Alkaloid

Alkaloids are a group of naturally occurring chemical compounds that contain mostly basic nitrogen atoms. This group also includes some related compounds with neutral and even weakly acidic properties. Some synthetic compounds of similar structure are also termed alkaloids. In addition to carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen, alkaloids may also contain oxygen, sulfur and, more rarely, other elements such as chlorine, bromine, and phosphorus.

Alkaloids are produced by a large variety of organisms including bacteria, fungi, plants, and animals. They can be purified from crude extracts of these organisms by acid-base extraction. Alkaloids have a wide range of pharmacological activities including antimalarial (e.g. quinine), antiasthma (e.g. ephedrine), anticancer (e.g.homoharringtonine), cholinomimetic (e.g. galantamine), vasodilatory (e.g. vincamine), antiarrhythmic (e.g. quinidine), analgesic (e.g. morphine), antibacterial (e.g.chelerythrine), and antihyperglycemic activities (e.g. piperine). Many have found use in traditional or modern medicine, or as starting points for drug discovery. Other alkaloids possess psychotropic (e.g. psilocin) and stimulant activities (e.g. cocaine, caffeine, nicotine),  and have been used in entheogenic rituals or as recreational drugs. Alkaloids can be toxic too (e.g. atropine, tubocurarine). Although alkaloids act on a diversity of metabolic systems in humans and other animals, they almost uniformly evoke a bitter taste.[13]

The boundary between alkaloids and other nitrogen-containing natural compounds is not clear-cut. Compounds like amino acid peptides, proteins, nucleotides, nucleic acid, amines, and antibiotics are usually not called alkaloids. Natural compounds containing nitrogen in the exocyclic position (mescaline, serotonin, dopamine, etc.) are usually classified as amines rather than as alkaloids.[15] Some authors, however, consider alkaloids a special case of amines.

 

Arnica

Arnica  is a genus of perennial, herbaceous plants in the sunflower family (Asteraceae). The genus name Arnica may be derived from the Greek arni, “lamb”, in reference to the plants’ soft, hairy leaves. Arnica is also known by the names Mountain Tobacco and, confusingly, Leopard’s bane and Wolfsbane—two names that it shares with the entirely unrelated genus Aconitum.

arnica_montana_-_kohler-s_medizinal-pflanzen-015

Arnica plants have a deep-rooted, erect stem that is usually unbranched. Their downy opposite leaves are borne towards the apex of the stem. The ovoid, leathery basal leaves are arranged in a rosette.

They show large yellow or orange flowers, 6–8 cm wide with 10–15 cm long ray florets and numerous disc florets. The phyllaries (a bract under the flowerhead) has long spreading hairs. Each phyllary is associated with a ray floret. Species of Arnica, with an involucre (a circle of bracts arranged surrounding the flower head) arranged in two rows, have only their outer phyllaries associated with ray florets. The flowers have a slight aromatic smell. If taken in the wrong dose it can be very dangerous.

The seedlike fruit has a pappus of plumose, white or pale tan bristles. The entire plant has a strong and distinct pine-sage odor when the leaves of mature plants are rubbed or bruised.

Commercial Arnica preparations are frequently used by professional athletes. According to The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, “A few clinical trials suggest benefits of topical arnica for osteoarthritis; and for affecting significant reduction of bruising compared to placebo or low concentration vitamin K ointments. However, a small study reported that topical arnica actually increased pain 24 hours after calf exercises.

Arnica Uses

Early studies of topical arnica gels and ointments for arthritis symptoms of the hand and knee — like pain and swelling — have been positive. So far, research is mixed on whether arnica skin treatments can help ease muscle pain.

If eaten, the actual herb is toxic and can be fatal. However, some oralsupplements contain highly diluted arnica. These are considered homeopathic treatments. These low-dose arnica tablets are safe to use and have been studied for muscle pain, diabetic eye damage, and swelling and pain after surgery. More research needs to be done to establish effectiveness for those problems. A study of children with cancer, however, found that homeopathic low-dose arnica may help reduce mouth ulcers related to chemotherapy.

Because of the risks of pure arnica, the FDA classifies it as an unsafe herb. Doctors who practice complementary medicine generally advise against using arnica in any form other than in a highly diluted homeopathic form.

 

Belladonna

For centuries, healers have used Belladona as a powerful anesthetic for surgeries. It reduces swelling, eliminates muscle twitches, relieves nerve pain, ends muscle aches and stops shooting pains.

belladonna
belladonna

Atropa belladonna, commonly known as belladonna or deadly nightshade, is a perennial herbaceous plant (rhizomatous hemicryptophyte) in the Nightshade family (which includes tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, etc.) Solanaceae, native to Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia. Its distribution extends from Great Britain in the west to western Ukraine and the Iranian province of Gilan in the east. It is also naturalised and/or introduced in some parts of Canada and the United States. The foliage and berries are extremely toxic, containing tropane alkaloids. These toxins include atropine, scopolamine and hyoscyamine, which cause a bizarre delirium and hallucinations,[1] and are also used as pharmaceutical anticholinergics.

Atropa Belladonna has unpredictable effects. The antidote for belladonna poisoning is physostigmine or pilocarpine, the same as for atropine.

It has a long history of use as a medicine, cosmetic, and poison. Before the Middle Ages, it was used as an anesthetic for surgery; the ancient Romans used it as a poison (the wife of Emperor Augustus and the wife of Claudius both were rumored to have used it for murder); and, predating this, it was used to make poison-tipped arrows. The genus name Atropa comes from Atropos, one of the three Fates in Greek mythology, and the name “bella donna” is derived from Italian and means “pretty woman” because the herb was used in eye-drops by women to dilate the pupils of the eyes to make them appear seductive.

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Ignatia

Ignatia was discovered by a Jesuit missionary serving in the Philippines in the late 1600’s. This homeopath calms nerves and reduces the stress which can lead to tight shoulders, a tight neck and painful tension headaches. It relieves emotional distress, allowing your muscles to relax.

