Topic of articles: Diazepam and potential herbal alternatives to Benzodiazepanes

diazepam

“Diazepam is used to relieve anxiety, muscle spasms, and seizures and to control agitation caused by alcohol withdrawal.”—AHFS® Consumer Medication Information 2016

So I have become aware that quite a few people use Diazepam, or maybe better known as Valium (1 brand name used).  I said I was going to start looking into at least 1 pharmaceutical each week to better enhance my understanding of them, and to see if there are any herbal alternatives or remedies for their side effects, so Diazepam is the first of many.

Side effects from diazepam are common and include the following:

  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • tiredness
  • weakness
  • dry mouth
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • changes in appetite

—Diazepam side effects, HFS® Consumer Medication Information 2016

Article.1 link:  diazepam and kava combination article

Describes the use of Kava, or Piper methysticum, and its use in combination with Diazepam to reduce side effects, or its potential to be an alternative for minor anxiety conditions, as it is shown to cause sedation and has anti-epileptic effects.   The article is an animal study, but concludes that there was a significant increase to the MEST threshold, or the threshold of not having a seizure, seen within mice when given Kava in combination with Diazepam.  As concluded by the authors,”this combination protected against incidence of liver or kidney functional changes that render this combination a safe alternative for synthetic anticonvulsants
without loss of therapeutic efficacy,” (2013, pg.7)

Article.2 link:  The effect of most important medicinal plants on anxiety and depression article

H. perforatum (St.John’s Wort) yielded a significant difference in favor
of H. perforatum over conventional antidepressants for
withdrawal”, (2014, pg.36).

C. sativus (saffron) extract showed
significant improvement of depression over placebo”, (2014, pg.36).

“A clinical trial revealed that acute administration of
Scutellaria lateriflora attenuated anxiety [71]. A pilot clinical rial revealed equivocal efficacy to oxazepam,” (2014, pg.37-38).

This article is a systematic review and goes into quite a bit of detail into anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) herbs, including medicinal herbs that can be used as alternatives to pharmaceutical benzodiazepines.  Pages 36 -37 have tables that outline each herb, their action, as well as, their active constituent.  Keep in mind, the authors state,

“There are growing preclinical and clinical trials, which
show beneficial efficacy for herbal medicine to treat
anxiety and depression. However, concerns exist over poor
reporting of data in some clinical trials. The other issue is
that many herbal medicines have not yet been rigorously
tested in human clinical trials”, (2014, pg.38).

With this in mind, consider alternatives to pharmaceuticals, but always consult an expert before trying anything yourself, especially when mixing treatments.

Hope you enjoyed these articles, and be aware and eat with care 🙂

Refs:

Diazepam picture ref:  http://premiersupplier.net/DIAZEPAM-Valium-10mg-100-tabs-9.htm, 2016 PremierSupplier

Diazepam use/side effects: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a682047.html, AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2016

Article.1:  “Enhanced efficacy and reduced side effects
of diazepam by kava combination”,  Rasha A. Tawfiq, Noha N. Nassar, Wafaa I. El-Eraky & Ezzeldein S. El-Denshary, Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V, 2013.

Article.2:  “The effect of most important medicinal plants on two importnt
psychiatric disorders (anxiety and depression)-a review”, Kourosh Saki, Mahmoud Bahmani & Mahmoud Rafieian-Kopaei, Asian Pac J Trop Med, 2014.

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Thanks, and be aware and eat with care 🙂

Article: Understanding the Potential Use of Herbs in Restless Legs Syndrome

RLS picture

“Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is the most common neurological sleep disorder affecting 10 % of the Caucasian population. The disorder is characterized by painful sensations in the lower limbs, especially during the evening, at night and during rest, resulting in an urge to move the legs and insomnia. As a result the quality of life is significantly reduced. Dopaminergic agents, opioids and anticonvulsants have proven to be effective for RLS with only the former being currently licensed” —-Abstract of Ref.1

 Article link:  Restless legs syndrome article

Click the underlined link above to read a really interesting article on the use of herbs for Restless Legs Syndrome.  I particularly enjoyed that the author considers individual constitutions based on Western herbal medicine, as well as, Traditional Chinese Medicine assessment aspects.  Skullcap, Black cohosh, Valerian, Passionflower, St.John’s Wort and lobelia, are all viewed as having differing, yet positive effects on the symptoms of RLS, such as improving sleep, reducing anxiety related to RLS, or acting as spasmolytic’s (reduce muscle spasms).   Hope you enjoy this article and gain a deeper understanding of RLS and some herbal options.  Thanks for reading, and be aware and eat with care 🙂

url31 valerian-isp    tumblr_m3zq3bJ7Fw1rrutr7o1_500

*Black cohosh, Valerian root, Passionflower

Refs:

Picture:  http://mikaelsyding.com/stop-1-5-billion-restless-legs-kicking/

Abstract RLS description: Krenzer, M, Oertel, W, & Trenkwalder, C 2014, ‘[Practical guidelines for diagnosis and therapy of restless legs syndrome]’, Der Nervenarzt, 85, 1, p. 9, MEDLINE Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 3 January 2016.

Article: Holden, E 2009, ‘Understanding the potential use of herbs in restless legs syndrome’, Journal Of The American Herbalists Guild, 9, 1, pp. 39-49 11p, CINAHL Plus with Full Text, EBSCOhost, viewed 10 January 2016.

Herb pictures:  

Passionflower: http://www.herbalteasonline.com/passion-flower-tea.php

Black cohosh: http://vitaminsupplementingredients.com/ingredient-black-cohosh/

Valerian: http://www.herbalextractsplus.com/valerian.html