CHAPTER ONE – CANNABIS

Hemp and marijuana both belong to the same species, cannabis sativa. Consider them cousins.

The main difference between hemp and marijuana is their psychoactive component — tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Hemp contains 0.3% THC or less, which means it doesn’t produce the “high” associated with marijuana.

The compounds found in the hemp plant, like THC and CBD, nonpsychoactive cannabidiol, are used for a variety of therapies. Hemp is also classified as a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids needed for proper bodily functions. Studies have shown that hemp is beneficial for one’s health and overall well-being.

Another benefit of the hemp plant is that it grows faster than any shrub or tree, making it a sustainable resource. In addition to its therapeutic uses, hemp is used to create various products including paper, clothing, textiles, animal feed, plastic, and food products.

Marijuana contains more THC than hemp, over 0.3%, and is used both recreationally and medicinally. There are many benefits of using marijuana medicinally; it acts as a pain reliever, appetite stimulant, and muscle relaxant.

Takeaway:
Hemp and marijuana are both part of the same plant species — cannabis sativa — however, they don’t come from the same plant. Both are used therapeutically, but the main difference is their THC content.

 

2. History of Hemp 

For centuries, hemp has been an integral part of human civilization and is highly regarded for its seemingly limitless range of uses. Hemp began its emergence to the global stage in 8,000 BCE in modern day Taiwan, where it was commonly used for paper and textiles. Shortly after, hemp started to make its way across the world, becoming a primary resource in Europe, Africa, South America, and eventually North America as well.

Herodotus, a renowned Greek historian from ancient times, documented the practices of the Scythians, a nomadic Iranian group in Central Asia. These people found enjoyment in the psychoactive effects of cannabis by smoking its seeds and flowers. In later centuries, around 800 AD, hashish, a purified version of cannabis, gained popularity in the Middle East and certain parts of Asia, coinciding with the spread of Islam. Hashish was commonly consumed by smoking it with a pipe.

Marijuana was not widely used for recreational purposes in the United States until the early 1900s. However, the 20th century also brought about some challenges to the hemp industry. After the Mexican Revolution, the term “marijuana” started to receive a poor reputation due to the widespread xenophobia toward immigrants in the United States. Growing tensions surrounding the plant lead to the 1937 passage of the Marihuana Tax Act, which placed a specific tax on every form of cannabis sales, including that of hemp. The new law not only stopped the use of the drug recreationally, but it made hemp importation less economical, and slowed the production and cultivation of hemp.

Skipping ahead to 1941, Henry Ford manufactured a bioplastic version of the Model T car using industrial hemp, wheat, flax, and spruce pulp. This material was ten times stronger than traditional steel due to the length of the hemp stalks. Hemp stalks are longer than wool or cotton, making them much more durable and long-lasting. The car also ran on hemp fuel. Ford’s dream to “grow automobiles from soil” was widely praised.

But as World War II intensified, the Japanese cut off America’s hemp sources, pushing the United States government to educate farmers on the uses of hemp and to cultivate their own once again. In support of proving hemp’s uses, a promotional video titled “Hemp for Victory” was released to the public in 1942. It explained the need for this plant to help win WWII, especially when it came to making ropes and textiles. And industrial hemp was again a booming business.

Even though hemp provides much more to the world than just THC, it still holds some negative connotations in many circles. In 1970, the United States government passed the Controlled Substance Act, which classified hemp as a Schedule I drug. Meaning cannabis was now categorized the same way as methamphetamine and heroin, classified as highly addictive with no medical use whatsoever.

This was a massive setback for hemp, which had just helped America win the war. Until 1998, it was illegal to add hemp to food. (The oil and seeds are not psychoactive and contain high levels of protein and amino acids, making them a complete protein.)

In 2014, President Barack Obama signed the Farm Bill into law, defining industrial hemp and opening the doors for universities to study and grow it. In 2018, President Donald Trump signed another version of the Farm bill, explicitly legalizing hemp and any compound derived from hemp itself. Since then, some states have passed laws to regulate hemp and some of its compounds, including Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC, as well as synthetically derived compounds from the hemp plant. However, the federal government still considers marijuana a Schedule I substance.

The medical and recreational marijuana landscape has been rapidly evolving in recent years, with shifting attitudes, changing legislation, and growing acceptance of cannabis as a legitimate form of medicine and recreational substance. In the medical realm, marijuana has gained recognition for its potential therapeutic benefits in treating various conditions, such as chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and nausea associated with chemotherapy. As a result, many countries and states have implemented medical marijuana programs that allow patients to access cannabis products under specific guidelines and regulations.

Simultaneously, the recreational marijuana market has also experienced significant growth. Several jurisdictions have legalized the recreational use of marijuana for adults, recognizing the demand and potential economic benefits. These markets offer a range of cannabis products to consumers, from dried flowers and edibles to concentrates and infused beverages. Legalization has led to the emergence of licensed dispensaries and a regulated supply chain, ensuring product safety and quality control.

However, the medical and recreational marijuana landscape is still subject to ongoing debates, challenges, and regulations. Different jurisdictions have varying laws and regulations regarding cannabis, and the legal status can vary greatly from country to country or even within states. The medical community continues to study and explore the potential benefits and risks associated with marijuana use, with ongoing research shedding light on its efficacy, dosages, and long-term effects.

The evolving landscape has also prompted discussions on social equity, criminal justice reform, and the economic impact of the cannabis industry. Many advocates argue that legalization should include provisions to address past injustices related to cannabis offenses and create opportunities for marginalized communities to participate in the industry.

Overall, the medical and recreational marijuana landscape is a complex and dynamic environment. It encompasses evolving legislation, scientific advancements, public opinion shifts, and ongoing societal discussions. As the industry continues to mature, it will likely face further changes and challenges, requiring careful navigation of regulations, research, and social considerations to ensure the safe and responsible use of marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes.

 

3. The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

Discovered in 1992 by Lumír Ondřej Hanuš, the endocannabinoid system gives us a better understanding of how the body works and why it functions in specific ways. Referred to as our “universal regulator,” the endocannabinoid system is broken down into three major parts: The endocannabinoids themselves, the phytocannabinoids found within the plant, and the CB1 and CB2 receptors found within the body.

Endocannabinoids are molecules produced by your body to keep it in homeostasis, a term used to describe stability in our biological systems. The ECS produces endocannabinoids freely within the body as a natural response to injury or pain.

The most prevalent endocannabinoids are called anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). The second component is phytocannabinoids, which are compounds found within the cannabis plant itself that can be isolated on their own or combined to produce a more well-rounded effect. Common examples of phytocannabinoids are CBD, CBG, CBN, and THC.

CB1 receptors are found mainly in the central nervous system and can target specific imbalances in the body, including appetite, immune cells, pain perception, short-term memory, and motor skills. When cannabinoids interact with these receptors, relief from certain ailments becomes possible.

CB2 receptors are found mainly in adipose fat tissue, bones, the cardiovascular system, the immune system, the central nervous system, the respiratory system, the reproductive system, the eyes, kidneys, pancreas, and liver. Since cannabis itself is antimicrobial, it is also a great pathogen fighter, which is crucial when preventing and treating infections or diseases.

There are two types of endocannabinoids found within the body. The first is Anandamide. Anandamide, or ANA, is a neurotransmitter found most abundantly in the brain. Specific to the brain’s memory and motor function sections, ANA also plays a major part in nerve cells making short-term connections. Low levels of ANA have been linked to depression and anxiety, which is why CBD can potentially benefit those with mental health issues. Anandamide is also naturally found in apples and blackberries.

The second endocannabinoid is 2-arachidonoylglycerol, otherwise known as 2-AG. This compound helps regulate the central nervous system by binding primarily to the CB2 receptors, which have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. A study completed in 2001 concluded that 2-AG is an effective neuroprotectant after trauma to the brain.

 

4. Understanding cannabinoids 

There are at least 114 cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant. As cannabis plants grow, they produce certain compounds at different ages. Each compound differs slightly and can be used together or separately to provide an array of effects. The most common is called cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD. While some may be more familiar with the term THC, there are many other cannabinoids, including CBG, CBN, and CBC, that can be beneficial in regulating the body’s homeostatic functions.

Cannabinoids:

4a. CBD 

The naturally occurring phytocannabinoid called cannabidiol, or CBD, provides various benefits due to its interaction with the Endocannabinoid system. After one introduces CBD into the body, it binds with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body’s major systems, including the respiratory, vascular, immune, and digestive systems. CBD increases the levels of anandamide, which is the neurotransmitter responsible for memory and thought. Since CBD binds to both receptors, it can help to bring the body back to its natural state. It is important to note that CBD is also a more powerful antioxidant than vitamins A, C, and E. Hence, it is extremely effective at protecting the body against aging and defending the body against harmful free radicals.

4b. CBG

The next phytocannabinoid found in cannabis is called Cannabigerol or CBG. Cannabigerol is considered a precursor to cannabinoids. This means all the 112 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant start as CBGA or cannabigerol. This is why it is known as the stem cell of cannabis. According to the National Library of Medicine, CBG is also a neuroprotectant in mice because it promotes neurogenesis (the formation of new nerve cells). Cannabigerol is also an effective treatment for fighting gastrointestinal issues due to anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to bind with CB2 receptors, which specialize in gut and immune health.

4c. CBN 

Another phytocannabinoid called Cannabinol, or CBN, is an effective sleep aid and an anticonvulsant. CBN is formed through the degradation of the delta-9 THC molecule and is known as the sleepy cannabinoid. Anticonvulsants are beneficial in regulating hyperactivity in the brain. CBN has also been shown to help those struggling with post-operative pain, Crohn’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. It is even more effective when combined with THC to enhance the entourage effect. CBN was also tested on strains of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, otherwise known as MRSA. The test concluded CBN was more effective in attacking the bacterium than certain antibiotics.

4d. CBC 

The next cannabinoid is called cannabichromene, or CBC. This compound does not bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Instead, it binds to the vanilloid receptor 1, otherwise known as TRPV1, and the ankyrin 1 receptor, or TRPA1. These are both linked to pain receptors, making CBC a perfect tool for pain management. Studies have also shown CBC being used to reduce acne, aid in regulatory gut functions, and provide relief from neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s.

4e. THC

The next phytocannabinoid is called tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. This cannabinoid differs greatly from the other cannabinoids. THC binds to the CB1 and CB2 receptors and is the cannabinoid that makes users feel high. There are many reported health benefits to consuming THC, including but not limited to pain reduction, increase in appetite, and decrease in anxiety.

Note the chemical structure and the difference between △9-THC (“traditional THC) and △8-THC.

In recent years, △8-THC has become not only popular but more widely available for consumption. △8-THC is an analog to its more famous sibling, △9-THC, the active component in marijuana that is known to make users feel “high.” The only difference between the two is the placement of the double bond in the molecule. However, this difference significantly affects the molecule’s ability to interact with CB1 receptors. The binding affinity for △8-THC is about 50-75% less than that of △9-THC, making it less potent than its counterpart. Users may still experience a mild high from △8-THC, and consuming △8-THC products could result in a positive drug test. △8-THC is great for helping users get to sleep and for stimulating an appetite. A study conducted in Jerusalem by Raphael Mechoulam found that △8-THC was even better at stimulating appetite than △9-THC.

4f. Terpenes

The term terpenes refers to the fragrant compounds in plants. Terpenes are present in hemp, citrus fruits, herbs such as rosemary, mint, lavender, and many other plants. The actual word itself originated from the name turpentine, referring to pine tree resin, which emits a very potent aroma.

Terpenes are most commonly extracted through distillation; however, the fragrance can usually be activated by hand. For example, the aroma can escape the plant if one crushed or ripped a leaf. Some herbs and fruits use this to defend against specific predators. Terpenes are bioactive, meaning they interact with our body chemistry.

Some common terpenes include linalool, pinene, limonene, myrcene, beta-caryophyllene, humulene, and a few others. Each has distinct traits that exhibit beneficial properties, listed in the chart below.

Limonene

Citrus

Anti Inflammatory

Anti-oxidant

Anti-viral

Anti-diabetic

Anti-cancer

Linalool

Lavender

Calming

Anti-inflammatory

Anti-microbial

Neuroprotective

Anti-depressant

Anti-cancer

Anti-anxiety

Myrcene

Lemongrass, thyme

Anti-inflammatory

Analgesic

Muscle relaxant

Pinene

Pine, rosemary, basil

Anti-inflammatory

Bronchodilator

Neuroprotective

Beta-caryophyllene

Cloves, black pepper

Gastric Protectant

Anti-inflammatory

Helps fight nerve pain

Humulene

Hops, coriander

Anti-inflammatory

Anti-bacterial

Appetite-suppressant

 

5.Chemical Composition

5a. Isolate

Isolates are compounds isolated from the entire substance. Isolation is extracting only one compound from a group of many. For example, vitamin C is not the only compound that makes up an orange. There are other things, such as fibers and sugars, in an orange. Administering CBD can be accomplished in many ways. Isolates contain only one cannabinoid. This can be CBD, CBG, CBN, CBC, etc., but it means there are no other cannabinoids in the isolate. Any of the cannabinoids can be isolated through the extraction process, which involves decarboxylation (heating a substance) to retain specific compounds. Isolates are a great way for a person looking to use CBD but do not want any other cannabinoids, such as CBG or THC.

5b. Broad Spectrum

The composition of a broad spectrum mixture comprises a wider variety of cannabinoids. Unlike the isolated mixture, the broad-spectrum solution contains two or more cannabinoids. This means CBD plus one or two other cannabinoids, such as CBG or CBN. Broad-spectrum extractions do not contain the THC cannabinoid.

5c. Full spectrum 

A full-plant extraction will contain all the cannabinoids, including the THC cannabinoid, under the legal limit of 0.3%. This complete mixture is more beneficial because of its entourage effect. This means that all the cannabinoids are kept together within the solution, which provides a synergistic effect with a wider variety of benefits.

 

6.Methods of Consumption

There are a few different ways a person can administer CBD oil. Your lifestyle, preference, and experimenting will help you find the best fit.

6a. Inhalable

One of the most common methods of consumption is smoking or inhaling CBD. Since the veins in the lungs are the fastest-acting veins in the body, one can feel relief from inhaling CBD almost instantaneously. There are downsides and benefits to both; still smoking or vaping CBD is a popular administration method.

 6b. Sublingual

The second most common method of consumption is through an oral sublingual. The cannabis oil is infused into a carrier oil, such as coconut or MCT oil. The cannabinoid(s) are mixed with the oil, which can be measured by the user based on personal dosage. To use, one would place the oil underneath the tongue and hold it for 30 to 60 seconds allowing it to be absorbed into the sublingual veins. Since our sublingual veins are the second fastest-acting veins in our bodies, effects are typically felt within 30 to 45 minutes.

6c.Ingestible

The next common method of consumption is ingesting CBD. The reactivity time ranges from 60 to 120 minutes, depending upon the user’s metabolism and other factors. The effects typically last longer with edibles because CBD, THC, etc., are processed by the liver.

Ingestibles are a great option for those looking for more restful sleep since the effects continue to be produced throughout the night. Some bioavailability is lost to the digestive system through this method of consumption.

6d. Topical 

The last method of consumption is a topical solution. These are great for those struggling with muscular or joint pain and inflammation, eczema, acne, and other skin issues. Topicals are not as long-lasting and only work locally. However, when pairing a topical with any method of ingestible CBD, the effects span across the endocannabinoid system within the body, further reducing inflammation both internally and externally.

CHAPTER TWO – KRATOM

1. Defining Kratom

Kratom, otherwise known as Mitragyna Speciosa, is a shrub-like plant grown abundantly in Southeast Asia and known for a wide array of benefits. Traditionally dried and crushed into powder form, many take kratom in varying doses to manage chronic pain, boost their mood, increase energy, and enhance focus. The active ingredient in kratom is called mitragynine, and it acts on the same mu-opioid receptors in the brain that traditional opioids target. Kratom is popular among those looking to curb withdrawal symptoms from traditional opiates. Kratom comes in different strains, which directly relate to the location it was grown, plus the size, shape, and age of the leaves themselves.
The three main kratom subcategories are white, green, and red. There are also yellow and gold strains, which we will mention later in this chapter.

 

2. Uses and forms 

Kratom comes to us in many forms. Most commonly, it’s in powder form. In order to make the powder, the leaves of the plant are dried and pulverized. This powder can be consumed as-is or capsulized.

Kratom can also be found in the crushed-leaf form, which is good for those who experience nausea when consuming the powder. The crushed leaves can be capsulized as well, but it is more common for them to be used to brew kratom tea.