The native people of the Philippines have been traditionally wearing the seeds of St. Ignatius bean in the form of amulets with a view to keep off as well as heal different types of ailments. The seeds were introduced from East Africa into Europe for the first time in the 17th century and the credit for this goes to the Spanish Jesuits. These seeds enclose a potent poison known as strychnine and when ingested it works on our nervous system. Later, the homeopathic remedy Ignatia prepared from these seeds was proved as well as published for the first time by the German physician Dr. Samuel Hahnemann in the documentation of his works Materia Medica Pura (1821-1834).

ignatiaThe homeopathic remedy Ignatia is most appropriate for people, particularly womenfolk, who are suffering from very powerful emotional problems, for instance, any severe grief following a death or a relationship gone astray. People who require this medication most are those who are often emotionally weak, touchy and artistic. They are also inclined to mood swing and suffer from self-pity. In addition, such individuals may have a somewhat delicate air, usually found laughing as well as crying simultaneously. In case they try to hold back their emotions, it may often result in hysteria. These people generally have very high expectations from people who are close to them and even when they are disheartened in love, they find it very hard to break all ties with their partner.

In general, Ignatia is an effective homeopathic remedy for incongruous physical symptoms, for instance, indigestion which is eased when one eats something, or a tender throat getting better after swallowing some solid food. Usually, the symptoms are accompanied by intense feeling of pain and having an inclination to sigh and yawn too often. People who respond to Ignatia well are those that have a loathing towards crowds, suffer from a phobia related to birds, particularly chicken. In addition, this homeopathic remedy is also employed to cure ailments that have their origin in emotional trauma. These conditions may include digestive disorders like queasiness and vomiting; headaches; tender throats; and nervous spasms and shuddering.

This homeopathic remedy works excellently for nervous disorders accompanied by symptoms like shuddering, nervous spasms or lack of sensation in the limbs and face, perhaps worsening to hysterical paralysis, seizures, or chorea (a condition wherein the patient experiences unsystematic trembling of the limbs and face). It is important to note that Ignatia is only given provided the symptoms endured by the patient are set off by grief, shock or any other powerful emotional turbulence.

In case you notice that you are constantly engrossed in thought regarding painful conditions and you also take deep sighs quite often, you will find the homeopathic remedy Ignatia very useful. Everyone who has lost a dear one or broken up in a love relationship commonly suffers from sleeplessness and nightmares and their only remedial option is Ignatia. The symptoms cured by this homeopathic remedy are inclined to be somewhat unpredictable and irregular, and they are likely to tighten as well as release frequently while the body and the mind endeavour to reinstate balance. People suffering from health conditions that are treated by Ignatia normally feel better when they eat something and when they are exposed to warmth. On the contrary, their symptoms worsen when there is any type of emotional turbulence, when they drink coffee and are exposed to cold breeze.

Irrespective of the fact that they are normal to the person or have been brought on by emotions, individuals who require the homeopathic remedy most are those who are generally very sensitive, impractical and, at times, mysterious, and their moods are likely to change very often. For instance, they may be laughing at one moment and crying in the next. In fact, such people conceal or hold back their feelings so cleverly that you can only get a hint about what are happening within them when they take deep sighs. Over a period of time, such people may possibly turn out to be extremely self-protective, distrustful, envious and also boorish. It is worth mentioning here that the line differentiating Nat. mur. and Ignatia for treating grief as well as held back emotions is very narrow. The difference may be explained by saying that as far as the responses of these two homeopathic remedies to sympathy are concerned, people belonging to the Nat. mur. type are likely to take exception to it, while those having Ignatia temperament will simply like to be left alone. Therefore, when an individual is besieged by any recent anguish, one should first consider giving Ignatia to the sufferer.

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Kratom

What is kratom?
Kratom is a tree native to Southeast Asia (Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Borneo, etc.). Its botanical name is Mitragyna speciosa. Kratom is in the same family as the coffee tree (Rubiaceae). The leaves of kratom have been used as an herbal drug from time immemorial by peoples of Southeast Asia. It is used in folk medicine as a stimulant (at low doses), sedative (at high doses), recreational drug, pain killer, medicine for diarrhea, and treatment for opiate addiction.

How is it taken?
In its native region, kratom leaves are often chewed fresh (usually after removing the stringy central vein). Dried leaves can also be chewed, but since they are a bit tough most people prefer to crush them up or powder them so that they can be swallowed. Powdered kratom can be mixed with water and then drunk. This method is quick and easy. It can also be mixed with other liquids, such as fruit juice or milk. Chocolate milk reportedly works well for masking the taste. Powdered kratom can also be made into a paste that can easily be swallowed with water (this is one of the authors’ preferred methods). The powder can also be mixed with applesauce or yogurt. It can also be put into capsules. Dried kratom leaves are often made into a tea that is strained and then drunk. Kratom can be smoked, but doing so is impractical because the amount of leaf that constitutes a typical dose is too much to be smoked easily. A resin-like extract can be prepared by evaporating the water from kratom tea. This can be stored for later use. Small pellets of this extract can be swallowed, or it can be dissolved in hot water and consumed as a tea. Some people like to mix kratom tea with ordinary black tea, or other herbal teas, before it is consumed. This is done to make it more palatable. Sugar or honey can be added to sweeten it.

How does one prepare a powdered kratom PASTE for drinking?
1.) Place a single dose of powdered kratom in a small empty cup.
2.) Add just enough water to make a soft paste (roughly equal parts kratom powder to water, by volume). You will need to stir the mixture for a few minutes until the powder completely absorbs the water and you have a nicely homogenized paste.
3.) Fill a separate glass with water and set it aside. Using a spoon, scoop an easy-to-swallow spoonful of paste into your mouth, then take a big sip of water from the other glass and gulp it down. Repeat spooning, sipping, and swallowing until you have consumed the entire dose. Be careful not to gulp down too much at once, so you don’t accidentally choke on the mixture.

How does one prepare a powdered kratom SLURRY for drinking?
1.) Add powdered kratom to a glass of water (or other beverage). For a typical dose of kratom (about 7 grams), use about 1 cup (8 ounces) of water.
2.) Stir throughly (until the powder is completely suspended), then gulp it down quickly before it has a chance to settle (it is like drinking a bitter-tasting, slightly fibrous smoothy).
3.) Add more water to the glass to recover any material that stuck to the sides. About 1/2 cup of water should be sufficient, but it doesn’t hurt to use more.
4.) Stir again and drink.
5.) When you have got it all down, you can drink a little fruit juice to chase away the bitter taste.

