Summer is often a good time to reset our goals for health with quiet time perhaps at the beach or in the backyard, to contemplate how we can rejuvenate ourselves.
Here are some remedies to consider for your patients who want to take charge of their moods, sleep and memory. Don’t forget about yourself and take time also for Physician Heal Thyself!
Basic support for mood, sleep and memory treatment plan should include a B complex, Ultimate Omega fish oils or Vital Nutrients Ultra Pure Fish oil (3000mg per day), Magnesium especially taken at bedtime for restless and poor quality sleep, and a multi-vitamin and mineral complex lke Vital Nutrients: Minimal and Essential. It has amazed me over the years how the above can help in a matter of weeks! Most people who live off the SAD (Standard American Diet) are terribly deficient. Many females are low in iron with serum ferritin less than 60. Once this is treated they feel so much better.
Adrenal function: Make sure in all cases of mood, sleep and memory that adrenal and thyroid function is addressed. See Pincott Perspective HPA Axis Blog Feb 2019 and Jan 2018 Thyroid Support. Consider especially – Withania Complex which contains Withania extract 950mg, Glycyrrhiza dry root 750mg, Scutellaria lateriflora dry herb 470mg and Panax ginseng dry root 100mg and Rhodiola and Ginseng Contains Rhodiola rosea 3.6grams and Panax ginseng 500mg. Both of these formulas help with mental fatigue and promote vitality of the nervous system in mild and moderate depression. Rhodiola improves depression, insomnia and emotional instability. It was as effective as sertraline without the side effects in some studies. Withania complex also increases the production of T4 so useful in thyroid support.
St John’s Wort increases nocturnal melatonin and helps with sleep disorders as well as anxiety. However because of photo sensitivity do not use this herb in the summer months unless for short term use for acute viral infections. St. John’s Wort is also effective for shift workers. For the treatment of depression it is NOT the serotonin effect but the effect it has on BDNF! Best to start St. John’s wort in the fall for the optimal treatment of SAD and depression. St. John’s wort is also great for the treatment of viral infections such as shingles, cold sores, chicken pox and herpes. Use higher dosages such as 6 per day for these conditions and always warn your patient about sun sensitivity.
Nevaton contains Hypericum 750mg, Schisandra 675mg, scutellaria lateriflora 500mg and saffron 22.5mg. It is known as a “road rage” formula for out of control stress, PMS, wired, aggressive and agitated patients. It also has an anti-depressant effect from the St. John’s Wort. Saffron: 30mg per day has the same effect as the drug Prozac for the treatment of depression. (Those who have had a heart event have a three- fold increase risk of depression). It blocks glutamate receptors, it is an anti-oxidant, it is a neuroprotective and has no effect on serotonin. It is as effective for early AD as donepezil and memantine. Kerry Bone uses 4 per day for low mood and debility and uses it instead of straight St. John’s Wort. Be aware of possible sun sensitivity due to St. John’s Wort.
Valerian complex contains passion flower, zizyphus (especially for dream disturbed sleep) and valerian. If the patient does not have a paradoxical reaction to valerian then may be as effective as the benzodiazepines and valium in improving sleep quality. It is also a great muscle relaxant. It has been used at 1 tablet 3-4 times during the day for severe insomnia, panic attacks, restlessness, depression and anxiety. It has been studied to not impair driving performance.
Kava Forte: improves anxiety and depression and can be combined with rhodiola and saffron but NOT St. John’s wort. Kava kava increases GABA receptors and regulates GABA transmission. It also inhibits re-uptake of noradrenaline and dopamine. It is meant to be taken during the day as needed for generalize anxiety disorder (GAD) at 1-3 per day. It improves the quality and recuperative effects of sleep and mood and used for treatment of PTSD. It can also increase libido. It can be used in benzodiazepine withdrawal. It is safe for short term use of 1-24 weeks with mild, transient and infrequent adverse events reported.
