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  1. #1
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    Hello, I've surfed across some very interesting information on the following herbs for use in reducing anxiety. Please let us know if you have any experience or other information on these. The Gotu Kola study on the accoustic startle response in healthy subjects is particularly interesting to me. Here is the info I found on these three herbs:



    <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Ashwagandha</span>



    Ashwagandha is sometimes called "Indian ginseng," not because it's related botanically (it's closer to potatoes and tomatoes), but because its traditional uses were similar. Like ginseng, ashwagandha was thought to be a "tonic herb" capable of generally strengthening the body





    "Anxiolytic-antidepressant activity of Withania somnifera glycowithanolides: an experimental study".



    Bhattacharya SK, Bhattacharya A, Sairam K, Ghosal S.



    Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India. salil@banaras.ernet.in



    The roots of Withania somnifera (WS) are used extensively in Ayurveda, the classical Indian system of medicine, and WS is categorized as a rasayana, which are used to promote physical and mental health, to provide defence against disease and adverse environmental factors and to arrest the aging process. WS has been used to stabilize mood in patients with behavioural disturbances. The present study investigated the anxiolytic and antidepressant actions of the bioactive glycowithanolides (WSG), isolated from WS roots, in rats. WSG (20 and 50 mg/kg) was administered orally once daily for 5 days and the results were compared by those elicited by the benzodiazepine lorazepam (0.5 mg/kg, i.p.) for anxiolytic studies, and by the tricyclic anti-depressant, imipramine (10 mg/kg, i.p.), for the antidepressant investigations. Both these standard drugs were administered once, 30 min prior to the tests. WSG induced an anxiolytic effect, comparable to that produced by lorazepam, in the elevated plus-maze, social interaction and feeding latency in an unfamiliar environment, tests. Further, both WSG and lorazepam, reduced rat brain levels of tribulin, an endocoid marker of clinical anxiety, when the levels were increased following administration of the anxiogenic agent, pentylenetetrazole. WSG also exhibited an antidepressant effect, comparable with that induced by imipramine, in the forced swim-induced 'behavioural despair' and 'learned helplessness' tests. The investigations support the use of WS as a mood stabilizer in clinical conditions of anxiety and depression in Ayurveda.





    <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Passion Flower</span>



    Historical or traditional use (may or may not be supported by scientific studies): The historical use of passion flower is not dissimilar to its current use as a mild sedative. Medicinal use of the herb did not begin until the late 19th century in the United States. Passion flower was used to treat nervous restlessness and gastrointestinal spasms. In short, the effects of passion flower were believed to be primarily on the nervous system, particularly for anxiety due to mental worry and overwork

    The alkaloids harman and harmaline found in passionflower have been found to act somewhat like the drugs known as MAO inhibitors.





    "Passionflower in the treatment of generalized anxiety: a pilot double-blind randomized controlled trial with oxazepam."



    Akhondzadeh S, Naghavi HR, Vazirian M, Shayeganpour A, Rashidi H, Khani M.



    Roozbeh Psychiatric Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, South Kargar Avenue, Tehran, Iran. s.akhond@neda.net



    OBJECTIVE: Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is a folk remedy for anxiety. A double-blind randomized trial compared the efficacy of Passiflora incarnata extract with oxazepam in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder. METHODS: The study was performed on 36 out-patients diagnosed with GAD using DSM IV criteria. Patients were allocated in a random fashion: 18 to the Passiflora extract 45 drops/day plus placebo tablet group, and 18 to oxazepam 30 mg/day plus placebo drops for a 4-week trial. RESULTS: Passiflora extract and oxazepam were effective in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder. No significant difference was observed between the two protocols at the end of trial. Oxazepam showed a rapid onset of action. On the other hand, significantly more problems relating to impairment of job performance were encountered with subjects on oxazepam. CONCLUSION: The results suggest that Passiflora extract is an effective drug for the management of generalized anxiety disorder, and the low incidence of impairment of job performance with Passiflora extract compared to oxazepam is an advantage. A large-scale trial is justified.





    "Anti-anxiety studies on extracts of Passiflora incarnata Linneaus."



