Shared Transformation Issue 25
Easing Kundalini Problems with Herbs & Supplements
The following material is intended for educational purposes only. No studies have been done with these supplements regarding the Kundalini process, so nothing (outside of a few personal accounts) is known of the effect they may have on Kundalini symptoms. In addition to the info covered in this article, you may want to research Chinese and Ayurvedic herbs and homeopathic remedies.
While in some cases, the effects of the supplements and herbs may be immediate (within hours), in many instances their effects are more subtle and may take months to notice. It is wise to consult a physician if you are experiencing medical problems. It can also be prudent to check with a health care professional before beginning a supplement program. However, physicians do not know everything. When I was diagnosed with chemical hepatitis, I asked my doctor if it was safe for me to take a certain nutrient. He replied, "If it wasn't safe, they wouldn't allow it to be sold to the public." How naive!
The stance of government regulatory agencies such as the FDA regarding the safety of specific substances has been erratic and sometimes politically motivated. Because of a controversial study linking beta-carotene to increased lung cancer among heavy smokers, Sweden has outlawed sales of beta-carotene. And since vitamin C has been found to have so many medical benefits, France has decided to reclassify it as a medicine, available by prescription only! In the U.S., a contaminated batch from one Japanese supplier of the anti- anxiety and analgesic amino acid tryptophan resulted in the ban of tryptophan sales in this country. Yet pure tryptophan is remarkably safe and effective.
On the other hand, a herb long touted as safe and beneficial -- comfrey -- has caused so many
cases of severe liver damage that some European countries are on the verge of making it illegal. This goes to
show that folklore cannot be indiscriminately trusted. We need to use our common sense, our intuition and guidance,
and to proceed slowly and carefully when adding any new herbs or supplements to our diets. My own body was badly
damaged by use of supposedly friendly medicines, so I know from experience how important it is to be cautious and
attentive to your body when taking any substances. What I consider to be the healing gifts of the Earth -- herbs,
vitamins and supplements -- have been important in restoring my health. Yet I do not want to leave readers with
the impression that only "natural" medicines and supplements have any healing value for Kundalini-related
ailments. During my long illness in '96, I had a dream in which after exhausting every holistic healing method
I knew, I realized I could call 911 for help. Upon waking, I interpreted this dream to mean that I could combine
alternative and allopathic treatments and that is eventually what happened. I think it is best to keep an open
mind about this for ourselves and for others, realizing there is no one right way where Kundalini or healing is
When the nervous system is over-stressed, insomnia, anxiety, mood swings and other emotional problems are hard to overcome. Some of the following supplements can help restore balance to the depleted system.
The B-complex vitamins are natural tranquilizers and alleviate stress. Keep in mind that the B vitamins need to be taken together; taking only one or a few can create an overall B vitamin imbalance in the body. B-1 deficiency can cause moodiness, irritability, loss of appetite and mild depression. B-3 (Niacin) has been successful in treating certain types of psychosis. B-5 is sometimes called the "anti-stress" vitamin. B-6 has tranquilizing effect and is particularly helpful for easing nervousness and fatigue. It needs to be taken with zinc and magnesium and should not be taken in excess of 50 milligrams a day. B-12 improves fatigue, nervous irritability, mild impairment in memory, mental depression, inability to concentrate and insomnia. The following can deplete vitamin B in the body: stress, sulfa drugs, antacids, antibiotics, oral contraceptives, estrogen, caffeine, alcohol, smoking, sugar, sleeping pills (B-3), anti- gout and anticoagulant drugs (B-12).
Vitamin C has been found to alleviate stress. (It has also been shown to raise IQ scores of retarded and autistic children.)
Calcium is another natural tranquilizer, as is magnesium and potassium. A calcium deficiency produces muscle spasms and cramps, anxiety, nervousness, irritability, insomnia and headaches, among other symptoms. Many of the same symptoms occur in a magnesium deficiency, which can also cause heart palpitations and constipation. Vitamin D is important in the process of Calcium absorbsion. Calcium and magnesium should be taken together in a ratio of 2:1
Zinc deficiency can lead to depression, irritability, anger and panic attacks. Zinc Picolinate is one of the best forms of Zinc.
Melatonin is a hormone (available at health food stores) renowned for inducing sleep. It is also helpful in raising thyroid levels. Low thyroid (hypothyroidism) is associated with depression. Melatonin is an Antioxidant used by the body. Melatonin should not be taken by those with manic disorders; in these individuals, melatonin levels are already abnormally high.
Insomnia can be a result of B-6 or pantothenic acid deficiencies. Vitamins C and B-12 as well as calcium, magnesium, potassium and protein can alleviate insomnia. One of the best sleep aids, tryptophan, is no longer available in U.S. health food stores, but soy protein, turkey, milk, and almonds all contain tryptophan and could be eaten as a bedtime snack. (Vitamin B-6 is needed to convert tryptophan to serotonin, which is sleep-inducing).
The following amino acids have been found to alleviate various emotional problems:
GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is an amino acid which is an anti-anxiety agent.
Theanine lessens depression and has been found to lower blood pressure.
Tyrosine is another amino acid which has been found to help depression. It may also raise blood pressure.
The following herbs have emotionally calming and soothing properties:
Calamus Root (acorus calamus): a mild tranquilizer
Chamomile (matricaria chamomillla): This is a nervous system tonic which restores as well as calms the body/mind and is used to alleviate insomnia.
Ginseng (panax schin-seng) is said to calm the nerves although it is more well known for promoting physical and mental vigor.
Hops (humulus lupulus) has some pain relieving properties and is good for inducing sleep.
Passionflower (passiflora incarnata): Has sedative properties and helps insomnia and anxiety.
