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Offline Papyrifera

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Adaptogenic Herbs thread
« on: February 07, 2007, 04:48:34 pm »
Here's a list I've been compiling of plants that have adaptogenic and/or immunostimulant effects. Not sure if it belongs in visionary plants or other substances... put it here because it's a list of plants only.

Achyrocline satureoides (Asteraceae/Compositae) (Macela) – This aromatic annual native to tropical South America is used in native herbal medicine for its immunostimulant, antimicrobial, analgesic, antioxidant, antispasmodic, mild sedative and muscle relaxant effects. Also useful for regulating blood sugar and heart rate. Contains numerous novel flavonoids as well as terpenes. Caffeic acid, caryophyllene (antispasmodic), chlorogenic acid (stimulant), cineol, ocimene, pinene, galangin, and quercetin (anticancerous) are also present.

Acorus calamus; gramineus (Araceae) (Calamus; Sweet flag) – This is a genus of two species of perennial shallow water plants which have long, slender leaves resembling those of cattail (Typha) species. The leaves have a pleasant sweet vanilla scent, giving the plant the name sweet flag. Acorus is considered to be the most primitive form of flowering monocot due to its primitive fleshy flower spikes. The aromatic rhizomes of calamus are used medinally and contain several volatile essential oils, including asarone and other compounds that are related to psychedelic phenethylamines in structure. Asarone, the non-amine precursor of the psychedelic phenethylamine compound TMA-2, has been identified as a carcinogenic agent, however certain strains of calamus have been found that have little or no asarone. Calamus root oil was found to contain 47 constituents, including plant lignans such as galgravin and epieudesmin, which may have medicinal effects, the antiphyperlipidemic constituent sakuranin, and the psychoactive flavonoids apigenin and retusin. Volatile constituents include linalool, dehydroisoeugenol, elemicin, isoelemicin, linoleic acid, geranylacetate, asarone and others. Many of these are common plant scents and volatiles with known medicinal effects.  When chewed, the root acts as a local anaesthetic and analgesic, antihistamine and stimulant. In large amounts the root is a hallucinogen. Calamus was highly regarded in Native American medicine, being used as a stimulant, tonic and adaptogen. Calamus has also been reported to have immunomodulatory and immunosuppressant effects. Acorus calamus is also listed as an aphrodisiac.

Angelica acutiloba; atropurpurea; archangelica; laxiflora; pubescens; sinensis; uchiyamanae (Apiaceae/Umbelliferae) (Dong Quai) – Angelica sinensis is used as a stimulant, estrogenic, immunostimulant, adaptogen and for its hormone balancing effects. Commonly used in Chinese medicine. Angelica archangelica is an aromatic biennial or short-lived perennial that is used in European herbal medicine and cuisine. It is known to have both stimulant and sedative properties, as well as nervine, antispasmodic digestive and tonic effects. Angelica gluaca and A. polymorpha are also used for these properties. Some chemicals contained within the roots of Angelica archangelica include adenosine, angelicin, borneol, bornyl-acetate, caryophyllene, ethanol, limonene, myrcene and p-cymene. Some chemicals contained within the plant include alpha-terpineol, archangelicin, beta-sitosterol, caffeic-acid, chlorogenic-acid, oxalic-acid, psoralen, stigmasterol and umbelliferone. Angelica pubescens is listed as having nervine effects. Angelica acutiloba, A. laxiflora, A. sinensis, A. uchiyamanae and A. atropurpurea are listed as having sedative effects. Angelica dahurica, A. decursiva and A. sylvestris (Wild Angelica) are all listed as having stimulant effects.

Annona muricata (Annonaceae) (Graviola) – This large evergreen tree native to tropical regions of North and South America bears a large spiky fruit, known as a Chirimoya, whose white, sweet flesh has also given it the name “custard apple”. Usually the species A. reticulata is used for fruit production. The leaves and bark of A. muricata are used as a sedative, antidepressant, antispasmodic, anticancerous and antimicrobial agent. Many of the effects are attributed to annonaceous acetogenins, of which dozens are found in graviola. Stem-bark extract increased dopamine, norephinephrine and monoamine oxidase activity and inhibition of serotonin release in rats. Also used as a pesticide and forestry crop. Cultivated by the Incas since around 1200 AD.

Aralia nudicalis; racemosa; spinosa (Araliaceae) (Spikenard) – Spikenard is an aromatic perennial shrub native to North America. It is used as an a tonic, adaptogen, analgesic, antitussive, stimulant and perspiration inducer. Also used as a flavouring in some root beers. Aralia rhizome has been chewed or made into tea to treat heart pain, cough, sore throat and as a tonic to treat various diseases by Native Americans. Roots harvested in the fall are held to be the most potent. Aralia nudicalis has been found to contain the triterpenes alpha and beta-amyrin, ubiquitous plant sterols, and also tested positive for alkaloids. Triterpene saponins have been isolated from other species of Aralia.

Asarum species (Wild Ginger) (Aristolochiaceae) – Asarum seiboldii root is used as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory in Korean medicine. Asarum has been shown to have opioid-mediated analgesic activity, as well as sedative and significant anti-inflamatory effects. Contains volatile essential oils including asarone that are related in structure to psychedelic phenethylamines. Asarum is considered to be somewhat toxic, and asarone is listed as a carcinogen. Asarum canadense and A. europaeum are listed as stimulants, and also contain volatile oils in their roots.

Aster species (Asteraceae) (Aster) – Asters are perennial herbs growing in diverse habitats from swamps to woods to dry grasslands across Canada and most of the USA. Several species are used traditionally in Native American medicine. The fragrant roots of Aster ciliolatus, native to parklands and boreal forest of Canada and the northern USA, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory activity. The root of Aster laevis, common in grasslands and open woods of Canada and the USA, is chewed to treat toothache, and as an antipyretic and tonic. Aster puniceus, common is swamps east of the Rocky Mountains, has its leaves used to treat headache, chills, and kidney problems. The root is dried, mixed with tobacco and smoked, or powdered and inhaled, to treat headache and fever. The root is mixed with other plants and smoked to treat “insanity”. The purple colour of the lower stems is reportedly an indication of high quality material. Purple aster has anti-inflammatory activity and contains coumarins, polyacetylenes, terpenoids, flavonoids, phenylproponoids and saponins. Numerous species of aster have shown antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antitumour, antibiotic and antiamoebal actions. Asters have been reported to contain a complex mix of monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, diterpenes, triterpenes, saponins, flavonoids, coumarins, phenylproponoids and polyacetylenes. Aster cordifolius is listed as having nervine effects.

Astragalus species (Leguminoseae)- Astragalus products are derived from the roots of Astragalus membranaceus or related species, which are native to China. In traditional Chinese medicine, astragalus is commonly found in mixtures with other herbs, and is used in the treatment of numerous ailments, including heart, liver, and kidney diseases, as well as cancer, viral infections, and immune system disorders. Western herbalists began using astragalus in the 1800s as an ingredient in various tonics. The use of astragalus became popular in the 1980s based on theories about anti-cancer properties, although these proposed effects have not been clearly demonstrated in reliable human studies.
Some medicinal uses of astragalus are based on its proposed immune stimulatory properties, reported in preliminary laboratory and animal experiments, but not conclusively demonstrated in humans. Most astragalus research has been conducted in China, and has not been well designed or reported. Gummy sap (tragacanth) from astragalus is used as a thickener (ice cream), emulsifier, denture adhesive and anti-diarrheal agent.
Documented use of astragalus root in China dates back at least 2,000 years. It is one of the major qi (energy) tonics, being used in countless formulas as well as in various soup mixes. Although the raw and cured roots are distinctly different entities, some of their uses often overlap. Most of the above listed properties and uses have a documented scientific basis, some more extensive than others. The chemistry and pharmacology of astragalus root have been extensively studied, mainly by Chinese, Japanese and European researchers. It contains many types of chemical components. The ones so far found to be pharmacologically active include polysaccharides, triterpene glycosides, and numerous flavonoids, none of which alone account for the overall properties of astragalus, but combined exert a synnergistic range of effects. Other pharmacological effects not listed above include hypotensive, vasodilating, improving learning and memory, liver protectant, and improving stamina.Astragalus, in combination with other traditional Chinese herbs (e.g., licorice), is now widely used for its beneficial immunologic effects in AIDS treatment by alternative health care physicians. Astragalus membranaceous is a perennial legume that is popular in Asian herbal medicine. It grows to about two to three feet tall and has pea-like flowers. The flowers turn into seed containing pods in late summer. Huang Qi, as it is known in the Asian market, is said to stimulate the immune system. The roots of A. membranaceous contain GABA (gamma butyric acid), and have sedative properties. Astragalus gummifer is also listed as an adaptogen.