    Dhawan K, Kumar S, Sharma A.



    Pharmacognosy Division, University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Panjab University, 160014, Chandigarh, India.



    Passiflora incarnata Linn. has been used to cure anxiety and insomnia since time immemorial. Despite the worldwide use of P. incarnata, the pharmacological work on this plant had been inadequate, inconclusive and wage as the earlier reports were unable to infer the mode of action of the plant as well as the phytoconstituents responsible for the much acclaimed anxiolytic and sedative effects of P. incarnata. An attempt has been made to isolate and identify the bioactive phytomoiety of P. incarnata by resorting to bioactivity directed fractionation and chromatographic procedures. A fraction derived from the methanol extract of P. incarnata has been observed to exhibit significant anxiolytic activity at a dose of 10 mg/kg in mice using elevated plus-maze model of anxiety. This fraction comprises mainly two components which are visible as blue and turquoise colored fluorescent spots at 366 nm of the UV light. The possibility of a phytoconstituent having benzoflavone nucleus as the basic moiety being responsible for the bioactivity of P. incarnata is highly anticipated.





    <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Gotu Kola</span>



    Gotu kola is a creeping plant native to subtropical and tropical climates. Gotu kola has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine (the traditional medicine of India) to promote wound healing and slow the progress of leprosy. It was also reputed to prolong life, increase energy, and enhance sexual potency.1 Other uses of gotu kola included treating skin diseases, anxiety, diarrhea, menstrual disorders, vaginal discharge, and venereal disease.





    "A double-blind, placebo-controlled study on the effects of Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) on acoustic startle response in healthy subjects."



    Bradwejn J, Zhou Y, Koszycki D, Shlik J.



    Royal Ottawa Hospital and the Department of Psychiatry, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. jbradwej@rohcg.on.ca



    Investigations of the pharmacologic profile of medicinal plants have revealed that a number of plants with purported anxiolytic activity bind to cholecystokinin (CCK) receptors. This finding is intriguing in view of the proposed involvement of CCK in the pathophysiology of fear and anxiety. This double-blind, placebo-controlled study was undertaken to evaluate the anxiolytic activity of Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) in healthy subjects. Gotu Kola has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine to alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. Recent studies in the rat have shown that long-term pretreatment with Gotu Kola decreases locomotor activity, enhances elevated-plus maze performance, and attenuates the acoustic startle response (ASR). In this study, the authors evaluated the effects of Gotu Kola on the ASR in humans. Subjects were randomly assigned to receive either a single 12-g orally administered dose of Gotu Kola (N = 20) or placebo (N = 20). The results revealed that compared with placebo, Gotu Kola significantly attenuated the peak ASR amplitude 30 and 60 minutes after treatment. Gotu Kola had no significant effect on self-rated mood, heart rate, or blood pressure. These preliminary findings suggest that Gotu Kola has anxiolytic activity in humans as revealed by the ASR. It remains to be seen whether this herb has therapeutic efficacy in the treatment of anxiety syndromes.





    "[Effect of total triterpenes from Centella asiatica on the depression behavior and concentration of amino acid in forced swimming mice]"



    [Article in Chinese]



    Chen Y, Han T, Qin L, Rui Y, Zheng H.



    School of Pharmacy, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433.



    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the antidepressant activity of total triterpenes from Centella asiatica in forced swimming test. METHODS: Mice were randomly divided into control group, model group and treatment group. The effect of total triterpenes from Centella asiatica on the immobility time in forced swimming mice and concentration of amino acid in mice brain tissue was observed. RESULTS: Imipramine and total triterpenes from Centella asiatica reduced the immobility time and ameliorated the imbalance of amino acid levels. CONCLUSION: The total triterpenes from Centella asiatica had antidepressant activity.
    Just because I do not want something to happen -- does not mean that I need to fear it.

    Anxiety is just a tool that one uses in times of uncertainty. There are many other tools readily available that one would be better off learning to use.

    What is the greatness of man -- other than unjust classifications and imbalanced optimizations?