How does one make kratom tea?
Following is a basic recipe for making kratom tea. This recipe makes enough tea for several doses–about 8 moderately strong doses, if using “premium quality” kratom (see “dosage guidelines” below):
1.) Take 2 ounces (56 grams) of dried, crushed kratom leaves and put into a pot. To this add 1 quart (about 1 liter) of water.
2.) Boil gently for 15 minutes.
3.) Pour the tea through a strainer into a bowl and reserve the liquid.
(squeeze the leaves in the strainer to get most of the liquid out).
4.) Put the leaves back in the pot and add another liter of fresh water. Repeat steps 2 and 3.
(after the leaves have been strained a second time, they can be discarded.)
5.) Put the combined liquid from both boilings back into the pot and boil until the volume is reduced to about 1 cup (250 ml).
(The idea is to boil the tea down to a small volume so that each individual dose can be quickly swallowed.
You can boil it down to whatever concentration you are comfortable with. Be careful near the end of the process.
If it starts to become syrupy, it may spatter and/or burn.)

The tea is bitter tasting. To minimize the unpleasant taste, gulp it down quickly and then immediately chase it with some pleasant-tasting fruit juice.

The same general preparation method can of course be used with larger or smaller amounts of herb by simply adjusting the volume of water used. Kratom tea can be safely stored in the refrigerator for about five days. It is probably okay to keep it a bit longer, but it’s better to play it safe and not drink it after five days. It can be stored for many months if you add some alcohol to it. Adding about 10% alcohol will preserve it for many months (in the refrigerator). That is one part 80 proof liquor (vodka, rum, or a similar spirit) to three parts kratom tea. When refrigerated, some components may precipitate out of solution and form a sediment in the bottom of the container. This sediment may contain active alkaloids so it should be redissolved before consuming the tea. This is easily done by warming the tea and stirring.

What are the effects?
Kratom is a rather unique drug in that a low to moderate dose will usually (but not always) be stimulating, while a high dose is almost always quite sedating. This is apparently because the active alkaloids have both stimulant and sedative effects. Which predominates probably depends both on dosage and individual differences between users. Many people report that the effects are very similar to opiate drugs. From a pharmacological perspective this is not surprising because kratom contains alkaloids that act as opiate receptor agonists. Interestingly, although kratom has a similar mechanism of action as many opiate pain medications it does not appear to be nearly as addictive. In fact many people use kratom to overcome opiate addiction.

The stimulant level: At the stimulant level the mind is more alert, physical energy and sometimes sexual energy is increased, ability to do hard monotonous physical work may be improved, one is more talkative, friendly, and sociable. Some people find this level edgy rather than pleasant.

The sedative-euphoric-analgesic level: At this dosage you will be less sensitive to physical or emotional pain, feel and look calm, have a general feeling of comfortable pleasure, and may enter a pleasant dreamy reverie. You may experience some itching or sweating. Your pupils may be constricted (small). It is possible you may feel nauseated, but if you lie down and relax the nausea should quickly cease. You may find your appreciation of music is increased. It will be very pleasant to lie down on your back in a semi-darkened room, with eyes closed, and just listen to your favorite music. If you do this you may be fortunate enough to enter the delightful mixed-state of ‘waking-dreaming’ where you have one foot in dreamland and the other foot in the real world. This state was much prized by the 19th century Romantic writers, who, lacking knowledge of kratom, resorted to the much more habit-forming narcotic, opium, to achieve it.

What effects are associated with different doses? (dosage guidelines)
That depends on the potency of the kratom. The following dosage-guidline charts are typical for the kratom varieties offered by Sage Wisdom Botanicals,the sponsor of this page.

Premium Quality Kratom
(oral dosage)
Threshold 2-4 grams
Mild 3-5 grams
Moderate 4-10 grams
Strong 8-15 grams
Very Strong 12-25 grams
Ultra-Potent Kratom
(oral dosage)
Threshold 1-3 grams
Mild 2-4 grams
Moderate 3-7 grams
Strong 6-10 grams
Very Strong 8-16 grams
Kratom Extract
(oral dosage)
Threshold 1 gram
Mild 1-2 grams
Moderate 2-4 grams
Strong 3-6 grams
Very Strong 5-8 grams

Threshold = The effects are clearly apparent, but subtle.
Mild = Typically the effects are stimulant-like.
Moderate = The effects can be stimulant-like or sedative-euphoric-analgesic.
Strong = Sedative-euphoric-analgesic effects; too strong for highly sensitive people.
Very Strong = Sedative-euphoric-analgesic effects (TOO STRONG FOR MOST PEOPLE)

Caution:People vary in sensitivity to kratom, and kratom from different sources can vary in potency (sometimes quite a lot), so these dosage estimates should be regarded as loose approximations. One should always start with a low dose when experimenting with a new batch of kratom. One can then increase the dose gradually with subsequent experiments until one obtains the desired level of effects. DO NOT take a strong, or very strong dose, the first time you are sampling a new batch of kratom. Most people experience nausea when using very strong doses. Sensitive individuals may experience nausea at lower doses. For this reason, it is best to take kratom on an empty stomach when using strong doses (i.e. wait about 3 hours after eating). Some people are hypersensitive to kratom, and may experience adverse reactions (such as severe and prolonged vomiting) when using very strong doses.

What is duration of kratoms effects?
The effects of kratom usually last 5-6 hours. When taken on an empty stomach, the onset of effects is typically felt 30-40 minutes after ingestion. If there is much food in the stomach, it may take 60-90 minutes before it begins to take effect. When taken in capsules (gelatin or vegetarian), the onset of effects may be delayed a little because it takes time for the capsules to dissolve in the stomach.

What are the risks? How safe is it?
When kratom is taken by itself (without mixing it with other drugs), the greatest risk is falling asleep while engaged in hazardous activities. NEVER drive while under the influence of kratom, even if you feel stimulated, rather than sleepy, for sleepiness may come on you without warning. Use common sense. Do not use power tools or climb ladders while under the influence of kratom. Be careful not to leave a pot on a lit stove and then fall asleep.

