Hi! Is anyone familiar with the herb Rhodiola?? I starteted taking from homeopathic nutritionist for high cortisol/ some anxiety issues.
First week, great... but now into 2nd week and I feel like I am on caffine. Very wired, TONS of energy yes but today noticed my heart rate and BP are really up!!! I decreased dose ( 3 pills to 2) earlier in week to see if that helped but it hasn't. The product I am using is called Purecalm PRT by neuroscience.
The nutritionist says taking 3 pills a day is the usual dose, but I am taking two, considering stopping for a day... I do not like this feeling. I have SVT of the heart so I want to be careful... my PCP approved the herb before I started taking it.
I am at a loss, I have read that sometimes it causes this problem as your body gets used to it... but I don't want to feel this way.... its like I drank a GIANT espresso.... and could go and go. Advice/ help with this is appreciated.
You know I havent taken this one but I have found with a few supplements that the body does get used to them ,I have strated to take several fely super energised the after a few weeks its as if it stops working, what I have done is stop for a while the go back on them again. I could use some' Go 'right now maybe I'll try it
Yes, the go is a nice change for me, but this is NOT how I felt before taking the herb. I had high cortisol, I startled easilly, sometimes felt anxious... but not constantly like this... WAY to hyper a feeling. I would rather not have this ... want to get in a race car and drive fast, faster, faster still....
Controlling Anxiety and Panic Attacks
While there are a number of pharmaceutical
drugs used to control anxiety disorders, not all
are successful and many produce unwanted side
effects, including neurological damage, impotence
and profound weakness.
There are things you can do to reduce anxiety
in a much safer manner. For those not adequately
controlled by these methods, it would allow you to
use lower doses of your medications, which would
reduce side effects.
• Most important is to avoid excitotoxins
in your food. These include MSG, aspartame,
hydrolyzed proteins, vegetable protein, isolated
protein, soy products (including soy protein isolates,
soy protein and soy milk), natural flavoring, sodium
or calcium caseinate and others. All of these food
additives worsen brain excitation and have been
shown to specifically target the amygdala nucleus —
a set of neurons in the brain’s temporal lobe. They
are key to the processing of emotions.
• Increase your vegetable intake to at least
5 servings a day. Many of the flavonoids in
vegetables have been shown to reduce anxiety —
especially hesperidin, quercetin and curcumin. All
three are available as supplements. The dose is 250
mg. of each three times a day. Quercetin comes in a
water-soluble form. Otherwise it must be dissolved
in either fish oil or extra-virgin olive oil.
• Reduce your intake of fats — especially
saturated fats and omega-6 fats (vegetable oils,
such as corn, safflower, peanut, sunflower,
soybean and canola oils). Studies have shown
that animals on high-fat diets release more cortisol
and take longer to recover from stress than those on
• Magnesium is the body’s natural calmative
agent. It reduces excitotoxicity and when taken at
bedtime, it aids sleep. It also reduces the immune
over-reactivity seen with anxiety disorders. In
addition, it reduces your risk of heart disease, stroke
and type-2 diabetes (and metabolic syndrome).
• White tea contains a flavonoid called
epigallocatechin gallate. This flavonoid has
recently been shown to calm the brain and reduce
anxiety. It works by activating the organ’s most
protective system against anxiety — the gammaaminobutyric
acid (GABA) receptor. This aids
sleep as well. White tea has a higher level of this
flavonoid and much less fluoride than green tea.
• For those who do not want to take a
pharmaceutical drug, the herb valerian has
been shown to activate the same calming brain
GABA receptor. It has been used to induce sleep
but also calms anxiety during the day. It should not
be mixed with medications that act as sedatives or
• Another useful product is called Relora.
It is a blend of two extracts — Phellodendron
amurense and Magnolia officinalis. In a number
of tests, Relora has been shown to reduce excess
cortisol levels associated with stress while
improving mood and reducing stress. It acts via the
brain’s GABA and serotonin systems, which are both
important in controlling anxiety.
• Avoid caffeine. People with anxiety disorders
hyper react to stimulants, such as caffeine. They
can also worsen insomnia.
Stress: How It Affects the Brain
One of the most frightening revelations to come
out of the neuroscience studies of stress is that
the condition causes critical areas of the brain to
actually shrink (atrophy).