Bacopa monniera (Scrophulariaceae) (Brahmi) – Bacops is a small blue-flowered plant used in Ayurvedic medicine as an adaptogen and memory enhancer. Has been sold as a product to increase learning and memory, decrease stress, as a nervine, antidepressant, antioxidant, anticonvulsant, sedative, antimicrobial and analgesic. Contains a variety of alkaloids and glycosides, including small amounts of nicotine and luteolin, as well as the saponins Bacoside A and Bacoside B which have been shown to enhance nerve impulse transmission and may be responsible for many of the adaptogenic effects. Other species of Bacopa are cultivated as garden plants.

Baptisia tinctoria (Leguminosae/Papilionaceae) (Wild Indigo) – Wild indigo is an attractive light green leaved plant with blue flowers resembling a lupin, native to prairie regions of North America. Listed as an adaptogen and stimulant.

Cayaponia tayuya; ficcifolia (Cucurbitaceae) (Tayuya) – This woody vine native to the Amazon rainforest has long tuberous roots that are used in native medicine as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety and nervine, adaptogen, blood cleanser and antioxidant substance. About 24 novel cucurbitacins known as cayaponosides have been identified as having biological activity. Other alkaloids are also present.

Centella asiatica (Apiaceae/Umbelliferae) (Gotu kola) – This Asian swamp herb, sometimes classified as Hydrocotyl asiatica, is used in both Chinese and Ayruvedic medicine. The plant contains caffeine and related xanthine alkaloids, and the essential oil is high in camphor. Gotu kola is used as a stimulant, adaptogen, nervine and antimicrobial plant.

Chamaelisrium luteum (Blazing Star) – Listed as an adaptogen.

Codonopsis pilosula; tangshen; tubulosa (Campanulaceae) (Dang Shen) – Chinese medicinal herb similar in action to ginseng and used as a tonic, stimulant, immunostimulant and adaptogen. Codonopsis tangshen and C. tubulosa are listed as adaptogens and aphrodisiacs. Codonopsis lanceolata is also listed as an aphrodisiac and is reported to contain beta-carboline in the root.

Desmodium species (Leguminosae/Papilionaceae/Fabaceae) – Desmodium is a large genus with over four hundred species. The leaves, roots, stem and seeds of the species D. gangetium, D. gyrans, D. tiliaefolium and D. triflorum have been reported to contain DMT and 0.06% 5-MeO-DMT (wet weight). Desmodium adscendens (Amor Seco) is used as an analgesic, antihistamine, antispasmodic, anti-asthmatic and muscle relaxant. It contains a variety of tetrahydroisoquinoline and beta-phenethylamine alkaloids as well as tyramine, flavonoids, and soyasaponins which account for muchof the anti-asthmatic action. The antibacterial and adaptogen compound astragalin is also present. Desmodium gangeticum and D pulchellum are also reported to contain beta-carboline and 2-methyl-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-beta-carboline. These two species also contain the highly toxic 2-methyl-beta-carbolinium quaternary salt, which is a close structural analogue of MPP+, a toxin that causes irreversible symptoms of Parkinsonism. D. pulchellum contains tetrahydroharman.

Echinacea species (Asteraceae/Compositae) (Coneflower) – Echinacea is a herbaceous perennial native to the western plains of North America. Echinacea angustifolia is commonly cultivated for its large, colourful flower daisy-like flower heads. Echinacea species were used in traditional Native America medicine, and are currently used for their immunostimulant, adaptogen, anti-allergenic, antitussive, antipyretic, laxative and aphrodisiac. Echinacea contains borneol, bornyl-acetate and caffeic-acid. The fruit contains the volatile essential oils alpha-pinene, limonene and myrcene. The leaf contains apigenin, kaempferol, luteolin, quercetin and rutin. The root contains caryophyllene, selenium and verbascoside. Echinacea pallida and E. purpurea are also used as adaptogens and immunostimulants. Echinacea purpurea is also listed as an aphrodisiac.

Eleutherococcus senticosus (Araliaceae) (Siberian Ginseng) – This shrubby plant native to the boreal forests of Siberia is related to true ginseng (Panax) species. Its root is used as an adoptogen, stimulant and immunostimulant, and contains numerous biologically active compounds, many similar to those in true ginseng. Eleutherococcus sessiliflorus is also listed as an adaptogen. Eleutherococcus trifoliatus is listed as a nervine agent.

Equisetum species (Equisetaceae) (Horsetail) – Horsetails are primitive vascular plants with a rough ridged stem which may or may not have whorls of slender green branches protruding from conspicuous nodes. Horsetails are common in moist open woodlands in the northern hemisphere. Horsetails have a high silica content that makes them irritating to the intestinal tract. Equisetum arvense (common horsetail) is edible when young, but mature horsetails contain the enzyme thiaminase, which is known to be toxic to livestock by causing thiamine deficiency. Equisetum arvense has been found to contain water soluble derivatives of silica, flavonoids (derivatives of apigenin, luteolin and quercetin), polyunsaturated and other long-chain organic acids, and traces of nicotine and spermidine type alkaloids. Also contains a volatile essential oil that has been used in aromatherapy. Equisetum arvense has been used medicinally as an antibiotic, adaptogen, nervine, anti-inflammatory, diuretic and antioxidant. Also has potential anticancerous effects. The toxic alkaloid palustrine, found in only trace amount in Equisetum arvense and E. sylvaticum, is found in larger concetrations in Equisetum palustre, making this species highly toxic.

Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) – Reishi is a bracket fungus that lives on wood. It can produce vast numbers of spores, up to one billion every day on a mature fungus. The mycelium and fruiting bodies are used as an adaptogen, immunostimulant, stimulant and liver tonic in Chinese medicine. Referred to as the “mushroom of immortality”.

Ginkgo biloba (Ginkgoaceae) (Ginkgo) – The Ginkgo tree is known as a “living fossil” because it is the only remaining member of the Ginkgophyta, a sister clade to all other gymnosperms (cone bearing plants). Ginkgo trees are very slow growing, and can live for hundreds of years. At one point Ginkgo was thought to be extinct until a female Ginkgo tree several hundred years old was found growing in a Chinese monastery, as well as some remaining wild stands in remote areas of China. Although Ginkgo is now cultivated around the world, it may be extinct in the wild. Most cultivated trees are male since the female produces foul smelling fruits. Ginkgo is used as a stimulant and adaptogen in Chinese medicine. It has been shown to increase blood flow to the brain and to have a weak anti-anxiety effect. Ginkgolic acid conjugates and related compounds found in Ginkgo are thought to be responsible for many of its effects. Some chemicals contained within the leaves of the plant include apigenin, calcium-oxalate, ginkgetin, isorhamnetin, kaempferol, luteolin, quercetin, quercetin-3-rhamnoglucoside and shikimic-acid. Some chemicals that are contained within the seeds include arginine, gamma-aminobutyric-acid, oleic-acid and tryptophan.

Lawsonia inermis (Mehendi) (Lythraceae) – Used as a nootropic and adaptogen. Thought to affect both serotonin (5HT) and noradrenaline receptors.

Lepidium meyenii (Brassicaceae) (Maca) – This member of the Brassicaceae (mustard family) is a root crop grown at high elevations (over 3000 metres) in the Andes and was domesticated by the Incas about 2000 years ago. The root is ground into a nutritious flour containing 60-75% carbohydrate, 10-14% protein (including high amounts of essential and rare amino acids), 8.5% fiber and 2.2% lipids, as well as a variety of vitamins and minerals. Maca also contains isothiocyanates which have aphrodisiac properties and at least four alkaloids have been identified. Maca is used as an aphrodisiac, to increase fertility, and as an adaptogen and stimulant. Lepidium sativum (cress) is listed as a stimulant.

Leuzea carthamoides (Maralroot) (Asteraceae/Compositae) – Potent adaptogen that aids memory and learning and helps the body recover after exertion.

Ligusticum porteri; sinense; wallichii (Oleaceae) (Osha) – This herb native to the southern parts of the Rocky Mountains is used in Native American medicine as an immunostimulant, antimicrobial agent and adaptogen similar to Echinacea. L. wallichii is listed as having nervine effects. Ligusticum sinense is listed as a sedative. Ligusticum scoticum is listed as a stimulant.

Oplopanax horridus (Araliaceae) (Devils Club) – This forest undergrowth plant is common to moist woods of the Canadian and American Pacific Northwest. It has large palmately lobed leaves and long, spiked thorns that cause festering wounds on those who unluckily wander into the plant. The root is prized by native peoples as a medicine for treating infectious diseases and diabetes, and is also used for its supposed spiritual and magical properties. The root when harvested in spring acts as an adaptogen, stimulant and antimicrobial agent. In fall or winter the roots can rot and ferment and become quite toxic and intoxicating as a result. An extract of the inner bark of devils club has shown antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral activities, attributed mainly to five isolated polyacetylenes. Two of these polyacetylenes, falcarinol and falcarindiol, are found in other members of the Araliaceae and in the Apiaceae.

