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    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2010
    Are you taking the wormwood for the Lyme Disease? Be careful with that. I think you are not supposed to take it for more than a few weeks at a time:
    Are there any side effects or precautions?
    * Long-term intake (over four weeks) of the thujone-containing oil or alcoholic beverages made with the oil (absinthe) is not recommended, as it is addictive and may cause seizures, brain damage, and even death. Long-term use of wormwood tea or tincture can cause nausea, vomiting, insomnia, restlessness, vertigo, tremors, and seizures.
    * Short-term use (two to four weeks) of the wormwood tea or tincture has not been reported to cause significant side effects. Nevertheless, consult with a healthcare professional knowledgeable in herbal medicine before taking wormwood.
    * Wormwood is not recommended during pregnancy and nursing.
    At the time of writing, there were no well-known drug interactions with wormwood.

    It is definitely psychoactive...when I took it gave me very vivid, crazy dreams.

    Magnesium citrate is considered by some to be the most bio-available form. But an internist I knew said that magnesium oxalate and aspartate are also good.
    My unsolicited opinion is that Swanson is good if your only concern is price rather than quality. I like but I don't use it anymore since I have access to Emerson Ecologics with my professional license.
  1.  (1740.102)
    Yeah, the wormwood was recommended from a few Lyme sites, like this one. How different is the quality, and how relevant if I'm broke, but sickly? I mean, how ineffective are supplements of lesser quality, in your opinion?
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2010
    Taking the cat's claw and olive leaf as well for the antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects? I'm going to be trying something similar as well to try and get what I suspect is a subcritical Cosackie virus that I've had in me since childhood, like chicken pox. There's a lot of discussion I was browsing through about such viral colonization leading to expressions of or symptoms similar to ADHD, fibromyalgia, CFS and the like.

    The rest of it looks about right to my eye as an untrained citizen scientist. If you get headachey at all, consider adding more of a choline supplement if the lecithin isn't cutting it on its own. As always, consult your doctor, etc.
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2010 edited
    I mean, how ineffective are supplements of lesser quality, in your opinion?

    This is a highly controversial subject to be sure...and I don't necessarily have a definitive answer for you. Generally you want to avoid fillers and excipients. Consider magnesium stearate for example. It is frequently a way to repackage rendered fat and make money off of what would otherwise be a waste product of animal butchering. You don't want that in your supplements if at all possible. As well, like with the magnesium above, there are some forms of vitamins that are more bio-available. Also, it is good to remember that when you take just about anything orally you can end up destroying 75% or more due to the inherent hostility of the digestive process. That's why, for the very ill, substances are administered parenterally. Some vitamins also have side-effects when administered Vitamin C. You have to limit your intake because high oral doses (usu. above 4g per day) cause diarrhea whereas with intravenous Vitamin C you can comfortably take 20 times the largest oral dose.

    There's a substance called piperine, a pepper extract (trademark Bioperine) that will increase the cellular uptake of some nutrients. That can be a way of getting more for your money. Anyway, I prefer pharmaceutical grade/practitioner only products that have a reputable lab and conscientious scientists & physicians as part of their organization (I like Douglas Labs and Integrative Therapeutics for this reason).

    My graduate Clinical Nutrition teacher (Betty Wedman-St. Louis) did research on multivitamins on patients who had colostomies, because the colostomy allowed for the easy examination of the contents of the intestines...she found that some well-known brands (usually made with lots of fillers and waxes and such) passed through relatively un-absorbed....

    There are those who think that supplementation makes for "expensive urine"...but there was also a biochemist at UC Berkeley (the name escapes me at the moment) who claimed that rates of disease would be cut in half if everyone just took a multivitamin.
  2.  (1740.105)
    Oh, this will probably peg me as a total luddite in the ways of nootropics, but... Happy Campers? I long used to tweak myself with herbals in my "mangler days", as my best friend and fellow party girl had a holistic doctor as a stepfather and worked at a health food store (she stole a HUGE jar of shark cartilage to give me when I found out my gramma had cancer, which I thought was very sweet). Both of us were raised with herbals, and how to use them to our benefit. We'd a kit that we'd dole out to people at the end of a rough night.