This was first seen in cases of post-traumatic
stress disorder (PTSD), which occurs when people
are exposed to extremely stressful events such as
war, severe trauma, a rape or a life of sexual or
Researchers determined that in sufferers, the
brain’s hippocampus — a portion critical to memory
and learning — was significantly shrunken and
many suffered from memory loss. A number of
subsequent studies discovered that people with
moderate to severe chronic depression also had a
Even more disconcerting was a follow-up study
illustrating that even those with early depression
experienced memory loss without shrinking of the
hippocampus. The good news is that the shrinkage
is usually not permanent and can be healed with
treatment of the depression.
Dr. Bruce McEwen, mentioned earlier, uncovered
the cause of this horrifying effect of stress.
We had long known that higher concentrations
of cortisol, a steroid hormone excreted from the
adrenal glands, were present in cases of severe
depression, chronic stress and anxiety disorders
— all associated with brain (hippocampal) shrinkage.
Dr. McEwen found that this area of the brain
contained the highest level of cortisol receptors.
Normally, when we are under stress, our brain
signals our adrenal glands to secrete cortisol, which
actually helps the brain remember things.
But if the cortisol levels remain high for too long,
the opposite happens. The substance begins to destroy
brain connections, which are referred to as dendrites
and synapses. It does harm by triggering excitotoxicity,
which starts free radical and lipid peroxidation in the
brain — a condition always seen with chronic stress.
The excitotoxicity is caused by an accumulation of
the neurotransmitter glutamate, which in higher
concentrations destroys these connections.
In essence, the stress is burning up our brain
connections, mostly in the part of the brain that
controls learning and memory. Fortunately, since
the brain cells themselves are still alive, new
connections can re-grow once the cortisol and
glutamate levels are returned to normal.
Generally, our cortisol levels are highest in the
morning and lowest in the evening. Stressed out and
depressed people have just the opposite pattern,
with the highest levels in the evening. This, of
course, interferes with sleep, which explains why
sleep disturbances are the first sign of trouble.
Experts acknowledge that as we age, our cortisol
levels begin to rise. .
Most important are:
• Vitamin C (as magnesium or calcium
ascorbate): The dose is 500 to 1000 mg. three times
a day between meals.
• Vitamin E (natural form-Unique E is the
purist form): 400 to 800 IU a day
• Multivitamin/mineral without iron: I
recommend Extend Core (www.vrp.com).
• Riboflavin 500 mg. a day for those age
50 and over: This increases brain cell function
and reduces free radical formation. It also blocks
• Curcumin 250 mg. twice to three times
a day: Curcumin is being shown to be one of the
most powerful brain protectants known. A new
study in the journal Experimental Neurology found
that curcumin dramatically improved synaptic
plasticity (brain healing), mental ability (cognition)
and reduced free radicals and lipid peroxidation in
animals with severe brain injury. Mix the curcumin
with a half of a tablespoon of fish oil.
• Quercetin (250 mg.) twice to three times a
day: Also a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant
for the brain. Mix with the fish oil and curcumin.
• Fish oil: One of the better brands is Norwegian
fish oil liquid from www.vitacost.com. It has been
shown to specifically reduce brain inflammation and
improve healing within the organ (especially the
dendrites and synapses). The dose is 2 to 4 grams a
day. Keep the oil refrigerated.
• Relora: As stated above, this reduces cortisol
elevation caused by stress. The usual dose is 3
capsules a day with or between meals. You can get
Relora from Pure Encapsulations by going to
• Regular, moderate exercise is important:
Studies show that it strengthens the antioxidant
systems and releases endorphins (a morphine-like
compound) from the brain, which calms the mood
and reduces depression. However, excessive exercise
will increase free radicals and can be harmful. Also,
exercising in the late evening can cause insomnia.