Panax species (Araliaceae) (Ginseng) – Both true ginseng (Panax ginseng) and American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) occur in this genus. The roots contain a variety of plant compounds are are used as stimulants, immunostimulants, adaptogens and for memory enhancement. Panax ginseng is reported to contain beta-carboline in the root.

Rhodiola rosea (Crassulaceae)(Tibetan tea rose) – Added to certain specialty teas grown at extremely high elevations in the Himalayas. Used in Tibetan and Russian medicine as a stimulant and adaptogen.

Schisandra chinensis (Schisandraceae) (Schisandra) – Used in Chinese medicine as a nervine and analgesic. Also has aphrodisiac, adaptogen, stimulant, sedative and immunostimulant properties. Schisandra sphenanthera is also listed as a nervine, stimulant, aphrodisiac and sedative agent.

Silphium perfoliatum (Compositae) (Cup Plant) – This native to regions of North America oozes a resinous sap when its stems are snapped. When dried, this sap tuns into a sticky gum. Native peoples chewed this cup and also burned and inhaled the smoke of the rhizome for its analgesic, stimulant, antispasmodic and adaptogen effects. Held to have supernatural powers and used by the Winnebago indians as a cleansing and purifying agent before going on a hunt.

Turnera aphrodisiaca; diffusa (Turneraceae) (Damiana) – This creeping aromatic plant native to Mexico is traditionally used as an aphrodisiac, antidepressant, nervine, antispasmodic, relaxant and adaptogen. The Spanish recorded its use by the Mayans for “giddiness and loss of balance” and reported that damiana was used as an aphrodisiac. It is also used currently as a flavouring in some liqueurs. Damiana leaf contains about 1% volatile oil made up of about 20 components, including 1,8-cineole, p-cymene, alpha and beta-pinene, thymol, alpha-copaene and calamene, tannins, flavonoids, the bitter substance damianin, and glycosides including arbutin.

Uncaria tomentosa; guianensis (Rubiaceae) (Cat’s Claw) – This woody vine native to South and Central America is used in native herbal medicine for its immunostimulant, anti-cancerous, antioxidant, adaptogen, analgesic, antimicrobial and antidepressant actions. Oxindole alkaloids isolated from cat’s claw have documented immunostimulant and anti-leukemic properties, and have been shown to have a positive modulating effect of 5-HT (serotonin) receptors. A range of other chemicals, including anti-inflammatory and antiviral quinovic acid glycosides, antioxidant tannins, plant sterols, and immunostimulant carboxyl alkyl esters have been isolated. The tricyclic indole hallucinogen, sedative and MAOI harman is also found in cats claw in small amounts. Other species of Uncaria have been used in traditional Asian medicine and have been found to contain many of the same compounds, particularly the oxindole and beta-carboline alkaloids.

Vinca major; minor (Apocynaceae) (Periwinkle) – Vinca minor is a creeping perennial evergreen plant often used as groundcover in gardens. Vinca major is native to tropic areas and resembles V. minor but has larger flowers. Periwinkle is used as an adaptogen and mild stimulant. Action has been attributed to the complex indole alkaloids such as vinpocetine and related compounds found in all portions of the plant. Both Vinca major and V. minor are also listed as having sedative effects.

Withania somnifera (Solonaceae) (Ashwagandha) – This solonaceous herb is widely used in Aruvedic medicine as a tonic and adaptogen. It also has sedative, aphrodisiac and narcotic effects. The tropane alkaloids cuscohygrine, 3alpha-trigloyloxytropane, tropine and pseudotropine as well as lactones are present in the roots. There is some suggestion that ashwagandha may be toxic. Ashwagandha has also been shown to attenuate the development of tolerance and dependence to morphine in mice.

Hope someone finds this interesting  :-)
« Last Edit: February 07, 2007, 04:59:32 pm by Papyrifera »
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Offline gorfehttimrek

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Re: Adaptogenic Herbs thread
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2007, 06:20:17 pm »
I have made mention of Rhodiola in another thread many weeks ago.

I have found it to be an excellent stimulant.  There is zero body load with this herbal compound.  I use it at 2x the recommended dosage on the bottle, once a day with Sat and Sun off.  The effects are totally un-noticeable; no jitters or racing heart I can detect.  I simply find that after work and an evening meal I am still feeling "up".  Ginseng was affecting my urinary health and my research suggested men who might be at risk for prostate enlargement should avoid it.

Rhodiola has taken its place and I'm happier with it than I was with the Ginseng.  I talking sex here too, because late at night after a hard days work it doesn't matter how horny you are if you're worn out and dog tired, sex just isn't very appealing.

Shop around if you wish to buy it, I've found prices for same size doses very by as much as 2x.


Papy:  I think that this should stay in this forum, since this is where guests come to read about PLANTS.  Despite the fact that these substance are not necessarily visionary, they are unique in their actions and some have compounds found nowhere else in nature. Compounds that have NEVER been investigated in a scientific way.  The verdict has not yet come in on them as to whether they have any psychological effects or not.  Therefore, I say, "OK" to this remaining here. (for now)

Hey I'm flexible :-D

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Offline DrYRHead

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Re: Adaptogenic Herbs thread
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2007, 02:43:35 am »
Cool  :mrgreen: info Papy. :-)
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Offline fractaljazz

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Re: Adaptogenic Herbs thread
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2007, 09:32:35 pm »
Wow, this is great.  Thanks, maaaaaan.

Offline Brilliant Anonymous

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Re: Adaptogenic Herbs thread
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2007, 08:41:00 pm »
What's an adaptogen?
Brilliant!

Offline Papyrifera

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Re: Adaptogenic Herbs thread
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2007, 04:57:39 pm »
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Offline MikeOwl

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Re: Adaptogenic Herbs thread
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2007, 08:07:55 pm »
I love eleuthero!  I used to drink this herbal tea that had eleuthero root as a major ingredient and it made me feel incredibly good.  This was a long time ago, back before I started drinking coffee in the morning.  I used to drink this tea once in the morning and once at night.  I felt great-  and I wouldn't hesitate to put this plant in the visionary category, somehow it's connected with a greater sense of well-being and feeling of oneness with the organic nature of being. 

I might consider going back to drinking an eleuthero tea in the morning-  except that coffee is easy and pumps me up for my day job.   

Offline Papyrifera

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Re: Adaptogenic Herbs thread
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2007, 08:13:59 pm »
Yeah, Eleuthero is one of my fave's too... nice energy and very good immunostimulant without being at all "stimulated" in a twitchy tweaky way and also without any body load. Maca flour and Reishi fungus I've found very good too.
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Offline maero

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Re: Adaptogenic Herbs thread
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2007, 05:16:35 pm »
How come the ratios aren't listed?    :lol:

Quote
Ginseng was affecting my urinary health

How so?
I've been using ginseng (American and Asian) recently, though erratically. Some brands give a stable-feeling, sustained breath of fresh air. Others give me mild headaches and dizziness - particularly root powder infusions.

Offline gorfehttimrek

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Re: Adaptogenic Herbs thread
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2007, 03:49:01 am »
Urinary health isn't all it effects.

Check out this list of interactions and contraindicators:

Women with hormone-dependent conditions such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and cancers of the breast, ovaries, or uterus should not take Panax ginseng due to its possible estrogenic effects. Men with prostate cancer should also avoid taking Panax ginseng.

In clinical studies of both humans and animals, Panax ginseng has slowed the rate and decreased the force of heartbeats. It has also reduced blood pressure in some cases. All of these effects may worsen some heart conditions. Individuals with any kind of heart disease should not take Panax ginseng without supervision from a healthcare professional.

Precautions


Individuals with diabetes should avoid taking large amounts of Panax ginseng because it can lower blood sugar levels, potentially resulting in hypoglycemia (blood sugar that is too low). Indications that blood sugar may be too low include shakiness, sweating, confusion, distorted speech, and loss of muscle control. If not corrected, low blood sugar can lead to unconsciousness and even death.

Taking Panax ginseng by mouth may cause or worsen insomnia.


What side effects should I watch for?


Note:Most side effects from Panax ginseng have been reported in individuals who took high doses or who took Panax ginseng continually for long periods of time.

Major Side Effects

Infants given Panax ginseng may develop a condition, resembling alcohol intoxication that has lead to at least one reported death of a newborn.

Rarely, taking Panax ginseng by mouth has been associated with non-infectious hepatitis.

In other rare reports, Panax ginseng may have caused inflammation of blood vessels in the brain – a condition that could result in headaches or strokes.