    "Ok, so you've been up all night drinking and doing coke, but you have to work in 3 hours? Take some Phen-fen (then legal) to stay up, some ginko to stay alert, some arnica to keep from hurting, some milk thistle to soften the hangover, etc etc etc"

    I think I was healthier back when I was trashed all the time. At least I over compensated.

    I feel that Happy Campers are a good additive to any sort of brain-enhancement, lest your thoughts go faster and faster in very bad ways. (The aforementioned best friend came home one day to find me staring out the window, listless, and crying. "You took 2 GINKO VITALE 3s and NO HAPPY CAMPERS?!? What were you THINKING!?! Smoke this weed right now!") I'd tried each of Happy Camper's individual components alone, or in combination, and never did I find the combination that this brand seems to have perfectly blended.

    Is there anything you've found good luck with regarding boosting the brain MOOD in a favorable direction?

    Regarding Swanson, I've found THIS review, which is encouranging. Clearly, physician-grade supplements would be ideal, but .... well.... money.

    I think I'll pass on the Wormwood (it's the most expensive) and instead grab some Wild Yam (I've got hormone issues), milk thistle (since I'm polluted with so many pain killers), and acidopholus (to replenish what I'll be killing off with so much antibiotics)

    Christ, that Cosakle sounds awful! Yeah, the Cat's Claw & Olive Leaf as anti-inflammatory. Let me know what else you use to beat down your virus. Being that the bulk of my health issues remain a mystery condition, I might just try a similar path.
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2010
    Unfortunately, research has shown that intelligence enhancement correlates with an increase in negative mood (perhaps someone already linked to that research upthread).
    "You took 2 GINKO VITALE 3s and NO HAPPY CAMPERS?!? What were you THINKING!?! Smoke this weed right now!")

    This brings up the point of individual variation...smoking weed has a generally castrophic effect on my mood 9 times out of ten. So you always have to evaluate your own response to a given substance, as most contributors to this thread already know.

    If you've got "hormone issues" you might want to read up on maca as well...I realize price is an issue (as it is for pretty much everyone) but look at the info with this product.

    [I feel like I should mention that I'm not a doctor and I don't have any financial interest in any of the things I've's just a combo of my personal & professional opinion. Grain of salt, etc.]
    • CommentTimeAug 16th 2010 edited
    I took a glance at the Happy Campers, and they seem to have Kava Kava as a significant component. That's one of the substances I have flagged to personally avoid, as there seem to be credible concerns over liver damage in fairly low doses and I'm trying to keep the rest of my healthy liver in reserve for sometime when I truly need it. However, I have found a few similar 'party' formulas here and there I've used - there's a line of rave-y stuff marketed under Red Dawn that has a good energy mix.
  3.  (1740.108)
    You don't think that a healthy daily dose of milk thistle would compensate for any herbal you take that might effect the liver? I'd a friend who technically ODed on speed and heroin and went into partial organ failure, but after a month of taking huge doses of milk thistle, the doctors were amazed that she'd made a full and complete recovery. (Or was it her kidneys?)

    I'm not trying to talk you into Kavakava or anything... but with my choosing antibiotics, I figured that long term dosing of metronidazole would be ok as long as I drank lots of water and took milk thistle.

    Oh, and I think it goes without saying, or... it has been said previously... that everything we discuss here is only opinion from experimenters in self tweakery, and none of us are professionals, nor should our advice be taken as such.

    That said, I did take a look at Maca, and added it to my order. Thank you for that.

    On a slightly more pharmaceutical note....

    My psychologist recommends I see a psychiatrist. I've been desiring ADHD medication which works GREAT for my brain, but not so good with the terrible sleep schedule and cramping spasming muscles and shakiness. GIven my long history of MS like symptoms, nocturnalism, and depression, and my avoidance of SSRIs... here's hoping for some Modafinil. I was re-reading up-thread, and doing some new research on topic. Would anyone like to explain what this means?

    Modafinil-induced alertness is partially antagonised by the endogenous cannabinoid neurotransmitter anandamide. Modafinil has central alpha 1-adrenergic agonist effects i.e. it directly stimulates the receptors. Modafinil inhibits the reuptake of noradrenaline by the noradrenergic terminals on sleep-promoting neurons of ventrolateral preoptic nucleus (VLPO). More significant, perhaps, is its ability to increase excitatory glutamatergic transmission. This reduces local GABAergic transmission, thereby diminishing GABA(A) receptor signalling on the mesolimbic dopamine terminals.