Then, there are extracts. These extracts are created by removing all the plant matter from kratom, resulting in a product that mainly contains the potent alkaloids. Extracts are sold as ratios (i.e., 25:1 being our house kratom extract). Essentially, this ratio indicates that 1 kilogram of mitragynine is extracted from 25 kilograms of regular kratom powder during the manufacturing process. Our house kratom extract is 25 times stronger than a generic kratom powder. Extracts can come in capsules, powder, liquid shots, and even edibles. Caution must be used when consuming extracts, as there are little to no other chemical constituents to moderate the effects of the alkaloids. Consuming kratom extracts daily can be dangerous; hence limit use. For reference, a typical 3-4 gram dose of kratom powder could contain from 23.4 to 37.2 milligrams of mitragynine. Meanwhile, a single 200-milligram capsule of the extract could contain up to 85 milligrams of mitragynine.

 

3. Dosing 

For beginners, a good dose is 2-4 grams of kratom powder. For reference, a tablespoon typically weighs out to 3-4 grams. 

However, the densities of different kratom strains can vary, so it’s best to use a scale. Capsules are a convenient way to administer kratom. Average kratom capsules contain 0.5-0.6 grams of powder, as indicated on the packaging. This makes dosing more precise without the mess of powder. 

Many daily users find the same relief from taking small doses; however, it is possible to develop a tolerance. It is advised to rotate strains to prevent building a tolerance.Please note reds are more potent strains in general. Therefore 1-2 grams might be a good starting dose. Green strains are more potent than white strains but less potent than reds. White strains are the least potent and may require doses in the 3-4 gram range to achieve desired effects.

Kratom is a biphasic drug, meaning it works in two phases. At low doses, it is euphoric and energizing, and in higher doses, it becomes sedating. Consuming high doses increases the risk of nausea, especially when consuming the powder as-is.

 

4.Strains 

Kratom strains can be broken down into three general categories: White, green, and red.

4a. White Strains 

White strains are made from the youngest leaves of the kratom plant. These kratom strains are often labeled “white vein,” as the vein of the leaf, upon harvest, appears white. These strains will provide high energy and euphoria and are often good for daytime use. White strains are good anxiolytics but bad painkillers.

4b. Green Strains 

Green strains are produced from mid-life kratom leaves. They are often labeled “green vein,” as the vein of the leaf upon harvest appears green in color. Green strains are a great introduction to kratom as they provide “the best of both worlds.” Greens are well-rounded strains that provide a little bit of everything kratom offers. They will be moderate mood boosters, pain relievers, and anxiolytics- relaxing the body and muscles while keeping the brain alert and happy. A great place to start for beginners is the Green Maeng Da.

4c. Red Strains 

Red strains are produced from the most mature kratom leaves. These are often labeled “red vein,” as the vein of the leaf appears red at the time of harvest. Red strains will be the most relaxing, sedating, and pain-relieving strains due to higher alkaloid concentrations. Those looking for relief from opiate withdrawals will find the best results in red strains, particularly the Red Borneo. These are excellent night-time strains since the relief of chronic pain can help one sleep.

The second part of the strain name relates to where it was grown or the shape or size of the leaves. Some popular strains are Borneo, Bali, Indo, Malay, and Thai. “Horn” strains were given this name because the Kratom leaf has horns at the tips. Because of this, these strains are higher in alkaloids and deliver a stronger effect. Similarly, “elephant” strains are named so because the leaves of this kratom plant are much larger than those of regular kratom plants. The most popular kratom strains, Maeng Da strains, are grown in Thailand and are generally considered the “generic” kratom strain since they deliver a little bit of everything kratom offers.

4d. Yellow and Gold Strains

There is conflicting information surrounding the methods by which yellow and gold strains are attained. These strains can provide a high amount of euphoria while keeping the body relaxed. Although some believe that the kratom leaves go through a “yellow vein” phase, it is more likely that the yellow and gold strains available are a product of extensive sun-drying and curing of red or white strains. These are sometimes fermented to achieve the same effect.

Kratom blends like the Dragon strains are available as well. These are two or more kratom strains mixed with compounding effects of each.

 

5. A Word of Caution for Kratom 

Since kratom acts on the same neuroreceptors that traditional opioids do, it is possible to develop a dependency with prolonged daily use. Although there is insufficient evidence to prove direct causation, some studies suggest daily use of kratom extracts correlated with an increase in the risk of seizures.

Other side effects of prolonged daily kratom use include decreased gastrointestinal motility, decreased libido, increased cholesterol levels, and possible liver damage. However, a recent independent study conducted in Malaysia found that daily Kratom users had lower LDL levels than their non-user counterparts.

Standard 5-panel drug screenings will not test for kratom’s active alkaloids or their metabolites. However, a recent study suggests that consuming kratom can cause false positives on drug tests for methadone and its metabolite EDDP. More research is required to say with certainty whether kratom will cause positive drug tests for methadone and its metabolite under all circumstances. A 10-panel drug screening will detect kratom in blood or urine for up to 7 days, depending on various factors, including the person’s body weight and metabolism.

While it is not a Schedule I drug, the DEA recognizes the dangers of kratom. In 2016, the DEA sought to classify the substance as a Schedule I drug. However, after multiple complaints, they reversed their decision. Not all states have accepted the legality of kratom. These states have banned kratom: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Sarasota County banned kratom despite it being legal for possession and consumption in the other 66 counties of Florida.

CHAPTER THREE – KAVA 

1. Defining Kava 

Kava, also known as Piper Methysticum, is a naturally occurring botanical plant grown in the South Pacific, including Hawaii. It is known by many names by different Pacific islanders.

It is believed that the plant originated in Vanuatu and was spread through the south pacific islands by travelers. Kava is propagated vegetatively — meaning through its leaves, roots, and stems — and is incapable of self-reproducing as it does not produce fruit. Therefore, human cultivation plays a key role in the continuation of the species.

The P. methysticum that we know as kava today were selectively bred and eventually became its own species over time. Piper wichmanii is the wild kava capable of self-reproduction, while P. methysticum was domesticated. The two plants are remarkably similar, so much so that some scientists have a hard time distinguishing the two. Traditionally, the plant’s roots were masticated or ground down into a powder, which they could then be brewed into tea.

Many enjoy the social aspect of gathering with others to drink kava. It promotes an elevated mood and bubbly spirit, making it perfect for consumption in a group setting. Kava is often advertised as an alcohol alternative since kava produces effects similar to alcohol without a hangover.

The active alkaloids present in kava are kavalactones, anxiolytic and mood-enhancing properties. The kavalactones are most concentrated in the rootstock, particularly the lateral roots. The vegetative part of the plant contains many toxins; therefore, only the root should be used to prepare kava tea.

There are eighteen kavalactones. However, six main kavalactones make up over 96% of those found in kava. These kavalactones are yangonin, desmethoxyyangonin, methysticin, kavain, dihydromethysticin, and dihydrokavain. The kavalactones are expressed in a kava’s chemotype, which will be different in each strain. This affects whether Kava will be considered heady, heavy, or balanced. Kavalactones, on their own, have little to no psychological or physical benefit. The efficacy of kava comes from the synergy of all kavalactones together in a solution. Each kavalactone was given a number by Dr. Vincent Lebot, a respected scientist and expert on kava. A kava chemotype is a 6-digit number that relates to the kavalactones present in the strain. The first number represents the kavalactone present in the highest concentration, and the last number represents the kavalactone with the lowest concentration.

There are six most relevant and different kavalactones, each has a respective number, and each contributes to the overall synergy of the kavalactones. These chemotypes can be useful to help us determine the overall effects the Kava will have (heavy, heady, or balanced strain), but they are not an exact science. Isolated kavalactones have little to no psychological or physical benefits. Kavalactones are synergistic and have the potential to change or negate the effects of other kavalactones. For example, many kavas contain dihydrokavain (DHK) as one of the first three of their chemotype. Dihydrokavain is known for making people feel nauseated. However, the nausea is typically negated by the effects of the other kavalactones present in high concentrations.

1a. Heady kava: 

Heady kavas provide a highly cerebral effect. These are social, mood-enhancing kavas, great for daytime use. Typically, kavas beginning with 4 or 6 in their chemotype are heady kavas since kavain and methysticin are responsible for the euphoric and neuroprotective properties that kava offers. Hawaiiankavas often begin with 46 or 64 in their chemotype and are considered heady kavas.

1b. Heavy Kava: 

Heavy kavas provide a strong sedative effect on the body and can relax the body. They also work well in the nighttime as a sleep aid. Kavas with 1 and 2 in the first three numbers of their chemotype is considered “heavy” as DMY and DHK are responsible for the muscle relaxant and sedative properties that kava offers. Often, kavain is included in these strains to help balance out the intense sedative effects of DHK. Many kavas that come from Vanuatu are considered heavy as they contain 2 in the first three numbers of their chemotype.

1c. Balanced Kava: 

Balanced kavas are the best of both worlds. While the kavalactone content of these is more sporadic and harder to predict, popular balanced strains contain 4, 2, and 6 as the first three numbers of their chemotype.

Kavas beginning with 25 or 52 are considered Tudei kava by the people of Vanuatu and are highly undesirable. They are the kavalactones responsible for the less desirable effects such as dizziness and nausea, and/or vomiting.

The wide array of kava chemotypes can be generalized into morphotypes. The term morphotype describes species that exhibit similar morphological characteristics. It was found that plants can have the same genetics and chemotype but exhibit different morphology.

All kava morphotypes belong to one of nine groupings — or convars — A through I. Chemotypes A through D, exclusive to Melanesia, are all forms of P. Wichmanii and have low kavain content. Groups A and B can be cultivated in Vanuatu and Baluan and have high concentrations of DHM/DHK and demethoxy-yangonin, respectively, and low proportions of kavain. Group C contains only one cultivar that can be grown in Papua New Guinea and exhibits high DHK and DHM levels. Chemotype D has roughly the same proportions of DHK, DHM, and methysticin, with very little kavain. These chemotypes are highly undesirable due to their high levels of DHM and DHK.

Chemotype groups E through I occur only in cultivars of P. methysticum. Chemotypes in group E can be found in Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna, Hawaii, Tonga, and Marquesas. The chemotypes produce heavy body effects, as they are high in DHM and DHK. Chemotypes in group F are distributed exclusively in Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea, and all cultivars in Papua New Guinea exhibit this unique chemotype. These cultivars are also high in DHM and DHK and are very undesirable strains, unusable for daily consumption. Chemotypes in groups G, H, and I are grown in Polynesia, Vanuatu, and Fiji and are high in kavain. These are the most popular blends.

Kava has a reverse tolerance. This means that the more you take kava, the more you will feel the effects over time. An experienced kava consumer might need to take one-tenth of the kava that a new user would to achieve the same results. Many compare this tolerance to a big brick wall, and every time you take kava is like hammering away at the wall. Eventually, just one whack of the hammer will do the trick.

Kava also works as a mild local anesthetic, so drinking kava tea will have a mouth-numbing effect.

 

2. Uses 

Kava is a psychoactive substance that can boost one’s mood and promote a social atmosphere. Traditionally, kava was consumed ceremonially and socially due to its ability to lessen social anxieties. Kava also acts as a muscle relaxant and local analgesia.

 

3. Methods of Consumption

3a. Kava capsules: Capsulized kava is the best way for beginners to take kava because the dosage is already measured out. Kava pills do not contain the ground root itself but instead contain extracted kavalactones.

3b. Kava tea: You can brew tea from the kava root. Place kava in a strainer bag or tea ball in a cup with hot water. Steep and shake to extract the kavalactones from the root powder. Straining is very important, as the root powder is indigestible for humans and can lead to nausea and emesis if consumed.

3c. Instant kava: Instant kava is made through a brewing process where the root powder is used to make tea. The tea is then dehydrated to leave the kavalactones behind. Instant kava is convenient for those who don’t want to spend time brewing kava, as it is ready to place into water or juice and consumed as-is. The trade-off is that instant kava is more expensive than traditional root powder since the preparation process is longer.

3d. Micronized kava: This falls somewhere between traditional and instant kava and is shrouded by some controversy. Micronized kava is the traditional
root powder ground down into a very fine, pulverized powder. Since the root is ground finely, it can pass through our digestive system without
actually needing to be digested. Micronized kava powder is treated the same as instant kava is — it can be added to juice or water and consumed as-is. However, there is a greater chance of unwanted side effects this way.

 

4. Kava’s Physiology in the Body 

Kavalactones act primarily on the brain’s GABA receptors, increasing the uptake of GABA by our neurons. Gamma-aminobutyric acid, otherwise known as GABA, is the body’s main inhibitory neurotransmitter — it lessens nerve cells’ ability to communicate with other nerve cells.

Our brains maintain a perfect balance between GABA and glutamate, the body’s main excitatory neurotransmitter. Too much of either is a bad thing. With too much glutamate, seizures can occur, and with too much GABA, comas can occur. When our bodies are out of balance and GABA levels are low, it can lead to elevated levels of anxiety, stress, and depression. Kavalactones act by increasing the binding potential of GABA to its receptors in the brain. Kava can be a good supplement for those experiencing stress and anxiety and looking for a natural approach to medicine.

Kavalactones also exhibit the ability to regulate voltage-gated ion channels in our body, which are transmembrane proteins that help electrically signal cells.

Kavalactones particularly affect the sodium-potassium ion channel, which is essential to muscle contraction. Kavalactones have a blockade effect on these channels, blocking muscle contractions and tension. This is the physiological process that allows the body to relax and unwind when kava is consumed.

Kava’s overall inhibitory effect on the body and the central nervous system tends to its relaxing and sedation properties and can explain why ataxia and slurred speech can occur with overconsumption.

 

5. A Word of Caution on Kava

While kava has many clear health benefits, it must be used carefully. Many countries banned kava for speculation that kava creates liver issues. On March 25, 2002, the FDA issued a consumer advisory on supplements containing kava. The FDA reported that in over 25 cases, kava-containing products had been associated with liver-related injuries, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, and liver failure.

 CHAPTER FOUR- KANNA 

1. Definition and History 

The term Kanna — its scientific name Sceletium Tortuosum — refers to the succulent shrub native to the South African region. One of the oldest reported uses of Kanna was in 1662 during a trade fair of farmers who found it provided relief from work fatigue as well as satiation for hunger and thirst. Natives would chew on the plant at first but later found that wrapping up the roots and leaves in sheepskin further enhanced the alkaloids. Mesembrine is one of the three alkaloids found in Kanna that interacts with the body’s innate serotonin reuptake inhibitors, also known as SRIs. The other two alkaloids, Mesembrenone and Mesembrenol, also promote the brain’s ability to operate with smaller levels of natural serotonin. The process itself mimics the structure of common antidepressants.

This means Kanna is psychotropic and affects one’s body by changing specific parts of the nervous system, which results in elevated perception, mood, cognition, and even behavior. In 2012 Kanna entered the medical market as it was incorporated with the drug Zembrin. Because Kanna has those serotonin reuptake inhibitors when combined with other compounds, it creates that compound Zembrin. Typically, Zembrin is used to treat anxiety-related disorders.

 

2. Uses

Some of the most common uses of Kanna start with its ability to decrease levels of stress and anxiety associated with mood and physical pain. Others use it as an appetite suppressant. Overall it’s used to provide an elevated mood while relieving feelings of discomfort.

 

3. Methods of Consumption

There are many methods of consuming Kanna. Brewing tea is one of the most common methods. Teas kick in about an hour or an hour and a half after consumption. However, smoking Kanna kicks in the fastest. 

The initial recommended Kanna dose is 50 mg, which will provide elevated mood and appetite suppression. A medium dosage is around 100-250 mg. One should not exceed 500 mg when taking Kanna for many safety reasons. Another method is consuming the plant through a sublingual. This is a solution placed under the tongue; after 30 seconds, one should swallow and then feel the effects within 30 to 45 minutes.

 

CHAPTER FIVE – FUNGI

1. What is Fungi?

Fleshy fungi, also known as mushrooms, are considered the ecosystem’s best recyclers because they engulf and regenerate nutrients from surrounding vegetation and insects. 

Fungi pioneered life on earth 1.3 billion years ago as the first living organisms on the planet. Plants and greenery arrived a hundred million years later. Essentially, mycelium — the fungi’s network — triggered the development and growth of what we now know today as plants. This came about due to a chemical process that naturally occurs. The fungi secrete oxalic acids that pull calcium from nearby rocks, further breaking them down and escalating the development of soil. 

Mycelium is so common that, per cubic inch of soil, at least over a mile of cells flourish. Fungi from the stem to the spores can be used for their vast amount of essential minerals. Some of the most common mushrooms include Ganoderma lucidum, Hieracium erinaceus, Cordyceps sinensis and Trametes versicolor. 

