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 Post subject: Herbal Medicines are Psychoactive, Too.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2001 10:05 pm 
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Do clams take St. John's Wort these days? If so, they're doing much the same treatment as Prozac, a drug they despise as a "psych" drug.

The Skeptical Inquirer (Jan/Feb 2001, page 43) has an article: "Psychoactive Herbal Medications: How do we know they work?"

The article is surprising positive about the effectiveness of several herbal meds ( I have simplified and summarized the points below - the article is much more scientific):

St. John's Wort: contains hyperforin, which blocks re-uptake of the neurotransmitters (1)SEROTONIN, (2) NOREPINEPHRIN and (3) DOPAMINE. In layman's terms, it's like putting your hand ("blocking" or "reinhibiting" ) over a vaccum cleaner nozzle that's trying TOO hard to remove ("reuptake" ) these important chemicals from your brain.

(1) Psych drugs that block reuptake of SEROTONIN:
Prozac
Zoloft
Paxil

(2)Psych drugs that block reuptake of serotonin and NOREPINEPHRIN are called Tricyclic Antidepressants:

Anafranil
Elavil
Aventyl
Norpramin
Tofranil
Source for (1) and (2):
http://www.wellmother.com/articles/antidepressants_pregnancy.htm

(3) Wellbutrin and Zyban (for quitting smoking!)are DOPAMINE uptake reinhibitors.

Source: http://www.fpnotebook.com/PSY133.htm

One drug blocks reuptake of ALL THREE neurotransmitters:
EFFEXOR blocks serotonin and norepinephrin reuptake into the neuron (which keeps it in the synapse longer which lets it have more of an effect on the mood receptors). At low doses, it only blocks serotonin reuptake so it acts exactly like an SSRI (which is why it made you feel like the SSRI's did). At medium doses it blocks both serotonin and norepinephrine (and acts like a tricyclic antidepressant) and at very high doses it blocks monoamines like dopamine (so it acts like an MAOI and also like Wellbutrin). So it is a very complex drug and is many drugs in one, depending on the dose.
Source:
http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/19981201/msgs/1574.html


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2001 10:23 pm 
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The herb Ginkgo is psychoactive, too. One of its effects is to increase the activity of acetylcholine, "a crucial neurotransmitter in memory and other cognitive abilities" according to the Skeptical Enquirer, which also says "its effects are comparable to those of the drug tacrine or Cognex."

According to this website the primary drug to increase acetylcholine is tacrine.
http://www.raysahelian.com/acetylch.html

And here is a site for the drug tacrine (Cognex).

http://musom.marshall.edu/CHH/DrugInfo/Review/tacrine.htm

Note: I think it's fine if Scientologists take herbal medicines. I do think it's hypocritical of them to be gulping pills while they demonize very similar "psych" drugs."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2001 11:15 pm 
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Ginseng is psychoactive too!

Panax ginseng (the real stuff) contains ginsenosides, which increase acetylcholine for memory and problem solving (described above in the post about ginkgo). Ginseng also stimulates receptors for acetylcholine. So your brain is HOPPING with acetylcholine; luckily ginseng doesn't seem harmful or addictive. When I took ginseng in my twenties it made me jumpy and interfered with sleep, though I WAS more energetic. I stopped it right away so I could sleep better. The Skeptical Inquirer commented on the need for more controlled human trials on this powerful medicine.

So you Scientologists taking ginseng are getting drug-like effects from this "herb" too.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2001 11:36 pm 
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Kava: the last psychoactive drug in the Skeptical Inquirer article:

QUOTES FROM ARTICLE: "Kava is a plant native to the South Pacific islands. It is known traditionally for its relaxing properties, and producing a calm but alert state. "

Kava contains kavapyrones, which "enhance action of the neurotransmitter GABA, which has a calming effect on brain activity" ..."Valium and Xanax also enhance the actions of GABA."

"One study found it...equivalent... to Serax..." (Serax is an anti-anxiety drug like Valium)

"Given its neuropharmcological mechanisms, combination of kava with other sedative drugs, including ethanol (alcohol), is not recommended."
END OF QUOTES

Here is a site about GABA and how too low levels of it can trigger a seizure.
http://www.sfn.org/briefings/epilepsy.html

QUOTE: Sometimes, however, the system crashes. Normally each neuron affects only a limited number of other cells. If a sufficient amount of GABA is lacking, however, the system goes out of whack, and tens of thousands of neurons send messages rapidly, intensely and simultaneously, resulting in a seizure. The enzymes that normally work to keep GABA at a satisfactory level may, under some abnormal conditions, actually trigger the message onslaught by keeping the levels of GABA too low. END QUOTE

So I guess it's GOOD to have your GABA high. But monkeying with GABA seems to be a serious business.

