PSYCHEDELICS AND PLANT MEDICINES DISPEL THE CHEMICAL IMBALANCE THEORY OF DEPRESSION

Dylan Charles, Editor

Waking Times
Depression is now the number one worldwide cause of disease and disability, according to the World Health Organization. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the psychiatric industry’s bible, defines depression as the near daily existence of at least 5 of the following 9 conditions:

1. Depressed mood or irritable most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective report (e.g., feels sad or empty) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful).
2. Decreased interest or pleasure in most activities, most of each day

3. Significant weight change (5%) or change in appetite

4. Change in sleep: Insomnia or hypersomnia

5. Change in activity: Psychomotor agitation or retardation

6. Fatigue or loss of energy

7. Guilt/worthlessness: Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt

8. Concentration: diminished ability to think or concentrate, or more indecisiveness

9. Suicidality: Thoughts of death or suicide, or has suicide plan

(Proposed (not yet adopted) anxiety symptoms that may indicate depression: irrational worry, preoccupation with unpleasant worries, trouble relaxing, feeling tense, fear that something awful might happen.) [Source]

Diagnosis using this array of possibilities is highly subjective and hardly scientific, and the DSM-5 recommends treatment with pharmaceutical antidepressants, supportive psychotherapy, best guesses, trial and error, observation, hope and luck.
Antidepressants aim to correct chemical imbalances in the brain by adding reactive chemicals to the body, an approach based on the theory that depression is the result of deficiencies in certain chemicals. This theory is tested by tinkering with brain chemistry while looking for signs of decrease in the aforementioned symptoms.
This model is not at all unanimously agreed upon, but it dominates our treatment of depression, although it is just a guess, as admitted in the DSM-5 itself:
The undoubtable success of various antidepressants has focused attention on the biogenic amines: given that all antidepressants have effects on either noradrenergic or serotoninergic functioning, it appears reasonable to assume that there is a complementary disturbance in these amines in patients with major depression. Despite enormous research effort, consistent findings implicating these amines have been difficult to obtain. One exception is the finding that, in patients with major depression currently in an SSRI-induced remission, a depletion of tryptophan, the dietary precursor of serotonin, is generally followed by a rapid relapse of depressive symptoms. [Source]
The chemical imbalance theory is weak, but worse than that it’s one-dimensional, focusing on body chemistry alone without consideration of the emotional complexities of the human psyche and of life itself.

Research into the use of the psychedelic drugs ecstasy, ketamine, LSD, and psilocybin, and the use of shamanic plant medicines ayahuasca and iboga, takes us even further in dispelling the myth of the chemical imbalance theory. Patients, as well as many ordinary people who have experienced these substances, commonly report dramatic breakthroughs in their mental health, with even low doses.
The commonality in these substances is that they have a distinct psychoactive element, drastically altering ordinary consciousness. Ayahuasca, for example is gaining in renown for its ability to treat depression by inducing a deeply meaningful and personal spiritual experience that offers insight into one’s behavior and past experiences, helping them to develop a more healthy relationship with themselves.
“A 2016 review of observational studies of regular users found reductions in dependence and substance use; a preliminary 2015 study for depression treatment found 82 percent reductions in depression scores; and another 2016 review found that short-term use was associated with “improved planning and inhibitory control,” with potential antidepressive and anti-addiction applications.” [Source]
The African plant medicine iboga works in a very similar manner, and can reprogram self-defeating and self-destructive patterns of thought in a single shamanic ceremony by sending the patient on an intense personal journey of introspection and connection to the higher dimensions of themselves, even allowing them to communicate directly with their own soul.

These substances work by affecting other components of the multi-dimensional human being, and as these concepts fall far outside of the purview of the scientific method, they are easily dismissed by the type of empirically minded scientists involved in projects like creating the DSM-5. Never-the-less, the psychedelic experiences mentioned here can be highly effective, offering compelling evidence that depression is at least for some, a spiritual condition, and as such the chemical imbalance theory is incomplete.
The chemical imbalance theory is critical to the domination of depression treatment by the pharmaceutical industry, but as research proceeds, and as people continue to relay their personal experiences in healing themselves with the aid of these consciousness expanding substances, we have more and more evidence to suggest that the pharmaceutical treatments may not be the best or only option for treating depression.