One case has been reported of an individual who developed anaphylaxis-like symptoms shortly after ingesting a small amount of Panax ginseng syrup. Anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that may involve the development of a rash or hives, a sudden fall in blood pressure, swelling of the mouth and throat, or unconsciousness.

Less Severe Side Effects

Other side effects associated with taking Panax ginseng are generally mild and temporary. They usually diminish after a few days and they may include:

Blood pressure changes
Breast pain
Diarrhea
Dizziness
Headache
Heart rate changes
Insomnia
Itching
Loss of appetite
Mood changes
Nervousness
A few individuals have experienced itchy rashes after taking or applying Panax ginseng preparations or touching Panax ginseng plants. In very rare cases, Panax ginseng may have caused a very serious skin reaction called Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. A doctor should be contacted right away if a high fever, swollen eyelids, blisters in the mouth, or red marks on the skin develop while Panax ginseng is taken.


What interactions should I watch for?


Prescription Drugs

In studies, Panax ginseng has been shown to increase the time blood needs to clot. When it is taken with antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs, the effect of the drug may be increased, possibly resulting in uncontrolled bleeding.

Antiplatelet agents include Plavix and Ticlid
Anticoagulants include heparin and warfarin
Some drugs used for asthma, heart problems, or other reasons can affect heart rhythm. Because Panax ginseng can change the force and rate of heart beats, it can increase the risk of side effects from drugs such as:

theophylline and related drugs for asthma
albuterol
clonidine
Viagra
Panax ginseng may interfere with insulin and oral drugs for diabetes, such as:

Actos
Amaryl
Avandia
glipizide (Glucotrol XL)
glyburide (Glynase)
Glyset
metformin (Glucophage)
Prandin
Precose
Panax ginseng is believed to affect levels of neurotransmitters, chemicals that carry messages from nerve cells to other cells. Antipsychotic drugs used to treat mental disorders such as schizophrenia also alter the levels of neurotransmitters. If Panax ginseng and antipsychotic drugs are taken at the same time, the effectiveness of the drug may be changed, so it is best to avoid using Panax ginseng while taking drugs such as:

chlorpromazine (Thorazine)
fluphenazine (Prolixin)
olanzapine (Zyprexa)
prochlorperazine (Compazine)
quetiapine (Seroquel)
risperidone (Risperdal)
Because it is broken down by certain enzymes in the liver, Panax ginseng may possibly interfere with the use of prescription drugs that are processed by the same enzymes. Some of these drugs are:

Allergy drugs such as Allegra
Antifungal drugs such as ketoconazole (Nizoral) and Sporanox
Cancer drugs such as etoposide, paclitaxel, vinblastine, or vincristine
Drugs for high cholesterol such as lovastatin
Oral contraceptives
In reported cases, the risk of side effects such as headache, insomnia, and shakiness increased when Panax ginseng was taken with antidepressants known as MAO inhibitors. Drugs in this class include:

isocarboxazid (Marplan)
phenelzine (Nardil)
selegiline (Eldepryl)
tranylcypromine (Parnate)
Because it is a non-specific central nervous system stimulant, Panax ginseng may increase the effects and the side effects of prescription drugs that also stimulate the central nervous system. Used mainly to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, narcolepsy, and obesity; stimulant drugs can raise heart rate and blood pressure. They include:

amphetamine salts (Adderall)
dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine)
methylphenidate (Concerta, Methlyn, Ritalin)
phentermine (Adipex-P, Ionamin)
Non-prescription Drugs

Panax ginseng can affect the ability of blood to clot after an injury. Aspirin can also delay clotting, so Panax ginseng should not be taken orally at the same time as aspirin.

Stimulants may be included in non-prescription drugs that are used for increasing energy, losing weight, raising mental alertness, or treating colds or asthma. If Panax ginseng is taken by mouth at the same time as one of these products is being used, the central nervous system may be overstimulated, possibly resulting in insomnia, irritability, and increased blood pressure. If you are not sure whether the non-prescription drugs you take contain stimulants, ask your doctor or pharmacist before you take Panax ginseng.

Herbal Products

Theoretically, if Panax ginseng is used with other herbs that affect blood clotting, bleeding may occur. Some of the most common herbal products that might inhibit blood clotting are:

Danshen
Devil's Claw
Eleuthero
Garlic
Ginger (in high amounts)
Ginkgo
Horse Chestnut
Papain
Red Clover
Saw Palmetto
If Panax ginseng is taken at the same time as other herbs that also affect the heart, potentially dangerous changes in heart function may result. Some herbal products with heart effects are:

European Mistletoe
Ginger (in large doses)
Hawthorn
Motherwort
Pleurisy Root
Squill
Because Panax ginseng may decrease blood sugar levels, taking it with other blood sugar-lowering herbal products may result in hypoglycemia - blood sugar that is too low. Herbals that may reduce blood sugar include:

Fenugreek
Ginger (in high amounts)
Kudzu
Certain herbal products are stimulants that may result in side effects if they are taken with Panax ginseng. These herbal products include ephedra (which has been withdrawn from the market), guarana, and mate. Taken together with Panax ginseng, any one of these herbals may cause insomnia, irritability, nervousness, and other side effects.

Foods

Caffeine increases the central nervous system stimulation effect of Panax ginseng. The combination may cause excessive nervousness and irritability, along with other signs of over-stimulation. Caffeinated beverages such as coffee, soft drinks, and tea should not be consumed when taking Panax ginseng.

Some interactions between herbal products and medications can be more severe than others. The best way for you to avoid harmful interactions is to tell your doctor and/or pharmacist what medications you are currently taking, including any over-the-counter products, vitamins, and herbals. For specific information on how Panax ginseng interacts with drugs, other herbals, and foods and the severity of those interactions, please use our Drug Interactions Checker to check for possible interactions.


Should I take it?


Panax ginseng is native to the northern parts of China, Korea, and Siberia. While closely related to American ginseng, Panax ginseng contains different chemical substances. It looks similar to American ginseng, with mature plants having three to seven short stems each containing five leaves. One tall central stem bears a cluster of tiny yellow flowers followed by small red berries. Panax ginseng plants generally are larger than American ginseng plants, their roots may be bigger in diameter, and the roots have a sweetish smell. Typically, fresh roots of Panax ginseng are a slightly darker tan color, as opposed to a yellow or cream color for the roots of American ginseng. Unlike the quicker-growing American ginseng, though, cultivated Panax ginseng roots are not large enough to harvest until the plants are at least 7 years old. Wild Panax ginseng grows even more slowly. Thought to be more effective than cultivated roots, authenticated extremely old wild Panax ginseng roots are extremely expensive.

The name “red ginseng” refers to a method of preserving Panax ginseng by steaming it under pressure. Processing by steam is thought to increase the amounts of some active components of Panax ginseng.

In Oriental countries, Panax ginseng is used to flavor drinks and foods, it is an ingredient in some soft drinks and chewing gum, and it is included in vitamin tablets. Powdered Panax ginseng may be added to cooked foods or coffee. In cosmetics, Panax ginseng is used as a scent and a coloring agent.


Dosage and Administration


Panax ginseng is available in a number of different oral dosage forms that include capsules, dried root powder, fresh root, liquid extracts, and teas. Many Panax ginseng products are standardized to contain 7% of the active ingredients known as ginsenosides. Standardization by the manufacturer should assure the same amount of active ingredient in every batch of the commercial preparation. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not require standardization of herbal products, so not every Panax ginseng product sold in the United States may contain the same active ingredients. Additionally, the amounts of active chemicals in Panax ginseng vary greatly according to how the plants are grown, harvested, processed, and stored. Panax ginseng products may be extended with other types of ginseng that are less expensive to produce.

For improving or maintaining general health, a commonly recommended daily dose of oral Panax ginseng is 500 mg to 3000 mg (0.5 gram to 3 grams) of fresh root or 200 mg to 600 mg as dried root powder in capsules. Doses for other conditions differ widely depending on the type of product being used and the condition being treated. If Panax ginseng is used, the directions on the package that is purchased should be followed.

Panax ginseng tea may be made by soaking about 3000 mg (3 grams) of chopped fresh root or 1500 mg (1.5 grams) of dried root powder in about 5 ounces of boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes and then straining out the solid particles. Panax ginseng tea may have a strong taste, so it is often sweetened, flavored, or added to other herbals before drinking.

Many sources recommend that the use of Panax ginseng be interrupted for 2 or 3 weeks after oral Panax ginseng is used continuously for up to 3 months.




Summary



Taken most commonly as an adaptogen to help the body resist stress, Panax ginseng has been studied for improving memory, treating asthma, and enhancing immune function. It may also help to reduce levels of blood sugar and blood cholesterol. Either orally or topically, it may treat erectile dysfunction and it may also help to relieve some types of male infertility. Possible estrogenic effects need further investigation.

