Monthly Archives: January 2016

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.

Blog.3: Meditation, Chakra re-balancing, and keeping positive

So this week I worked 4 days in the pharmacy.  I have to say its a pretty interesting job and I feel like I learn something new everyday I am there.  I’m sure I’m not supposed to be doing this, but when someone comes to the pharmacist and tells him about their issue, I can’t help but listen and try and deduct my own course of holistic treatment, or what the customer might be describing.  For example, a father and his daughter came in, and the daughter had a terrible rash.  The father said they had tried everything to get rid of it, but it wasn’t working.  I instantly thought, “sounds like a food allergy,” at which point the pharmacist said, “huh, sounds like it might be a food allergy.”  I was stoked!  When situations like that happen, I get more confident in myself about being a holistic practitioner.  I really like that I am going to be able to transfer the knowledge I gain in the pharmacy to be able to help my patients that much more.  Any-ways, so I worked this week, and the time flew by.  This weekend wasn’t super eventful but I have been continuing with my meditation sessions almost every morning, and I started a chakra re-balancing plan outlined in a book called “Chakra Therapy” by Keith Sherwood.  I’ve only done day one at this point, but I think it is going to be an interesting journey.  From the beginning you get 3 photos of yourself, a current one, you as a teenager, and one as an adolescent.  On the first day you study the photos and ask a series of questions like, “does this person look happy? do they look tense? ” etc…  You write down the questions and your answers, and you do this for each picture.  I didn’t think this would do a whole lot, but after I felt like my solar plexus chakra, which is where I hold a lot of tension, felt more relaxed and open.  The healing plan continues for 7 days, and then you read on about chakra’s, what they mean, how they affect the body, how can we balance them, etc…  I’m pretty excited to continue and see how it affects me.  What else?…. Still looking into volunteering…. from what I heard from the lady that runs the soup kitchen, that there are more volunteers then people that need help, so I guess I live in a pretty loving place, which is super nice.  Oh, I also started taking black cohosh oil capsules to try and lessen my hormonal roller-coaster over my cycle, but usually it takes about a month for the body to adapt to a new herb, so I will see if it starts to help over the next month or so.  I think a big thing for me this week is that the weather is getting better, and I really am seeing a change in how grounded I am here.  I feel like I can really be myself, and that makes me really happy.  I hope I can keep this positive view coming out of winter and into spring, and hope everyone has at positivity in their life as well.  Thanks for reading, and be aware and eat with care :)

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Thanks, and be aware and eat with care :)