  2. #2
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    Passion Flower does appear to have some affinity for the GABA receptor complex, although the flavanoid studied was chrysin, which of course was sort of a flop as an aromatase inhibitor, but who knows, might be more effective for anxiety:



    Behavioral characterisation of the flavonoids apigenin and chrysin.



    Zanoli P, Avallone R, Baraldi M.



    Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Modena and Reggio Emilia University, Modena, Italy. zanoli.paola@unimo.it



    The behavioral effects of acute administration of two flavonoids, apigenin and chrysin, contained in Matricaria chamomilla and in Passiflora incarnata, respectively, were studied in rats. The data demonstrate that in our experimental conditions, the two flavonoids were equally able to reduce locomotor activity when injected in rats at a minimal effective dose of 25 mg/kg. However, while chrysin exhibited a clear anxiolytic effect when injected at the dose of 1 mg/kg, apigenin failed to exert this activity. The sedative effect of these flavonoids cannot be ascribed to an interaction with GABA-benzodiazepine receptors, since it was not counteracted by the benzodiazepine antagonist Flumazenil. To the contrary, the anxiolytic effect of chrysin, which was blocked by the injection of Flumazenil, could be linked to an activation of the GABA(A) receptor unit.

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    Ashwanga has anti-anxiety effects, as well as clear nootropic effects that are little more long term.



    It is a bit of a coincidence I suppose, but yesterday I went to one of the many indian grocery stores here and I asked specifically for Ashwanga. They not only had them in pill form, but also in small bottles in powder form.



    At $2.99CDN for a 60g bottle of Ashwanga root powder (real powder, fine and capable of being capped), the price was so fair I bought 8 bottles.



    I never asked for Bacopa, but I really didn't know if that was an Indian herb.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Novick' date='Sep 21 2004, 08:20 AM
    Passion Flower does appear to have some affinity for the GABA receptor complex, although the flavanoid studied was chrysin, which of course was sort of a flop as an aromatase inhibitor, but who knows, might be more effective for anxiety:



    Behavioral characterisation of the flavonoids apigenin and chrysin.



    Zanoli P, Avallone R, Baraldi M.



    Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Modena and Reggio Emilia University, Modena, Italy. zanoli.paola@unimo.it



    The behavioral effects of acute administration of two flavonoids, apigenin and chrysin, contained in Matricaria chamomilla and in Passiflora incarnata, respectively, were studied in rats. The data demonstrate that in our experimental conditions, the two flavonoids were equally able to reduce locomotor activity when injected in rats at a minimal effective dose of 25 mg/kg. However, while chrysin exhibited a clear anxiolytic effect when injected at the dose of 1 mg/kg, apigenin failed to exert this activity. The sedative effect of these flavonoids cannot be ascribed to an interaction with GABA-benzodiazepine receptors, since it was not counteracted by the benzodiazepine antagonist Flumazenil. To the contrary, the anxiolytic effect of chrysin, which was blocked by the injection of Flumazenil, could be linked to an activation of the GABA(A) receptor unit.
    Yeah, Chrysin looks interesting, but I can't find anyone thats selling a transdermal version. It appears to have poor bioavailability in oral form. I may attempt to homebrew one down the road, but that is beyond my skills at this point.





    Disposition and metabolism of the flavonoid chrysin in normal volunteers.



    Walle T, Otake Y, Brubaker JA, Walle UK, Halushka PV.



    Department of Cell and Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA. wallet@musc.edu



    AIMS: To describe the oral disposition of the dietary flavonoid chrysin in healthy volunteers. METHODS: Oral 400 mg doses of chrysin were administered to seven subjects. Chrysin and metabolites were assayed in plasma, urine and faeces by h.p.l.c. RESULTS: Peak plasma chrysin concentrations were only 3-16 ng ml(-1) with AUCs of 5-193 ng ml(-1) h. Plasma chrysin sulphate concentrations were 30-fold higher (AUC 450-4220 ng ml(-1) h). In urine, chrysin and chrysin glucuronide accounted for 0.2-3.1 mg and 2-26 mg, respectively. Most of the dose appeared in faeces as chrysin. Parallel experiments in rats showed high bile concentrations of chrysin conjugates. CONCLUSIONS: These findings, together with previous data using Caco-2 cells, suggest that chrysin has low oral bioavailability, mainly due to extensive metabolism and efflux of metabolites back into the intestine for hydrolysis and faecal elimination.
    Just because I do not want something to happen -- does not mean that I need to fear it.