After the asteroid hit earth 65 million years ago, it wiped out most life forms. The debris from the impact prevented sunlight from reaching the earth’s surface. This created a peak growth phase since fungi do not use sunlight like most plants. Instead, fungi use radiation as their source of energy. During this dark time on earth, organisms that were engulfed by the fungi flourished. There were mushrooms on earth so vast in size they reached 20 feet high and spanned a yard wide. This species was called Prototaxites and its fossils can be found in Saudi Arabia. 

Fungi and mushrooms have been utilized for medicinal purposes since ancient times, spanning varying cultures and civilizations across the globe. Their therapeutic properties were recognized and harnessed by ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians, Greeks, Chinese, and Native Americans. Traditional systems of medicine, such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), have long incorporated fungi and mushrooms into their healing practices.

One of the earliest known uses of medicinal fungi can be traced back to ancient Egypt, where mushrooms were depicted in hieroglyphics and were associated with immortality. In ancient Greece, renowned physicians like Hippocrates and Dioscorides documented the use of fungi for various ailments. The Chinese have a rich history of utilizing medicinal mushrooms like Reishi, Cordyceps, and Turkey Tail for thousands of years. These mushrooms were valued for their ability to strengthen the immune system, improve vitality, and promote longevity.

Throughout history, medicinal fungi and mushrooms have been employed to address a wide range of health conditions. They can be used to treat infections, boost the immune system, alleviate inflammation, promote wound healing, and enhance overall well-being. The discovery of other bioactive compounds in mushrooms, such as polysaccharides and triterpenoids, has further expanded their medicinal applications.

“Most mushrooms are 90% water by weight. The remaining 10% consists of 10–40% protein, 2–8% fat, 3–28% carbohydrate, 3–32% fiber, 8–10% ash, and some vitamins and minerals, with potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, iron, zinc, and copper accounting for most of the mineral content (Borchers et al. 1999)” 

Fungi play a crucial role in various ecosystems and offer several broad benefits. Here are some of the key advantages of fungi, but keep in mind benefits differ based on the species of fungi and how the botanicals affect systems in the body. Fungi have been used for centuries in traditional medicine and are a valuable source of bioactive compounds. Many pharmaceutical drugs, such as antibiotics (e.g., penicillin) and immunosuppressants, are derived from fungi. Fungi also produce secondary metabolites with antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties.

 

2. Types of Fungi

2a. Reishi:

Ganoderma lucidum, commonly known as the reishi mushroom, is similar to adaptogens, such as ashwagandha and are typically found growing on hardwood trees, particularly those of the genus Fagus (beech), Quercus (oak), and Acer (maple). They have a widespread distribution and can be found in various regions around the world, including Asia, North America, and Europe. They have a preference for growing in shaded and well-ventilated areas. Which also makes Reishi mushrooms easy to cultivate and grow in controlled environments.

Reishi is a wonderful substance for managing stressors in the body, as they have been traditionally used for their calming and adaptogenic properties. They help reduce stress, promote relaxation, and support mental well-being. Reishi mushrooms are believed to modulate the body’s stress response system, helping to balance hormones and improve resilience to stress.These sizable fungi hold a deep orange and brown hue covered by a slick sheen. 

The term lucidius translates to brilliant or shiny in the Latin language. The properties that give reishi its significance and interact with the human physique are called beta-glucans. These molecules are in the depths of the cell walls of living organisms. Simply put, this means Reishi mushrooms are known for their immunomodulatory effects. Meaning they can regulate and strengthen the immune system, making it more efficient in fighting infections and diseases. They have been shown to enhance the activity of certain immune cells, improve the production of antibodies, and promote overall immune function. Additionally, reishi mushrooms possess antioxidant properties, helping to combat oxidative stress and reduce cellular damage caused by free radicals. 

Reishi is also a hepatoprotectant, meaning it aids in preserving and averting damage to the liver. It also helps aid in a process known as bacteriostasis, a bodily function that regulates the development and spread of bacteria. They promote liver regeneration, improve liver function, and assist in the detoxification process.

As mentioned earlier, humanity’s first documented uses of mushrooms go back to ancient Greece, Mesopotamia and India. They usually were only consumed by nobility and royalty. Egyptians specifically started this tradition to ascend their minds after passing on. The pharaohs would consume the mushrooms throughout their lives and sometimes even be buried with them. This gave reishi and other mushrooms the nickname “Medicine of Kings.” They took this alias likely due to the large number of vital minerals that can be extracted from all parts of the fungi including spores and mycelia. The polysaccharides and triterpenes cultivated in the natural growth process of the plant, are another beneficial component that seems to give mushrooms their great reputation. 

It is critical to note that all mushrooms, not just reishi, are rich in bioactive molecules. Examples of such include terpenoids, phenols, steroids, and nucleotides. Mushroom proteins also contain two key amino acids, lysine and leucine, that the human body rarely produces on its own. This is why having a diet rich in amino acids or supplementing with mushrooms, such as reishi, can be beneficial.

2b. Lions Mane:

Traditionally known as Hericium Erinaceus, lion’s mane mushrooms grow plentifully on dead and decaying trees, in North America, Europe and Asia. This nutraceutical — a substance having mental benefits that protect from disease — provides an array of nutrients. These essential compounds provide benefits to the major five organs: lungs, heart, liver, kidney and spleen.

Used primarily to provide restorative energy and increase the body’s defenses against disease and stress, lion’s mane is a powerful substance. Two specific compounds give Lion’s Mane its reputation — hericenones and erinacines — and they stimulate nerve growth factors. Lion’s mane mushrooms have been traditionally used in various cultures for their potential cognitive-enhancing properties. They contain compounds that may stimulate the production of nerve growth factors (NGFs), which play a vital role in the growth, maintenance, and repair of brain cells. By promoting NGF production, Lion’s mane mushrooms may support brain health, enhance memory, and potentially help with conditions such as mild cognitive impairment. In fact, these NGFs, after being extracted and studied, proved to be crucial for regulating the basal forebrain system. This system is important because it produces acetylcholine, a chemical needed for many functions in the brain and body, especially regulating the health of the brain itself. Acetylcholine is also necessary for learning and memory functions of the brain. 

In one trial study mice were “injected with neurotoxic peptides in an experiment to assess the effects of Lion’s Mane on the type of amyloid plaque formation seen in Alzheimer’s patients. The mice then completed a Y maze and were tested then separated based on Lion’s Mane supplements vs. the control group. The results showed that the mice receiving the diet with hericium and erinaceus, performed better completing the memory maze than the control group. It not only stimulates the nerve growth factors, but it also stimulates the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) produced in the brain and body. 

The BDNF is one of the growth hormones similar to NGFs. These neurotrophics slow and/or prevent cells from entering the decaying process and stimulate the growth of new and existing cells. Another study showed this fungus is believed to lessen the damage from amyloid-beta plaque, which accumulates in the brains of those suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Vast improvements were seen in elderly people consuming 3 grams of powdered hieracium erinaceus daily for four months. The daily dose is around 1000mg, one to two times daily and it can be consumed raw, cooked, dried or steeped in a drink.

Some studies suggest that Lion’s mane mushrooms may have positive effects on mood and mental well-being. This is because Lion’s mane was also shown to help increase the function of the hippocampus, which has been shown to aid those suffering from anxiety and depression. Since it reduces inflammation it has been shown to increase the intestinal immune system, which protects against pathogens that could enter the nose, mouth, or gut. For instance, a study showed the mice injected with the bacteria salmonella increased their life span after supplementing with lion’s mane. 

Preliminary studies indicate that Lion’s mane mushrooms may have immunomodulatory effects, meaning they can regulate and strengthen the immune system. They have shown potential in enhancing immune function and increasing the activity of certain immune cells, which could contribute to improved overall immune response. Lion’s mane mushrooms also possess antioxidant properties, helping to counteract oxidative stress and reduce cellular damage caused by free radicals. Additionally, they may exhibit anti-inflammatory effects, potentially contributing to their overall health benefits.

2c. Cordyceps:

The botanical Cordyceps Sinensis, otherwise known simply as cordyceps, is one of the most common medical mushrooms. Cordyceps mushrooms have been revered for centuries in traditional medicine for their potential health benefits. These unique fungi offer a range of advantages that have attracted scientific interest in recent years. From enhancing energy and stamina to supporting respiratory health and bolstering the immune system, cordyceps mushrooms have gained recognition for their potential contributions to overall well-being.

This parasitic fungus is found predominantly in the Himalayan mountains at around 3,700 feet or higher. The cultivation and propagation of cordyceps are unique due to their ability to regenerate from these heights. Fungi attach themselves to any “host” or small living things like insects. After the spores attach to the creature, the fungi chemically interacts with the hosts’ mind, propelling it to climb to heights ranging from 3,000 to 3,700 feet. After ascending, the host stays in place until it eventually dies. 

After its death, the spores of the fungi will slowly emerge from the top of the head of those hosts, then emerging wind and other natural forces encourage the spread of the spores. This is why the height of the insect matters. Incredibly, the fungi could literally engulf the host, but instead uses the host to propagate itself. 

Considered a nucleoside, cordyceps contain key properties needed for the synthesis of RNA and DNA within the body. Studies on boars and rats have shown that cordyceps militaris enhance testosterone levels, which increase the sperm counts of these animals. It is thought to have a similar effect on human males. The compounds that bring cordyceps to the forefront of medicinal mushrooms are its components called polysaccharides and cordycepin. 

Cordyceps mushrooms are well-regarded for their ability to improve energy levels and enhance physical performance. They contain bioactive compounds that promote better oxygen utilization and stimulate the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the primary energy currency of cells. By improving the delivery of oxygen to muscles and enhancing ATP production, cordyceps mushrooms can help increase endurance, stamina, and overall vitality. Athletes and individuals seeking to improve their physical performance often turn to cordyceps mushrooms as a natural and sustainable energy booster.

These mushrooms have a long history of use in traditional medicine to promote respiratory health. They have been found to support lung function, enhance oxygen uptake, and assist in bronchial dilation. Cordyceps mushrooms possess expectorant properties, aiding in the clearance of mucus and easing respiratory congestion. These benefits can be particularly useful for individuals with respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). By supporting optimal respiratory function, cordyceps mushrooms contribute to improved overall well-being and quality of life.

The immune-modulating properties of cordyceps mushrooms make them a valuable natural resource for immune support. They enhance the activity of key immune cells, including natural killer cells and T-cells, and promote the production of cytokines, which are vital in regulating immune responses. Cordyceps mushrooms help fortify the immune system, making it more effective in combating infections and diseases. Their potential benefits in immune support make cordyceps mushrooms an appealing option for individuals seeking to strengthen their overall immune function and resilience.

Inflammation is a common underlying factor in many chronic diseases, including cardiovascular conditions, arthritis, and metabolic disorders. Cordyceps mushrooms contain bioactive compounds that possess anti-inflammatory properties, helping to reduce inflammation in the body. By inhibiting pro-inflammatory molecules and pathways, cordyceps mushrooms contribute to a healthier inflammatory response and may aid in managing chronic inflammatory conditions. These anti-inflammatory effects provide additional reasons to consider cordyceps mushrooms as part of a holistic approach to wellness.

Cordyceps mushrooms are rich in antioxidants, which play a crucial role in combating oxidative stress and protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants help neutralize these harmful molecules, preventing oxidative damage and reducing the risk of various diseases. The potent antioxidant activity of cordyceps mushrooms contributes to overall cellular health and supports longevity. By incorporating cordyceps mushrooms into one’s diet or supplementation routine, individuals can benefit from the protective effects of antioxidants.

2d. Turkey Tail:

Turkey Tail mushrooms, scientifically known as Trametes versicolor, have a vibrant and distinctive appearance resembling a turkey’s tail. These mushrooms have a long history of use in traditional medicine. Recent scientific studies have shed light on their numerous advantages, ranging from immune support and cancer-fighting properties to gut health and antioxidant activity. This colorful and abundant fungus is grown in woodsy environments and is beneficial to our health. Like most fungus, the turkey tail contributes to the ecosystem by acting as a recycler. As fungi grow and develop, they overtake the decaying or dying materials around them. They do so by engulfing them in their growth cycles. 

All plant materials are ultimately returned to the soil, adding nutrients and continuing the cycle of life. However, Dr. Dov Pine explains there is more to turkey tail than its positive impact on the environment. As Trametes versicolor was studied more thoroughly, its popularity in the cancer research field increased. Turkey Tail mushrooms are renowned for their immunomodulatory properties. They contain bioactive compounds, known as PSP (polysaccharopeptide) and PSK (polysaccharide-k) were studied on three levels to see how they interacted with cancer cells in the body. Research suggests that these compounds can stimulate the activity of natural killer cells and other immune cells, bolstering the body’s defenses against infections and diseases. Additionally, Turkey Tail mushrooms can enhance the immune response to cancer cells, promoting the body’s natural defense mechanisms against cancer development and progression.

The conclusions showed that turkey tail mushrooms inspired the immune system to “wake up” and identify harmful cells. This stimulates the body and its natural defense process making it easier to fight off. Turkey tail was also shown to trigger the downregulation response. This means it has both defense and offense mechanisms against toxic cells. Lastly, turkey tail showed an ability to preserve red and white blood cells. During any cancer treatment, like radiation or chemotherapy, these cells are depleted drastically, causing one to be susceptible to further infections and illness. Turkey tail helps to preserve these cells within the body, retaining some immune protectant properties. 

The health of the gut microbiota is crucial for overall well-being, and Turkey Tail mushrooms may play a role in promoting gut health. They contain prebiotic fibers and other compounds that can nourish beneficial gut bacteria. By supporting a healthy balance of gut microbiota, Turkey Tail mushrooms contribute to improved digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune function. Furthermore, they have been investigated for their potential to alleviate gastrointestinal disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colorectal cancer, by reducing inflammation and supporting intestinal barrier integrity.

Turkey Tail mushrooms possess potent antioxidant activity, attributed to their rich content of phenols, flavonoids, and other bioactive compounds. Antioxidants help neutralize harmful free radicals, protecting cells from oxidative damage and reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Additionally, Turkey Tail mushrooms exhibit anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce chronic inflammation that contributes to various health conditions, including cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, and metabolic disorders. Their dual action as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents enhances their potential benefits for overall health and well-being.

In addition to the aforementioned benefits, Turkey Tail mushrooms have been studied for their potential in supporting liver health, reducing cholesterol levels, and improving overall vitality. Although more research is needed to fully understand their mechanisms and efficacy, the accumulated evidence suggests that Turkey Tail mushrooms offer a holistic approach to health promotion. As a dietary supplement or as part of traditional medicine practices, incorporating Turkey Tail mushrooms into one’s routine may provide a range of advantages for immune function, cancer prevention, gut health, and overall wellness.

2e. Chaga:

Chaga mushrooms, scientifically known as Inonotus obliquus. These unique and intriguing mushrooms grow on birch trees in cold climates and have been used for centuries in traditional medicine. With their distinctive appearance and a rich array of bioactive compounds, Chaga mushrooms offer a host of advantages for overall well-being and have piqued the interest of scientific researchers and health enthusiasts worldwide. Chaga is a powerful antioxidant, and may help combat high blood pressure. In addition to helping regulate the immune system, chaga has also been shown to lower blood sugar levels.

Chaga mushrooms are parasitic fungi that grow predominantly on birch trees in the northern regions of Europe, Asia, and North America. They appear as black, irregularly shaped growths protruding from the tree bark. Chaga mushrooms develop over several years, absorbing nutrients from the birch trees and accumulating a wide range of bioactive compounds. These include polysaccharides, betulinic acid, melanin, phenolic compounds, and antioxidants, which contribute to their potential health benefits.

Chaga mushrooms possess a remarkable nutritional profile, making them a valuable addition to a healthy diet. They are a source of essential vitamins, including vitamin D, vitamin K, and B-complex vitamins. Chaga mushrooms also provide important minerals such as potassium, calcium, and zinc. Furthermore, they contain dietary fibers that support digestive health and aid in maintaining a balanced gut microbiota.

One of the key benefits associated with Chaga mushrooms is their potential to support immune function. They contain bioactive compounds, particularly polysaccharides, which have immunomodulatory effects. These compounds can stimulate and regulate immune cells, including natural killer cells and lymphocytes, thereby enhancing the body’s defense against infections and diseases. The immune-boosting properties of Chaga mushrooms make them an attractive natural resource for promoting overall immune health.

Chaga mushrooms are renowned for their potent antioxidant activity. The presence of melanin, phenolic compounds, and other antioxidants allows them to scavenge harmful free radicals and protect cells from oxidative damage. This antioxidant action helps to reduce inflammation and mitigate the risk of chronic diseases associated with oxidative stress. The anti-inflammatory effects of Chaga mushrooms may also contribute to alleviating symptoms of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and promoting overall well-being.