I had the same experience with rhodiola, but I suffer from anxiety. Rhodiola is an adaptogen, which helps the body adapt to stresses, and there are a lot of alternatives if it doesn't work for you. Herbs are trial and error, and most often used in combinations, not alone. If rhodiola makes you hyper, try American ginseng and eleuthero and ashwaghanda, or any one of them. They are also excellent adaptogens, and generally aren't as energizing as rhodiola. For direct calming, passionflower and hops along with valerian can be very helpful, and I personally don't believe kava is dangerous as long as you stay away from the standardized kava. But there are so many relaxant herbs. Taurine and GABA can be useful amino acids. Just keep working, and as deepdiver lays out, diet, exercise, etc. all go along with the package. The best herb for reducing cortisol levels might be holy basil, which also reduces blood sugar.
Hi all! Thank you for the information.
I appreciate the great write up.. I do alot of those things such as magnesium vitamin C, fish oil, multivitamin ( I take iron because I am slightly anemic). Never heard of Relora?? Any side effects.. I also have SVT of heart which makes me review everything I take carefully.
I do try to eat very healthy... have given up soy because of my thyroid and eat NO red meatsx 20 years.
I believe my cortisol is from stress ( it took 1 1/ 2 years for them to diagnose my SVT of heart... kept saying it was just hormones/anxiety and I had constant chest pain , tachycardia and untreated hypothyroid). And cortisol is high at night... so yes, have sleep issues. Plus perimenopausal.... oh the fun of my life right now!!!
My hubby laughs cause excess cortisol is supposed to be around your waist... thru this I have lost 40 lb.., not overweight at all now.
It is so bizzard... I have always been extremely healthy and taken great care to stay that way... and this is where I am right now.
My purecalmPRT has taurine,gaba and glycine in it. I felt SO great the first week and now its like I have to much in my system. The nutriitionist/homeopath I am working with says I need more of this to make it work... I am SO sensitive to everything. Pain meds, .. I take a child's dose.. or I am totally wasted, loud noise really bothers me, all the signs of overstimulation.
I was on zoloft for 6 months.. old PCP did nothing but raise the dose higher and higher til I was a zombie BUT still had chest pain, tachycardia. Thats when I switched to new PCP... went off zoloft and found SVT of heart.
New PcP is really into natural meds and encourages it if possible, but he has limited knowledge so I search and he reviews it because of my heart issue. I also do accupunture ( feels great) and did biofeedback.
Thank you all for listening... I think I may back off rhodiola for a day and start back at 1 a day..... if that doesn't work... another plan of attack. Slow ... and frustrating. Keep any ideas coming... very appreciated.
Standard testing and clinical observations have found no significant side-effects to taking Relora. Relora does not produce side-effects normally associated with anti-anxiety medications such as drowsiness and dry mouth.
If you are taking prescription drugs, consult your Health Care Practitioner for medical advice before taking Relora.
Thanks again. I will keep Relora in mind... the reports say there are NO side effects of Rodiola and lots of great testimonies. I absolutely loved the fact I had energy again...but I can not tolerate being hyper.. which leads to insomnia... which then goes into anxiety.
The Purecalm PRT has phosphatidyline ( and taurine) which is supposed to help lower cortisol too. The doseage of 3 pills ( the triple complex) is 1500 mg.. sounds high to me.. but not sure how much is rhodiola.( It says 16% rosavins). What does that mean?? I read usual dose of rhodiola is 200- 600 mg. daily.
There is another thing that was recommended- cortisol manager by intergrative medicine... it has Phosphatidylserine , ashwanganda and magnolia. Take at bed time for restful sleep. I read ashwanganda can cause hypothyroid (me) to go hyperthyroid.. don't want that!
I know this won't be a quick fix issue... I just want to get on the right path so I can start the journey.
Thanks again for your help.
I think you need a naturopath, not a pcp. And if you do meds, you need a good psychiatrist, again not a pcp. Holistic medicine looks at everyone as an individual, not as everyone else. If you're very sensitive to medication, you can get by with lower doses, people who metabolize them slower need more. You adjust according to who you are. That's how it differs from allopathic medicine, which considers everyone the same. What works for one won't necessarily work for you. Also, when you take magnesium, remember that it's affecting the balance of your other electrolytes, especially calcium and potassium. Also, when you combine all those amino acids in one formula, well, it might not be the best approach for you -- taurine makes GABA in the system, so if you take both, sometimes it's better to take them separately. It all depends on you. Never heard that ashwaghanda causes hyperthyroid, but there's always new stuff coming out. Generally that only happens if there's iodine in something, and my understanding is that ashwaghanda doesn't contain iodine. You usually find that in seaweeds. And again, the best cortisol manager I know of is holy basil, not rhodiola. I really think it might be time for a good naturopath, given your complex of problems and your different reactions to stuff.