Pregnant women should not take any drug or medication except on medical advice. Since there have been no studies of the risks of kratom use by pregnant women, it is not known whether it could cause birth defects or fetal death. We strongly recommend that any woman who could possibly be pregnant NOT use kratom.

Is kratom an effective pain medication?
Many people report that kratom is an effective pain medication (analgesic). In fact, except for opium, kratom is probably the most effective herbal analgesic available.

Is kratom an effective treatment for opiate addiction?
One of the traditional uses of kratom in Thailand is as a treatment opiate addiction. Opiate addiction is a widespread problem. Not just for people who use opiate drugs illegally, but also for people who are prescribed opiate pain medications. Unfortunately, people who use opiate drugs daily often become addicted. Understandably, many people do not like being addicted to these drugs and are looking for ways to overcome their addiction. Many people report that kratom is effective for this purpose. Because it contains alkaloids that act as opiate receptor agonists it can be used as a substitute for opiate drugs, both as a pain medication and to avoid opiate withdrawals. After switching to kratom for a while, people say that they are able to reduce and then end their kratom use completely without suffering through difficult opiate withdrawal. This suggests that although it contains opiate receptor agonists, the pharmacology of kratom differs from opiate drugs in an important and potentially useful way. Before using kratom to overcome opiate addiction, it is obviously a good idea to discuss this with an open-minded physician.

Is kratom habit forming?
Kratom is not habit forming when it is used responsibly. If used occasionally as a recreational drug, rather than daily, there is virtually no risk of becoming dependent on it. But it is very important not to get into the habit of using it every day. For kratom, like many drugs [e.g. alcohol, coffee, tobacco, etc.] if used on a daily basis for a prolonged period of time, could become a habit hard to break. Before starting to experiment with it set yourself usage guidelines. If you ever find it is hard to stay within your usage guidelines immediately quit using kratom. Of course, people who are using kratom to overcome a preexisting opiate addiction may need to use kratom daily to avoid opiate withdrawal. People suffering from chronic pain may need to take pain medications on a daily basis, and some people choose to use kratom instead of pharmaceutical pain killers. Interestingly, studies have found that opiate drugs (morphine and its relatives) are rarely addictive for pain sufferers except among people with a history of substance abuse. This is probably also true for kratom, because like opiate drugs, the effects of kratom are due to opiate receptor agonist activity.

Is it possible to develop tolerance to kratom?
Yes. Like many drugs, if kratom is used on a daily basis one will eventually develop some tolerance to its effects and will gradually need to take increasingly larger doses to obtain the same level of effects. Tolerance does not develop when kratom is taken occasionally (no more than twice a week). Since the active constituents in kratom are opioid receptor agonists, there is likely to be cross-tolerance with other opioid drugs. This means that people who have developed tolerance to other opioid drugs will probably need to use higher doses of kratom than people who have not. Tolerance is not permanent. Normal sensitivity resumes after a few weeks of abstinence.

I have heard that tolerance can be avoided by taking different varieties of kratom on different days. Is that true?
No. Mixing up different kinds of kratom is not going reduce tolerance. All varieties of kratom contain the same active constituents, although their concentration varies with different batches.

I have heard that the potency and quality of kratom’s effects is correlated with the color of the central leaf vein. Is that true?
The color of the central leaf vein ranges from various shades of green to various shades of red. This is partly determined by genetics, but it also varies depending on how much sunlight the tree receives, and other environmental factors. The same tree can have leaves with pale green, dark green, and red veins. We have not seen any consistent connection between vein color and potency or type of effects. It appears that such correlations are mostly marketing hype invented by kratom merchants.

What are safe usage guidelines?
It is best to err on the side of caution. Therefore, we recommend that people not use Kratom more than once a week. Preferably, no more than once or twice a month. This will insure that Kratom does not become a habit. In other words, kratom should be reserved as a special, but OCCASIONAL treat. By using it infrequently, you will avoid habituation and get more pleasure from it.

Are there any reported health problems?
Health problems are unlikely unless one is consuming large quantities of kratom every day. In Thailand, where there are some people who use kratom every day, those dependent on it can develop weight loss, dark pigmentation of the face, and have physical withdrawal symptoms if they quit abruptly. The withdrawal symptoms may include muscle aches, irritability, crying, runny nose, diarrhea, and muscle jerking. Health problems are unlikely to occur in occasional kratom users. Like any drug or medicine, people’s reactions vary and some people could possibly have an allergic or other unusual reaction to kratom, even if they used it responsibly.

Can kratom be combined safely with other substances?
In general, combining drugs can be risky. We recommend that kratom not be combined with yohimbine, cocaine, amphetamine-like drugs, or large doses of caffeine, because of the possibility of over-stimulation or increased blood pressure. We recommend that kratom not be combined with large amounts of alcohol, with benzodiazepines, opiates (other than possible use with red poppy tea—see below), or any other drugs that depress the nervous system. This is because of the possibility that such combinations might cause over-sedation or even possible respiratory depression (not breathing), We recommended that kratom not be combined with Syrian rue, Banesteriopsis caapi, or any other MAO inhibitor drug. Serious, even fatal, reactions can occur if MAO inhibitor drugs are combined with monoamine drugs. The combination of MAO inhibitor drugs with kratom, which contains monoamine alkaloids, has not been studied.

Certain combinations have been reported by users to be pleasant and supposedly safe. Kratom can certainly be combined with ordinary tea without risk. It has been used with a tea made from red poppy flowers (Papaver rhoeas), which itself has an extremely mild narcotic effect, and with a sedating-euphoriant tea made from ‘blue lotus’ (Nymphaea caerulea). It has been safely combined with SMALL quantities of alcohol, however large quantities of alcohol must be avoided. Some people report they like to smoke tobacco or cannabis while under the influence of kratom. But anyone smoking under the influence of kratom must be very careful not to nod off and drop lit smoking materials.