    I ask because of the phrase "endogenous cannabinoid neurotransmitter anandamide". Certain breeds of marijuana in low doses act as a significant stimulant to me, I think more clearly, can navigate my way through the cloud of thought, and as I'd mentioned a few pages back, it even reduces the degree of eye convergence. Does the mentioning of "cannabinoid" imply that Modafinil has similar properties, or uses the same pathways/receptors? I'd love if I could get the positive effects of hyper focus and being able to break out of the web of thought, without the "stoned" part.
    • CommentTimeAug 16th 2010
    Unfortunately, I don't know that there is any way to predict your reaction to modafinil. I personally did not like it. It is supposedly a more "targeted" stimulant compared to the amphetamine family of drugs.
  4.  (1740.110)

    Ok, so nobody warned me about how terrible the Piracetem tastes! Ugh! I put some in my daily blender shake and the whole thing was infected, no matter how much exra sweetener or berries or anything I tried to add. It's like... chewing on uncoated asprin! BLEEAAAH!

    So, how do you get this stuff DOWN?
    • CommentAuthorJiveKitty
    • CommentTimeAug 20th 2010
    I believe some people get capping kits and make capsules. It's about the only way I've heard to completely kill the taste.
    • CommentTimeAug 20th 2010
    I've never taken it as a powder...only as a caplet or a capsule.
    • CommentTimeAug 20th 2010
    You can do that, or generally I will put my dose in the bottom of a small glass of very sweet juice, like pomegranate, or else in a virgin bloody mary, and treat it like one would an unpleasant shooter. Toss it straight back. Then actual juice after.
    • CommentTimeAug 28th 2010 edited
    Neurostim-C just became available on Amazon again, on sale for $35. It is another all-in-one blend of a bunch of handy stuff I've written about:

    Maximize energy and mental focus. Neurostim + C is scientifically formulated to give you the highest levels of energy, endurance and mental focus while helping you lose fat. Neurostim + C will help propel you through the most grueling workouts and provide you with optimal energy levels and mental focus throughout the day. Neurostim + C utilizes these new and exciting compounds. 4 g TyroLean - specific amounts of ALCAR, Choline and Tyrosine. Accelerates loss of bodyfat; supports mental focus; increases endurance; improves exercise capacity; supports adrenal health. 211 mg Brain Drive - proprietary blend of DMAE, Vinpocetine and Huperzine A. Maximizes energy levels; supports alertness and concentration; optimizes memory. 125 mg of Caffeine. Supports fat burning during exercise; works in synergy and amplifies effects of other components in Neurostim + C.

    I've just reupped my supply of Focus Formula, though because it is also on sale at a much deeper discount and has most of the same active ingredients.

    But if one were looking to experiment with cognitive supplements without taking a buttload of pills, I'd definitely consider trying out the Neurostim-C to see how it worked for you. It has the choline blend built in to offset the effects of the vincpocetine and huperzine, but doesn't contain any B-complex. One definite hazard to the all-in-one supplements is that they are often just heavy on the B-complex, which can lead to unpleasant flushes and sweating if you also then happen to drink a Red Bull or take a multi on top of it.
    • CommentAuthorJoeltox
    • CommentTimeAug 29th 2010
    Someone asked a while back about Provigil - I was taking it a while back and found that it helped me to focus and kept the edge on my thoughts, if you will, on a long day tracking a lot of projects. I still got physically tired, but mentally I was fine and rearing to go. It didn't charge me up and have me tearing around, just sharp all day long. If I did start to get fuzzy, a can of soda or a cup of coffee had me whip sharp inside of ten minutes. It sure helped with late night projects, but eventually the body just needed to rest. Best taken (like all nootropics) with a B-complex in my experience.

    Never had trouble falling asleep with it, and limited myself to 800 mg/day no more than two doses in a 24 hour period. Never took it more than 3 day consecutively, as physically the lack of sleep caught up with me rather quickly. mentally I was good, I was just run down and would get sick a lot easier.

    YMMV - hell it might kill you - please don't do anything stupid and die, OK? - Check with your doctor first etc etc etc.
  5.  (1740.116)
    Ok, so nobody warned me about how terrible the Piracetem tastes…

    Mix piracetam with shots of orange juice. I stir it into the OJ and then let it dissolve for a few minutes and it kills most of the taste.