Thanks to both of you for your support. I feel much better today, I believe it was way to high a dose for me... Oh, its hard being so sensitive ( ha, ha).
As I said I want to get on a path to recovery... so frustrating to me.
Here is site I use to get some knowledge of herbs-
Dr Ray Sahelian Md.
Will check out the holy basil.. did not see it on there but phosphatidyline is the highly recommended one that I have heard lots about.
If it proves useful, the two best companies for holy basil are New Chapter and Gaia. And it's good to be sensitive -- it means you don't have to take as much, it's much cheaper that way. I'm a slow metabolizer, have to take a lot. More side effects if it's medication, and often things don't work at all. It's an asset!
My information comes from 18 years in the health food business, so I had to learn and read a lot. But for the best information, try out, as well, sites from companies that were started by actual herbalists! Herb Pharm is a great one. New Chapter is a great one. Gaia is a great one. Herbalist and Alchemist. Herbs etc. Planetary Formulas. Just a few great companies, started before this was much of an industry, by real herbalists and naturopaths. And all of them put out pamphlets and other information. Good places to call, too.
My Naturopath prescribed the Rhodiola for my high cortisol levels. Well, I took it and NO WAY it made me so nervous, it was awful and I could not sleep. You see, almost everything I take works opposite on me, so, I really have to watch what I take in regards to things that calm you do or give you energy. I can not handle any Ginsengs, actually, any of the adaptogenic herbs make me really anxious. I, too, am extremely sensitive to things, and my doctors now know that if something is going to work for me or not, it will show itself within the first dose or second. I have multiple food sensitivities too, so, that does not help with my anxiety and such. My Naturopaths tell me I am one of their most challenging patients due to the fact that I react so differently. Oh yes, another thing, sometimes something will work for awhile, then, bingo, not work anymore, now, that is really frustrating.
Lots of ladies in the peri-menopausal years are helped by natural progesterone cream, the best I have found is called "Fem-Gest" it is derived from wild yam, I can not take anything from soy as I am so allergic to it, but, guess what, the cream is not all the great for me, in fact, most of the time it does not help, again, it makes me nervous and does not help the female problems I have. Gee, oh well, such is life.
Oh yes, LOL, I forgot to mention, there is no way I can take Valerian, it really sends me through the roof as does GABA, I think GABA gave me one of the worst anxiety attacks that I have had in a long time. The one thing that does help, at least now, is L-Glycine, so far, so good.
Thanks all... you will never know how much I appreciate the info I get here.
Thanks for the upbeat post.. sometimes being sensitive is so hard. I react to things and think is it in my mind?? I guess my body is just "selective" of things entering into it. I got the holy basil, I hope it does not do the same as the rhodiola. ( little nervous).
so how did you get high cortisol levels down?? and you too had problem with rhodiola?? Did you ever use holy basil?? yes, I have been told I am a difficult patient to work with since I am so sensitive to different things. And it seems like it take some time for me to react unlike you... and then several weeks for it to exit my system completely and I feel better.
thanks . I will check out consumer labs. I subscribe to small magazine called Nutrition Action, put out by Center for Science in the public interest group/. It rates food/vitamins, resteraunts,ect... different topic each month. Really interesting to me. Website is:
Check it out.
Sassy -- howdy! The contrary effects you get, that's what happened to me after I stopped Paxil. Since then, it's really hard, when I tried GABA and 5HTP, they put me a previous even worse state of withdrawal. Valerian makes me nervous now, it's so odd what's happened to me. This has been going on for three they-ll-censor-me years now.