Risks

Individuals who have heart conditions or cancers of the breast, ovaries, prostate, or uterus should not take Panax ginseng. Pregnant women, infants, and young children should also avoid taking it. Individuals who have diabetes or insomnia should be careful if they decide to take Panax ginseng.

Side Effects

Rarely, newborn babies who are given Panax ginseng have developed an intoxication-like condition. In adults, rare cases of hepatitis or inflamed blood vessels in the brain have been attributed to taking it. One case of possible severe allergy to Panax ginseng resulted in breathing problems, low blood pressure, and sudden rash. More often, Panax ginseng is associated with milder and temporary side effects such as diarrhea, heart rate changes, insomnia, and nervousness.

Interactions

Panax ginseng may interfere with many prescription drugs, non-prescription products, and herbals, including:

albuterol
caffeine
Central nervous system stimulants
Drugs and herbals that affect blood clotting
Drugs and herbals used for the treatment of diabetes
Drugs used to treat schizophrenia
MAO inhibitors
theophylline and related drugs for asthma
Viagra
Last Revised October 20, 2004


References


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Bespalov VG, Alexandrov VA, Limarenko AY, et al. Chemoprevention of mammary, cervix and nervous system carcinogenesis in animals using cultured Panax ginseng drugs and preliminary clinical trials in patients with precancerous lesions of the esophagus and endometrium. Journal of Korean Medical Science. 2001;16 (Suppl):S42-S53.

Block KI, Mead MN. Immune system effects of echinacea, ginseng, and astragalus: a review. Integrated Cancer Therapy. 2003;2(3):247-267.

Cabral de Oliveira AC, Perez AC, Merino G, Prieto JG, Alvarez AI. Protective effects of Panax ginseng on muscle injury and inflammation after eccentric exercise. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology C. Toxicology and Pharmacology. 2001;130:369-377.

Cardinal BJ, Engels HJ. Ginseng does not enhance psychological well-being in healthy, young adults: results of a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2001;101(6):655-660.

Chan RY, Chen WF, Dong A, Guo D, Wong MS. Estrogen-like activity of ginsenoside Rg1 derived from Panax notoginseng. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2002;87(8):3691-3695.

Complimentary and Alternative Medicines Institute. University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. Ginseng. 2000. Available at: http://ww.cami.usip.edu/monographs/ginseng.htm. Accessed April 9, 2003.

Coon JT, Ernst E. Panax ginseng: a systematic review of adverse effects and drug interactions. Drug Safety. 2002;25(5):323-344.

Dasgupta A, Wu S, Actor J, Olsen M, Wells A, Datta P. Effect of Asian and Siberian ginseng on serum digoxin measurement by five digoxin immunoassays. Significant variation in digoxin-like immunoreactivity among commercial ginsengs. American Journal of Clinical Pathology. 2003;119(2):298-303.

Engels HJ, Kolokouri I, Cieslak TJ 2nd, Wirth JC. Effects of ginseng supplementation on supramaximal exercise performance and short-term recovery. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2001;15(3):290-295.

Fahim MS, Fahim Z, Harman JM, Clevenger TE, Mullins W, Hafez ES. Effect of Panax ginseng on testosterone level and prostate in male rats. Archives of Andrology. 1982;8(4):261-263.

Gaffney BT, Hugel HM, Rich PA. The effects of Eleutherococcus senticosus and Panax ginseng on steroidal hormone indices of stress and lymphocyte subset numbers in endurance athletes. Life Sciences. 2001;70(4):431-442.

Gaffney BT, Hugel HM, Rich PA. Panax ginseng and Eleutherococcus senticosus may exaggerate an already existing biphasic response to stress via inhibition of enzymes which limit the binding of stress hormones to their receptors. Medical Hypotheses. 2001;56(5):567-572.

Harkey MR, Henderson GL, Gershwin ME, et al. Variability in commercial ginseng products: an analysis of 25 preparations. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2001;73(6):1101-1106.

Haughton C. Panax ginseng (Meyer). Revised September 23, 2002. Available at: http://www.purplesage.org.uk/profiles/ginseng.htm. Accessed March 28, 2003.

HealthNotes, Inc. Asian ginseng. 2002. Available at: http://www.mycustompak.com/healthNotes/Herb/Ginseng_Asian.htm Accessed March 28, 2003.

Hong B, Ji YH, Hong JH, Nam KY, Ahn TY. A double-blind crossover study evaluating the efficacy of Korean red ginseng in patients with erectile dysfunction: a preliminary report. Journal of Urology. 2002;168(5):2070-2073.

Izzo AA, Ernst E. Interactions between herbal medicines and prescribed drugs: a systematic review. Drugs. 2001;61(15):2163-2175.

Jellin JM, Gregory P, Batz F, Hitchens K, et al, eds. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 3rd Edition. Stockton CA: Therapeutic Research Facility, 2000.

Kitts D, Hu C. Efficacy and safety of ginseng. Public Health and Nutrition. 2000;3(4A):473-485.

Lee Y, Jin Y, Lim W, Ji S, Choi S, Jang S, Lee S. A ginsenoside-Rh1, a component of ginseng saponin, activates estrogen receptor in human breast carcinoma MCF-7 cells. Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 2003;84(4):463-468.

Lee YJ, Jin YR, Lim WC, Park WK, Cho JY, Jang S, Lee SK. Ginsenoside-Rb1 acts as a weak phytoestrogen in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. Archives of Pharmaceutical Research 2003;26(1):58-63.

Lewis WH, Zenger VE, Lynch RG. No adaptogen response of mice to ginseng and Eleutherococcus infusions. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 1983;8(2):209-214.

Ong YC, Yong EL. Panax (ginseng)--panacea or placebo? Molecular and cellular basis of its pharmacological activity. Annals of the Academy of Medicine of Singapore. 2000;29(1):424-426.

Proctor, JTA. Ginseng: Old crop, new directions. pp. 565-577. In: J. Janick (ed.), Progress in new crops. Arlington, VA: ASHS Press; 1996.

Salvati G, Genovesi G, Marcellini L, Paolini P, De Nuccio I, Pepe M, Re M. Effects of Panax Ginseng C.A. Meyer saponins on male fertility. Panminerva Medica. 1996;38(4):249-254.

Sengupta S, Toh SA, Sellers LA, et al. Modulating angiogenesis: the yin and the yang in ginseng. Circulation. 2004;110(10):1219-1225.

Shin HR, Kim JY, Yun TK, Morgan G, Vainio H. The cancer-preventive potential of Panax ginseng: a review of human and experimental evidence. Cancer Causes and Control 2000;11(6):565-576.

Sievenpiper JL, Arnason JT, Leiter LA, Vuksan V. Decreasing, null and increasing effects of eight popular types of ginseng on acute postprandial glycemic indices in healthy humans: the role of ginsenosides. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2004;23(3):248-258.

Sievenpiper JL, Arnason JT, Leiter LA, Vuksan V. Null and opposing effects of Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer) on acute glycemia: results of two acute dose escalation studies. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2003;22(6):524-532.

Smolinske SC. Dietary supplement-drug interactions. Journal of the American Medical Women’s Association. 1999;54(4):191-192 and 195.

Suh SO, Kroh M, Kim NR, Joh YG, Cho MY. Effects of red ginseng upon postoperative immunity and survival in patients with stage III gastric cancer. American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 2002;30(4):483-494.

Wiwanitkit V, Taungjaruwinai W. A case report of suspected ginseng allergy. Posted July 21, 2004. Medscape General Medicine. 2004;6(3). Medscape. Available at: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/482833?src=mp. Accessed July 28, 2004.

Wu XG, Zhu DH, Li X. Anticarcinogenic effect of red ginseng on the development of liver cancer induced by diethylnitrosamine in rats. Journal of Korean Medical Science. 2001;16(Suppl):S61-S65.

Youl Kang H, Hwan Kim S, Jun Lee W, Byrne HK. Effects of ginseng ingestion on growth hormone, testosterone, cortisol, and insulin-like growth factor 1 responses to acute resistance exercise. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2002;16(2):179-183.

Yun TK. Experimental and epidemiological evidence on non-organ specific cancer preventive effect of Korean ginseng and identification of active compounds. Mutation Research. 2003;523-524:63-74.

Yun TK. Brief introduction of Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer. Journal of Korean Medical Science. 2001;16(Suppl):S3-S5.

Yun TK. Panax ginseng--a non-organ-specific cancer preventive? Lancet Oncology. 2001;2(1):49-55.

Yun TK, Choi SY. Preventive effect of ginseng intake against various human cancers: a case-control study on 1987 pairs. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention. 1995;4(4):401-408.

Yun TK, Lee YS, Lee YH, Kim SI, Yun HY. Anticarcinogenic effect of Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer and identification of active compounds. Journal of Korean Medical Science. 2001;16(Suppl):S6-S18.

