16 year old daughter, I can't be out like that. It makes me horribly groggy too.
And to the OP, I would say Valarian is a good choice.
Most the herbs above are more anit-anxiety/sedative, but chamomile tea can be very relaxing and a mild sleep aid. If the sleep issue is chronic, melatonin is good for resetting your biological time clock. It's the same hormone your brain produces when you sleep on a regular schedule. Make sure it's as dark and quiet as possible, take the melatonin at the same time each night. Eventually your body will automatically make it's own melatonin at that time and you feel sleepy. I found that waking up at the same time everyday, no matter how much sleep I got, helps to reset the natural sleep clock as well. It takes awhile to get into a pattern after detox, but the more of a schedule you can maintain, the more the body learns when to do what it should. When you wake up shower and/or rub the skin all over your body to stimulate your blood and invigorate nerves. Get some exercise during the day. At the end of the day, wind down with deep breathing and a hot bath and a relaxing cup of non-caffeinated tea. All these things create a rhythm, as strange it may sound, that teaches your natural regulatory system to work naturally. It doesn't cost anything but time and effort. Avoid corn syrup, sugar, caffeine, any stimulant, and eat a diet high in fresh veggies and whole grain. Fish has the essential fatty acids(B vitamins) that help with brain development and function. Contrats on 32 days, great work so far.
"Which of these do you all think is more light weight? "
I like the Kava in tea form. Yogi brand is very good and inexpensive. I'd have a cup around 5pm and it worked. It's a sedative but not too strong like the valerian....at least in tea form. I've never tried the exact form.
Thank you all so much! It's so very helpful to talk with those that have been there. The suggestions are appreciated immensely.
I have had to learn there isn't a textbook detox. This is also my first time, so I have no clue what to expect besides reading.
I am finding it strange that during my acute wd phase, I had no insomnia, no bathroom issues, no nasuea, no swears or restless legs, etc. I just had mainly the most paralyzing anxiety of my life.
So to all the sudden in week 5 start with insomnia is worrying me. Like, what else is coming? But I'm not obsessing as I would have the first two weeks.
Thanks, I will try the Kava tea and melatonin, on seperate days, and def try the routine bedtime. That actually makes tons of sense!
Many thanks, hope you both, and the OP too, enjoy the rest of your weekend!
I sympathize, BarbRTR. I was hit with insomnia last night on night day 6 after quitting hydro, kind of a repeat of what I had after I stopped the Tramadol. Weird how it comes in waves. II had some restless legs, too. I took a melotonin 10 mg but it did nothing. I was wishing I had some valerian because I believe I've read it can be used with melotonin and can work very well. I didn't take the magnesium because it was so near my bf and didn't want to wake him, but that may have helped. I sort of stopped taking those when the insomnia went away.
This sleep thing is tricky! Just when you feel you have it down. Like, last night, when I got hit with insomnia at 2am, I was soooo sleepy at 11 when I went to bed (completely unaided, as has worked for several nights), I was sure I'd be down for the count!
Hey Zoey! Yes it can be taken together. I found this out by having someone pick me up some Melatonin a little bit ago, and they bought a mix of melatonin and Valerian! I said thanks and pretended it was perfect. When people are helping me, the last thing I want to say is no this isn't it lol.
I seem to be defining my life pre opiate now, or rather what I felt like before opiates.
I had severe insomnia then, so maybe it's just returning, and it's not from detox. No way to know I guess. Good luck with your sleep! I hope you find Valerian works for you! I shouldn't complain that it worked to well for me. But I need to be able to wake up! This is such deep dreamless sleep. It would be great if I had no responsibilities!
Thanks, and I may run and get valerian for tonight to mix w the Melotonin. I just realized these restless legs are from stopping the Imodium. I know that sounds outlandish but I did some reading and I do think its so. Just posted on the thread about Imodium.
I hope you have a restful night. I hear you about the deep yummy sleep...that's how I've been prior to last night. It's not bedtime here yet but I can feel my legs are restless and it'll be a tough one. You know, now that you mention it, prior to becoming a Tramadol zombie I too had bouts of insomnia.
Thank you for all the great suggestions and advice!! I will try both melatonin and valerian root and see which one works best without knocking me out cold. I can't sleep through my 21 month old if she starts crying at night...so hopefully one of those will help without making me a zombie.
I hear you...I have kids, too, but they're at their father's tonight. I did go to the store and they didn't have Valerian (wtf...a drug store?) but I bought a product that had some Valerian, Melotonin, skullcap (?), tryptophan, and some other stuff. Let us know how you do tonight! Hope you get good rest.
Hopefulmom, my experience with Valerian I believe is not normal, so don't let it make you afraid of trying it.
Mine are in capsules, you could always empty half and try it that way.
All my life I have had usually opposite experiences with meds than it should be, which is why I was shocked at how much Valerian knocked me out.
Like, a few years ago during a Cat Scan, I had an allergic reaction to the dye. They gave me massive amounts of benedryl and something else through an IV port. They said I would need someone to pick me up, as I would be unable to stay awake. I never even felt sleepy!
So, give it a try. Many people here have used it and not gone into what seemed like a coma to me.
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