    Anxiety is just a tool that one uses in times of uncertainty. There are many other tools readily available that one would be better off learning to use.

    What is the greatness of man -- other than unjust classifications and imbalanced optimizations?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmos' date='Sep 21 2004, 08:34 AM
    Ashwanga has anti-anxiety effects, as well as clear nootropic effects that are little more long term.



    It is a bit of a coincidence I suppose, but yesterday I went to one of the many indian grocery stores here and I asked specifically for Ashwanga. They not only had them in pill form, but also in small bottles in powder form.



    At $2.99CDN for a 60g bottle of Ashwanga root powder (real powder, fine and capable of being capped), the price was so fair I bought 8 bottles.



    I never asked for Bacopa, but I really didn't know if that was an Indian herb.
    Let us know how it goes.



    Rather than cap it you might want to prep it this way for fun:

    A typical traditional dosage of ashwagandha is 1- 2 grams of the root (boiled in milk or water for 15-20 minutes) taken three times daily.



    Also if the Ashwagandha is a root powder and not an extract I believe you have to take more of it to get the same effect. Here is an example from a label:



    Supplement Facts:

    Serving Size 1 Vcap™

    Amount Per Vcap™ % DV

    Ashwagandha root extract 16:1 250 mg *

    (Equivalent to 4,000 mg whole root)

    1.5 % Withanolides 3 mg *

    ------------------------------------------------------

    * Daily Value not established



    Other Ingredients: Capsule (vegetable cellulose), 100% vegetarian. No fillers, binders or common allergens.



    Suggested Use: 1- 3 Vcaps™ daily or as directed by a qualified healthcare professional. "



    Expiration date: Approx. 4 years from date of purchase.



    Brand: Paradise Herbs

    60 Vcaps
    Just because I do not want something to happen -- does not mean that I need to fear it.

    Anxiety is just a tool that one uses in times of uncertainty. There are many other tools readily available that one would be better off learning to use.

    What is the greatness of man -- other than unjust classifications and imbalanced optimizations?

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    Actually here is what it says on the back of the bottle:



    Ingredients:

    Withania somnifera roots.



    Directions:

    1/4 - 1/2 teaspoonful (1.5-3g) twice a day



    That is 3-6g per day, which is substantial. I was hoping to cap them, but it may simply be too much of a hassle for something that requires this much dosage. I have measured scoops, I suppose I can use those and dump the powder into my mouth. The smallest of the scoops can hold approx. 2.5g.



    I bought these bottles with the assumption that they weren't standardized with a certain percentage Withanolides, but considering how fine the powder is, I will assume that the ratio is relatively similar throughout with some variation.

  7. #7
    14nootropics
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    These are interesting supplements; I am about to go out to see a movie; when I get back I'll give you my 3 cents.

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    I've heard about sceletium, but can't seem to find the research that demonstrates its SSRI activity.

    Do you know of the study?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brujo De La Colonia' date='Sep 22 2004, 11:46 AM
    All of the herbs mentioned are usefull for anxiety. In my personnal investigations I found them all to be on the mild side.* Usefull for mild anxiety but not a replacement for prescription drugs used for the purpose.



    I have found a more serious contender in the herbal world, something that actually works as good as many of the prescription meds. Side effects of possible habituation/addiction, and also of loss of libido that is so common with the prescription drugs, is absent with this herb. In my experience, this herb actually makes "mini-me" happy as well as effectively releiving anxiety.* The herb is sceletium torturosum. The main alkaloid in the herb is an SSRI.