What is kratom’s legal status?
Kratom is illegal in Australia, Denmark, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), and Thailand (some of these countries impose sever penalties for possession of this herb). It is legal in most other countries, including the United States and most of Europe. Laws can and do change, so be sure that kratom is legal where you live before using it.

What are kratom’s active constituents?
There are many closely-related tryptamine alkaloids in kratom. The most important ones are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. These are primarily responsible for kratom’s pain relieving, sedative, euphoric, and stimulating effects. These alkaloids resemble yohimbine in structure, but do not have the same effects.

Is kratom use detected on drug tests?
Although kratom does contain alkaloids that bind to opiate receptors, they are structurally unrelated to opiate drugs and therefore would not be detected by opiate drug tests. It is technically possible to detect the alkaloids in kratom in body fluids, but since kratom is a legal herbal drug (in most places), it is not normally tested for.

Where can kratom be purchased?
There are a number of online merchants who sell the dried leaves, extracts, or both. One of the authors of this guide offers high-quality kratom through his online herbal products company, Sage Wisdom Botanicals. Beware of misleading labels and marketing hype. It is important to find a trustworthy source. There have been problems with some vendors selling bogus “kratom” (misrepresenting other herbs as kratom) or adulterating kratom with other herbs.

Can kratom be cultivated?
Kratom plants are available from Sage Wisdom Botanicals. They can be grown as house plants (but will have to be cut back because they can grow quite large). They prefer a humid environment. They dislike cold weather and do not tolerate frost. Potted plants can be grown outdoors in temperate climates when the weather is sufficiently warm, and grown indoors the rest of the time. Kratom can be grown outdoors all year in tropical climates. Potted plants should be lightly fertilized every few weeks, but only when actively growing. They can be propagated from cuttings.

Lachesis Mutus

This homeopathic remedy comes from the poisonous venom of the bushmaster snake. Lachesis mutus has potent effects on the blood and central nervous system.

A rare homeopathic remedy from Central and South America, Lachesis Mutus, has been prescribed for centuries as a blood thinner. This thinning quickly improves blood flow which speeds healing by removing toxins from the blood.

The poison of the bushmaster, a greatly feared snake native to Central and South America, is deadly if it enters the human bloodstream. It can paralyze the heart and central nervous system and disrupt the blood-clotting process. If the poison is injected into a muscle, it can induce server swelling. These reactions are why many people find it surprising that this snake venom is used in homeopathic medicine to treat various circulatory and nervous-system disorders. But the remedy, Lachesis mutus, is so dilute that only almost undetectable amounts of the poison remain. Like other homeopathic remedies, it is considered most effective in people who have particular modes of behavior. Before prescribing Lachesis mutus, the homeopath will look for such personality traits as strong self-confidence and a tendency toward envy and vengefulness. In addition, the remedy is often prescribed when symptoms of any ailments start on the left side and worsen after waking.

Like all snake poisons, Lachesis decomposes the blood, rendering it more fluid; hence a hemorrhagic tendency is marked. Purpura, septic states, diphtheria, and other low forms of disease, when the system is thoroughly poisoned and the prostration is profound.

The modalities are most important in guiding to the remedy. Delirium tremens with much trembling and confusion. Very important during the climacteric and for patients of a melancholic disposition. Ill effects of suppressed discharges. Diphtheritic paralysis ( Botulinum.) Diphtheria carriers. Sensation of tension in various parts. Cannot bear anything tight anywhere.
BETTER, appearance of discharges, warm applications.
WORSE, after sleep ( Kali-bich.) Lachesis sleeps INTO worse; ailments that come on during sleep (Calc.); left side, in the spring, warm bath, pressure or constriction, hot drinks. Closing eyes.

Lachesis mutus type

Two types of people are most likely to benefit from Lachesis mutus: One is slim and pale but energetic; the other is somewhat obese with a blotchy, reddish, complexion. Both types share a strong dislike of tight cloths, particularly around the neck.

To determine if you’re a Lachesis mutus type, Check those characteristics that apply to you.

You are afraid of water.
You are very jealous.
Your symptoms are aggravated by grief.
You act erratically, can’t concentrate or lose your train of thought.
You sometimes feel as if you’re suffocating or not getting enough air.
Your symptoms are worse on hot days or in stuffy rooms.
If you checked more than 3 times, turn to the back of the card for additional information about the benefits of Lachesis mutus.

Therapeutic effect
The most important effect of Lachesis mutus is its blood-thinning, or anticoagulant, function. This action enbances blood flow and facilitates the bealing process by bastening the removal of toxins from the blood. The remedy is effective against many bleeding disorders.

Principal homeopathic uses
This remedy is prescribed to ease menopausal symptoms as well as to heal skin injuries, such as an insect bite, a blistering sunburn or a slow-healing wound. Such skin ailments typically produce intense fear and anxiety in patients-one of the hallmarks of the Lachesis mutus is given internally for skin injuries, as well as for anxiety-related conditions. It alleviates a wide range of maladies marked by bleeding or by an impaired blood-clotting ability.

Preparation of the remedy
The basis of the homeopathic remedy is the fresh poison of the bushmaster snake. Like all homeopathic remedies, Lachesis mutus undergoes an extensive series of successive dilutions before being used, so that only infinitesimal amounts of the poison remain in the final preparation. Because of this extreme dilution, commercially available homeopathic preparations of it are considered to be safe; but be sure to buy from a reputable source.

Symptom gauge
To determine if Lachesis mutus is the right remedy for you, your homeopath must know if your symptoms are affected by any of the conditions listed below.

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Magnesium Sulfate

Magnesium Sulfate Relaxes Spasms

Perhaps there’s nothing more painful than sudden painful muscle spasms. Well there’s nothing more fast-acting at stopping muscle spasms and twitching than this vital mineral compound. It’s also been shown to reduce aching joint pain by 80%.

Magnesium sulfate is used for:

Treating low magnesium levels and maintaining the proper amount of magnesium in the body when used as part of intravenous (IV) feedings (eg, total parenteral nutrition [TPN]). It is also used in pregnant women to control seizures due to certain complications of pregnancy (eg, severe toxemia) and to control high blood pressure, severe brain function problems (encephalopathy), and seizures in children who have sudden, severe inflammation of the kidneys (acute nephritis).

magnesium-sulfate-relaxes-spasms

Magnesium sulfate is a mineral. It works by replacing magnesium in patients who have low magnesium levels in the body due to illness or treatment with certain medicines. Magnesium sulfate may also be used to treat seizures by decreasing certain nerve impulses to muscles.