In addition to their immune-boosting and antioxidant properties, Chaga mushrooms are believed to offer several other health benefits. They have been studied for their potential anticancer properties, as some compounds found in Chaga mushrooms have shown inhibitory effects on cancer cell growth and metastasis. Chaga mushrooms may also support liver health, aid in managing blood sugar levels, and promote skin health and wound healing due to their unique composition of bioactive compounds.

 

CHAPTER SIX- SUPPLEMENTS 

Check with a licensed doctor or nutritionist before taking any supplements or drastically changing your diet.

1. Herbal Supplements

Herbal supplements have been used for centuries to provide relief from common ailments and can act as a preventative measure to disease. They are most commonly defined as components extracted or found within or of a plant or substance that can be beneficial to the body.

Supplements are intended to make up for deficiencies in one’s diet. According to the Journal of Nutrition, people take supplements for two main reasons: to act as preventative measures against diseases and/or to alleviate symptoms of disease and illness.

Essential Oils Disclaimer: Applying oils topically is an effective way to use them; however, they should never be applied directly to the skin without a carrier oil. Carrier oils include coconut oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil, avocado oil, etc. Essential oils are extremely concentrated formulas intended to be used in small amounts.

 

2. Ashwagandha 

The herb Ashwagandha, otherwise known as Withania Somnifera is a popular supplement used for its anti-stress and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also called Winter Cherry since it does belong to the nightshade family of plants. It has exhibited adaptogenic qualities, meaning it can aid the body in fighting off physical, mental, biological, and chemical stressors. The herb has been used for centuries in ancient China and traditional Indian medicine. Ashwagandha can benefit joint health, work as a sleep aid and a stress aid, can improve reproductive health, and can even aid in the bedroom by increasing stamina and endurance. Some research has also suggested ashwagandha can help the body’s natural protection against disease by boosting the body’s cell-mediated immunity response. Ashwagandha can be beneficial to those with weaker immune systems, such as people with autoimmune diseases. However, ashwagandha activates the immune system, so for those with ailments, it could be negative. It’s important to consult with your medical professional before adding any supplement to your diet. 

A study published in the Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine looked at ashwagandha’s effect on Rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory autoimmune disorder. Collagen-induced arthritic rates were treated with three main doses of the herb. At the end of 20 days, the results showed the herb caused an antiarthritic and anti-inflammatory response. 

There are an array of benefits that Ashwagandha can provide to both males and females. The Art of Living Retreat Center reported that men saw fertility benefits while taking ashwagandha during a three-month period. In the study relating to stress on infertile males, 75 men took five grams of Ashwagandha each day. The men reported an increase in sperm count and motility — the strength and mobility of sperm cells. In 14% of the cases, the center reporter, and their partners were able to conceive. 

Ashwagandha can also aid in memory retention, controlling inflammation, and regulating blood sugar. Another study was done to test its effect on the immune system. In these two human-pilot studies, the dosage of ashwagandha was put into tea and was more beneficial for increasing the activity of natural killer cells, meaning it enhanced the cells’ response to kill physiologically stressed cells like tumor and virus-infected cells. 

Ashwagandha was studied in cancer patients, too. The study suggested ashwagandha helped reduce overall body fatigue. During the study, chemotherapy patients were administered two grams every eight hours during chemo treatments. At the end of this study, symptoms of fatigue were reduced in seven of the 18 individuals. 

One of the most common methods of consuming ashwagandha is via capsule. The capsule can be solely ashwagandha or it can be blended with other supplements and or adaptogens. Using root powder is also a common method. Many find adding it to smoothies or creating a tea out of it to be beneficial. The dosage is three to six grams of the root powder. 

A note of caution: Ashwagandha should not be used if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. The immunomodulatory effects also make this supplement something to stay away from if you have multiple sclerosis, lupus or other autoimmune diseases, as mentioned above.

 

3. Panax Ginseng 

An ancient root called Panax ginseng is native to North America and can be beneficial to the body. Also known as the “King Herb”’ in Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is also considered a natural nootropic. There are two types of ginseng: American and Asian. The American version tends to be more relaxing and soothing, while the Asian form is more stimulating and awakening. The most active component in ginseng is ginsenosides, broken down into two groups known as panaxadiol and panaxatriol.

More than 150 ginseng varieties or strains have been identified and they work with the body to enhance the process of phagocytosis, where cells dissolve or consume other cells that are foreign to the body, aged in some way, or pose a threat to immune health. This is why ginseng can be beneficial to the body’s airways during a cold or flu. These two properties in ginseng can also aid neurotransmitter health, allowing for better cognition. One study showed that doses of 1,000-2,000 mg a day for cancer patients helped to improve muscle and body fatigue.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (NMCD) conducted a study on patients with Type 2 Diabetes. The study showed that taking ginseng two hours before a meal could lower the patient’s blood sugar after the meal. Another study showed that taking 200-400 mg per day during cold and flu season for approximately three to six months could decrease the risk of sickness. Another study showed that when Ginseng was administered to healthy individuals, their overall cognition and memory performance increased. The dose of daily dried root powder is 0.5-2 grams.

 

4. Turmeric 

Turmeric, otherwise known as Curcuma Longa, is appreciated not only for its distinct flavor and scent but also for a variety of health benefits. According to the Indian Journal of Dental Research, Turmeric is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, hypolipidemic, hepatoprotective, and a strong antioxidant.

Turmeric can be used topically and orally. Topically it has been used to help with acne due to its non-drying properties. Orally it can be used to assist with various issues, including bloating, indigestion, loss of appetite, and even jaundice. The turmeric root itself is antiseptic and aromatic. It is also known to protect against free radical damage within the body.

In ancient cultures, the bright orange powder was popularly used as a textile dye.

Incorporating turmeric into the diet when cooking or as a supplement may reduce inflammation. A study published in the book, “Integrated Cancer Therapies,” looked into neck and head cancer patients who used a dissolved turmeric solution. The study concluded that, as a whole, the turmeric solution proved even more effective than a povidone-iodine solution typically used.

The dosage for adults of the powdered form of the herbal supplement would be 1.5-3 grams daily.

 

5. Aloe Vera 

Aloe vera, also known as A. Barbadensis, is commonly known as a houseplant, but it possesses many benefits. Its earliest documented use was in 1750 BCE for pharmaceutical needs. The potency of the plant is found in its aloins, the bitter green juice of the plant. After the liquid is extracted and dries, it is turned into a powder. The leaves themselves are 99.5% water and contain high levels of a compound known as Lectin.

Lectin has been shown to aid in decreasing inflammation, specifically when combined with glycoproteins (molecules composed of proteins) already existing in the body. Aloe contains lignins, which help it penetrate into the skin. Lignins are known for their anti-aging benefits, making aloe a great topical treatment for dry skin. According to Penn Medicine MD Manasija Rath, the anti-inflammatory properties can help soothe cold sores due to the cell regenerating compounds and aid in the reduction of swelling.

Aloe was also found to be an aid in calming the skin of second and third-degree burns and is commonly used to soothe sunburns. Since the juice can prevent the growth of bacteria, it can help against many viruses, such as Staphylococcus aureus.

The juice also contains latex, which is a laxative that helps constipation. A couple of small double-blind studies indicate aloe may aid in lowering blood glucose levels and lipid levels in diabetic patients with metabolic syndrome.

Overall, aloe is beneficial topically for any skin irritation and internally for its anti-constipation and antiviral benefits.

Please note: long-term daily use of aloe may cause inflammation of the liver.

 

6. Tongkat Ali 

Tongkat ali, otherwise known as eurycoma longifolia jack, is a medicinal plant found in Southeast Asia. Many call it Malaysian ginseng since the effects are similar. 

Commonly known as a tonic, meaning it is taken for restoring vitality, energy, and balance. It is a sexual performance enhancer and can provide an energy boost for athletes. 

Traditionally, it was used for its anti-aging properties, but it also gained popularity for its aphrodisiac benefits and has been used by some to increase their natural libido and regain a feeling of balance hormonally. 

A double-blind 12-week study was done in men to assess its effect on libido and sperm motility in men ages 30 to 55. A total of 109 men were given either a placebo or a 300-mg dose of tongkat ali in water. This specific study showed there was an improvement in the group after evaluating them physically and through a questionnaire, which showed a 44.4% increase in sperm motility and a 14% increase in libido. 

Since it also aids in keeping the body’s cortisol levels low, tongkat ali has been recommended for use in athletes and anyone dealing with high stress. A study published in the International Journal Society of Sports Nutrition suggested that taking Tongkat ali daily improves the stress hormone profile in the body and certain mood parameters.

 

7. Moringa 

Moringa, otherwise known as moringa oleifera, is a tree shrub that originated in India. Its first known usage was around the first century AD, when it was used medicinally.

This tropical tree grows abundantly and propagates easily since it is low-maintenance. The plant contains roots, branches, leaves, and stems that can be used to help with various day-to-day ailments.

Dr. Martin Price found that by administering a 100-gram portion of the leaves to a woman breastfeeding, and a pregnant woman, they had consumed over a third of their daily calcium levels.

During the plant’s youngest stage, the leaves can be used in many food dishes, such as soups and salads. Moringa provides a great source of Vitamin B and essential amino acids. As the plant continues to mature, the oil found in the seeds can be a cooking tool or even in the industrial world on heavy machinery.

Research also showed that the 4-isothiocyanate compound found in moringa seed oil proves to be an excellent antimicrobial. This is why in the first century, moringa was primarily used as a medicinal tool, especially by the indigenous tribes of North America.

The chemical structure of Moringa oil contains oleic acid. This compound is known as monounsaturated fat and provides many cardiovascular benefits. According to the United States Natural Library of Medicine, the National Institute of Health stated that Moringa can help reduce cholesterol and help prevent breast cancer. A starting dose is 600 mg, and it can be taken up to five times a day.

BIOMASA found that the moringa leaf extract contains a compound known as Zeatin, which is a plant growth hormone. This means that moringa leaf extract can be juiced and then sprayed onto many other crops.

Onions, bell peppers, melon, teas, soya, and coffee are all examples of vegetation that benefit from moringa’s nutrients. It should be noted that basic care for the plant must be met as well to see proper growth.

 

8. Akuamma 

Harvested in West Africa and typically grown in tropical climates, Picralima nitida, or akuamma, has been used medicinally for various health-related ailments. Akuamma is a tree and its beneficial compounds are called alkaloids, which play a large role in the anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-fever, and hypoglycemic benefits associated with the plant. Traditionally, akuamma has been used in Ghana, Africa, and along the Ivory Coast to ease the symptoms of otitis, pulmonary bronchitis, and venereal diseases. In Ghana specifically, a local hospital constructed a capsule form of akuamma for patients suffering from malaria. The capsules contained the pulverized akuamma seed powder at a 250 mg concentration and were marketed under the name “picap capsules.”

 

9. Blue Lotus 

The blue lotus flower, its scientific name Nymphea caerulea, is an ancient water lily native to Egypt. The petals are most commonly consumed in a bright-blue- and purple-colored tea, but can be taken in capsule form. This botanical is used for a variety of ailments, including depression, anxiety, and even as a sleep aid. The vibrant flowers grow on the banks of rivers and lakes in moist soil.

Characteristics of the blue lotus come from its key alkaloids. The main two are known as aporphine and nuciferine, which provide different effects alone than when combined. Aporphine is considered a psychoactive alkaloid and a nonselective dopamine agonist used to treat Parkinson’s disease.

The other alkaloid found in the flower is known as nuciferine, which is associated with the dopamine receptor blockade. Essentially these two compounds bind with the neurotransmitters in the brain, providing relaxing effects. One of the best times to use Blue Lotus is when the body is experiencing mild pains such as cramps, headaches, or muscle pain.

Simply drinking it in a tea has been said to help ease discomfort, since this flower is considered an analgesic. Analgesics are known most commonly to assist in the pain-relieving process making this a great natural remedy.

 

10. Willow Bark 

Willow Bark, also known as Silicaceae, is traditionally known to be a good treatment for headaches, fever, rheumatism, arthritis, and other ailments. It is commonly incorporated into many products in Europe. A study showed that over six months of moderated dosage, the low back pain of 436 patients were alleviated.

When combined with Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, it was an effective therapy for musculoskeletal disorders. The compound of polyphenols present in willow bark provides a stronger pain relief than that of aspirin while also preserving the stomach lining, unlike aspirin.

The dose for a dry aqueous extract of Willow Bark in adults is 480-600mg twice during the day or for the powder form use 260-500mg dose three times a day in a herbal tea.

 

11. Lavender 

Lavender, its scientific name Lavandula angustifolia, is a botanical commonly known for its relaxing properties. As part of the Lamiaceae family, identified by its bright flowering buds, lavender has many therapeutic benefits.

Clinical evidence has shown that breathing in lavender oil aromatically, taking it orally in a tincture, or drinking it in tea has exhibited anti-anxiety properties and helped those suffering from disturbed sleep. Lavender also seems to mimic pain-relieving properties when implemented in a randomized controlled trial in haemodialysis with arteriovenous fistulas. The methods being tested were the inhalation of lavender vs. the insertion of a needle into a patient’s fistula. A trial proved that the lavender inhalation method was more successful for pain relief.

A similar study tested lavender inhalation properties in children ages 6-12. Their use of lavender oil aromatically proved to significantly lower their use of acetaminophen after a tonsillectomy. The chemical property associated with the benefits of this plant is called linalool. Linalool is a known terpene that provides sedating and relaxing effects. Another trial for testing the relief of perineal trauma following childbirth found that with postpartum care, lavender oil can aid in healing. When added to a warm bath for five days, users reported lower levels of overall discomfort between days three and five.

Multiple animal studies suggested the anxiolytic effects of lavender were linked to the serotonergic system. Neuroprotective effects of lavender were also demonstrated in a trial involving rats that inhaled the oil. These rats were suffering from scopolamine-induced dementia. The lavender induced a neuroprotective effect after being tested.

Multiple invitro studies have shown Lavender to carry antimicrobial defenses against E Coli, Candida albicans, Staphylococcus, and Bacillus subtilis. Lavender can affect gut health without wiping out all the good bacteria in this region by reducing the pathogenic intestinal bacteria.

 

12. Tea Tree

Tea tree oil, its scientific name Melaleuca alternifolia, is a member of the Myrtaceae family and is a well-known essential oil used for over a hundred years predominantly in Australia.

Extracted through the process of steam distillation, the leaves and branches are manipulated to provide this anti-inflammatory and antiseptic oil. The most common compound is known as terpinen-4-ol.

Tea tree is effective against many ailments, including lice and their eggs, plus pathogenic yeast. It has also been used as a topical antiseptic for scabies, head lice, and minor wounds. Tea tree was also found to be beneficial in the treatment of facial and body acne. A clinical study was performed to test its ability to fight against the bacteria that cause acne. A 5% solution was as effective as a benzoyl peroxide treatment and some noted that tea tree did not irritate or dry the skin out as harshly as the peroxide.

 

13. Eucalyptus 

Eucalyptus globulus labill, or Eucalyptus, is a vined plant that has many uses.

It is a member of the Myrtaceae family and was used for decades by the natives of Australia before it was discovered by James Cook, a captain in the British Royal Army. While traveling to Botany Bay, he came across the plant when he saw locals rubbing the leaves together to aid in congestion.

The leaves were used for medicinal purposes, such as treating colds with cough and sore throat by using it as a decongestant. It was distilled for the first time in 1852. Eucalyptus can be administered this way by inhaling it through a hot water vaporization process, diffusing it aromatically, or using it in a topical skin vapor rub.

It has also been used as a pain reliever for muscular and skeletal issues by reducing inflammation. Some also use it as a natural insect repellent. The known chemical compound that gives Eucalyptus these qualities is 8-cineole, or eucalyptol. The essential oil form of this plant is extracted and distilled from the leaves. It is an antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiseptic against bacteria and yeast.

 

14. Rosemary

Rosmarinus officinalis L., commonly known as Rosemary, is an herb that has been used for decades to enhance the flavors in foods, provide aromatherapy benefits, and act as an antimicrobial. Originating in the Mediterranean region, it was later grown in Asia and Europe.

The leaves are dried and crushed into a spice, or the oils are extracted through the flowering aerial compounds of the herb. The most present components in the plant are known as camphor, a-pinene, and 8-cineole. These are all terpenes, known to produce different effects based on their unique characteristics.

It was found that Greek and Roman students would apply the oil to their temples before taking their exams as a memory aid. An in vitro study demonstrated that rosemary has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It inhibits staphylococcus aureus in meats and other common bacteria, too.

Rosemary is also often used in foods as a natural preservative. The active portions of the plant that provide this effect are known as carnosol and ursolic acid.