    For me I found that one size 00 gelcap full of the dry powdered herb (somewhere around 250mg or so) taken in the morning is effective all day long.* The herb powder can be snorted or smoked (in that case only 40-50mg are needed) for more recreational effect, but the action is not as long lasting as when taken orally, so to me it is better as medicine when taken orally.
    I'd be interested in experimenting with Kanna (sceletium torturosum), but I'm already taking an SSRI (paxil). Paxil doesn't provide a dramatic change to my anxiety, but it does take the edge off a little. I plan on going off it, but I'm not yet ready to give up my mental crutch.



    So far I've tried Ashwagandha and Passion Flower a little. I noticed an improvement from the ashwagandha. Nothing that big, but I noticed making more eye contact, and even going out of my way to open the door for a stranger. I think Ashwagandha could be a part of my overall supplement stack.



    Passion Flower..... well the jury is still out on that one. I got some strange effects. One time it was good, and one time it was bad. I'll play with the dosage down the road.



    I just took 4.5 grams of Gotu Kola extract on an empty stomach over an hour ago. I'm noticing some interesting effects, but I want to work with this supplement awhile before commenting on it.
    Just because I do not want something to happen -- does not mean that I need to fear it.

    Anxiety is just a tool that one uses in times of uncertainty. There are many other tools readily available that one would be better off learning to use.

    What is the greatness of man -- other than unjust classifications and imbalanced optimizations?

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    Thought I'd update on the Gotu Kola experiment. I am surprised at how noticable the effect was.



    I took 4.5 grams of Gotu Kola (aerial extract) on an empty stomach. I used the Solaray brand, 10 capsules at 450 mg. each.



    Around an hour later I was surprised by a wave of muscle relaxation that washed over my neck and shoulders. I noticed a euphoric feeling that was both a little stimulating and sedating at the same time. I became un-interested in focusing my visual field too much. I felt laid back and a little goofy. I was instant messaging my girlfriend at work and she commented on how loopy and goofy I seemed (it wasn't till later that I told her about taking the Gotu Kola).



    The effect seemed to last about three hours. These effects were on the mild side (as in not like smoking pot) but they were definitely noticable and somewhat enjoyable. However they were to distracting to put to productive use..... at the 4.5 gram dose anyways. However I can certainly see how the human subjects showed less anxiety in the audial response study. Later on I'll try to see what kind of effect a lower dose or a full stomach has on the Gotu Kola.
    Just because I do not want something to happen -- does not mean that I need to fear it.

    Anxiety is just a tool that one uses in times of uncertainty. There are many other tools readily available that one would be better off learning to use.

    What is the greatness of man -- other than unjust classifications and imbalanced optimizations?

  12. #12
    14nootropics
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logos' date='Sep 23 2004, 10:12 PM
    Thought I'd update on the Gotu Kola experiment. I am surprised at how noticable the effect was.



    I took 4.5 grams of Gotu Kola (aerial extract) on an empty stomach. I used the Solaray brand, 10 capsules at 450 mg. each.



    Around an hour later I was surprised by a wave of muscle relaxation that washed over my neck and shoulders. I noticed a euphoric feeling that was both a little stimulating and sedating at the same time. I became un-interested in focusing my visual field too much. I felt laid back and a little goofy. I was instant messaging my girlfriend at work and she commented on how loopy and goofy I seemed (it wasn't till later that I told her about taking the Gotu Kola).



    The effect seemed to last about three hours. These effects were on the mild side (as in not like smoking pot) but they were definitely noticable and somewhat enjoyable. However they were to distracting to put to productive use..... at the 4.5 gram dose anyways. However I can certainly see how the human subjects showed less anxiety in the audial response study. Later on I'll try to see what kind of effect a lower dose or a full stomach has on the Gotu Kola.
    4.5 grams! That is a lot!

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    I love this board.



    I'll have to try this myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 14nootropics' date='Sep 25 2004, 07:06 PM
    4.5 grams!* That is a lot!
    I did two grams on an empty stomach and I got about 1/3 of the effect of the 4.5 gram dose. Also I did 4.5 grams again last night hoping it would take my mind off my nicotine withdrawl. However I didn't notice the effect being as strong as the first time. My stomach was half full so that could have had something to do with it. Nonetheless I went another day without smoking (patting myself on the back). I like the Gotu Kola somewhat, but I'm not sure how I will figure it in to my overall supplement scheme.