Magnesium sulfate is an inorganic salt (chemical compound) containing magnesium, sulfur and oxygen, with the formula MgSO4. It is often encountered as the heptahydrate sulfate mineral epsomite (MgSO4·7H2O), commonly called Epsom salt, taking its name from a bitter saline spring in Epsom in Surrey, England, where the salt was produced from the springs that arise where the porous chalk of the North Downs meets non-porous London clay. The monohydrate, MgSO4·H2O is found as the mineral kieserite. The overall global annual usage in the mid-1970s of the monohydrate was 2.3 million tons, of which the majority was used in agriculture.

Anhydrous magnesium sulfate is used as a drying agent. The anhydrous form is hygroscopic (readily absorbs water from the air) and is therefore difficult to weigh accurately; the hydrate is often preferred when preparing solutions (for example, in medical preparations). Epsom salt has been traditionally used as a component of bath salts. Epsom salt can also be used as a beauty product. Athletes use it to soothe sore muscles, while gardeners use it to improve crops. It has a variety of other uses: for example, Epsom salt is also effective in the removal of splinters.

It is on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines, the most important medications needed in a basic health system.

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Menthol

Menthol is an organic compound made synthetically or obtained from corn mint, peppermint, or other mint oils. It is a waxy, crystalline substance, clear or white in color, which is solid at room temperature and melts slightly above. The main form of menthol occurring in nature is (−)-menthol, which is assigned the (1R,2S,5R) configuration. Menthol has local anesthetic and counterirritant qualities, and it is widely used to relieve minor throat irritation. Menthol also acts as a weak kappa opioid receptor agonist.

meMenthol is an ancient herbal medicine used by the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians to rapidly cool painful flare-ups in your muscles and tendons. It’s why when you use a menthol-containing cream you instantly feel cool relief to aching muscles.

What’s more, menthol actually tricks the body with its cooling touch. Menthol sends a cooling pleasing sensation to your brain that thwarts the stinging heat of inflammation. Menthol then acts fast to increase the blood flow by widening the blood vessels to reduce inflammation and pain.

Relieving minor pain caused by conditions such as arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, muscle strains or sprains, backache, bruising, and cramping. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Menthol cream is a topical analgesic. It works by temporarily relieving minor Pains.

Do NOT use menthol cream if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in menthol cream

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. No COMMON side effects have been reported with menthol cream. Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); redness or irritation at the application site.

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Naja

Naja is a genus of venomous elapid snakes known as cobras. Several other genera include species commonly called cobras (for example the rinkhals, or ring-necked spitting cobra Hemachatus haemachatus), but of all the snakes known by that name, members of the genus Naja are the most widespread and the most widely recognized as cobras. Various species occur in regions throughout Africa, Southwest Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.

220px-indiancobra

Until recently, the genus Naja had 20 to 22 species, but it has undergone several taxonomic revisions in recent years, so sources vary greatly. Wide support exists, though, for a 2009 revision that synonymised the genera Boulengerina and Paranaja with Naja. According to that revision, the genus Naja now includes 28 species.

This rare but amazingly potent homeopathic remedy from India quickly calms nerve-based pain and brings fast relief from inflammation. It’s also very effective at curing migraine headaches.

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Phosphorous

Phosphorous is the second most abundant mineral in your body. And it relieves the burning sensation of tight, painful muscles by stopping the nerves from sending pain messages to the brain. It’s especially good at helping muscles rebound after a workout.

121786Phosphorus is a chemical element with symbol P and atomic number 15. As an element, phosphorus exists in two major forms—white phosphorus and red phosphorus—but because it is highly reactive, phosphorus is never found as a free element on Earth. With few exceptions, minerals containing phosphorus are in the maximally oxidised state as inorganic phosphate rocks.

The first form of elemental phosphorus to be produced (white phosphorus, in 1669) emits a faint glow when exposed to oxygen – hence the name, taken from Greek mythology, Φωσφόρος meaning “light-bearer” (Latin Lucifer), referring to the “Morning Star”, the planet Venus (or Mercury). The term “phosphorescence”, meaning glow after illumination, originally derives from this property of phosphorus, although this word has since been used for a different physical process that produces a glow. The glow of phosphorus itself originates from oxidation of the white (but not red) phosphorus — a process now termed chemiluminescence. Together with nitrogen, arsenic, and antimony, phosphorus is classified as a pnictogen.

Phosphorus is the second most plentiful mineral in your body. The first is calcium. Your body needs phosphorus for many functions, such as filtering waste and repairing tissue and cells.

Most people get the amount of phosphorus that they need through their daily diets. In fact, it’s more common to have too much phosphorus in your body than too little. Kidney disease or eating too much phosphorus and not enough calcium can lead to an excess of phosphorous.

However, certain health conditions (such as diabetes and alcoholism) or medications (such as some antacids) can cause phosphorus levels in your body to drop too low. Phosphorus levels that are too high or too low can cause medical complications, such as heart disease, joint pain, or fatigue.

What Does Phosphorus Do?

You need phosphorus to keep your bones strong and healthy, to help make energy, and to move your muscles.

In addition, phosphorus helps to:

  • build strong bones and teeth
  • filter out waste in your kidneys
  • manage how your body stores and uses energy
  • grow, maintain, and repair tissue and cells
  • produce DNA and RNA — the body’s genetic building blocks
  • balance and use vitamins such as vitamins B and D, as well as other minerals like iodine, magnesium, and zinc
  • assist in muscle contraction
  • maintain a regular heartbeat
  • facilitate nerve conduction
  • reduce muscle pain after exercise

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Rhus Tox

Another ancient natural remedy, Rhus Tox helps to eliminate stiffness and aches in both muscles and joints. It’s good for sprains and back aches too!