To sick and tired -- holy basil isn't an energetic like rhodiola, so it shouldn't have similar effects at all. However, it does also lower blood sugar, so be on the watch for tiredness or spaciness. And of course, if you successfully lower cortisol, it does also decrease energy, though in a positive way. Good luck to you!
thanks for the info on holy basil.... wow is there anything out there that just makes you better with NO side effects. Sounds like I will have to up my sugar intake... chocolate where are you??
guess I will have to go back to being tired. I loved rhodiola for the 1st week, had more energy than I have had in 2 years!!! Maybe later I could try taking a low dose every couple days. But for now just want to get rid of the hyper feeling.. its getting better and better... slowly.
I guess the Holy basil needs a few days to "kick in". Thanks again for info.
No, don't need to up sugar intake. It's good to cut blood sugar unless yours is too low, I was just warning that it also has that virtue. But I'm not sure it needs much time to kick in. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work -- try something else. Nothing lost. You can try eleuthero -- although it used to be called Siberian ginseng, it's not ginseng at all, not in the same family at all. American ginseng isn't energizing like Korean or, more properly, Chinese ginseng, it's cooling, and also helps lower blood sugar. Herbs are better used in combination than alone -- have you ever tried seeing a naturopath or herbalist? There are so many plants on this verdant planet! I don't know your history, but have you ever tried meditation? It also gives a lot of energy.
thanks for info... did the red yeast rice reduce cortisol levels?? Did you feel better after they were lower?? They are telling me this is reason a lot of my problems, very high cortisol when it should not be high. I have been under a lot of stress, trying to destress by biofeedback, message therapy, accupunture.. but levels still high.
I have been off rhodiola for 6 days now and finally starting to feel less hyper, anxious. But I really loved the first few days of it... had so much energy was cleaning everything, getting so much done!!
I think the Holy Basil is relaxing me and it supposed to help lower cortisol levels.. I am very tired again..Not sure if its the basil or just because I was so hyper for the past week, almost like coming off a high??
I am considering a low dose of rhodiola every couple days/with the basil.. but need to talk to dr./nutritionist first to okay it.
I understand your situation, I am so sensitive to everything too. I usually have the opposite effect of most people. If they say it makes you hyper I sleep, and makes others drowsy, I am hyper. It is hard road to travel isn't it?? I look carefully at everything and consider before I take it, because it also seems to take quite some time to get in my system and then even longer to get out of it. I react after several days and then feel terrible for the next 1-2 weeks.
As for my cholesteral is is great, no problem there. Just have to get this cortisol down, hopefully my SVT of heart ( tachycardia/palps) will settle down too, and I also have DHEA levels which no one knows why? I believe a lot of my issues are from undiagnosed hypothyroid,which lead to heart issues, and now perimenopause...
OH so a great time in my life!!! Can we just fast forward past all this stuff and back to my normal sane healthy self again?? And will it ever happen??
Thanks for all your support and advice, so grateful to not feel alone !!!
No, red yeast rice is for cholesterol, not cortisol. Have you considered the eleuthero along with the holy basil?
Funny story for the board about red yeast rice. It's a natural fermented product the Chinese have eaten for centuries. But it contains naturally occurring statins. When the first pharmaceutical statin was created, I'm not cure which one it was, the company successfully got the FTC to ban red yeast rice as violating the pharmaceutical patent. Even though it's a food. But companies sill make it. I take a combination of guggul and red yeast rice by Solaray, though my cholesterol is back down since I stopped Paxil, so I take less now.
Thanks again. Eleuthero?? Will check that out too..You are all a wealth of information. Who needs a dr when we have you all?? Your advice is based on personal experience... not something out of a book.
Actually, mine comes from customers, but also from a ton of reading in 18 years managing health food stores, so it is a lot from books. It's what happens when someone with two graduate degrees gets panic attacks, can't travel, and so ends up managing health food stores so he can still contribute something. Now, I just write fiction that doesn't get published. Eleuthero used to be called Siberian ginseng, but it isn't in the ginseng family at all and so won't energize you. That's why they can't call it Siberian ginseng anymore, somebody sued, so now they call it eleuthero something or other, it's botanical name. It's what's called an adaptogenic in chinese medicine, of which there are a ton, rhodiola being one, but some are very energizing, like maca and rhodiola and Chinese ginseng, and some aren't, like American ginseng and eleuthero and ashwaghanda and astragalus. They help the body adapt to stress, which is why they help with cortisol levels.