I remember a woman mixing Valium with alcohol and going into an irreversible coma in the 1970's. Better not mix Kava with alcohol!

So all you Scientologists taking any of these four "natural" "herbal" medicines, (St. John's Wort, Ginkgo, Ginseng, or Kava) report at once to Ethics! ;)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2001 11:20 pm 
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Alcohol also increases dopamine levels in the brain. Now all you American Scientologists enjoying that beer - how can you call yourself "drug free?" What makes you superior to anybody taking the prescription "psych" drug Wellbutrin, whose main effect is to increase dopamine, too?

http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/alcohol/alcohol_media1.shtml

Here's a little discussion of dopamine - the "pleasure" neurotransmitter:
http://www.utexas.edu/research/asrec/dopamine.html

P.S. I like a good brew myself - in moderation of course. I just don't like Scientology's hypocrisy.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2001 11:47 pm 
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Coffee, tea, chocolate, cola - psychoactive, too? ...noooo...life...not... worth...living:

http://www.musclephysique.com/methylxanthines_effects.html

QUOTE:
CAFFEINE:
Sources: Coffee, tea, cola nuts, mate, guarana.
Effects: Stimulant of central nervous system, cardiac muscle, and respiratory system, diuretic Delays fatigue.

THEOPHYLLINE:
Sources: Tea
Effects: Cardiac stimulant, smooth muscle relaxant, diuretic, vasodilator

THEOBROMINE:
Sources: Cocoa bean (1.5-3%) Cola nuts and tea
Effects: Diuretic, smooth muscle relaxant, cardiac stimulant, vasodilator. END QUOTE.

Caffeine is the world's most popular psychoactive drug, of course. And theobromine has been in the news as similar to the chemical your brain makes when you are infatuated, which explains the Valentine's Day-chocolate connection. I had NEVER heard of theophylline in tea. Jeez, you learn something every day.

Again, I'm not preaching that there's anything WRONG with people who drink a cuppa coffee, tea or cocoa. I just wish to point out that Scientologists may be sipping coffee as they work late at night to attack the evils of prescription "psych" drugs.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2001 2:01 am 
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So all you tea-drinkers - do you wonder why you like to SIT DOWN and TALK when you drink tea?

It's because you are ingesting a MUSCLE RELAXANT (theophylline) and a SIMULANT (caffeine).

And whenever I've had decaf tea, it really relaxed my muscles, so I think decaf tea still has the full amount of theophylline still in it.

And I LIKE tea and still intend to drink it. It has a lot of beneficial substances, too. I just won't be kidding myself: now I know even decaf tea is not "drug-free."

And you green tea drinkers - black tea is just fermented green tea -it should have similar side effects on your brain and muscles.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2001 2:42 am 
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This just in: Nicotine-dopamine addiction story in Discover magazine, April 2001, page 16:

NIK FIX STICKS QUICK

QUOTE: More evidence of the addictive power of nicotine. Researchers at the University of Chicago have found that just a single cigarette's worth of the tobacco-smoke compound can cause dramatic, lasting changes in the brain.

Neurobiologists Daniel MGehee and Huibert Mansvelder found that nicotine binds to receptors on a group of neurons in a part of lab rats' brains called the reward area, which plays an important role in addiction. These neurons release a chemical that prompts other cells to produce copious amounts of the feel-good hormone dopamine. A one-time exposure to nicotine is all it takes to strengthen the communication between the neurons and the other cells, leaving a chemical memory of the drug - and a desire to repeat that first heady buzz...END QUOTE

COMMENT: Wow, the drug leaves a chemical memory - maybe that's where Hubbard, a nicotine addict, got his idea about "engrams." Again, dopamine enhancers strike again. Just like Wellbutrin, a "psych drug."