Last Revised October 13, 2004


The material above was taken from HERE

Love them herbals,
Kermit
« Last Edit: March 20, 2007, 03:50:48 am by gorfehttimrek »
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Offline maero

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Re: Adaptogenic Herbs thread
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2007, 09:18:56 am »
yeah. weren't so readily available retail in northern new england. recent relocation has brought about interest.
thanks for the (info) source.

Offline Papyrifera

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Re: Adaptogenic Herbs thread
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2007, 12:27:40 pm »
Nice info Kermit  8-)
I've been using Panax quinquefolius (North American Ginseng) extracts the last couple days to prevent sickness, since I keep feeling like I'm coming down with something. So far so good, the ginseng also clears out my sinuses and gives me more energy than I'd have otherwise.
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Offline bio1

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Re: Adaptogenic Herbs thread
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2007, 12:15:18 am »
Good info. If I remember correctly, most of the compounds produced that have medicinal properties do not have any primary biological functions for the plants and are called secondary chemicals. The main functions of these compounds are to either deter predation or promote propagation of the plant. I know that this holds true for many of the alkaloids, terpines and flavanoids.
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Offline infraredroses

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Re: Adaptogenic Herbs thread
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2007, 09:03:18 am »
This is a great thread. A couple of comments.


Eleutherococcus senticosus (Araliaceae) (Siberian Ginseng) – This shrubby plant native to the boreal forests of Siberia is related to true ginseng (Panax) species. Its root is used as an adoptogen, stimulant and immunostimulant, and contains numerous biologically active compounds, many similar to those in true ginseng. Eleutherococcus sessiliflorus is also listed as an adaptogen. Eleutherococcus trifoliatus is listed as a nervine agent.

Actually Siberian Ginseng, while a wonderful plant that I rotate every 90 days with panax ginseng, is completely unrelated to panax or American Ginseng. In fact it's not even in the same genus.

http://http://www.rxlist.com/cgi/alt/ginseng_sib_faq.htm

As for American and Korean (red panax) ginseng, the re;relative merits of each really depend on ones vata (if your into Ayurveda medicine) or hot or cool disposition according to Chinese herbology. American Ginseng is cooling, like chamomile or chrysanthemum, while Panax Ginseng is warming, like ginger. If you're too yang, you'll benefit more from the cooling qualities of American ginseng, if you're too yin, panax ginseng may balance you. I'm naturally warm, but I gravitate towards the warm energy of the red panax ginseng, which I've taken daily, in a 10cc vial for the past ten years. One benefit is that at 49, I can have sex with zero recovery time (never losing the original erection) and keep going for another hour or more, if that's the vote. I attribute that to my devotion to ginseng.

While there is no real high, I can definitely perceive a mental sharpening, and a gentle spike in cellular as opposed to neural energy after I suck down one of my ginseng vials. I lie to let the extract sit under my tongue a while before I swallow it.

I can attest to the anti clotting effects of ginseng too. I have to be extra careful shaving because it can take a half hour of direct pressure to stop a cut when I've nicked myself. This can't be a bad thing though, in terms of blood flow to the brain, and keeping the blood in the arteries moving along.

Ginkgo is another great herb in my regimen. I like the 10cc vials of extract.

There are lots of ginkgo trees on the streets in Queens, and plenty in NY's Central Park. Some of the bigger trees have been staked out by Chinese families for their nuts for the last fifty years! Be prepaired to be challenged if you are caught gathering the nuts in the fall!

great thread, I'll have to try some more of these.....

« Last Edit: January 24, 2008, 05:54:01 pm by infraredroses »
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Offline Papyrifera

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Re: Adaptogenic Herbs thread
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2007, 12:34:32 pm »
Actually Siberian Ginseng, while a wonderful plant that I rotate every 90 days with panax ginseng, is completely unrelated to panax or American Ginseng. In fact it's not even in the same genus.
They are in the same family though (Araliaceae) which contains many interesting adaptogenic plants. Thanks for the info on ginseng types and gingko. I've heard the Gingko nuts stink like hell, is that true?
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Offline infraredroses

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Re: Adaptogenic Herbs thread
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2008, 03:03:23 pm »
Hey Papy,

After nine months I'm ready to give birth to your reply! :-D

Actually, I started to read this thread thinking there must have been some recent activity on it, since it appears so far up in the thread sequence in visionary plants. I reread it marvelling at all the good info in here, then was surprised to find my own, long forgotten comment!

I don't know about ginko nuts smelling so bad. I guess they smell about as bad as horse chestnuts, but they don't really stink to high heaven like skunk cabbage or Valerian root. (Actually, I'm like my cats, I LOVE the smell of a jar of Valerian.)

I wanted to add something about panax Korean ginseng though. Back in April, I was still using it about 10cc a day, and loving the energy and mind clarity it afforded. At some point during the summer though a Friend who really knows her herbs was giving me advice about what I was using regularly, because I started to have real joint problems. Gout, and rheumatoid arthritis, mostly. She advised me to cut back on ginger (tough cause it was a favorite, and to cool it completely on the panax ginseng. (Red Korean) She said I should use more chrysanthemum, dill,lemon balm and recommended I switch to American ginseng if I wanted to keep ginseng in my regimen at all. I made the switch and after a few months, all my swollen joints had returned to normal size, my stiff neck and shoulders became a thing of the past, and I haven't had a gout attack since that spring. The American ginseng cost twice as much, and that bummed me a little,but for me, it works better.

Remember that different people's vata (hot or cool disposition, water, air, metal or fire types) has to be taken into consideration along with diet, and the different herbs you might be using.American ginseng might be the wrong choice for one person but the right choice for another. That's an interesting thing about herbs vs pharmacopoeia. While molecular substances might equal certain effects for every one, (at least that's how western medicine looks at it) herbal treatments depend on certain body types and predispositions. That's why the GNC approach of packaging herbal concoctions like pills and saying THIS is good for THAT is some what off the mark.

I love Siberian ginseng too, it provides good energy and is better then caffeine if you're hiking or want to stimulate talk. I like to use it when I'm sick but have to be awake because it makes me stronger. It's a little too stimulating for me though if I use it in the afternoon, and interferes with sleep.

Interestingly American ginseng, because it is so yin, gives you the cellular energy but has a calming affect. I have a sedating tea from the local Asian market whose principal ingredients are chrysanthemum flower and American ginseng extract. It's delicious and really helps me get to sleep.

Below is something I found on wikipedia that does a good job explaining the differences between the twp types of ginseng.

Quote
[Panax quinquefolius American ginseng (root)
Ginseng that is produced in the United States and Canada is particularly prized in Chinese societies, and many ginseng packages are prominently colored red, white, and blue.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, American Ginseng promotes Yin energy, cleans excess Yang in the body, calms the body. The reason it has been claimed that American ginseng promotes Yin (shadow, cold, negative, female) while East Asian ginseng promotes Yang (sunshine, hot, positive, male) is that, according to traditional Korean medicine, things living in cold places are strong in Yang and vice versa, so that the two are balanced. Chinese/Korean ginseng grows in northeast China and Korea, the coldest area known to many Koreans in traditional times. Thus, ginseng from there is supposed to be very Yang. Originally, American ginseng was imported into China via subtropical Guangzhou, the seaport next to Hong Kong, so Chinese doctors believed that American ginseng must be good for Yin, because it came from a hot area. However they did not know that American ginseng can only grow in temperate regions. Nonetheless the root is legitimately classified as more Yin because it generates fluids.[15]
The two main components of ginseng are in different proportions in the Asian and American varieties, and may well be the cause the excitatory versus tonic natures.[4] /quote]
« Last Edit: January 24, 2008, 05:32:55 pm by infraredroses »
once in a while, you can get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if you look at it right...

lets see with our hearts, these things our eyes have seen, and know the truth must still lie somewhere in between...

Offline Kosmo

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Re: Adaptogenic Herbs thread
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2008, 10:02:37 am »
Really miss infra. Saw his sig here and thought he might be posting again, but nah, just a great old thread, worth keeping at the top of this forum.  :cry:

Offline Moo R.H.S.

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Re: Adaptogenic Herbs thread
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2008, 07:06:12 pm »
Aw heck, he posted about 2 weeks ago.

And yep indeed what a good thread.  Since gensing has been discussed relative recently in the thread, I will admit I have been taking it everyday a couple-few times for about 2 months.  Panax Gensing.  Boiiiiiing.
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Offline Papyrifera

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Re: Adaptogenic Herbs thread
« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2008, 02:24:29 pm »
Thought I would do a quick follow up, discussing various adaptogens and "superfoods" I have used and which have been winners for me:

Yerba mate, although not usually called an adaptogen, is my most commonly used plant. Compared to other sources of caffeine, I find the mate has a much smoother, longer lasting effect. More of a gentle up and down than the coffee caffeine spike, probably due to the purine alkaloids (caffeine, theobromine and theophylline) being present in forms bound to other compounds. Thus, they release slower into the body. The balance of minerals in the leaf boosts the benefits of this plant, and there are some other phytochemicals including antioxidants and a couple immunostimulants. I use mate in place of other caffeinated beverages, for alertness and stimulation.