Any other natural remedies you can think of... especially for sleep. I take only 1 mg of melatonin and it usually works but sometimes I wake with heaviness in chest which goes away by lunch, but not much fun in the morning.
What have you tried for your anxiety?? Maybe we can all help you here.
And what works you for anxiety/insomnia ( if you have it?) And you mentioned how you lowered cholesteral,, but you said you had cortisol (yes??) Did you ever get that lowered and did you feel better once it was lower? Dr/nutritionist says that is why I feel anxious sometimes- my cortisol is SO high all the time.
Thanks all. Have a super day!
?? can you take holy basil and Eleuthero?? Or nutritionist had suggested cortisol manager ( ashwaganda and phospheline ? spelling).
I have to ask her next time... if you can take cortisol manager and holy basil... don't want to mix to much. but the cortisol manager helps you sleep at night.
Sorry, don't know what phospheline is. Okay, just looked it up, it phosphaline, seems to be a product, not a substance, it's phosphatidal choline. Choline is a nutrient, part of the Vitamin B complex, that helps with brain function. I take it, in vain unfortunately, because I read part of the problem with Paxil withdrawal is that it greatly affects choline receptors. But it's good for you in general. It usually goes along with phosphatidal serine, another brain chemical, and inositol, which one study showed that in extremely large doses reduces anxiety. It's never worked for me, but I still take it, to keep it in balance with the choline and just because.
There's no reason not to take holy basil with eleuthero. Keep in mind that herbs are generally used in combination anyway, since no one is that strong. You might want to go slow if you ever mixed American ginseng with holy basil, since they both reduce blood sugar, but eleuthero doesn't do that. So you're fine.
For anxiety and insomnia a pretty large universe of possibilities exists, which is why a naturopath, for example, would just start experimenting. For example, passionflower and hops are very good for both anxiety and insomnia, but that doesn't mean they'll do that for you. Since my Paxil experience, things tend to do the opposite to me of what they're supposed to (but no, anxiety provoking herbs don't help). So there are many relaxants. The best is kava, but there are some questions about its effect on the liver. I don't think it's a problem unless you take the standardized form, and even then, only five people out of the millions who use it were found to have the problem. If it were a drug, it would be considered irrelevant. But it does have to be considered. Magnesium also helps with relaxation. There are also homeopathic remedies. I use Calms Forte by Hylands, sometimes it works for sleep, sometimes it doesn't. A homeopath would try single remedies until he found the right one.
Natural medicine is trial and error and admits it. Allopathic medicine is trial and error, but doesn't admit it. That's the story.
Thanks.. I have a moment to give you the ingredients of cortisol manager... the other product the nutritionist has suggested instead of holy basil.
ashwaganda, l theanine, magnolia,phosphaidylserine by intergrative theraputics. I may try this.. the holy basil is working but I do feel a little shakey at times if I don't eat enough.. thanks again... maybe this would help you too.
There are several supplements that are quite useful in calming anxiety. But most important is to avoid food additives that increase anxiety, such as
caffeine and food additive excitotoxins, including MSG, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, soy products, natural flavoring, caseinate, etc. Also, avoid sugar,
since sugar precipitates hypoglycemia in close to 50 percent of the population and is know to dramatically increase brain excitability.
As for supplements, there are several. One that I have found most useful is theanine, which is an extract of green tea. It has been shown to calm the
brain and improve memory and a sense of wellbeing. The dose is 200 milligrams to 400 milligrams twice a day on an empty stomach. L-carnosine
(not L-carnitine) also calms the nervous system and establishes a sense of well-being. The dose is 500 milligrams twice to three times a day, also
on an empty stomach. Magnesium also calms the brain and many people are deficient. The dose is 500 milligrams twice a day. It has also been shown
that low levels of vitamin D-3 cause irritability and that raising the intake can lower excitability. New recommendations suggest at least 2,000
international units a day of vitamin D-3, the active form
I have read that a small dose gives you energy and higher dose helps you sleep. I take 500 mg for sleep and it works better than sleeping pills. I dream like crazy and it has helped me battle insomnia. Its worked better for sleep than any other natural supplement I've tried.
But I have not yet taken a low dose to see if it gives energy. I have read that its important that you get the genuine Russian root or you will not experience the full and proper effect of the herb. I get mine from two different reliable suppliers, both of which include the genuine Russian grown root.