Hubbard liked to enhance his dopamine, and not just with alcohol, but with amphetamines and cocaine, both of which increase brain dopamine levels.
QUOTE:
"I have personal knowledge that my father regularly used illegal drugs including amphetamines, barbituates and hallucinogens. He regularly used cocaine, peyote, and mescaline." --- Ronald DeWolf a.k.a. L. Ron Hubbard, Jr. Affadavit in Schaick v. Church of Scientology, US District Court Mass., No. 79-2491
END QUOTE


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2001 3:00 am 
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Gambling and dopamine: Miscavige was observed gambling. hmmm...

Lots of links between the two:
http://www.gamblingmagazine.com/articles/15/15-412.htm
QUOTE: Gambling changes hormone levels in the body Gambling can be as addictive as smoking, drinking and drug taking, say researchers.

A team from the University of Bremen studied the physical changes that took place in men playing the card game blackjack.

Their findings run contrary to the belief of many addiction researchers who refuse to accept that behaviour can be physiologically addictive.

New Scientist magazine reports that the German researchers recruited ten gamblers from a casino and asked them to play blackjack, staking their own money.

While the gamblers played, the researchers measured changes in their heart rates and levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their saliva.

He then asked them to play for points rather than money, as a "control" situation.

Both heart rates and cortisol concentrations were markedly higher when the gamblers played for money.

Lead researcher Dr Gerhard Meyer conceded that the study did not provide definitive proof that gambling is addictive.

This is because there is no proof that raised cortisol levels necessarily has an impact on key chemicals in the brain such as dopamine.

However, he pointed out that the gamblers themselves report feeling surges of euphoria when they place bets.

Echoes of drug addiction

This echoes the euphoria experienced by drug takers, which results from a surge of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin in the brain. END QUOTE

Another link:

http://www.addictions.net/treating.htm
QUOTE:
Not everyone who gambles develops a gambling problem, and not all problem gamblers become clinically diagnosable as pathological gamblers...
The neurobiological malfunction most often cited in the literature is this dysfunction of the reward system, whereby the levels of released dopamine decrease to a point where further addictive behaviors, in this case gambling, appear to remedy temporarily, or self medicate, the deficiency. END QUOTE

So Miscavige - there's hope! Find a safer, cheaper way to raise your dopamine levels! Ask your doctor about Wellbutrin or Zyban! If you smoke, it can help you quit, too. Save that money - you'll need it for all the lawsuits!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2001 12:04 pm 
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Don Carlo - I think you did a good job summarizing the characteristics of some of the 'herbal' drugs that are commonly availlable.

Although not by any stretch of the imagination limited to Scientologists, the perception that 'herbal' or 'natural' substances are inherently better for you than pharamaceuticals is naive. The use of St. John's Wort as an anti-depressant is a good example. While the flower does appear to contain 2 or 3 chemicals (among the thousands of different molecules in the plant) that act on serotonin, nor-epinephrine (nor-adrenalin) and possibly other neurotransmitter systems, one can never be totally assured of the potency, purity, and most importantly, specificity of action of the herbal preparation.

In contrast, pharmaceutical drugs tested quite thorougly for purity and potency during their manufacture and the search is endless for a 'better product' that has less side effects and better treatment effects. While the science behind pharmaceuticals is good, the down side is that the pharmaceutical industry is ultimately responsible for the health of its profits and it is a seller's market (i.e., drugs are expensive) and aggresively marketed.

Reading about the asbestos exposure of Scientologists aboard the Ship Freewinds, it occurs to me that asbestos, a calcium, magnesium, and silicon based familly of minerals, is close chemical relative of the Scientology cocktail 'CalMag' and therefore like smoking and radiation, pose no threat to thetoons.

The Boston Phoenix newspaper has a current article on the 'Herbal Speed' Ephedrine. Wasn't this the stuff that the LA Weekly reported that Kirstie Alley and Jenna Elfman were snorting in a theater? Link to Boston Phoenix article: "Speed demons -- More than ever, people are swallowing ephedrine, a legal, herb-derived stimulant"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2001 8:22 pm 
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Location: USA
Hi Don Carlo, Pippi,

Interesting thread.

I'd just like to add that theophylline is a drug that has been used for many years to treat asthma. (It works very well as a bronchodialator.) Just thought you might want to add that to your list.

This is why many asthmatics will get relief from mild symptoms by drinking a cup of coffee or tea or other caffinated beverage.

Anyway, just another fact....