Cacao nibs, raw, are another good source of purine alkaloids, more theobromine and less caffeine in these ones. Cacao provides a long-lasting energy as well as being high in antioxidants.

Gogi berries are a "superfood" that packs an extraordinary punch of antioxidants, as well as vitamins and minerals. Stressful conditions increase oxidation and release of free radicals in the body, eating something rich in antioxidants like gogi helps raise your natural defence against free radicals. I often eat these guys every day, though they are particularly useful before, during and after chemical voyages.

Maca powder is amazing to me, for its ability to raise my energy level without actually being stimulating. Maca is a powerful immunostimulant, best taken when one is feeling the first tinglings of sickness. Often, use at this time helps prevent a full infection. Main side effect (if you want to call it that): feeling really horny all the time! My sex drive doesn't really need the help  8-)

Lakuma powder is similar to Maca, in terms of being rich in vitamins and minerals, and can be used in place of maca in anything you might cook. Unlike maca, it does not raise my energy levels, simply provides extra nourishment.

Reishi is a good substance. I find tinctures usually more reliable than capsules, though sometimes one can find little compressed squares of reishi that dissolve in one's tea, in the asian herb stores. Reishi has many different medicinal properties, hence gaining the name "mushroom of immortality", though it is not a true mushroom but a different type of fungal fruiting body. I mainly use reishi for an extra kick of energy, especially in tea, coffee or yerba mate as it seems to synergize well with caffeine. Higher doses take on a psychoactive edge, sometimes feeling jittery and having some mild visual effects (brightening of lights and colours, for instance).

Rhodiola rosea I find to be similar to maca. It raises my energy levels and ability to be active, without actually being a stimulant. The Russians did research on this plant, showing it to help the body adapt to and recover from different stressors. In other words, it is a prototypical "adaptogen". I have only used capsules of this plant, occasionally, to boost energy levels. One or two capsules was always enough, and I noticed it seemed to synergize or potentiate other adaptogens, such as maca or holy basil.

Holy basil is a species of Ocimum (basil) known for its powerful medicinal properties. Working with capsules of the oil of the plant. This one is different than other adaptogens: It is not a sedative but seems to promote easily falling asleep, and sometimes I get hypnagogic imagery before sleeping, which is unusual for me otherwise. It seems to have a mood stabilizing and calming effect. Sometimes I felt the plant was helping open up third eye and crown chakra energies. I would usually take holy basil in the evening before doing my sleep routine, or alternatively I would take it in the morning, in combination with maca, reishi or other more stimulating substances. Holy basil has also been useful, dealing with post psychedelic blahs.

Siberian ginseng and ginseng have already been discussed quite a bit in this thread, so I will leave them be. Both are useful but apparently females should not consume too much ginseng, especially the red ginseng due to some of the compounds in it, related to male hormones. I prefer siberian ginseng, it seems a powerful immunostimulant in my experience.

Sagebrush (Artemisia species) are valuable for their cleansing and clearing effects. Sage tea is an effective tonic and helps cleanse the blood and body of toxins. On the prairie, native runners would scoop up the sagebrush and crush it, smelling the volatile oils to gain an extra burst of energy and speed. Indeed, sniffing the crushed foliage has an immediate energizing effect, and opens up the respiratory system.

Russian sage (Perovskia species) has some of the properties of both sagebrush and eucalyptus, due to its oil content. Good for clearing up sinus congestion, coughing and other sicknesses. I find this one works particularly well with the respiratory system.

Cat's claw bark can be boiled in a pot all day, preferrably with ginger root, to make a very effective though slightly alkaloidal tasting herbal cold remedy. It has immunostimulating properties, mild mood stabilizing effects, and can help women regulate their cycle. Some of the alkaloids are tricyclic indoles looking similar to harmala alks. Their may be a potentiating effect of this plant, on tryptamine psychedelics. Though probably not dangerous, just keep this in mind.

There are a couple formulated products I have been using too:

"Neurozyme" containing gingko, gotu kola, ashwaghanda, cats claw, lemon balm, bacopin, european peony, holy basil, red wine extract, club moss, clove, sage, tumeric, chamomile, ginger, rosemary, and omega-3 fatty acids. I believe they call this the "shotgun approach". Damnit, something there will work! Actually this is a good formula, with noticeable effects, though a tad pricey.

"Mental clarity" made from a variety of fungi: lions mane, cordyceps, oregon polypore, pearl oyster and reishi. This product does not seem to have any effect when taken in single doses, however use of one or two capsules over several days the mental clarity becomes increasingly stronger. Another good product, though pricey.
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Offline Papyrifera

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Re: Adaptogenic Herbs thread
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2009, 04:06:22 pm »
More on the reishi mushroom:

Made a tea from a fresh reishi "mushroom" for the first time. The fungal fruiting bodies (not a true mushroom) can be found in a few asian herb stores in town...

It was as tough as the bark of a tree, and it was necessary to pound in a mortar and pestle to break into pieces. A very gentle simmer for several hours of the resulting chunks of fungus. Accidentally boiled away nearly all of the first batch of tea. The little that was left was extremely bitter and medicinal tasting. Worse than even the strongest tincture of reishi. Bleh! One can make another three or four batches from the same reishi, though each becomes a little weaker. When not super concentrated, the tea is quite tolerable. Still a funky aftertaste  :-P

The very slight psychoactive feeling one got from the reishi felt a lot like a release of adrenalin one would get from being startled or from physical activity (yoga, "runners high" etc). Felt perhaps the reishi was supporting natural adrenal gland function. One drank the tea close to bedtime and sleep was disturbed, woke frequently all night.
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Offline tryl

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Re: Adaptogenic Herbs thread
« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2009, 12:33:02 am »
oh yeah, reishi..
has been on the list of things to look into for a while now.
along with shiitake.

been planning to switch from coffee to mate for a looong time now. totally agree with your comment there. :)
just yesterday bought half a kilo.

rooibos is another one worth mentioning, if not already. it makes for a delicious tea. 
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in the words of archimedes - give me a lever and a place to put it... or i shall kill a hostage every hour.

Offline Papyrifera

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Re: Adaptogenic Herbs thread
« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2009, 11:47:28 am »
I have been finding reishi helpful again, both for stimulating the immune system and for supporting adrenal function and energy levels. The dried or fresh fungal bodies, when made into tea, I find more effective than tinctures or capsules. So if you can, track down some of the fresh or dried (mine came in thin slices) fungus. Several hours of gentle simmering is required to make reishi tea.
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Offline tryl

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Re: Adaptogenic Herbs thread
« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2009, 02:52:42 am »
I have been finding reishi helpful again, both for stimulating the immune system and for supporting adrenal function and energy levels. The dried or fresh fungal bodies, when made into tea, I find more effective than tinctures or capsules. So if you can, track down some of the fresh or dried (mine came in thin slices) fungus. Several hours of gentle simmering is required to make reishi tea.

hah.

turned out my mom has been doing this the past half an year or so.

his pants will be crusted with semen from constantly jerking off whenever he can't find a rape victim.

in the words of archimedes - give me a lever and a place to put it... or i shall kill a hostage every hour.

Offline Papyrifera

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Adaptogenic herbal tincture
« Reply #23 on: June 06, 2009, 07:29:11 pm »
I have been making tinctures recently. This one has adaptogenic and immune boosting properties:

Herbs:
Reishi mushroom dry strips finely chopped
Maca flour
Gogi berries whole
Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) root powder
Sage brush (Artemisia tridentata) dry leaves crushed
Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) dry leaves crushed
Garden sage (Salvia officinalis) dry leaves crushed

Nothing was measured precisely, but heavy on the reishi and maca, and roughly equal portions of the other ingredients. Being generous with the amounts of plant material in my tinctures makes them more potent. All herbs soaked in half a liter of 40% vodka in a cool, dark place. After two weeks the herbs were strained out. An equal portion (half a liter) of boiling water was added to the herbal mush and allowed to steep for 30 minutes. This liquid was squeezed out and added to the alcohol, resulting in about a liter total of 20% alcohol content herbal tincture. This method combines the benefits of cool extraction in alcohol plus hot infusion in water, getting the most out of the herbs.

This tincture is very potent, needing only 1 mL for a noticeable effect. Good for preventative daily use or also for helping boost the immune system if one feels sickness coming on. Enjoy  :-)
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Offline xtimrs

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Re: Adaptogenic Herbs thread
« Reply #24 on: June 09, 2009, 01:50:37 pm »
I'm so glad I found this thread as it's SO HARD to find forums with really good, reliable, knowledgeable threads focused on adaptogentic herbs. The only adaptogens I've tried so far are Rhodiola and Yerba Mate (some wouldn't count this as an adaptogen).