Ancient Minerals Magnesium with Melatonin: This transdermal formula provides 560 mg of elemental magnesium per teaspoon of lotion. Apply topically at night to sore muscles, soles of the feet or to bath water to aid in sleep. Apply to abdomen for menstrual cramps. Not to be ingested orally. Great for use in children.
Bacopa complex: This contains Bacopa 3.75mg, Schisandra 660mg, Eleutherococcus 500mg and Rosemary 10mg. Great research outlining its efficacy in ADD and ADHD to enhance concentration and focus. Helps executives and students to stay sharp and enhance memory recall, also can maintain cognition in people suffering from cognitive decline. For distracted kids/students, busy adults who want the mental edge and for seniors looking for a proactive approach to mental aging and memory loss. Increases conversion of short-term memory to long term memory. Very useful in brain fog due to thyroid abnormalities as it increases production of T4, excellent as an adjunct to thyroid supplementation and hormonal treatment. For “baby brain” postpartum as it not only helps to improve memory but also acts as an adaptogen to improve stress tolerance. Also for post-concussion syndrome or acute concussion recovery in combination with Ginkgo Forte for optimal results. Adult dosage 2 BID until see clinical effect then 2 per day. May take 3 months to see improvement in memory.
Ginkgo Forte: Ginkgo has been effective for the treatment of cerebral insufficiency which includes the following conditions: dementia, dizziness associated with labyrinth or vestibular disorders, acute cochlear deafness, senile cognitive decline, vertigo, healing loss or tinnitus. Ginkgo was also found to be of benefit in the treatment of recent stroke victims improving cerebral blood flow, motor recovery, intellectual performance, memory, mood and behavior. Ginkgo was also found to effective for the improvement in cognitive function in Alzheimer’s disease. Kerry Bone talks about using Gingko at 9 per day (in divided doses) to help with jet lag when he is lecturing internationally so I recommend this for jet lag control. It is also very popular in Europe for stroke prevention which I dose at one per day and stronger if I am concerned about cognitive decline as well. There is no evidence that gingko increases bleeding time contrary to popular belief by most surgeons. Use with caution with blood thinners such as warfarin and aspirin but it is not a contraindication. Please see Ginkgo monograph for all the benefits of this wonderful herb to educate your patients).
Tranquilent (Raspberry flavoured chewable 30 tabs). This chewable inositol 1000mg, L theanine 25mg and 5TP 20mg combination is effective for pediatrics (not more than 2 per day in 75 pounds or more, less than 75 pounds is ½ -1 tablet per day.) and adults (up to 8 per day) for the treatment of anxiety and obsessive thoughts that will support serotonin and GABA production in the body. I encourage patients to keep this in their purse or desk and take as needed throughout the day and especially in the evening to help with sleep. Suntheanine promotes relaxation, reduces stress and nervous tension. Supports both serotonergic and GABAergic neurotransmission. Offers both acute relief as well as a rebalancing effect for Anxiety and OCD and insomnia.
Other considerations: BCQ or Tumeric Forte (coming soon) has been helping to improve cognitive decline. Tumeric: increases Nrf2, normalizes mitochondrial genesis, repairs hippocampus of tau proteins, hepatic protective, neuroprotective, kidney protective, anti-cancer (flags and destroys metastatic cells in the blood stream), slows progression of neurological diseases including Parkinson’s Disease, improves cognition and memory and concentration, powerful anti-depressant, increases serotonin in the body, boosts stem cell production in the brain (as does exercise and fasting). Boswellia slows the progression of Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease. It is a specific herb to prevent and treat neuroinflammation. It crosses the BBB and is best absorbed when taken with fat within a meal or with fish oils. Lion’s Mane by JHS Naturals has the ability to stimulate the production of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and provide other benefits that enhance cognitive function.
Parasympathetic balancing: unplug from devices, exercise, yoga, meditation, the Arts are all great for balancing moods, insomnia and memory. When patients are prescribed “The Arts” visits to MD’s and hospitals are reduced by up to 40%!
Enjoy your Summer and check out my Summer First Aid Kit from 2017!