Rhus tox is produced from the plant commonly known as poison ivy which grows as a shrub or a woody vine, spreading all over the countryside as a weed in the Eastern USA and Canada. The remedy was introduced into homeopathy by Hahnemann, who performed a proving which he published in the second volume of his Materia Medica Pura. The proper botanical name is now toxicodendron pubescens, but homeopaths will stick to the well known name and its abbreviation until all the anomalies in the naming of homeopathic remedies (and there are many) can be ironed out. It is a member of the anacardiaceae or sumach family of plants. Anacardium is really the only other commonly used member of this family in homeopathy, although there are quite a few others in the materia medica which are not so well known.

Poisoning
A cardinal feature of many of the sumachs is their production of sticky oils, which dry on contact with air to a black lacquer. In Anacardium, this gives the name “marking nut”, as it is produced from the ink-like substance just below the rind of the covering of the nut which has been used to mark clothes for laundry. In Rhus tox, the lacquering oil induces allergic skin reactions in previously sensitised individuals. Up to 50 per cent of the population of the USA, where poison ivy is endemic, is sensitive to the oil and much advice is available (for example on the internet) about avoiding rhus poisoning.

The oil, which binds to skin after even the slightest contact (even stroking a dog that has brushed past a poison ivy plant is enough) is called urushiol, after the Japanese word for lacquer. In Japan, another toxicodendron tree produces a lacquer used, for example, under applications of gold leaf to the Golden Temple in Kyoto. The oil is extremely potent, with only a nanogram needed to induce reaction in an individual, so just a quarter of an ounce would be enough to cause itching in every person on Earth! It is normal for the oil to stay fully active for five years even from dead plants. Samples of urushiol several centuries old have been found to cause at least an itch in some people.

Most people do not have a skin reaction to first exposure. In those who do, it can take seven to ten days to develop. Subsequent exposure, after this initial priming of the immune system to “recognise” the oil, induces a strong skin reaction within half a day to two days. There is inflammation, intense blistering and intolerable itching of the skin which continues for several days before healing and resolving.

Burning the plant releases urushiol into the air and can induce severe reactions in the lungs and eyes, so firefighters at bush fires can be at serious risk without protective equipment in regions where rhus is common. Notice that urushiol itself is not actually poisonous, except insofar as it induces an allergic response. The damage is done by the sufferer’s own immune system!

Rhus tox is a very “big” homeopathic remedy. By this I mean that it has many symptoms recorded in the homeopathic literature (repertories and materiae medicae). Out of 1600 remedies described in a large repertory – The Complete Millennium – Rhus tox is at number 11 when the remedies are listed by number of symptoms described, with 11,400 entries. The areas which stand out for the remedy in the repertory are concerned with the limbs, with disturbed sleep, with fevers and with the skin.

Restlessness
Describing the plant and its oil leads on to the ideas or themes in the illnesses that the remedy made from it might be homeopathically used to treat. The plant spreads rapidly across uncovered ground and up supports such as trees, via long stems and aerial rootlets. It takes many different forms, as a vine, a shrub or a bush and even produces different forms of stem and leaf from the same root-stock. Dr Gibson, in hisStudies of Homeopathic Materia Medica describes Rhus tox as a “restless plant”. This shows a major characteristic theme of the remedy; it is one of the most restless of remedies.

People who might be helped by Rhus tox for example, have joint pains which have to be relieved by very regular movements. They cannot sit in the chair in the consulting room for more than a few minutes before getting up for a short walk and a stretch. They toss and turn all night, unable to find one position comfortable for long. When they are still for a while and do get some sleep, waking up is very painful as the relative immobility of the night has quickly rendered them extremely stiff. Thus the first few minutes of the day are spent “limbering up”. Once a little flexibility is restored to the joints, the pain lessens considerably and they can continue their restless search for comfort through the day – the right balance of action and rest.

There is a particular kind of restlessness caused by a stiffness of the neck which can only be relieved by stretching it and moving the head about. There may be accompanying headache relieved by the stretching. Pains in general are better for heat (eg a hot bath or shower) and worse for cold and damp. Similar modalities apply to the severe lower back pain experienced by some who are helped by Rhus tox. This also has the characteristic of being better from lying on a hard surface.

As a “general” symptom, this restlessness can feature in areas other than the purely physical. If a constant need for motion suggests an external restlessness, so we can talk of the restless mind that just can’t settle, there is an internal restlessness. Part of the picture in someone helped by Rhus tox might be restless dreams of great exertions like swimming or rowing, or of working hard in their occupation or of “roaming over fields”. Sleep is interrupted too by pains and by anxieties or illogical apprehensions that something bad is going to happen. Anxiety might drive someone out of bed and there may even be fear of going to sleep. In fact all symptoms are worse at night, another important general feature. This must in some part be responsible for the recorded moroseness at night, when bad things from the past come back to haunt the sufferer.

The restlessness can be seen in tossing and turning during fevers. Rhus tox is disproportionately highly represented in the sections of the repertory that deal with chills, fevers and perspiration (which mostly date from the pre-antibiotic days when the exact pattern of fever was an important observation to make in a sick person). It should be thought of when restless states with a high fever particularly worsen at night, for example in ’flu.

Stiffness
A few moments reflection on the nature of the poison ivy oil might help to explain the very well known joint and muscular stiffness associated with illnesses which are helped by Rhus tox. On contact with air and with the skin, a lacquer is produced. A lacquer is an inflexible, shiny, stiff film. One could image a joint coated in a lacquer being very difficult to get moving at first, but becoming freer with repeated movements. This is exactly the Rhus tox situation. Whenever initial movement is difficult, stiff and painful, but continued movement eases, Rhus tox is likely to be helpful.

In arthritis, this easing will often be followed (perhaps later in the day) by a worsening again as tiredness begins to take its toll. Rhus tox pain is classically worse in the cold and especially the damp and better for warmth. This sounds like an awful lot of sufferers’ arthritis and so Rhus tox is very widely successful in joint problems. It has often been said that it is too easy to give Rhus tox in arthritis. The detail is the important thing. Careful attention to the story might show most of these features, but actually the pain is better immediately on movement, rather than there being an initial aggravation before relief. The remedy Rhododendron might turn out to be more appropriate in this situation. Really extreme damp sensitivity in the joints (“I can predict the rain the day before it comes”) could well be best helped by Dulcamara.