Another study showed this plant can also reduce symptoms of depression in rodents. A final study tested the saliva of 22 healthy adults after inhaling rosemary essential oil for five minutes. The study concluded people who smelled rosemary had lowered cortisol levels.

 

15. Cinnamon

This spice scientifically known as Cinnamomum verum J.Presl, cinnamon is part of the Lauraceae family. The bark and the oil have been used to relieve the symptoms of bloating, flatulence, and mild spasmodic gastrointestinal issues. The active chemical compound found in cinnamon that gives it such distinct properties is known as cinnamaldehyde.

It has been found that the aqueous extract of cinnamon was reported to have anti-oestrogenic activity in yeast systems. Cinnamon bark extract was shown to inhibit tumor progression in those with Melanoma cells. Cinnamon is antibacterial and antifungal in essential oil form, and strong enough to fight against candida albicans, a fungus.

 

16. German Chamomile

This botanical is scientifically known as Matricaria chamomilla L., part of the Asteraceae family. The main compound that composes chamomile is M. Chamomilla. 

German Chamomile has been used to help with inflammation, soothing gastrointestinal issues, and sleeplessness. It has also been used to relieve the pain and dryness from rashes, burns, bites, hemorrhoids, bruises, and cracked skin, especially for females breastfeeding. 

It was also found that a mixture of chamomile extract applied topically to the skin allowed for more relief from inflammation and itching than traditional hydrocortisone cream in colostomy patients. Chamomile is infused in many products, such as teas to help calm the body and the mind. The extract of this flower may even treat anxiety and depression because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects. 

 

17. Ginger

This spice is also known as Zingiber officinale roscoe and has been used over the last 5,000 years in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese medicine.

It is commonly used to aid with rheumatism diseases, constipation, vomiting, and various digestive disorders. Ginger is a common treatment for morning sickness and anti-motion sickness.

A double-blind study showed individuals who experience motion sickness responded to the pretreatment of a 1000mg ginger capsule. The chemical compounds that have potency are gingerols and their derivatives ginger diones. Ginger has a wide range of benefits, including anti-diabetic, anti-cancer, and anti-obesity. This is why ginger is often added to supplements, teas, and vitamins.

 

18. Holy Basil

This ancient herb is also known as Sacred Basil, Tulsi, or Ocimum tenuiflorum L. Part of the Lamiaceae family, tulsi has been used as a stress-combating agent and general tonic for managing diabetes and its complications in the body. It is also an anti-inflammatory to the respiratory system, reducing symptoms of sore throat, asthma, and cough. Basil can be an insect repellent when used in its essential oil form, too.

The chemical composition of the herb itself changes based on the age of the plant, the cultivator, and the growing condition. Its potent property stems from eugenol and ocimumosides A and B, which, in a study, exhibited anti-stress benefits in chronic unpredictable stress model rats.

 

19. Elderberry

Sambucus Nigra L., commonly known as the elderberry, is a part of the Adoxaceae family and is most commonly known for its immune-boosting properties. It is a small bush that flowers at the start of the summer season. Native to Europe, North America, and Asia, the plant produces berries as the season comes to a close. 

It was most commonly used to aid in assuaging flu and cold symptoms. Elderberry contains a compound called flavonoids, which are essential for protecting the body against free radical damage. This makes Elderberry a strong antioxidant, proving its effectiveness at aiding in the symptoms of sore throat, and chills (Edwards, 2015). A study was done to test Elderberry’s effectiveness at reducing the overall symptom time of those suffering from confirmed influenza A and B. In this randomized and double-blind study where Elderberry extract was administered, it showed a reduction in the symptom times as predicted. It is believed this plant is effective because it processes antimicrobial effects in extract form. 

The antiviral and antimicrobial effect that Elderberry has on influenza also applies to negative and gram-positive bacteria as well (Edwards, 2015). The properties found in this plant help neutralize the haemagglutinin spikes. These are responsible for virus replication and are found on the exterior of multiple types of viruses (Edwards, 2015). There was another study conducted that tested Elderberry extract’s effectiveness to stimulate insulin-dependent glucose uptake. There is a good chance Elderberries can aid in the treatment of insulin resistance issues (Edwards, 2015).

Friendly reminder: always consult with a doctor before adding anything new to your routine, especially if you are taking medications or have issues with blood sugar. Elderberry is not recommended for children under twelve or for those who are pregnant and/or breastfeeding (Edwards, 2015).

 

20. St. John’s Wort

Known scientifically as Hypericum perforatum L., St. John’s Wort is in the Hypericaceae family. This herb provides relief from symptoms of depression, seasonal affective disorder, anxiety, and specifically insomnia associated with menopause. Hypericins are what give St. John’s Wort its medicinal properties.

A study was conducted on 5,489 patients suffering from severe to moderate depression. In it, St. John’s proved to be more effective than the placebo with fewer side effects. A topical cream infused with the same hypericin was shown to help rebuild and strengthen the skin’s barrier. It does so by lowering free radical formation.

 

21. Green Tea

Camellia sinensis, otherwise more commonly known as green tea, is an herb used around the world for a vast number of years. As a member of the Theaceae family, green tea is a known antioxidant, making it a potent defense against free radicals. 

The compounds that give the herb this property are called polyphenols. These organic compounds are beneficial for strengthening the body’s circulatory system, which promotes healthy blood vessels. Since polyphenols are secondary species of plants, they are also responsible for defending against ultraviolet radiation and potential harm caused by pathogens. A study showed regular consumption of green tea enhanced cardiovascular and metabolic health.

This could be a reason green tea is so commonly used throughout the world. Another study in China showed that habitual consumption of green oolong tea was linked to a decrease in hypertension. 

Another study proved epidemiological evidence of a strong correlation between consuming green tea and the prevention of bone loss. The study showed a significant decrease in bone fractures in elderly men and women who drank green tea. The mineral composition of this tea promotes and supports osteoblastic activities in the bones. 

Please note that there is caffeine in most green tea. Decaf green tea is also available. 

 

22. Devil’s Claw

This herb is scientifically known as Harpagophytum procumbens, otherwise known as Devil’s Claw.

It is part of the Pedaliaceae family and has been used to help relieve rheumatism, muscular pains, and general everyday aches. The component that gives Devil’s Claw its potency is iridoids.

The other active chemical compound is known as phenolic glycosides. A study with 259 patients that experienced rheumatoid conditions was performed. Of those patients, 222 reported significant improvements in global pain when taking 480 mg twice daily.

 

23. Lemon Balm

Melissa officinalis L., more commonly known as lemon balm, is an herb that is traditionally used to help treat anxiety and insomnia. A member of the Lamiaceae family, it is also a great tool for dealing with bloating, flatulence, and gastrointestinal issues. It can also be a treatment for cold sores, reducing healing time down to a week. 

One study also showed that it reduced the proportions of herpetic lesions when compared to a placebo. Lemon balm has been shown to inhibit the replication of herpes simplex virus type 2. 

Another trial studied patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. These patients were between the ages of 65 and 80. They were administered a 60-drop per day dosage. This mixture consisted of 50% ethanolic extract and a 1:4 ratio of M. officinalis. After 16 weeks, the trial concluded that lemon balm demonstrated a significantly better outcome than its placebo.

 

24. Cranberry

This bright shrubby plant is also known as Vaccinium macrocarpon and is a part of the Ericaceae family. 

Other common members of its family include bilberry and blueberry. The compounds that give Cranberry its potent properties are known as phenolic phytochemicals. 

Found naturally in the plant and necessary in the diets of animals and humans, these phytochemicals are important. They not only provide protection and defense against environmental stressors, such as bacteria and infections but also against UV exposure. Cranberry has been used historically to help lower the incidence of urinary tract infections in males and females. 

According to The Laboratory of Food Biotechnology, Department of Food Science, University of Massachusetts, Cranberries defend against ulcer-related bacteria known as Helicobacter pylori. One study showed cranberry juice inhibited the bonding of this stomach bacteria to the mucus and cells themselves. This could be beneficial for those who struggle with persistent stomach ulcers, or related symptoms. Other sources claim it has been used as a blood and digestive disorder treatment. 

 

25. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has been used since 460 BC when Hippocrates used a mixture of honey with ACV to fight infection and help to speed up the healing process of open wounds to the skin. The Babylonians used to drink this tonic as it was shown to help the healing process. The property of vinegar itself is manufactured by taking the ethyl alcohol and converting it into acetic acid by acetobacter.

These bacteria and acids are what give ACV its unique properties, which include weight loss, hyperlipidemia, nutritional support, antioxidant defense, anti-inflammatory, and help in lowering blood pressure.

The benefits and usage of organic acids have been deemed safe and can even help reduce the negative bacteria in the gut. Apple cider is antimicrobial and can also defend against E.Coli bacteria. One source indicated drinking ACV and water was an effective method in aiding in the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

The word vinegar in French translates to “sour wine,”. A vast number of minerals present themselves in a bottle of apple cider vinegar: potassium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc, sodium, and vitamins A, C, E, B, B2, B12, just to name a few. Friendly reminder: The chromium found in ACV can alter insulin levels, so seek medical advice before adding ACV to your diet.

CHAPTER SEVEN – NOOTROPICS

1. What are Nootropics? 

Nootropics are understood to be cognitive enhancers that are nontoxic and prove to be neuroprotective. Since the brain is the center of the entire nervous system, its health is vital to all other parts of the body. Nootropics stimulate and provide precursors to neurotransmitters, which help to prevent neuroprotective damage, increase overall brain circulation, and dispense usable energy to the brain itself. These functions help to strengthen the brain and stimulate the growth of new cells. 

Nootropics can also help to strengthen mental awareness, focus levels, and the quickness of reactions. They include prescribed medicines like those for ADHD or Alzheimer’s or can be bought over the counter. These are all considered nootropics because of the brain-enhancing properties they possess. 

Please remember this is not a medical book. It is simply a reference book for Natural Life’s product, carefully compiled using scientific and medical research as its sources. 

Doctors can treat a variety of medical conditions using nootropics, such as ADHD, narcolepsy, dementia, etc. Typically, they will prescribe a stimulant, such as Adderall or Ritalin, Modanafil, or Memantine respectively. These medications should not be taken without a prescription and can have adverse effects if used improperly. These include high blood pressure, fast heart rate, insomnia, troubled vision, and addiction. 

Popular over-the-counter nootropics include caffeine, L-theanine, omega-3 fatty acids, racetams, ginkgo biloba, Panax ginseng, Rhodiola, and creatine among many others. 

The term “nootropics” can also be applied to natural or synthetic substances that enhance cognition and memory.

2. How do they work?

Nootropics work by altering the number of available chemical levels in the brain, such as those involving enzymes, neurotransmitters, and hormones.

Hormones help to increase the strength of memory as well as the process of creating new nerve cells while also encoding those memories. Amino acids help alertness and protect us against catecholamines. Antioxidants help the brain to retain mental abilities longer.

As Joshi Pranav explained in his article from the Unique Journal of Engineering & Advanced Sciences, “The safest types of cognitive enhancers are herbal drugs and available in supplement form, which mostly contains vitamins, fatty acids, antioxidants, amino acids, minerals, etc.”

Natural Nootropics also work to increase cognition and energy levels by acting as a vasodilator. This means they assist the blood vessels in expanding, which helps to prevent them from tightening, reducing high blood pressure. Introducing a natural Nootropic will increase the blood circulation that the brain is receiving. Note that finding the optimum dose per person can take time with trial and error. For the nootropic to stimulate the responding mechanisms it is designed to do, it must pass through the blood-brain barrier.

The blood-brain barrier is a highly selective semi-permeable membrane between our blood vessels and the extracellular fluid of our central nervous system. This is where the exchange of molecules takes place. Things enter our brains and waste is removed, similar to the membranes in your lungs where oxygen is absorbed and carbon dioxide is exhaled.

The blood-brain barrier is selective to protect our most vital asset, our brain. For nootropics to work, they must be small enough to pass this barrier, some may need carrier proteins to make the journey.

CHAPTER EIGHT – PETS

Just like humans, our furry friends can suffer from anxieties, aches, pains, inflammation and arthritis. Why not treat your fur babies as you treat yourself? There are natural alternatives to prescription painkillers and anxiety meds to help your dog or cat calm down and feel relief.

Animals, just like humans, have endocannabinoid systems. That means they are already equipped to process and benefit from cannabinoids. CBD oil or treats can be a great way to help your dog or cat feel relief from whatever ailments they are experiencing. CBD oil can help pets with anxiety issues, hip and joint issues, inflammation, and overall pain. Recommended dosing for dogs is 3-5mg per 10 pounds. The recommended dosing for cats is 2-4mg per 10 pounds.

Similarly, we suggest that kratom can be beneficial to dogs. A 1992 study found that doses as high as 920mg of Kratom did not prove to be toxic to dogs and that kratom is minimally toxic to most animals. There is a good amount of anecdotal evidence of individuals administering kratom to their dogs in the late stages of their life to deal with anxieties, aches, and pains. However, it is always best to consult a veterinarian before starting any new herbal supplement. More research will be required on giving kratom to pets to determine with certainty whether it is safe for long-term use or if it should be used in terminal cases only. Meanwhile, most veterinarians will not entertain giving kratom to cats.

Medicinal mushrooms may also be used on pets. According to an article by Scott Dana discussing the benefits of medicinal mushrooms, it is understood that they are almost equally as beneficial to dogs as they are to humans. All dogs are different, just like each person is unique and different and may respond differently based on this premise. Mushrooms possess immune-modulating properties because they comprise a compound called beta-glucans. This means they can change the immune response in allergies by binding to immune cells in the body. Beta glucans also have the potential to activate immune cells known as macrophages. These special immune cells are beneficial for ridding the body of cancer cells and viruses. When administering beta-glucans to your pet, you are activating their immune cells and making them more powerful. When preparing the mushrooms, always cook them, never feed them to your dog raw, as this can cause negative side effects. You can also dehydrate mushrooms before giving them to your dog. When purchasing any mushroom, it’s important to look for a certificate of analysis with a beta-glucan percentage of 30 or higher. Specific mushrooms contain more beta-glucans than others. The ones with the highest content include reishi, turkey-tail, shiitake, cordyceps and maitake.

GLOSSARY 

Analog: A chemical compound structurally similar to another but differs slightly in composition. 

Angiogenic: The formation and differentiation of blood vessels. 

Antibacterial: Effective against bacteria.

Antimicrobial: Destroying or inhibiting the growth of microorganisms and especially pathogenic microorganisms.

Antioxidants: A substance (such as beta-carotene or vitamin C) that inhibits oxidation or reactions promoted by oxygen, peroxides, or free radicals. 

Aqueous: Of, relating to, or resembling water. 

Asteraceae: Asteraceae, also called Compositae, the aster, daisy, or composite family of the flowering-plant order Asterales. With more than 1,620 genera and 23,600 species of herbs, shrubs, and trees distributed throughout the world, Asteraceae is one of the largest plant families. Asteraceae is important primarily for its many garden ornamentals, such as ageratums, asters, chrysanthemums, cosmos, dahlias, marigolds (Tagetes), and zinnias.

Carcinogenic: Having the potential to cause cancer. 

Cytokines: Any of a class of immunoregulatory proteins (such as interleukin or interferon) that are secreted by cells especially of the immune system.

Decarboxylation: The removal or elimination of carbonyl from a molecule. 

Enzymes: Any of numerous complex proteins produced by living cells and catalyze specific biochemical reactions at body temperatures. 

Erinceae: A family of plants (order Ericales) comprising the heaths and various related plants, being predominantly shrubs, and having usually distinct stamens borne on a disk and an ovary with four or more locules.

Flatulence: Gas expelled through one’s anus. 

Flavonoids: Any of a large group of typically biologically active water-soluble plant compounds (such as the anthocyanins and flavones) that include pigments ranging in color from yellow to red to blue and occur especially in fruits, vegetables, and herbs (such as grapes, citrus fruits, peppers, and dill). 

Free Radicals: Energy produced in the body by natural biological processes or introduced from an outside source (such as tobacco smoke, toxins, or pollutants) that can damage cells, proteins, and DNA by altering their chemical structure. 

Hypericins: A violet crystalline pigment C30H16O8 from Saint-John’s-wort with a red fluorescence and causes hypericism. 

Isomer: One of two or more compounds, radicals, or ions that contain the same number of atoms of the same elements but differ in structural arrangement and properties. A nuclide isomeric with one or more others.

Kinases: Any of various enzymes that catalyze the transfer of phosphate groups from a high-energy phosphate-containing molecule (such as ATP) to a substrate.