I've also experimented with Coca which in my opinion, judging from the effects, should be considered an adaptogen (in that Coca made me feel overall balanced). Oh and I've used Kanna (Sceletium) a tiny bit but am yet to find quality Kanna so I've gotten little effect from this plant so far. From what I'm read quality Kanna can feel a bit like an adaptogen. Literature on Blue Lilly and Sweet Flag make them sound adaptogenic as well.

Anyways, I'm getting off topic discussing these herbs which aren't even technically classified as adaptogens so I'll start talking about actual adaptogens. I'd REALLY REALLY like to try a cycle of any of the following to help my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and overall health:

Korean Red Ginseng (I hear this is the most stimulating Ginseng), Eleuthero, Black Maca (I heard the black variety is the most stimulating and nootropic like), Trichilia catigua (or any other type "Catuaba" that actuallly works) and Muira puama (which no one on forums seems to have heard of yet shows promising potential in the literature).

I'd love feedback from any of you guys who have experienced very positive results from any of the above herbs, especially if your results helped your energy levels a lot. Also, please list your dosage level and how many days/weeks/months you went on the herb. Most adaptogens should be gone on daily for a month or 2 then quit for a while I assume?

A lot of people on forums right now seems to assume Maca is gimmicky bullshit and don't believe any species of plant labeled Catuaba actually works as claimed in studies. However, lots seem to agree good Ginseng and Eleuthero work well.

I've a feeling once I find the right combination of Adaptogens to do cycles of I can finally beat my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Adaptogens are my last hope, as no other substance or plant has really helped me with my energy levels long-term.
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Offline Papyrifera

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Re: Adaptogenic Herbs thread
« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2009, 11:26:30 am »
Hey xtimers,

In my experience, the best maca was actually extremely white in colour. Our superfood provider called it "super maca" and indeed it seemed to have potent energizing and aphrodisiac properties. I've never heard of black maca, but got some dark brownish maca once... stuff was weird, strange taste, strange smell. I didn't like it at all. I know that some maca is toasted, I believe this destroys much of the goodness. Get untoasted maca if possible. A word of warning: Maca is known to increase sperm count and fertility up to 400%! Maca can make babies, for sure.

As far as catuaba goes... I think the stuff I have is Erythroxylum catuaba, but not totally sure on identification. Anyway, tree bark which has a nice energizing and aphrodisiac effect. It is not as strongly stimulating as its cousin Erythroxylum coca. Calamus root is also stimulating when chewed in small amounts, though the stimulation lasts only an hour and a half or so.

I made an ENERGIZING tincture to help raise energy levels without being a typical stimulant (in other words, without wearing you down or giving a crash). The ingredients and preparation are as follows:

Herbs:
Yerba mate two large handful
Coca leaf three tea bags
Catuaba bark one large pinch
Guarana nut powder one heaping tsp
San pedro and Trichocereus bridgesii cacti, one tbsp powdered of each

All herbs soaked for two weeks in 40% vodka. Remaining herb mush soaked in an equal portion of boiling water and this was used to dilute the tincture to 20% alcohol/vol. This made about a liter of tincture. This tincture is appropriate for use in the morning to provide a long lasting energization. It is the cactus that gives the long lasting kick, effects are noticeable for around 8 hours, three hours after the other herbs have worn off. This tincture will not prevent you from going to sleep if desired, but just keeps one energized all day. Potent stuff, one mL is an appropriate dose. This tincture can be used infrequently or on a daily basis. It is wise to not use such a tincture for more than a month straight. Ideally, one could use for 3-4 days and then take a break for a couple days in order not to build up a tolerance to the tincture.

You mentioned a few other herbs... muira puama is primarily an aphrodisiac, not an energizing herb. Lotus can be emotionally calming, but has sedative properties. Korean red ginseng is good for men but should  not be taken continuously by women as it has testosterone-like compounds in it. Personally I thought kanna was garbage. Not that amazing of an effect, perhaps a light shift of mood and some stimulant followed by sedative properties. If you use kanna regularly, a tolerance quickly builds and indeed this plant has mild addictive or compelling properties. Better off experimenting with something else. Eleuthero (siberian ginseng) is a good herb.
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Offline Papyrifera

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Re: Adaptogenic Herbs thread
« Reply #26 on: October 20, 2009, 08:12:06 am »
I am beginning experimentation with Rhodiola rosea root powder. Has anyone worked with the raw root powder, rather than extracts? Generally I like to work with the raw plant material whenever possible, it is usually cheaper and ensures all the actives are being ingested. So I took a heaping teaspoon this morning, in some water. The smell is pretty nice but the taste and grittiness leaves something to be desired, for sure. Tastes almost weirdly fermented or something, I don't know. I'll keep you all posted on any effects I notice.
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Offline Papyrifera

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Re: Adaptogenic Herbs thread
« Reply #27 on: October 20, 2009, 03:03:17 pm »
I noticed some effect from the Rhodiola rosea root powder I took this morning. Within ten or fifteen minutes I noticed a slight shift of consciousness, which deepened as I walked to work. For me, it was mostly a feeling of energization, akin to the initial "come-on" stimulation of a cactus trip, or similar to taking ~60 mg of pseudoephedrine. Not too stimulating, but a definate mild "up" feeling. I was tired before taking the Rhodiola (got up extra early today), but the tiredness was gone all day. Walking to work was enjoyable.

I am going to have to experiment more with this plant in diverse situations, to see if it has an effect on my physical stamina or reaction to stressful conditions. I might consider reducing the amount I took, as I am not a fan of stimulants generally. It feels like I could take a smaller dose and still get the adaptogenic properties of this plant. I would like to stress, there was no strong stimulation. I just felt a little jittery, as with too much caffeine.
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Offline Papyrifera

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Rhodiola as adaptogen
« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2009, 03:21:27 pm »
I have been using Rhodiola rosea root powder quite frequently (3-5 days per week) and wanted to comment on the effects I have noticed.

Dosage: I would usually take a level teaspoon in the morning before going to work. It is pretty potent plant material! I have taken more than this, but anything over a heaping teaspoon is usually not worth it. One day I had a heaping teaspoon, and then another heaping teaspoon about a half hour later. It made me feel somewhat nauseous and generally unpleasant for a couple hours. So I don't recommend upping the dose too much.

Effects: I notice an almost immediate (within minutes) raising of energy levels and also sharpening of mental clarity. It takes away the morning fuzzies from getting up early and/or not getting enough sleep. I walk to work and rhodiola definitely raises my physical stamina, making the walk easier than on days when I have no rhodiola. I would consider rhodiola a pretty good "smart drug" substance and it makes me feel awake and alert without being overtly stimulating (at an appropriate dose).

Combinations: Have been using a mix of kratom + yerba mate most days at work as well. Taking rhodiola in the morning seems to attenuate some of the tolerance to kratom which builds rapidly. Rhodiola is known to increase opioid peptide trafficking so perhaps this is why it interacts positively with kratom.
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Offline Papyrifera

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Re: Adaptogenic Herbs thread
« Reply #29 on: January 06, 2010, 10:37:36 am »
How to Make a Reishi Tincture

Reishi contains many complex substances, some of which extract best into alcohol and others best into water. When making a reishi tincture, it is important to use a combination of water and alcohol extractions to ensure all the active ingredients are present.

First, do the alcohol extraction. Fill a jar with slivered reishi mushroom and cover with clear alcohol (preferably 40% [80 proof] or higher). Allow to soak in a dark place for 3 weeks. At the end of three weeks, decant the tincture. Strain out the reishi slivers and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. There will be less alcohol than was added at the beginning, because much is still soaked into the fungal matter. Throw the reishi slivers into the freezer overnight to help burst open the cell walls for the next step.

Next, do the water extraction. Fill a pot with water and the thawed, slivered reishi. Gently simmer (barely enough to bubble, but enough to steam) for 8-9 hours. Reduce this liquid to a small amount of concentrated brew. The exact amount depends on how high proof was the liquor you used in the alcohol extraction, and how much alcohol you want in your final tincture. 20% (40 proof) final alcohol content is nice, because it has enough alcohol to preserve the tincture but not so much that it burns like liquor when you take the tincture. So for instance, if starting with 40% alcohol then reduce the water extraction to an equal volume as the alcohol (a 1:1 ratio of alcohol:water extraction). The higher the alcohol content of the final tincture, the longer its shelf life may be.

By combining the alcohol and water extracts in this way a more potent and effective extraction of the reishi is obtained. Alternatively, one could do the water extraction first, keep it in the freezer and then do the alcohol extraction. I'm not sure which way is preferable.
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