Daffy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2001 1:03 pm 
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Posts: 1025
Location: Oslo, Norway
I saw an interview with a woman on
Swedish TV. She had a shop where you
could buy all kinds of herbs and different
types of health products.
And she said that calcium in large quantities,
makes a person depressed. (she didn`t say
how large)
In scientology they have what they call
CAL-MAG, which is a mixture of
calcium, magnesium and vinegar.

CAL-MAG is taken every day when you do
the sauna program(Purification RD).

It is recommended when one gets auditing.

And I knew people in scientology who
took it regulary, some every day.

What if one recomend CAL-MAG to a person,
and he takes it every day and becomes
some what depressed. The depression is
explained as a phenomenon that can occur
when one is in an auditing cycle, and the person
quits CAL-MAG before the auditing cycle
is ended. The depression goes away again
and then the auditing cycle is ended,
and the person thinks that the auditing
cycle helped him.

Another thing is that depressed people
has less motion, less GO, and thus
easier to control.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2001 1:26 pm 
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Posts: 732
I don't know anything specifically about Scientology's use of CALMAG, but off the top of my head I would guess that the vinegar (acetic acid) reacts with the calcium and magnesium salts (CaCO3 ? MgCO3?) to produce more soluble acetate salts (a waste of vinegar since the stomach's hydrochloric acids will do the essentially same thing.

As for the health effects -- I'll wing it; calcium and magnesium (and sodium and potassium) are vital ions for the functioning of the nervous system, but alterations from 'normal' levels have disastrous effects! The body can work very hard at maintaining proper levels (homeostatic regulation) but if you overload your body with more than can be excreted ... you'll end up with an electrolyte imbalance (fatal if severe enough).

Note that the body mainly depends on urine to excrete excess electrolytes (salts) and if the body's water balance is further compromised, excessive sweating for example (don't Scientologists spend 14 hours a day in sauna's during the purification rundown?) ... well, what can I say?

The consequences of electrolyte imbalance and dehydration (note that the excess concentrations of electrolytes is tantamount to dehydration) are well known and include 'depression'.

Again, I am winging this from general knowledge (I am a physiological psychologist).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2001 6:29 am 
What about sugar, coffee, and the water we drink? If you start pinpointing you need to look at most of the things we consume as humans. They all seem to have some affect on the body.
I would rather take what was put on this Earth to help us. Read the book Back to Eden. She quotes what is needed to help man physically is put on this Earth for us to use. Man is the one who started mixing his chemicals.
This is something the American Indians believed. They used herbs. Then the white man introduced them to booze.

Annomnity


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2001 10:08 am 
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Location: Sweden
Re Cal-Mag and electrolyte imbalance:

First, Hubbard's reason for using vinegar in the cal-mag formula was that calcium (in the form of calcium gluconate) should be in an acidic environment to be absorbed by the body, while the magnesium (magnesium carbonate) is alkaline, and thus he thought you needed to add extra acid for the formula to work. It's only very mildly acidid though, 15 ml of apple cider vinegar to a glass (about 250 ml) of water. The stomach juice is much more acidid (as anyone who ever had "heartburn" has experienced!) Is stomach acid caustic enough to burn the skin?

Scientologists on the Purif do not spend 14 hours a day in the sauna - the recommended time is 4.5 hours, which is bad enough. Apart from the daily dosages of vitamins, there are recommendations of taking certain minerals in the form of tablets. You start the Purif program on a lower dosage, and gradually increase towards a maximum dosage. Recommended daily dosages,
maximum dosage (start dosage):
Calcium: 2500-3000 mg (500-1000 mg)
Magnesium: 1250-1500 mg (250-500 mg)
Iron: 90-108 mg (18-36 mg)
Zinc: 75-90 mg (15-30 mg)
Manganese: 20-24 mg (4-8 mg)
Copper: 10-12 mg (2-4 mg)
Potassium: 225-270 mg (45-90 mg)
Iodine: 1.125-1.350 mg (.225-.450 mg)

In addition, you drink CalMag, starting with 1 to 1.5 glasses daily, and working towards 2 to 3 glasses daily. Each glass contains 15 ml of calcium gluconate (9 percent calcium) and 2.5 ml of magnesium carbonate (29 percent magnesium), I don't know how many milligrams that makes.

You are also told that tablets of extra sodium chloride (table salt) and potassium gluconate should be taken if the person while in the sauna starts to feel tiredness, weakness, clammy skin, nausea etc.

(Data above comes from the book "Clear Body Clear Mind", it's also found in various Hubbard bulletins)


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