Lamiaceae: Lamiaceae, formerly called Labiatae, the mint family of flowering plants, with 236 genera and more than 7,000 species, the largest family of the order Lamiales. Lamiaceae is distributed nearly worldwide, and many species are cultivated for their fragrant leaves and attractive flowers. The family is particularly important to humans for herb plants useful for flavor, fragrance, or medicinal properties.

Macrophage: A phagocytic tissue cell of the immune system that may be fixed or freely motile, is derived from a monocyte, functions in the destruction of foreign antigens (such as bacteria and viruses), and serves as an antigen-presenting cell.

Modulators: A group of substances that bind to a receptor and change its response to a given stimuli.

Myrtaceae: A family of trees and shrubs (order Myrtales) characterized by numerous stamens, cymose flowers with inferior ovary, and opposite exstipulate leaves that yield a fragrant oil. 

Oxidation: The act or process of oxidizing. The state or result of being oxidized. 

Phytochemicals: Chemical compounds (such as beta-carotene) occurring naturally in plants.

Any of various isomeric hydrocarbons C10H16 found present in essential oils (as from conifers) and used especially as solvents and in organic synthesis broadly : any of numerous hydrocarbons (C5H8)n found especially in essential oils, resins, and balsams.

Polyphenols: A polyhydroxy phenol, especially an antioxidant phytochemical. 

Psychotropic: Acting on the mind.

Serotonergic: Liberating, activated by, or involving serotonin in the transmission of nerve impulses. 

 

CITED SOURCES

Cannabis

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Kratom

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www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7289408/#:~:text=The%20multiple%20linear%20regr ession%20model,increase%20in%20serum%20total%20cholesterol.

4. Pierre, Christina, et al. “Kratom Metabolite Causes False Positive Urine Drug Screening Results for Methadone.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 28 Oct. 2020,
academic.oup.com/ajcp/article/154/Supplement_1/S19/5942516?login=true.

5. Kraoma, Kraoma. “Kratom Legality 2021: Map, Legal Status, and Ban Updates.” Kraoma, 21 Apr. 2021, kraoma.com/kratom-legality-united-states/.

6. Tatum, William O, et al. “Recurrent Seizures from Chronic Kratom Use, an Atypical Herbal Opioid.” Epilepsy & Behavior Case Reports, Elsevier, 17 Apr. 2018,
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6063981/.

7. Afzal, Hasnain, et al. “A Case of Kratom-Induced Seizures.” Cureus, Cureus, 7 Jan. 2020, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7001130/#:~:text=Kratom%20use%20in%20the%20U S,life%2Dthreatening%20%5B6%5D.

 

Kava

1. Tasi, Amiri. “Understanding Kavalactones: How to Interpret Kava Chemocodes.” Kava Guides, 25 Aug. 2020, kavaguides.com/kavalactones/.

2. “Chemotypes: Kava Library: TrueKava.com.” Chemotypes | Kava Library | TrueKava.com, www.kavalibrary.com/Chemotypes.html.

3. NN;, Singh YN;Singh. “Therapeutic Potential of Kava in the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders.” CNS Drugs, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2002, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12383029/.

 

Kanna

1. Smith, Michael, et al. Erowid Kanna Vaults : Psychoactive Constituents of the Genus Sceletium N.E.Br. and Other Mesembryanthemaceae: a Review, Mar. 1996,
www.erowid.org/plants/kanna/kanna_journal1.shtml

2. Terburg, David, et al. “Acute Effects of Sceletium Tortuosum (Zembrin), a Dual 5-HT Reuptake and PDE4 Inhibitor, in the Human Amygdala and Its Connection to the Hypothalamus.” Neuropsychopharmacology : Official Publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, Nature Publishing Group, Dec. 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3828542/.

3. NP;, Harvey AL;Young LC;Viljoen AM;Gericke. “Pharmacological Actions of the South African Medicinal and Functional Food Plant Sceletium Tortuosum and Its Principal Alkaloids.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 11 Oct. 2011,
pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21798331/.

4. I;, Patnala S;Kanfer. “HPLC Analysis of Mesembrine-Type Alkaloids in Sceletium Plant Material Used as an African Traditional Medicine.” Journal of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences : a Publication of the Canadian Society for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Societe Canadienne Des Sciences Pharmaceutiques, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2010,
pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21486531/.

 

Fungi

1. Bioneerschannel, director. Paul Stamets – How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World | Bioneers. YouTube, YouTube, 3 Dec. 2013, www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbGRMj9tP5M.

2. zooillogix on April 23, 2007. “Zooillogix.” ScienceBlogs,
scienceblogs.com/zooillogix/2007/04/23/giant-prehistoric-organism-ide.

 

Reishi

1. Benzie, Iris F. F. “Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects, Second Edition.” Google Books, CRC Press, 28 Mar. 2011, 
books.google.com/books?id=7WDgesSflScC&dq=reishi%2Bmushroom%2Bganoderma%2Bluc idum&lr=&source=gbs_navlinks_s.

2. Your Super. “Reishi Mushrooms: 4 Health Benefits Of This Medicinal Mushroom.” Your Super, yoursuper.com/pages/reishi-mushroom-benefits?utm_source=google&utm_medium=paid-sea rch&gclid=CjwKCAiAl4WABhAJEiwATUnEF8VCGx1GYlVaP75j-t-GuzwTcU1tHFQbrStJaoC4Ul qqOYDppJTDIRoCNHAQAvD_BwE. 

3. Winston, David. “Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief.” Google Books, Simon and Schuster, 17 Sept. 2019, 
books.google.com/books?id=ZdOPDwAAQBAJ&dq=reishi%2Bas%2Ban%2Badaptogen%5C&l r=&source=gbs_navlinks_s. 

4. Stamets, Paul. Growing Gourmet & Medicinal Mushrooms: Shokuyō Oyobi yakuyō Kinoko No Saibai: a Companion Guide to The Mushroom Cultivator. Ten Speed Press, 2000.

5. “Mushrooms: Food of Royalty.” The Pilot Newspaper, 24 Oct. 2012, 
www.thepilot.com/news/mushrooms-food-of-royalty/article_0f5dcd30-07fe-58f4-b45f-f81f4 dc60c1c.html. 

6. Wachtel-Galor, Sissi. “Ganoderma Lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi).” Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd Edition., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Jan. 1970, 
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92757/. 

7. Tang W;Gao Y;Chen G;Gao H;Dai X;Ye J;Chan E;Huang M;Zhou S; “A Randomized, Double-Blind and Placebo-Controlled Study of a Ganoderma Lucidum Polysaccharide Extract in Neurasthenia.” Journal of Medicinal Food, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 
pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15857210/. 

 

Lions Mane

1. Lai, Puei-Lene, et al. “Neurotrophic Properties of the Lion’s Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium Erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia.” International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, Begel House Inc.,
www.dl.begellhouse.com/journals/708ae68d64b17c52,034eeb045436a171,750a15ad12ae2 5e9.html.

2. Davis, Written by Renée A., et al. “Lion’s Mane: Nutrients for the Nervous System.” Renee A. Davis, 7 May 2019,
www.reneeadavis.com/2017/11/08/lions-mane-nutrients-nervous-system/.

3. Sayner, Adam. “Medicinal Mushrooms: The Complete Guide.” GroCycle, 19 Jan. 2021, grocycle.com/medicinal-mushrooms-the-complete-guide/.

4. Stamets , Paul. “Amadou Mushroom Hat.” Mushroomsknowbest,
www.mushroomsknowbest.com/cognitive-health/.

5. Authors, All, and Bing-Ji Ma. “Hericenones and Erinacines: Stimulators of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) Biosynthesis in Hericium Erinaceus.” Taylor & Francis,
www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21501201003735556.

6. Popov, Martin. “Lion’s Mane Mushroom – What It Is Really Good for?” Mushrooms Health, 16 Nov. 2020,
mushroomhealth.org/2020/11/16/lions-mane-mushroom-what-it-is-really-good-for/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwrsGCBhD1ARIsALILBYo4v3l6_hEf7FnhfUXljLlqJwac8u9TAOny0Wk2VzUYGtkDGBB Q4EaAq93EALw_wcB.

7. Wakkojono, director. Understanding BDNF and Its Importance to Brain Health. YouTube, YouTube, 10 Apr. 2018, www.youtube.com/watch?v=YU9kviOMQy0&t=324s.

8. Ryu S;Kim HG;Kim JY;Kim SY;Cho KO; “Hericium Erinaceus Extract Reduces Anxiety and Depressive Behaviors by Promoting Hippocampal Neurogenesis in the Adult Mouse Brain.” Journal of Medicinal Food, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29091526/.

 

Cordyceps

1. Ng, T. B., and H. X. Wang. “Pharmacological Actions of Cordyceps, a Prized Folk Medicine.” Wiley Online Library, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 18 Feb. 2010,
onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1211/jpp.57.12.0001.

2. Zaidi, Kamal U., et al. “The Health Benefits of Cordyceps Militaris – a Review.”
Researchgate.net, 22 June 2017,
www.researchgate.net/profile/Drkamal-Zaidi/publication/319448760_The_health_benefits_of _Cordyceps_militaris_-_A_review/links/5b6188dc458515c4b257310a/The-health-benefits-of -Cordyceps-militaris-A-review.pdf.

3. Bioneerschannel, director. Paul Stamets – How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World | Bioneers. YouTube, YouTube, 3 Dec. 2013, www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbGRMj9tP5M.

4. Wu TN;Yang KC;Wang CM;Lai JS;Ko KN;Chang PY;Liou SH; “Lead Poisoning Caused by Contaminated Cordyceps, a Chinese Herbal Medicine: Two Case Reports.” The Science of the Total Environment, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8854946/.

5. YF;, Xu. “Effect of Polysaccharide from Cordyceps Militaris (Ascomycetes) on Physical Fatigue Induced by Forced Swimming.” International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2016, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28094746/.

6. Lin, Bao-qin. “Cordyceps as an Herbal Drug.” Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd Edition., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Jan. 1970,
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92758/.

 

Turkey Tail

1. P;, Stamets. “Trametes Versicolor (Turkey Tail Mushrooms) and the Treatment of Breast Cancer.” Global Advances in Health and Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2012, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27257526/. 

2. Pine, Dr. Dov. “The Amazing Properties of Turkey Tail Mushrooms.” Dr. Dov Pine, 28 Mar. 2020, www.drdovpine.com/turkey-tail-mushrooms/. 

3. Hobbs, Christopher. “Medicinal Value of Turkey Tail Fungus Trametes Versicolor (L.:Fr.) Pilát (Aphyllophoromycetideae). A Literature Review.” International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, Begel House Inc., 
www.dl.begellhouse.com/journals/708ae68d64b17c52,1b1b20957ef5c8f4,210d57c00e88b7 8c.html. 

4. Bioneerschannel, director. Paul Stamets – How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World | Bioneers. YouTube, YouTube, 3 Dec. 2013, www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbGRMj9tP5M. 


Supplements 

1. Institute of Medicine (US) and National Research Council (US) Committee on the Framework for Evaluating the Safety of Dietary Supplements. “Introduction and Background.” Dietary Supplements: A Framework for Evaluating Safety., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Jan. 1970, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK216048/. 

2. Wargovich, Michael J., et al. “Herbals, Cancer Prevention and Health.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 1 Nov. 2001, academic.oup.com/jn/article/131/11/3034S/4686712?login=true

3. Edwards, Sarah E., et al. Phytopharmacy: an Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products. Wiley Blackwell, 2015.

 

Ashwagandha 

1. Singh, Narendra, et al. “An Overview on Ashwagandha: a Rasayana (Rejuvenator) of Ayurveda.” African Journal of Traditional, Complementary, and Alternative Medicines : 
AJTCAM, African Networks on Ethnomedicines, 2011, 
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3252722/. 

2. “Ashwagandha (Indian Ginseng/Winter Cherry).” The Art of Living Retreat Center, 17 Sept. 2020, artoflivingretreatcenter.org/blog/ashwagandha/. 

3. Khan, Mahmood Ahmad, et al. “Effect of Withania Somnifera (Ashwagandha) Root Extract on Amelioration of Oxidative Stress and Autoantibodies Production in Collagen-Induced Arthritic Rats.” De Gruyter, De Gruyter, 1 June 2015, 
www.degruyter.com/view/journals/jcim/12/2/article-p117.xml. 

4. Edwards, Sarah E., et al. Phytopharmacy: an Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products. Wiley Blackwell, 2015. 

 

Ginseng 

1. Kiefer, David S., and Traci Pantuso. “Panax Ginseng.” American Family Physician, 15 Oct. 2003, www.aafp.org/afp/2003/1015/p1539.html. 

2. “Asian Ginseng.” National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.nccih.nih.gov/health/asian-ginseng. 

3. Ginsana, Ginsana. “Types of Ginseng – Many Species and Wide-Ranging Uses: Flordis.” Ginsana, Ginsana, 14 Jan. 2020, 
www.ginsanaproducts.com/health-insights/energy-immune-system/a-history-of-ginseng/#:~: text=Panax%20ginseng%20originated%20in%20Asia,cultivated%20herbs%20in%20the%20 world. 

4. Suliman, Noor Azuin, et al. “Establishing Natural Nootropics: Recent Molecular Enhancement Influenced by Natural Nootropic.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Hindawi, 30 Aug. 2016, www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/4391375/. 

5. Edwards, Sarah E., et al. Phytopharmacy: an Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products. Wiley Blackwell, 2015. 

 

Turmeric 

1. Chaturvedi, TP. “Uses of Turmeric in Dentistry: An Update.” Indian Journal of Dental Research , 2009, 
www.ijdr.in/article.asp?issn=0970-9290;year=2009;volume=20;issue=1;spage=107;epage=10 9;aulast=Chaturvedi. 

2. Khanna, N. M. “Turmeric – Nature’s Precious Gift.” Current Science, vol. 76, no. 10, 1999, pp. 1351–1356. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/24102180. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

3. Suresh Rao, Chetana Dinkar. “The Indian Spice Turmeric Delays and Mitigates 
Radiation-Induced Oral Mucositis in Patients Undergoing Treatment for Head and Neck Cancer: An Investigational Study – Suresh Rao, Chetana Dinkar, Lalit Kumar Vaishnav, Pratima Rao, Manoj Ponadka Rai, Raja Fayad, Manjeshwar Shrinath Baliga, 2014.” SAGE Journals, journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1534735413503549. 

4. Chainani-Wu, Nita, et al. “Safety and Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Curcumin: A Component of Turmeric (Curcuma Longa).” Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., Publishers, 5 July 2004, 
www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/107555303321223035. 

5. Wargovich, Michael J., et al. “Herbals, Cancer Prevention and Health.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 1 Nov. 2001, 
academic.oup.com/jn/article/131/11/3034S/4686712?login=true. 

6. Edwards, Sarah E., et al. Phytopharmacy: an Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products. Wiley Blackwell, 2015. 

 

Aloe Vera 

1. Manasija Rath, MD. “Aloe Vera: Not Just for Sunburns – Penn Medicine.” – Penn Medicine, Penn Medicine Health Blogs, 10 Feb. 2020, 
www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2019/august/aloe. 

2. Shelton, Ronald M. “Aloe Vera Its Chemical and Therapeutic Properties .” Desert Harvest, www.desertharvest.com/physicians/documents/142-0.pdf. 

3. Edwards, Sarah E., et al. Phytopharmacy: an Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products. Wiley Blackwell, 2015. 

 

Tongkat Ali 

1. Talbott, Shawn M. “Human Performance and Sports Applications of Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma Longifolia).” Nutrition and Enhanced Sports Performance (Second Edition), Academic Press, 12 Oct. 2018, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128139226000631. 

2. R. Bhat, AA. Karim, et al. “Effect of Tongkat Ali on Stress Hormones and Psychological Mood State in Moderately Stressed Subjects.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, BioMed Central, 1 Jan. 1970, jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-10-28. 

3. Talbott, Shawn M. “Human Performance and Sports Applications of Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma Longifolia).” Nutrition and Enhanced Sports Performance, Academic Press, 15 Aug. 2013, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780123964540000539.

4. Rehman, Shaheed Ur, et al. “Review on a Traditional Herbal Medicine, Eurycoma Longifolia Jack (Tongkat Ali): Its Traditional Uses, Chemistry, Evidence-Based Pharmacology and Toxicology.” MDPI, Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 10 Mar. 2016, 
www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/21/3/331. 

5. Edwards, Sarah E., et al. Phytopharmacy: an Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products. Wiley Blackwell, 2015. 

 

Moringa

1. N, Foidl, et al. “The Potential of Moringa Oleifera for Agricultural and Industrial Uses .” Moringatrees.org, 2001, 
www.moringatrees.org/moringa-doc/the_potential_of_moringa_oleifera_for_agricultural_and_ industrial_uses.pdf. 