St. Johnswort (hypericum perforatum) is an antidepressant, antiviral and mild antibiotic. It can cause sun sensitivity. Also, because it is a MAO inhibiting substance, the following foods should be eliminated from the diet while taking this herb: dairy products, beer, wine, yeast and pickled herring. Also should not be taken with other MAO inhibitor drugs.
Valerian (valeriana officinalis): Used as a sedative and antispasmodic for over 2000 years, in modern day Europe it is a recognized over-the-counter medicine for anxiety, insomnia, depression and pain.
Oats (avena sativa): This includes wild oats, common oats and oat straw tea. Reduces stress and helps relieve anxiety.
Aromatherapy for emotional distress:
Essential oil of lavender as well as apple spice promotes relaxation.
Marjoram oil on the pillow can induce sleep.
The oils of Vanilla, chamomile, sandalwood and orange blossom are soothing.
Vitamin B-5 and choline produce acetylcholine in the body. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in memory, learning, and mental concentration. (Warning: Acetylcholine precursors such as choline and B-5 should not be used in the depressive cycle of bi-polar disorder as they can deepen this type of depression!)
DHEA has been found to improve memory and powers of concentration. It also helps the body recover from stress. Note this hormone is found in much higher levels in Men. Levels of this hormone seem to drop with age. Also note that it is a precursor to both Estrogen and Testosterone.
DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol) helps with depression, impaired motor coordination and mental fatigue. It has no known side effects.
Phosphatidylserine and phosphatidylcholine improve memory
Pregnenolone enhances memory, improves concentration and relieves mental fatigue
Ginkgo biloba has been found to improve alertness, increase memory and reaction time and other aspects of intellectual performance.
Low brain concentrations of protein, vitamins B-1, B-6, B-12, niacin, pantothenic acid, folic acid, vitamin C and various minerals can produce symptoms of mental illness. Deficiencies of the B-complex vitamins can cause depression, irritability, agitation, poor concentration, confusion, fear, anxiety, sensitivity to noise, fatigue, insomnia, headache, failing vision, hallucinations, vertigo. Many psychiatric patients are found to be low in folic acid, part of the B-complex. Inadequate amounts of magnesium, potassium and other minerals can cause muscle weakness, fatigue, indifference, apathy, hyperactivity, dizziness and uncoordinated movements.
Aromatherapy for mental dysfunction:
Rosemary helps clear the mind. Both rosemary and basil have been shown to increase brain-wave frequency, increasing alertness.
Tangerine oil boosts energy and Lemon increases mental focus.
Spearmint, pine and eucalyptus reduce fatigue.
Jasmine and rose are reputedly uplifting.
Chronic tiredness, fatigue, nausea, dizziness and anemia are known signs of amino acid L-lysine deficiency. Changing the diet to emphasize the amino acid L-lysine and reducing arginine-dominant foods may help. Vitamins C and B-6 are also needed for best assimilation of lysine in the body.
If the body is lacking in lysine, it will have difficulty producing L-Carnitine as well. Prolonged fatigue, muscle weakness and pain, and mental impairment are likewise symptoms of deficient L-carnitine. Vegetarians are susceptible to L-Carnitine deficiency, since aside from asparagus and peanut butter, there are few plant sources of L-Carnitine, this amino acid is a good supplement to take.
A magnesium deficiency can produce chronic fatigue.
Inadequate potassium results in muscle weakness, irritability and a tired feeling.
Fatigue can also be due to deficiencies of vitamins C, D, B-complex or iron.
These supplements may alleviate headaches: calcium and magnesium, coenzyme Q10, DMG, niacin, potassium and Omega 3 with DHA fish oil capsules.
Also, the following herbs may provide relief: burdock root, goldenseal root, feverfew, lavender, marshmallow, mint, rosemary.
I have found that melatonin often relieves headaches at night so I can sleep.
Aromatherapy for headaches: Sometimes a drop of peppermint oil on the temple can diminish a headache.
Aromatherapy: Clary sage oil stimulates a release of encephalin in the brain, which relieves pain and produces a general sense of well being.
Leg cramps and sciatica may be relieved by increased potassium intake.
Magnesium is particularly good for relieving muscle pain.
Backaches and joint pains may improve with fairly high doses of vitamins C, E and A. Long term use of Glucosamine Sulfate and Alpha Lipoic acid are also quite good. (These have done wonders for me!)
People with chronic pain tend to have low serotonin levels. The following increase serotonin and reduce pain: niacinamide, niacin, and Vitamins B-6 & B-12.
Twitches and tremors may be reduced with vitamin B-complex, especially B-6, B-12 and niacin. Other supplements which might be helpful include calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and vitamin E.
Calcium and magnesium may relieve muscle cramps and spasms.
Digestive problems (constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel, etc.) can be helped by supplementing the diet with the following: Vitamin A, B-complex, C, D, E, fiber, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, water, acidophilus. Indigestion, "nervous stomach" and other digestive troubles can be eased by oats in all forms.
Two lifesavers for me during my illnesses were Silymarin and Alpha Lipoic Acid. Silymarin is Milk Thistle extract which cleanses, protects and helps regenerate liver tissue. It has been extensively tested and medically utilized in Europe, South America and Japan with excellent results at healing acute or chronic liver damage. Silymarin also protects healthy livers from toxins in the environment (air and water pollution, pesticides and additives in foods, etc.) as well as fighting off both viral and bacterial infections. As an antioxidant it is many times more powerful than vitamin E. It can be of great benefit to anyone who uses either prescription or over-the-counter drugs or who is exposed to toxins in their work or home environment. Alpha Lipoic acid is an antioxidant that has helped me with both back pain and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Both Silymarin and Alpha Lipoic Acid have been found to be nontoxic and safe even at high doses.
-- El Collie
© El Collie 1995