    I think I've done enough experimenting. My plan for today is to put together a core supplement stack, and then I'll add things like Gotu Kola to it on a trial basis.



    So far this is what I'm thinking for my Core Stack:



    Reducing Intrusive Anxious Thoughts: Inositol (15-20 grams per day)



    Nerve and Relaxation Support: GABA/B6, Taurine, Magnesium, Glycine (3 x per day)



    Concentration Enhancing: Choline Bitartrate/DMAE (1-2 grams/250 mg [ 3 x per day])



    Drive/Motivation Enhancing: L-Phenylalanine (1-2 grams on Mon, Wed, Fri)



    Paxil CR 12.5 mg



    Anxiolytic: Don't know yet. My options are Phenibut, Neurontin, and Ashwagandha. Phenibut is my favorite, but is only good for short term use. Neurontin seems to have good potential, but I'm concerned about possible side effects and the health effects of long term use. Ashwagandha (Indian Ginseng) seems to have some mild effects, and I have not expeimented enough with it to really feel confident in its ability as an anxiolytic. However from what I have researched Ashwagandha may actually have health benefits when taken long term.



    Anyone have thoughts on what else might work as part of a Core Stack?
    Just because I do not want something to happen -- does not mean that I need to fear it.

    Anxiety is just a tool that one uses in times of uncertainty. There are many other tools readily available that one would be better off learning to use.

    What is the greatness of man -- other than unjust classifications and imbalanced optimizations?

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    Logos could you elaborate on how "L-Phenylalanine (1-2 grams on Mon, Wed, Fri)" actually increases your motivation? Is this a subjective report from you or are there others that get the same effect, are there studies that corroborate this?



    Sorry for all the questions, I am curious.



    Cheers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmos' date='Sep 26 2004, 06:39 PM
    Logos could you elaborate on how "L-Phenylalanine (1-2 grams on Mon, Wed, Fri)" actually increases your motivation? Is this a subjective report from you or are there others that get the same effect, are there studies that corroborate this?



    Sorry for all the questions, I am curious.



    Cheers.
    I tried L-Phenylalanine after reading others post about DLPA. Through my own experimentation I found that 1.5 grams in the morning on an empty stomach gave me a subjective motivational boost. The day after taking it I still felt a little boost (probably mental at this point rather then chemical). Therefore I decided to take it on M, W, and F. Also, not taking it every day will lower the chance of attenuation. I don't know about any studies in particular on this... just my own experimentation. However everybody is different, I gave 3 grams to a friend, and he didn't feel a thing from it. You might want to pick up a small bottle from GNC for a few bucks and see how you respond.
    Just because I do not want something to happen -- does not mean that I need to fear it.

    Anxiety is just a tool that one uses in times of uncertainty. There are many other tools readily available that one would be better off learning to use.

    What is the greatness of man -- other than unjust classifications and imbalanced optimizations?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Logos' date='Sep 26 2004, 10:54 AM

    Anxiolytic:* Don't know yet. My options are Phenibut, Neurontin, and Ashwagandha. Phenibut is my favorite, but is only good for short term use. Neurontin seems to have good potential, but I'm concerned about possible side effects and the health effects of long term use. Ashwagandha (Indian Ginseng) seems to have some mild effects, and I have not expeimented enough with it to really feel confident in its ability as an anxiolytic. However from what I have researched Ashwagandha may actually have health benefits when taken long term.
    In case anyone finds this educational



    I decided to go with the Neurontin at an increased dose. After talking to my doctor about my recent endearment with Neurontin (thanks to this forum), I will start with 600 mg at night and 400 mg morning. My personal plan for the time being is to cycle off Neurontin after three months, and then start Ashwagandha for three months.
    Just because I do not want something to happen -- does not mean that I need to fear it.

    Anxiety is just a tool that one uses in times of uncertainty. There are many other tools readily available that one would be better off learning to use.

    What is the greatness of man -- other than unjust classifications and imbalanced optimizations?

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