2. Price, Martin L. Ebook Moringa , 2007, Price, DRr. Martin L. “The Moringa Tree .” Ebook Moringa , 2007, pdf-ins-internet.de/dateien/ebook_moringa.pdf. 

3. U., Eilert, et al. “The Antibiotic Principle of Seeds of Moringa Olefiera and Moringa Stenopetala .” Researchgate.net, 1981, 
www.researchgate.net/profile/Dr_Adolf_Nahrstedt/publication/15942669_The_Antibiotic_Prin ciple_of_Seeds_of_Moringa_oleifera_and_Moringa_stenopetala/links/0c960528099a21c7270 00000.pdf. 

4. Nadeem, Muhammad, and Muhammad Imran. “Promising Features of Moringa Oleifera Oil: Recent Updates and Perspectives.” Lipids in Health and Disease, BioMed Central, 8 Dec. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5146848/. 

5. Nine Mile Botanicals, 28 Dec. 2017, ninemilebotanicals.com/. 

 

Akuamma 

1. Solomon , I.P., et al. “Chronic Oral Consumption of Ethanolic Extract of Picralima Nitida (Akuamma) Seed Induced Histopathological Changes on the Testes of Adult Wistar Rats .” Ijpras.com, ijpras.com/en. 

2. Editorial Staff, “Herbal Medicine: Things You Need To Know About Akuamma,” in Medicalopedia, May 20, 2020, 

3. [Permalink:https://www.medicalopedia.org/8904/herbal-medicine-things-you-need-to-know about-akuamma/]. 

4. Erharuyi, Osayemwenre, et al. “Medicinal Uses, Phytochemistry and Pharmacology of Picralima Nitida (Apocynaceae) in Tropical Diseases: A Review.” Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine, No Longer Published by Elsevier, 11 Jan. 2014, 

 

Blue Lotus 

1. Poklis, Justin L. “The Blue Lotus Flower (Nymphea Caerulea) Resin Used in a New Type of Electronic Cigarette, the Re-Buildable Dripping Atomizer.” Taylor & Francis, 7 Mar. 2017, www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02791072.2017.1290304. 

2. Harer, W. Benson. “Pharmacological and Biological Properties of the Egyptian Lotus.” Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, vol. 22, 1985, pp. 49–54. JSTOR, 
www.jstor.org/stable/40000390. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021. 

3. User, Super. “Tag: Blue Lotus Serotonin.” Drugs and Bad Ideas, 2 Nov. 2019, 
drugsandbadideas.com/tag/blue-lotus-serotonin/. (found on google scholar) 

4. Edwards, Sarah E., et al. Phytopharmacy: an Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products. Wiley Blackwell, 2015.

 

Lavender 

1. Edwards, Sarah E., et al. Phytopharmacy: an Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products. Wiley Blackwell,2015. 

 

Tea Tree 

1. Edwards, Sarah E., et al. Phytopharmacy: an Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products. Wiley Blackwell, 2015. 

2. Carson, C. F., Hammer, K. A., & Riley, T. V. (2006, January 1). Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil: a Review of Antimicrobial and Other Medicinal Properties. Clinical Microbiology Reviews. https://cmr.asm.org/content/19/1/50.short. 

 

Eucalyptus 

1. Coppen, J. J. W. (n.d.). Eucalyptus. Google Books. 
https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=0dRlDMvlhQ0C&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=eucalypt us&ots=rHHwJod8zI&sig=Q1fJkKCy3DhAbM6xcXD0MFjLr9A#v=onepage&q=eucalyptus&f=fa lse. 

2. Edwards, Sarah E., et al. Phytopharmacy: an Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products. Wiley Blackwell, 2015. 

 

Rosemary 

1.Singletary, Keith. “Rosemary: An Overview of Potential Health Benefits : Nutrition Today.” LWW, Apr. 2016, 
journals.lww.com/nutritiontodayonline/Fulltext/2016/03000/Rosemary__An_Overview_of_Pot ential_Health_Benefits.9.aspx. 

2. Edwards, Sarah E., et al. Phytopharmacy: an Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products. Wiley Blackwell, 2015. 

 

Cranberry 

1. Vattem, Dhiraj A, and Kalidas Shetty. “Ellagic Acid Production and Phenolic Antioxidant Activity in Cranberry Pomace (Vaccinium Macrocarpon) Mediated by Lentinus Edodes Using a Solid-State System.” Process Biochemistry, vol. 39, no.3, 2003, pp. 367–379., 
doi:10.1016/s0032-9592(03)00089-x. 

2. Edwards, Sarah E., et al. Phytopharmacy: an Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products. Wiley Blackwell, 2015. 

 

Ginger 

1. Edwards, Sarah E., et al. Phytopharmacy: an Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products. Wiley Blackwell, 2015.

 

Apple Cider Vinegar

1. Yagnik, Darshna, et al. “Antimicrobial Activity of Apple Cider Vinegar against Escherichia Coli , Staphylococcus Aureus and Candida Albicans ; Down Regulating Cytokine and Microbial Protein Expression.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 29 Jan. 2018, 
www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-18618-x. 

2. Ross, Christine M., and John J. Poluhowich. “The Effect of Apple Cider Vinegar on Adjuvant Arthritic Rats.” Nutrition Research, Elsevier, 14 June 2006, 
www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0271531784800494. 

3. Britt, Brandon. “Apple Cider Vinegar For Health.” Google Books, Google, 2014, 
books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=H3XrDQAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA7&dq=apple%2Bcide r%2Bvinegar%2Bhealth&ots=TKCFIDKlmh&sig=0QvrkCsgnLnaLOTvY230ju-vbvU#v=onepage &q=apple%20cider%20vinegar%20health&f=false. 


Green Tea 

1. Edwards, Sarah E., et al. Phytopharmacy: an Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products. Wiley Blackwell, 2015. 

2. Pandey, Kanti Bhooshan, and Syed Ibrahim Rizvi. “Plant Polyphenols as Dietary Antioxidants in Human Health and Disease.” Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, Landes Bioscience, 2009, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2835915/. 

 

Nootropics 

1. Berry, Jennifer. “Nootropics: Types, Safety, and Risks of Smart Drugs.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 18 Sept. 2019, 
www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326379#over-the-counter. 

2. Tomen, David. “GABA.” Nootropics Expert, NootrpicsExpert.com, 16 May 2020, nootropicsexpert.com/gaba/. 

3. Froestl, Wolfgang, et al. “Cognitive Enhancers (Nootropics). Part 1: Drugs Interacting with Receptors.” Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, IOS Press, 1 Jan. 2012, 
content.iospress.com/articles/journal-of-alzheimers-disease/jad121186. 

4. Head , Kathi. “What Is A Nootropic and Where Do Nootropics Come From?” Thorne, 27 May 2019, 
www.thorne.com/take-5-daily/article/what-is-a-nootropic-and-where-do-nootropics-come-fr om. 

5. JoshiPranav, C., and P. Joshi. “[PDF] A REVIEW ON NATURAL MEMORY ENHANCERS (NOOTROPICS): Semantic Scholar.” Undefined, 1 Jan. 1970, 
www.semanticscholar.org/paper/A-REVIEW-ON-NATURAL-MEMORY-ENHANCERS-%28NO OTROPICS%29-JoshiPranav-Joshi/a01af800271cf11f4ccb87c7c739d29582bea2f3. 

6. Suliman, Noor Azuin, et al. “Establishing Natural Nootropics: Recent Molecular Enhancement Influenced by Natural Nootropic.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Hindawi, 30 Aug. 2016, www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/4391375/.

 

Pets 

1. Fluyau, Dimy, and Neelambika Revadigar. “Biochemical Benefits, Diagnosis, and Clinical Risks Evaluation of Kratom.” Frontiers in Psychiatry, Frontiers Media S.A., 24 Apr. 2017, 
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5402527/#B5. 

2. Kemp, Paul. “Kratom Use by Pets – Anecdotal Reports by Pet Lovers.” Speciosa.org, 18 Jan. 2017, speciosa.org/kratom-use-by-pets-anecdotal-reports-by-pet-lovers/. 

3. Scott, Dana. “Allergy Relief For Dogs: DIY Remedies That WORK.” Dogs Naturally, 14 June 2021, www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/allergy-relief-for-dogs-top-ten-remedies/.  


Photos 

1. All photos sourced from Canva.com under the 2023 Canva Pro licensing agreement

CITED SOURCES

 Marijuana 

  1. Rätsch Christian. Marijuana Medicine a World Tour of the Healing and Visionary Powers of Cannabis. Healing Arts Press, 2001. 
  2. Lee, Martin A. Smoke Signals: a Social History of Marijuana– Medical, Recreational and Scientific. Scribner, 2013. 
  3. O’Connell, Kit. “History Of Hemp In The US: Hemp History.” Ministry of Hemp, 10 July 2020, ministryofhemp.com/hemp/history/. 
  4. “Home – PMC – NCBI.” National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/. 
  5. “Cannabinoid Report: 2-AG.” Cannabis Economy, canneconomy.com/report/cannabinoid-report-2-ag/. 
  6. Panikashvili D;Simeonidou C;Ben-Shabat S;Hanus L;Breuer A;Mechoulam R;Shohami E; “An Endogenous Cannabinoid (2-AG) Is Neuroprotective after Brain Injury.” Nature, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11586361/. 
  7. “CBG.” Cresco Labs, 18 Nov. 2020, www.crescolabs.com/cannabinoids/cbg/. 
  8. Schmidt, Elena. “A Guide to CBG: Extraction, Storage, Price, Consumption and More.” ACS Lab Cannabis, 17 Sept. 2020, acslabcannabis.com/blog/education/a-guide-to-cbg-extraction-storage-price-consumption-and-more/. 
  9. Earlenbaugh, Emily. “What Is CBN (Cannabinol) & What Are the Benefits of This Cannabinoid?” Leafly, 5 Oct. 2020, www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/what-is-cbn-and-what-are-the-benefits-of-this-cannabinoid. 
  10. “Benefits of CBG / the Mother of All Cannabinoids.” Hemple, 10 Sept. 2019, www.hemple.com/benefits-of-cbg-the-mother-of-all-cannabinoids/. 
  11. “History Of Hemp In The US: Hemp History.” Ministry of Hemp, 9 July 2020, ministryofhemp.com/hemp/history/. 
  12. Ferguson, Sian. “Hemp vs. Marijuana: What’s the Difference?” Healthline, Healthline Media, 27 Aug. 2020, www.healthline.com/health/hemp-vs-marijuana. 
  13. Letscher, Emily. “The Endocannabinoid System, Our Universal Regulator.” Journal of Young Investigators, Journal of Young Investigators, 1 June 2018, www.jyi.org/2018-june/2018/6/1/the-endocannabinoid-system-our-universal-regulator
  14. Valdeolivas, Sara, et al. “Neuroprotective Properties of Cannabigerol in Huntington’s Disease: Studies in R6/2 Mice and 3-Nitropropionate-Lesioned Mice.” Neurotherapeutics : the Journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 12 Jan. 2015, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25252936/#:~:text=Herein%2C%20we%20studied%20the%20effects,striatal%20neurons%20against%203NP%20toxicity. 
  15. Edwards, Sarah E., et al. Phytopharmacy: an Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products. Wiley Blackwell, 2015.

Kratom

  1. Lentjes, Marleen A H. “The Balance between Food and Dietary Supplements in the General Population.” The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 30 Oct. 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6366563/. 
  2. Cinosi, Eduardo, et al. “Following ‘the Roots’ of Kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa): The Evolution of an Enhancer from a Traditional Use to Increase Work and Productivity in Southeast Asia to a Recreational Psychoactive Drug in Western Countries.” BioMed Research International, Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 10 Nov. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4657101/. 
  3. Leong Bin Abdullah, Mohammad Farris Iman, et al. “Lipid Profile of Regular Kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa Korth.) Users in the Community Setting.” PloS One, Public Library of Science, 11 June 2020, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7289408/#:~:text=The%20multiple%20linear%20regression%20model,increase%20in%20serum%20total%20cholesterol. 
  4. Pierre, Christina, et al. “Kratom Metabolite Causes False Positive Urine Drug Screening Results for Methadone.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 28 Oct. 2020, academic.oup.com/ajcp/article/154/Supplement_1/S19/5942516?login=true. 
  5. Kraoma, Kraoma. “Kratom Legality 2021: Map, Legal Status, and Ban Updates.” Kraoma, 21 Apr. 2021, kraoma.com/kratom-legality-united-states/. 
  6. Tatum, William O, et al. “Recurrent Seizures from Chronic Kratom Use, an Atypical Herbal Opioid.” Epilepsy & Behavior Case Reports, Elsevier, 17 Apr. 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6063981/. 
  7. Afzal, Hasnain, et al. “A Case of Kratom-Induced Seizures.” Cureus, Cureus, 7 Jan. 2020, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7001130/#:~:text=Kratom%20use%20in%20the%20US,life%2Dthreatening%20%5B6%5D. 

 Kava

  1. Tasi, Amiri. “Understanding Kavalactones: How to Interpret Kava Chemocodes.” Kava Guides, 25 Aug. 2020, kavaguides.com/kavalactones/. 
  2. “Chemotypes: Kava Library: TrueKava.com.” Chemotypes | Kava Library | TrueKava.com, www.kavalibrary.com/Chemotypes.html. 
  3. NN;, Singh YN;Singh. “Therapeutic Potential of Kava in the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders.” CNS Drugs, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2002, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12383029/. 

 Kanna

  1.  Smith, Michael, et al. Erowid Kanna Vaults : Psychoactive Constituents of the Genus Sceletium N.E.Br. and Other Mesembryanthemaceae: a Review, Mar. 1996, www.erowid.org/plants/kanna/kanna_journal1.shtml. 
  2. Terburg, David, et al. “Acute Effects of Sceletium Tortuosum (Zembrin), a Dual 5-HT Reuptake and PDE4 Inhibitor, in the Human Amygdala and Its Connection to the Hypothalamus.” Neuropsychopharmacology : Official Publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, Nature Publishing Group, Dec. 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3828542/. 
  3. NP;, Harvey AL;Young LC;Viljoen AM;Gericke. “Pharmacological Actions of the South African Medicinal and Functional Food Plant Sceletium Tortuosum and Its Principal Alkaloids.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 11 Oct. 2011, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21798331/. 
  4. I;, Patnala S;Kanfer. “HPLC Analysis of Mesembrine-Type Alkaloids in Sceletium Plant Material Used as an African Traditional Medicine.” Journal of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences : a Publication of the Canadian Society for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Societe Canadienne Des Sciences Pharmaceutiques, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2010, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21486531/. 

Mushrooms 

Fungi

  1. Bioneerschannel, director. Paul Stamets – How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World | Bioneers. YouTube, YouTube, 3 Dec. 2013, www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbGRMj9tP5M. 
  2. zooillogix on April 23, 2007. “Zooillogix.” ScienceBlogs, scienceblogs.com/zooillogix/2007/04/23/giant-prehistoric-organism-ide. 

Reishi

  1. Benzie, Iris F. F. “Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects, Second Edition.” Google Books, CRC Press, 28 Mar. 2011, books.google.com/books?id=7WDgesSflScC&dq=reishi%2Bmushroom%2Bganoderma%2Blucidum&lr=&source=gbs_navlinks_s. 
  2. Your Super. “Reishi Mushrooms: 4 Health Benefits Of This Medicinal Mushroom.” Your Super, yoursuper.com/pages/reishi-mushroom-benefits?utm_source=google&utm_medium=paid-search&gclid=CjwKCAiAl4WABhAJEiwATUnEF8VCGx1GYlVaP75j-t-GuzwTcU1tHFQbrStJaoC4UlqqOYDppJTDIRoCNHAQAvD_BwE. 
  3. Winston, David. “Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief.” Google Books, Simon and Schuster, 17 Sept. 2019, books.google.com/books?id=ZdOPDwAAQBAJ&dq=reishi%2Bas%2Ban%2Badaptogen%5C&lr=&source=gbs_navlinks_s. 
  4. Stamets, Paul. Growing Gourmet & Medicinal Mushrooms: Shokuyō Oyobi yakuyō Kinoko No Saibai: a Companion Guide to The Mushroom Cultivator. Ten Speed Press, 2000. 
  5. “Mushrooms: Food of Royalty.” The Pilot Newspaper, 24 Oct. 2012, www.thepilot.com/news/mushrooms-food-of-royalty/article_0f5dcd30-07fe-58f4-b45f-f81f4dc60c1c.html. 
  6. Wachtel-Galor, Sissi. “Ganoderma Lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi).” Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd Edition., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Jan. 1970, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92757/. 
  7. Tang W;Gao Y;Chen G;Gao H;Dai X;Ye J;Chan E;Huang M;Zhou S; “A Randomized, Double-Blind and Placebo-Controlled Study of a Ganoderma Lucidum Polysaccharide Extract in Neurasthenia.” Journal of Medicinal Food, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15857210/. 