Horseradish

While the origins of the horseradish plant may be unknown, this plant has quite the history attached to it. It is mentioned in Greek mythology and was considered to be worth its weight in gold by the Delphic Oracle. It is mentioned in ancient medicinal texts, and there is even a mural with the plant in it in Pompeii. It also has some presidential history, as both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson mention horseradish in garden accounts.

For many, horseradish is known as a spicy condiment typically for meats and sandwiches, but it also has a number of medicinal benefits. Nutritionally, it is low in calories, and a serving contains about 17 to 20% of the daily Vitamin C recommendation. It also contains potassium, folate, calcium, and has small amounts of B-complex vitamins.

TWEET #didyouknow One serving of horseradish contains about 17-20% of the RDV of vitamin C! @BaselineHealth

Horseradish as a Natural Antibiotic

Horseradish contains volatile oils that are similar to those found in mustard. These include glucosinolates (mustard oil glycosides), gluconasturtiin, and sinigrin, which yield allyl isothiocyanate when broken down in the stomach. In test tubes, the volatile oils in horseradish have demonstrated antibiotic properties, which may account for its effectiveness in treating throat and upper respiratory tract infections.

At levels attainable in human urine after taking the volatile oil of horseradish, the oil has been shown to kill bacteria that can cause urinary tract infections, as was validated in one early trial. In fact, horseradish is an approved herbal remedy in Germany for use in treating urinary tract infections.

Horseradish as a Potential Cancer Remedy

In addition to providing antibiotic benefits, the glucosinolates in horseradish may have cancer fighting properties as well. There has been some promise shown in helping detoxify cancer-causing chemicals in the liver and possibly slowing the growth of cancerous tumors. In laboratory experiments published in the “European Journal of Nutrition,” the compounds were shown to change cellular activity and stop cancer cells from dividing and causing them to die.

Horseradish as an Immune Booster

Horseradish is also a stimulant that quickens and excites the body. It can energize the body, helping it to marshal its defenses against invading viruses. In addition, horseradish can help carry blood to all parts of the body. And it is a diaphoretic and thus helps raise the temperature of the body, which increases the activity of the body’s immune system.

Other Natural Horseradish Remedies

If that’s not enough, horseradish may also be helpful in treating or relieving symptoms for:

Bronchitis
Sinusitis
Edema
Achy joints and muscles
Gout
Gallbladder disorders
Sciatic nerve pain
Colic
Intestinal worms
Coughs and asthma
Spots and blemishes on the skin
Indigestion and putrefaction in the digestive tract
How to Use Horseradish

Horseradish should always be used fresh, as it loses its potency and medicinal effects if it is cooked or stands too long after being grated. However, grating it, mixing it with apple cider vinegar, and storing it in an airtight container will preserve its freshness.

Baseline for Health Foundation.

Rapid and sustained symptom reduction following psilocybin treatment for anxiety and depression in patients with life-threatening cancer: a randomized controlled trial