I am going to try a low dose and see if it increases energy.
* PLEASE READ "THE MOOD CURE" by Julia Ross and
"THE MAKER'S DIET" by Jordan S. Rubin- in that order. also, possibly,
"ADRENAL FATIGUE" (i can't remember the author).
* PLEASE ELIMINATE REFINED CARBOHYDRATES
* PLEASE CONSIDER RAW FOODS, FERMENTED FOODS, WHOLE GRAINS, and ORGANIC FOODS.
I studied PsychoBiology at Harvard for 3 years, and studied herbalism on my own for 5 or 6 years. Having to take pharmaceuticals frightened and disgusted me, but sadly, i couldn't function without them.
Everyone is different, but after reading these books and ONLY following less than TEN PERCENT of the advice in them, i was able to safely and gradually replace all my medications with foods and herbs, with no side effects and no withdrawal symptoms. I quickly felt better than i had ever imagined possible!
THESE BOOKS ARE TRULY A BLESSING. i hope they help you at least as much as they helped me!
* please read THE MOOD CURE book first because it helps people identify their particular symptoms and gives different advice for each. (i thought i was a hopeless case because i had almost 100% of the symptoms listed for ALL 4 TYPES covered in the book- an almost unheard of score- but the advice helped me almost immediately!)
i had given up hope because i was a lifetime alcoholic with a severely dysfunctional childhood. in addition to other horrible things, my caretakers had often filled my BABY BOTTLE with BEER. i excelled in academics because i used schoolwork as an escape from my painful home life. as an adult i made horrible choices that almost killed me. in spite of these hurdles, a few simple tips changed my life. i felt significant improvements in my symptoms starting the first day and continuing each day after.
what works for you will probably be different. i only include this list to give u hope, and to show how simple, inexpensive, and free of side effects it might be.
THE SIMPLE ADVICE THAT HELPED ME MOST:
** NEVER DRINK ANY ALCOHOL even if it reduces anxiety. it can worsen insomnia and anxiety the next day- sometimes even for the next several months! ***BUT*** NEVER STOP DRINKING SUDDENLY, WITHOUT TAPERING DOWN, OR WITHOUT MEDICAL SUPERVISION, IF YOUR BODY IS DEPENDENT ON ALCOHOL--THE WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME CAN BE DANGEROUS OR EVEN FATAL.
1. eating small bits of raw fruit, especially melon, within 5 minutes of waking up.
2. eating an avocado within 30 to 60 minutes of waking up.
3. adding (3 times a day) QUALITY PROTEIN, OMEGA OILS, and a few bites of FERMENTED FOODS.
4. replacing refined carbohydrates with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
5. TAKING A SLOW, ENJOYABLE daily walk, OUTSIDE, especially out in nature if you can.
6. WARM RELAXING BATH once or twice daily, especially with Epsom salts, Mineral Salts, and relaxing Essential Oils - if you are not overly sensitive to them.
7. purposefully listening to peaceful music and avoiding raucous music, constant tv noise, and abusive or highly negative people whenever possible.
8. drinking a reasonable amount of clean water
9. breathing slowly and deeply all day long (if and when anxiety would allow voluntary control of my breathing)
10. meditation or prayer.
some of these may sound simplistic but they helped me more than anything else ever did. and most of them do not cost money, or can be purchased with money we were already spending to buy foods that were probably worsening our moods without our even having been aware of the connection!
FYI- if and when i do need herbs, i take a synergistic blend of VERY SMALL amounts of rhodiola, theanine, holy basil, and 5-htp. i have heard that Camu Camu works even better but is so strong it should be taken in tiny doses. i have not tried it myself- because the other 4 work so well for me. i have NEVER taken rhodiola alone--single herbs usually work very differently than a combination blend!
remember, THERE IS HOPE. even for someone like me who seemed a lost cause! i sincerely hope and pray that you find the solutions that are right for you :) WE ARE ALL ROOTING FOR U, AND FOR EVERYONE ELSE WHO SUFFERS :) i greatly commend you in your search for answers and your loyalty to yourself for seeking solutions and not giving up :)
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