If we go on to think about what the general characteristic of “stiffness” might mean on a mental plane, we can see that some people who do well with Rhus tox can be emotionally unbending, with a tendency to hold feelings back; they find it difficult to respond to others. In the end, when they are worn out by all the pains, this can turn into fixed ideas and superstition.

Skin
A very frequent use of Rhus tox is to help blistering skin diseases. The analogy is with the itchy, painful rash produced by contact of the plant sap with the skin of a sensitive individual. Thus, it is a major remedy to help the pain of shingles, which is caused by a herpes virus. Many homeopathically trained GPs use Rhus tox as their first line treatment for cold sores around the lips, also herpetic in origin, but any inflamed, intensely itchy rash, especially if there are fluid-filled blisters (like some forms of eczema) can benefit. The itch is often better from bathing with scalding hot water.

There are other features which are hard to fit into this analogical approach (looking at the characteristics of the way the remedy substance fits into the natural world and comparing it with the way a disease fits into a human life). A feature of Rhus tox is said to be that there may be a bright red tip to the tongue. On the food desires front, there can be a craving for cold drinks and especially cold milk.

Research indicates that approximately 80% of all of us are presently suffering or have suffered from back pain. Reasons people see their doctor are #1 Back Pain; #2 Headaches.

The first remedy that comes to mind when discussing back pain, arthritis, aches and pain is the remedy RHUS TOX.

Rhus tox is often the remedy in Backache, Body aches during flu, Lumbago, Rheumatism, Sprains. Whether the pain is from an old injury or not, consider Rhus tox. Lifting heavy loads that cause bruised and sprained pains. Overlifting, with the sudden “crick” in the back, with pain worse with raising arms above the head.

KEYNOTE: STIFFNESS

WORSE– in the morning, yearly and weather change aggravation, cold and damp weather, overexertion.

BETTER– with movement, as the muscles start to warm up as one walks and does gentle exercises, warm, dry weather, rubbing the painful areas, change of position. Rhus tox people are restless since change of position improves their pain. Rhus tox nickname is “Rusty Hinge” and Rhus tox is often referred to as the “Rusty Gate Remedy”. The back stiffens up after sitting still for awhile. This is also why mornings and initial motion are such an acute aggravations.

Rhus Toxicodendron, Rhus Tox, is the #1 arthritis and joint remedy. Keynote is: pain is better after the person is up, moving about and muscles and joints are warm.

Remember Rhus Tox for the flu season! Keynotes are flu symptoms with general aches in the muscles, joints, and bones.

Rhus Tox is from Poison Ivy. Rhus Tox is a remedy for skin ailments such as, shingles hives, fever blisters, chicken pox, poison ivy , and rashes with poison ivy appearance.
Keynote is: red spots, very itchy, with burning and swollen vesicles.

Rhus Tox main features:
Muscle sprains, strains
Joint stiffness
Restlessness (physically and mentally)
Better with motion
Worse first thing in the morning
Coughs from midnight til morning
Skin ailments, red, itchy, with swelling

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Tramasol

What is Tramasol™

Tramasol™ combines 540 mg of two alkaloids that act as analgesics, and 60 mg of C6H8O6 or ascorbic acid. The chemical composition of Tramasol™ contains the following: 7-hydroxymitragynine, Mitragynine pseudoindoxyl, Raubasine, Corynantheidine, and Rhynchophyline.

The chemical name for Tramasol™ is Mitragynine + 7-hydroxymitragynine + C6H8O6. Tramasol™ is a bitter, crystalline and odorless powder pressed into 600 mg capsules.

Usage

Tramasol™ provides superior pain relief from a variety of immediate and chronic pain triggers such as migraines, muscle pain, back pain, and more. It contains powerful alkaloids such as mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, which react with the human brain by tapping into the sensors that receive pain signals and define mood patterns. Tramasol™ can be used either as a stimulant or depressant, depending on the approved dosage. Tramasol™ is also rich in C6H8O6, or ascorbic acid, whose antioxidant properties help boost the immune system, thus giving you a faster recovery time.

Tramasol™ is an effective analgesic or painkiller, and chronic pain patients have reported experiencing little to no side effects while using Tramasol™. This provides patients with a better option compared to alternative prescription drugs in the market today.

Tramasol™ can also be used to relieve the symptoms of opiate withdrawal because of its superior pain-relieving powers and chemically identical effects on the brain as opiates. Tramasol™ contains potent alkaloids that are more effective than morphine. When taken at the right dosage, it can be used to transition to a healthier lifestyle without harmful drawbacks or withdrawals.

How Does it Work?

There are 28 known naturally occurring alkaloids found in Tramasol™, and these alkaloids work together to produce powerful pain-relieving effects. The most dominant alkaloids are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, both of which act as opioid receptor agonists. Aside from pain relief, the alkaloids in Tramasol™ also work on stimulating one’s cognitive abilities and enhancing overall mood.

Mitragynine

Mitragynine consists of the majority of Tramasol™’s alkaloid content. While mitragynine’s effects will vary from person to person, here are the most common effects to be expected from this alkaloid:

  • Pain relief
  • Stimulation
  • Anti-malarial
  • Anti-diarrheal
  • Anti-tussive

Of these effects, the two most prominent are stimulation and pain relief. When you feel a sudden burst of energy or liveliness after taking Tramasol™, it is mostly the mitragynine working.

Mitragynine’s effects vary greatly depending on the dosage. At lower doses, mitragynine tends to be more stimulating. At increased doses, mitragynine can produce a calming effect that is good for treating pain.

Mitragynine has varying effects because it works with three different receptors in the brain. The effects that you feel vary according to how much mitragynine has interacted with these sensors.

When reacting with the adrenergic receptors, mitragynine is mainly a stimulant because it releases adrenaline into your body’s system.

When mitragynine interacts with mu opioid receptors, its primary effects are mostly for pain relief.

7-hydroxymitragynine

Although there is only very little of this alkaloid in Tramasol™, this is the most potent of them all. Unlike mitragynine, this alkaloid acts only in a very small area, thus making it act quicker and stronger.