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Why aren't we considering the ancient wisdom of psychotropic substances?
sylvia kronstadt
Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 9:21 AM
Joined: 5/21/2013
Posts: 3

sylvia kronstadt
Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 9:24 AM
Joined: 5/21/2013
Posts: 3

I am baffled at why one obvious avenue hasn’t been explored: Why are we not experimenting with MIND-EXPANDING DRUGS in order to defeat this MIND-SHRINKING DISEASE? It seems to me that hypocrisy and puritanical paranoia are the only impediments.

Vitamins, spices and foods have already proven to be more effective at preventing and mitigating Alzheimer's than anything the drug companies have come up with. Why not explore the wisdom of the ancients, which is so pertinent to our modern-day ailments?
Psychoactive substances — such as LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, ayahuasca, ibogaine, ketamine, cannabis, and many others — have been enriching, focusing, augmenting, stimulating and healing the human brain since ancient times. The failure to study the value of these drugs for our modern health problems (including depression. OCD, PTST, etc.) has perpetuated the suffering of millions of people.
Ironically, Alzheimer’s patients in nursing homes are already being drugged out of their minds, for the convenience of their keepers. The opiates and barbituates they’re fed by the spoonful actually expedite patients’ cognitive decline.
There is clear and compelling evidence that mind-altering drugs have the potential to treat the many dementias, including Alzheimer’s, and that they can also provide stimulation, pleasure and comfort to those who are suffering. Many of these substances — most of which are plant-based — have been used for thousands of years in celebratory, ritual and spiritual realms. Some have been as much a part of daily life as our caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. Their effects are strikingly relevant to addressing the Alzheimer’s-ravaged mind. European journals describe ways in which such substances can “open up the mind,” “revive lost memories” and “bring light into darkened and damaged areas.”
I hope that we can somehow get past our crazy uptightness and get on with the invaluable work of studying these substances.

Lane Simonian
Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 11:09 AM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 5158

When it comes to me, you are largely preaching to the choir.  I have read a hundred or more studies in which a plant compound or compounds has partially reversed Alzheimer's disease.  Many of these were in a test tube or in mice but some were in human beings.  The ones in human beings included rosemary, lemon, lavender, and orange essential oils via aromatherapy, a tincture of lemon balm essential oil (Melissa officinalis), a tincture of sage essential oil (Salvia officinalis), saffron, heat-processed ginseng, mulberry leaves, and citrus peels.  I am tired of people saying the trials were small and not well-designed (they were all small, but some of them were well-designed).  If they were truly interested in a non-drug treatment of the disease, the U.S. government and/or Alzheimer's organizations would have funded much larger clinical trials on these natural products (I still have hope for the curcumin and magnesium threonate studies being performed more or less on a shoe-string). 


I am not an advocate for the use of hallucinogenic drugs to treat Alzheimer's disease in part because they are not needed and in part because hallucinations are already a problem for some people with the disease.  But I was told with marijuana, the non-hallucinatory components of the herb are just as effective or more effective than the hallucinogenic components. 


This really is madness, though, plants have been used to treat cognitive problems for centuries as you said.  Researchers especially those from overseas who are not so beholden to drug companies know which specific components reverse the different aspects of Alzheimer's disease.  And yet billions of dollars continue to be pumped into one failed drug trial after another.  "Common sense is anything but." 



Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 11:45 AM
Joined: 5/13/2013
Posts: 315

Thank you Lane for your comments on the subject, right on the mark as usual.


I grew up in the 60's, I don't need to go back or take anyone back who does not have the ability to make the decision for themselves.


Thanks again for the discussion.

Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 12:50 PM
Joined: 4/24/2012
Posts: 484

One thing I have learned during this process of searching for an Alzheimer's cure is that Western medicine, big pharma and our culture in general believes in, and expects, miracle cures that have fast and dramatic results. Herbs, excercise, diet, and alternative medicine generally don't do that. They require effort and participation from the patient; they are not usually fast or easy or dramatic, therefore, most people discount them as being legitimate solutions.
Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 12:56 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326

The problem is big pharma.  They are wealthy and lobby Congress and regulators.  I suspect they play a role in putting out misinformation about natural substances for healing.  It's all about the our expense. 


On the other hand, because we are a capitalistic nation, the incentive to find meds for diseases and disorders is great because of the payoff.   


Another problem is the lack of sharing by researchers on their failures, which causes other researchers (be they big pharma or not) to start research projects  which have already been shown to have failed.  What a waste of money, effort and time! 

Posted: Sunday, June 2, 2013 8:24 PM
Joined: 5/13/2013
Posts: 315

All I can say is Amen to that Myriam.