Lions Mane

  1. Lai, Puei-Lene, et al. “Neurotrophic Properties of the Lion’s Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium Erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia.” International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, Begel House Inc., www.dl.begellhouse.com/journals/708ae68d64b17c52,034eeb045436a171,750a15ad12ae25e9.html. 
  2. Davis, Written by Renée A., et al. “Lion’s Mane: Nutrients for the Nervous System.” Renee A. Davis, 7 May 2019, www.reneeadavis.com/2017/11/08/lions-mane-nutrients-nervous-system/. 
  3. Sayner, Adam. “Medicinal Mushrooms: The Complete Guide.” GroCycle, 19 Jan. 2021, grocycle.com/medicinal-mushrooms-the-complete-guide/. 
  4. Stamets , Paul. “Amadou Mushroom Hat.” Mushroomsknowbest, www.mushroomsknowbest.com/cognitive-health/.
  5. Authors, All, and Bing-Ji Ma. “Hericenones and Erinacines: Stimulators of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) Biosynthesis in Hericium Erinaceus.” Taylor & Francis, www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21501201003735556.
  6. Popov, Martin. “Lion’s Mane Mushroom – What It Is Really Good for?” Mushrooms Health, 16 Nov. 2020, mushroomhealth.org/2020/11/16/lions-mane-mushroom-what-it-is-really-good-for/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwrsGCBhD1ARIsALILBYo4v3l6_hEf7FnhfUXljLlqJwac8u9TAOny0Wk2VzUYGtkDGBB-Q4EaAq93EALw_wcB. 
  7. Wakkojono, director. Understanding BDNF and Its Importance to Brain Health. YouTube, YouTube, 10 Apr. 2018, www.youtube.com/watch?v=YU9kviOMQy0&t=324s. 

Cordyceps

  1. Ng, T. B., and H. X. Wang. “Pharmacological Actions of Cordyceps, a Prized Folk Medicine.” Wiley Online Library, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 18 Feb. 2010, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1211/jpp.57.12.0001. 
  2. Zaidi, Kamal U., et al. “The Health Benefits of Cordyceps Militaris – a Review.” Researchgate.net, 22 June 2017, www.researchgate.net/profile/Drkamal-Zaidi/publication/319448760_The_health_benefits_of_Cordyceps_militaris_-_A_review/links/5b6188dc458515c4b257310a/The-health-benefits-of-Cordyceps-militaris-A-review.pdf. 
  3. Bioneerschannel, director. Paul Stamets – How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World | Bioneers. YouTube, YouTube, 3 Dec. 2013, www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbGRMj9tP5M. 

Turkey Tail

  1. P;, Stamets. “Trametes Versicolor (Turkey Tail Mushrooms) and the Treatment of Breast Cancer.” Global Advances in Health and Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2012, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27257526/. 
  2.  Pine, Dr. Dov. “The Amazing Properties of Turkey Tail Mushrooms.” Dr. Dov Pine, 28 Mar. 2020, www.drdovpine.com/turkey-tail-mushrooms/. 
  3. Hobbs, Christopher. “Medicinal Value of Turkey Tail Fungus Trametes Versicolor (L.:Fr.) Pilát (Aphyllophoromycetideae). A Literature Review.” International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, Begel House Inc., www.dl.begellhouse.com/journals/708ae68d64b17c52,1b1b20957ef5c8f4,210d57c00e88b78c.html. 
  4. Bioneerschannel, director. Paul Stamets – How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World | Bioneers. YouTube, YouTube, 3 Dec. 2013, www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbGRMj9tP5M. 

 Supplements 

  1. Institute of Medicine (US) and National Research Council (US) Committee on the Framework for Evaluating the Safety of Dietary Supplements. “Introduction and Background.” Dietary Supplements: A Framework for Evaluating Safety., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Jan. 1970, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK216048/. 
  2. Wargovich, Michael J., et al. “Herbals, Cancer Prevention and Health.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 1 Nov. 2001, academic.oup.com/jn/article/131/11/3034S/4686712?login=true
  3. Edwards, Sarah E., et al. Phytopharmacy: an Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products. Wiley Blackwell, 2015.

Ashwagandha 

  1. Singh, Narendra, et al. “An Overview on Ashwagandha: a Rasayana (Rejuvenator) of Ayurveda.” African Journal of Traditional, Complementary, and Alternative Medicines : AJTCAM, African Networks on Ethnomedicines, 2011, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3252722/. 
  2. “Ashwagandha (Indian Ginseng/Winter Cherry).” The Art of Living Retreat Center, 17 Sept. 2020, artoflivingretreatcenter.org/blog/ashwagandha/. 
  3. Khan, Mahmood Ahmad, et al. “Effect of Withania Somnifera (Ashwagandha) Root Extract on Amelioration of Oxidative Stress and Autoantibodies Production in Collagen-Induced Arthritic Rats.” De Gruyter, De Gruyter, 1 June 2015, www.degruyter.com/view/journals/jcim/12/2/article-p117.xml. 
  4. Edwards, Sarah E., et al. Phytopharmacy: an Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products. Wiley Blackwell, 2015. 
  5.  

Ginseng

  1. Kiefer, David S., and Traci Pantuso. “Panax Ginseng.” American Family Physician, 15 Oct. 2003, www.aafp.org/afp/2003/1015/p1539.html. 
  2. “Asian Ginseng.” National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.nccih.nih.gov/health/asian-ginseng.
  3. Ginsana, Ginsana. “Types of Ginseng – Many Species and Wide-Ranging Uses: Flordis.” Ginsana, Ginsana, 14 Jan. 2020, www.ginsanaproducts.com/health-insights/energy-immune-system/a-history-of-ginseng/#:~:text=Panax%20ginseng%20originated%20in%20Asia,cultivated%20herbs%20in%20the%20world. 
  4. Suliman, Noor Azuin, et al. “Establishing Natural Nootropics: Recent Molecular Enhancement Influenced by Natural Nootropic.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Hindawi, 30 Aug. 2016, www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/4391375/.
  5. Edwards, Sarah E., et al. Phytopharmacy: an Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products. Wiley Blackwell, 2015. 
  6.  

Turmeric 

  1. Chaturvedi, TP. “Uses of Turmeric in Dentistry: An Update.” Indian Journal of Dental Research , 2009, www.ijdr.in/article.asp?issn=0970-9290;year=2009;volume=20;issue=1;spage=107;epage=109;aulast=Chaturvedi. 
  2. Khanna, N. M. “Turmeric – Nature’s Precious Gift.” Current Science, vol. 76, no. 10, 1999, pp. 1351–1356. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/24102180. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.
  3. Suresh Rao, Chetana Dinkar. “The Indian Spice Turmeric Delays and Mitigates Radiation-Induced Oral Mucositis in Patients Undergoing Treatment for Head and Neck Cancer: An Investigational Study – Suresh Rao, Chetana Dinkar, Lalit Kumar Vaishnav, Pratima Rao, Manoj Ponadka Rai, Raja Fayad, Manjeshwar Shrinath Baliga, 2014.” SAGE Journals, journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1534735413503549. 
  4. Chainani-Wu, Nita, et al. “Safety and Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Curcumin: A Component of Turmeric (Curcuma Longa).” Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., Publishers, 5 July 2004, www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/107555303321223035. 
  5. Wargovich, Michael J., et al. “Herbals, Cancer Prevention and Health.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 1 Nov. 2001, academic.oup.com/jn/article/131/11/3034S/4686712?login=true. 
  6. Edwards, Sarah E., et al. Phytopharmacy: an Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products. Wiley Blackwell, 2015. 
  7.  

Aloe Vera 

  1. Manasija Rath, MD. “Aloe Vera: Not Just for Sunburns – Penn Medicine.” – Penn Medicine, Penn Medicine Health Blogs, 10 Feb. 2020, www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2019/august/aloe. 
  2. Shelton, Ronald M. “Aloe Vera Its Chemical and Therapeutic Properties .” Desert Harvest, www.desertharvest.com/physicians/documents/142-0.pdf.
  3. Edwards, Sarah E., et al. Phytopharmacy: an Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products. Wiley Blackwell, 2015. 

Tongkat Ali

  1. Talbott, Shawn M. “Human Performance and Sports Applications of Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma Longifolia).” Nutrition and Enhanced Sports Performance (Second Edition), Academic Press, 12 Oct. 2018, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128139226000631. 
  2. R. Bhat, AA. Karim, et al. “Effect of Tongkat Ali on Stress Hormones and Psychological Mood State in Moderately Stressed Subjects.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, BioMed Central, 1 Jan. 1970, jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-10-28. 
  3. Talbott, Shawn M. “Human Performance and Sports Applications of Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma Longifolia).” Nutrition and Enhanced Sports Performance, Academic Press, 15 Aug. 2013, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780123964540000539. 
  4. Rehman, Shaheed Ur, et al. “Review on a Traditional Herbal Medicine, Eurycoma Longifolia Jack (Tongkat Ali): Its Traditional Uses, Chemistry, Evidence-Based Pharmacology and Toxicology.” MDPI, Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 10 Mar. 2016, www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/21/3/331. 
  5. Edwards, Sarah E., et al. Phytopharmacy: an Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products. Wiley Blackwell, 2015. 

Moringa 

  1. N, Foidl, et al. “The Potential of Moringa Oleifera for Agricultural and Industrial Uses .” Moringatrees.org, 2001, www.moringatrees.org/moringa-doc/the_potential_of_moringa_oleifera_for_agricultural_and_industrial_uses.pdf. 
  2. Price, Martin L. Ebook Moringa , 2007, Price, DRr. Martin L. “The Moringa Tree .” Ebook Moringa , 2007, pdf-ins-internet.de/dateien/ebook_moringa.pdf.  
  3. U., Eilert, et al. “The Antibiotic Principle of Seeds of Moringa Olefiera and Moringa Stenopetala .” Researchgate.net, 1981, www.researchgate.net/profile/Dr_Adolf_Nahrstedt/publication/15942669_The_Antibiotic_Principle_of_Seeds_of_Moringa_oleifera_and_Moringa_stenopetala/links/0c960528099a21c727000000.pdf. 
  4. Nadeem, Muhammad, and Muhammad Imran. “Promising Features of Moringa Oleifera Oil: Recent Updates and Perspectives.” Lipids in Health and Disease, BioMed Central, 8 Dec. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5146848/. 
  5. Nine Mile Botanicals, 28 Dec. 2017, ninemilebotanicals.com/. 

Akuamma 

  1. Solomon , I.P., et al. “Chronic Oral Consumption of Ethanolic Extract of Picralima Nitida (Akuamma) Seed Induced Histopathological Changes on the Testes of Adult Wistar Rats .” Ijpras.com, ijpras.com/en.
  2. Editorial Staff, “Herbal Medicine: Things You Need To Know About Akuamma,” in Medicalopedia, May 20, 2020, 
  3. [Permalink:https://www.medicalopedia.org/8904/herbal-medicine-things-you-need-to-know-about-akuamma/].
  4. Erharuyi, Osayemwenre, et al. “Medicinal Uses, Phytochemistry and Pharmacology of Picralima Nitida (Apocynaceae) in Tropical Diseases: A Review.” Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine, No Longer Published by Elsevier, 11 Jan. 2014,

Blue Lotus 

  1. Poklis, Justin L. “The Blue Lotus Flower (Nymphea Caerulea) Resin Used in a New Type of Electronic Cigarette, the Re-Buildable Dripping Atomizer.” Taylor & Francis, 7 Mar. 2017, www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02791072.2017.1290304. 
  2. Harer, W. Benson. “Pharmacological and Biological Properties of the Egyptian Lotus.” Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, vol. 22, 1985, pp. 49–54. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/40000390. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.
  3. User, Super. “Tag: Blue Lotus Serotonin.” Drugs and Bad Ideas, 2 Nov. 2019, drugsandbadideas.com/tag/blue-lotus-serotonin/.  (found on google scholar)
  4. Edwards, Sarah E., et al. Phytopharmacy: an Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products. Wiley Blackwell, 2015. 

Lavender

  1. Edwards, Sarah E., et al. Phytopharmacy: an Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products. Wiley Blackwell, 2015. 

 

Tea Tree

  1. Edwards, Sarah E., et al. Phytopharmacy: an Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products. Wiley Blackwell, 2015. 
  2. Carson, C. F., Hammer, K. A., & Riley, T. V. (2006, January 1). Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil: a Review of Antimicrobial and Other Medicinal Properties. Clinical Microbiology Reviews. https://cmr.asm.org/content/19/1/50.short. 

Eucalyptus 

  1. Coppen, J. J. W. (n.d.). Eucalyptus. Google Books. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=0dRlDMvlhQ0C&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=eucalyptus&ots=rHHwJod8zI&sig=Q1fJkKCy3DhAbM6xcXD0MFjLr9A#v=onepage&q=eucalyptus&f=false. 
  2. Edwards, Sarah E., et al. Phytopharmacy: an Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products. Wiley Blackwell, 2015. 

Nootropics 

  1. Berry, Jennifer. “Nootropics: Types, Safety, and Risks of Smart Drugs.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 18 Sept. 2019, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326379#over-the-counter. 
  2. Tomen, David. “GABA.” Nootropics Expert, NootrpicsExpert.com, 16 May 2020, nootropicsexpert.com/gaba/. 
  3. Froestl, Wolfgang, et al. “Cognitive Enhancers (Nootropics). Part 1: Drugs Interacting with Receptors.” Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, IOS Press, 1 Jan. 2012, content.iospress.com/articles/journal-of-alzheimers-disease/jad121186. 
  4. Head , Kathi. “What Is A Nootropic and Where Do Nootropics Come From?” Thorne, 27 May 2019, www.thorne.com/take-5-daily/article/what-is-a-nootropic-and-where-do-nootropics-come-from. 
  5. JoshiPranav, C., and P. Joshi. “[PDF] A REVIEW ON NATURAL MEMORY ENHANCERS (NOOTROPICS): Semantic Scholar.” Undefined, 1 Jan. 1970, www.semanticscholar.org/paper/A-REVIEW-ON-NATURAL-MEMORY-ENHANCERS-%28NOOTROPICS%29-JoshiPranav-Joshi/a01af800271cf11f4ccb87c7c739d29582bea2f3. 
  6. Suliman, Noor Azuin, et al. “Establishing Natural Nootropics: Recent Molecular Enhancement Influenced by Natural Nootropic.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Hindawi, 30 Aug. 2016, www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/4391375/. 

Pets

  1. Fluyau, Dimy, and Neelambika Revadigar. “Biochemical Benefits, Diagnosis, and Clinical Risks Evaluation of Kratom.” Frontiers in Psychiatry, Frontiers Media S.A., 24 Apr. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5402527/#B5. 
  2. Kemp, Paul. “Kratom Use by Pets – Anecdotal Reports by Pet Lovers.” Speciosa.org, 18 Jan. 2017, speciosa.org/kratom-use-by-pets-anecdotal-reports-by-pet-lovers/. 

 

Glossary Cited Sources

Cytokines 

Foster, J R. “The Functions of Cytokines and Their Uses in Toxicology.” International Journal of Experimental Pathology, Blackwell Science Inc, June 2001, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2517710/. 

Kinase

Cooper, John A. “Kinase.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 23 July 2018, www.britannica.com/science/kinase. 

Antioxidants

Called about this source:

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/antioxidants/

Modulators

Buchanan, William. “Modulators.” Modulators – an Overview | ScienceDirect Topics, 2008, www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/modulators#:~:text=A%20modulator%20is%20a%20circuit,later%20and%20the%20information%20obtained. 

Analogue

Jain, Parul. “Analogy: Additional Information.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 16 Sept. 2011, www.britannica.com/science/analogy-evolution/additional-info#history. 

Aqueous 

Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. “What Is an Aqueous Solution? Chemistry Definition and Example.” ThoughtCo, 11 Sept. 2019, www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-aqueous-solution-604370. 

Free Radicals

Lynne Eldridge, MD. “What Exactly Are Free Radicals and Why Are They Important?” Verywell Health, 2 Feb. 2020, www.verywellhealth.com/information-about-free-radicals-2249103#:~:text=Free%20radicals%20are%20atoms%20that,other%20parts%20of%20human%20cells. 

Flatulence 

Modi, Ronak. “Belching, Bloating, and Flatulence.” American College of Gastroenterology, July 2013, gi.org/topics/belching-bloating-and-flatulence/. 

Angiogenesis

Bikfalvi, Andreas. “Angiogenesis.” Angiogenesis – an Overview | ScienceDirect Topics, 2018, www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/angiogenesis.