 Journal of Psychopharmacology  2016, Vol. 30(12) 1165
–1180
©
The Author(s) 2016
Reprints and permissions:
sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav
DOI: 10.1177/0269881116675512
jop.sagepub.com
Introduction
Enduring clinically significant anxiety and/or depressive symp-
toms are common in patients with cancer, present in 30–40% of
patients in hospital settings (Mitchell et al., 2011). These symp-
toms are associated with a variety of poor outcomes, including
medication non-adherence, increased health care utilization,
adverse medical outcomes, decreased quality of life, decreased
social function, increased disability, hopelessness, increased
pain, increased desire for hastened death, increased rates of sui-
cide, and decreased survival rates (Arrieta et al., 2013; Brown
et al., 2003; Jaiswal et al., 2014).
Although pharmacotherapeutic and psychosocial interven-
tions are commonly used to treat anxiety and depression in
cancer patients, their efficacy is mixed and limited (Grassi
et al., 2014; NCCN, 2014). There are no US Food and Drug
Administration approved pharmacotherapies for cancer-related
psychological distress, the onset of clinical improvement with
anti-depressants is delayed, relapse rates are high, and significant
side effects compromise treatment adherence (Freedman, 2010;
Li et al., 2012).
Rapid and sustained symptom reduction
following psilocybin treatment for anxiety and
depression in patients with life-threatening
cancer: a randomized controlled trial
Abstract
Background:
Clinically significant anxiety and depression are common in patients with cancer, and are associated with poor psychiatrical and recent research suggests a role for psilocybin to treat cancer-related anxiety and depression.
Methods:
In this double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial, 29 patients with cancer-related anxiety and depression were randomly assigned and
received treatment with single-dose psilocybin (0.3 mg/kg) or niacin, both in conjunction with psychotherapy. The primary outcomes were anxiety
and depression assessed between groups prior to the crossover at 7 weeks.
Results:
Prior to the crossover, psilocybin produced immediate, substantial, and sustained improvements in anxiety and depression and led to
decreases in cancer-related demoralization and hopelessness, improved spiritual wellbeing, and increased quality of life. At the 6.5-month follow-
up, psilocybin was associated with enduring anxiolytic and anti-depressant effects (approximately 60–80% of participants continued with clinically
significant reductions in depression or anxiety), sustained benefits in existential distress and quality of life, as well as improved attitudes towards
death. The psilocybin-induced mystical experience mediated the therapeutic effect of psilocybin on anxiety and depression.
Conclusions:
In conjunction with psychotherapy, single moderate-dose psilocybin produced rapid, robust and enduring anxiolytic and anti-depressant
effects in patients with cancer-related psychological distress.

Continue reading “Rapid and sustained symptom reduction following psilocybin treatment for anxiety and depression in patients with life-threatening cancer: a randomized controlled trial”

Hawthorne – empowering your heart

It’s the season for staying warm and nourishing the heart!  Te Hawthorne tree has been revered by the Druids and Celts since the times of old.

Hawthorne berries can be a great source of relief for people experiencing intense feelings of loss, grief or angst. If you have just recently lost a loved one or had a bad breakup or you just need a bit of heart happiness support this herb is certainly worth a try!

^^Hawthorne Tree, Leaf, Flower and Berries!^^

Other common names- Mayblossom, Quick, Whitethorn, Haw, Hazels, Gazels, Halves, Hagthorn, Ladies’ Meat and Bread and Cheese Tree.
Haw, Hazels, Gazels, Halves, Hagthorn, Ladies’ Meat and Bread and Cheese Tree.

Latin- Crataegus spp.

Parts used- Leaf, Flowers and Berries

Constituents- Flavanoids, anti-oxidants, crateagolic acid, citric acid, tartaric acid, sugars, glycosides, vitamin c and biogenic amines(Choline and Phenylethylamine)

Properties- Digestive(aids in digestion), Anti-diarrheic(treats diarrhea), Cardio-tonic(tonifys the heart), Emmenagogue (stimulates menstrual flow)

Uses-As a Tea, Tincture, Syrup or in Capsule form hawthorne can be used to strengthen the walls of blood vessel. Extracts of the leaves, blossoms and berries have a compound in them that can have a tonifying effect on the heart and vascular system. Since the first century the berries have used in traditional medicine for a number of heart related ailments. Hawthorn species have been studied for their use in treating health concerns for the heart and blood vessels, in particular; congestive heart failure, irregular heartbeat, chest pain, low and high blood pressure, angina, atherosclerosis and high cholesterol. Hawthorn berries are one of the most reliable herbs for heart related problems in modern herbalism. The Chinese use hawthorne berries mainly for digestive conditions to control the appetite, stimulate digestion treat diarrhea and assimilation. Great for digestion of heavy foods especially meats and starches.

As a cardio tonic it can either strengthen a weak heart or calm an overactive heart giving balance to emotions and the body. Hawthorne berries can be a great source of relief for people experiencing intense feelings of loss, grief or angst. If you have just recently lost a loved one or had a bad breakup or you just need a bit of heart happiness support this herb is certainly worth a try.

We just made a seasonal limited supply batch of a tasty hawthorne berry elixir, great for staying warm and happy during these cold months!
Click here> http://www.dreamcatcherbotanicals.com/product/hawthorn-elixir-1o