Herbal Supplements and the Brain

Herbal Supplements and the Brain : Understanding Their Health Benefits and Hazards

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Today, many manufacturers of plant-based "neuroceuticals" claim their products can offer powerful benefits in brain function. However, the US government does not require these manufacturers to demonstrate their products' effectiveness, leaving it difficult for consumers and health professionals to make decisions about the benefits and risks. In Herbal Supplements and the Brain: Understanding their Health Benefits and Hazards, two leading researchers provide this crucial information in clear language any intelligent reader can understand and use. They begin by introducing the fundamental principles of pharmacology, explaining how drugs and natural products can affect the body's organs and organ systems. Using examples, they show how to determine whether an ingested substance can enter the bloodstream and reach its target at a concentration sufficient to have an effect. They also explain how natural products may influence blood levels of other substances, and discuss whether such interactions may diminish the effectiveness of prescription medications or alter normal body chemistry. Throughout, the authors emphasize factors relating especially to neuroceuticals and the brain. Individual chapters are devoted to nutritional supplements which promise to enhance memory, relieve pain, safely promote sleep, and aid in the treatment of depression or anxiety. Specifically, readers will find research-based coverage of Ginkgo biloba; St. John's Wort; Valerian; Lemon Balm; Kava; Lavender; Kudzu, Daffodil, Passion Flower, and Camellia Tea and other caffeinated beverages.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 157.48 x 231.14 x 20.32mm | 476.27g
  • Pearson Education (US)
  • Upper Saddle River, United States
  • English
  • 0132824973
  • 9780132824972
  • 348,496

About S. J. Enna

S. J. Enna is a Professor at University of Kansas Medical Center's Departments of Molecular and Cellular Physiology and of Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutics. He is acclaimed internationally for his research contributions in defining the pharmacological and biochemical properties of neurotransmitter receptors, especially those for GABA. Dr. Enna's research is described in 200+ published research reports, reviews, and book chapters. Stata Norton, Emeritus Professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center's Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutics has published extensively on the behavioral effects of drugs and toxic substances.show more

Back cover copy

"Written with authority, yet as lucid and enticing as a novel. The finest book I know addressing the interaction of herbs, the brain, and behavior." - S olomon H. S nyder , M.D., Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine "Both skeptics and believers in the value of herbal supplements for brain conditions will enjoy the calm objective analysis to which these two experienced pharmacologists put the most popular products. You may not like their conclusions, but their evidence is convincing." -Floyd E. Bloom, MD, Professor Emeritus, Molecular and Integrative Neuroscience Department, TSRI "It all began with Adam's apple. Knowing what you add to your diet may change your life. Getting a kick from a cup of coffee, fighting depression with St. John's wort, drifting away with valerian, or reaching a ripe old age with Gingko, this book gives insights into the pros and cons of taking herbal supplements. Excellent and entertaining reading!" -Hanns Mohler, Professor of Pharmacology, University of Zurich, Switzerland "If you are someone who takes and believes in herbal supplements, then this book is a must-read for you. I'll bet you will be surprised at some of the information. It is written by two extraordinarily qualified authors, who have decades of experience with the effects and toxicities of drugs and supplements. The aim of the book is to use proven criteria to evaluate if herbal supplements are effective or not. This information is not always easy to find, so read on." -Michael J Kuhar, Ph.D., Yerkes National Primate Research Center of Emory University, Candler Professor of Neuropharmacology, School of Medicine, Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar, Center for Ethics of Emory University Herbal Supplements: An Up-to-Date, Science-Based Primer Do they work? What are the risks? Can they relieve pain, improve memory, help with depression, anxiety, or insomnia? What does the objective research really say? Today, many manufacturers of herbal supplements claim their products can improve brain function. However, the U.S. government does not require proof of these claims. Now, writing in plain English, two leading pharmacologists bring together all the scientific information you need to decide for yourself. Using clear examples, the authors explain how drugs and natural products can affect the body, how to determine whether any ingested substance is likely to have an effect, and how natural products might change the way prescription medications work. Next, they address specific herbal supplements which promise to enhance memory, relieve pain, promote sleep, and treat depression or anxiety. You will find the latest research about Ginkgo biloba, St. John's wort, valerian, lemon balm, kava, lavender, kudzu, daffodil, passion flower, and caffeinated beverages. If you use any of these products, you need this information-and you need this book.show more

Table of contents

Preface xvi Chapter 1 The Gifts of Eden 1 Chapter 2 Transforming Plants into Gold 7 Prehistoric Evidence 8 Early Documentation 9 Western Culture 11 Alchemy 13 Chemistry 15 Chapter 3 Thinking Like a Pharmacologist 17 The Origins of Pharmacology 19 Pharmacodynamics 21 Pharmacokinetics 24 In Vitro and In Vivo Studies 27 Pharmacology and Herbal Supplements 27 Herbal Supplement Pharmacology Checklist 28 Chapter 4 The Brain as a Drug Target 33 The Human Brain 36 Chemical Neurotransmission 39 Neurotransmitter Systems 41 Behavioral Assays 45 Clinical Studies 49 Chapter 5 Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) 53 Botany 55 Therapeutic Uses 55 Constituents 57 Pharmacokinetics 59 Pharmacodynamics 61 Adverse Effects 65 Pharmacological Perspective 66 Chapter 6 St. John'sWort (Hypericum perforatum) 67 Botany 69 Therapeutic Uses 70 Constituents 71 Pharmacokinetics 74 Pharmacodynamics 75 Adverse Effects 80 Pharmacological Perspective 81 Chapter 7 Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) 83 Botany 84 Therapeutic Uses 85 Constituents 86 Pharmacokinetics 88 Pharmacodynamics 90 Adverse Effects 93 Pharmacological Perspective 94 Chapter 8 Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) 97 Botany 98 Therapeutic Uses 99 Constituents 99 Pharmacokinetics 100 Pharmacodynamics 102 Adverse Effects 106 Pharmacological Perspective 106 Chapter 9 Kava (Piper methysticum) 109 Botany 110 Therapeutic Uses 111 Constituents 112 Pharmacokinetics 112 Pharmacodynamics 114 Adverse Effects 118 Pharmacological Perspective 120 Chapter 10 Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) 123 Botany 124 Therapeutic Uses 125 Constituents 126 Pharmacokinetics 127 Pharmacodynamics 129 Adverse Effects 134 Pharmacological Perspective 135 Chapter 11 Kudzu (Pueraria lobata) 137 Botany 138 Therapeutic Uses 139 Constituents 140 Pharmacokinetics 141 Pharmacodynamics 143 Adverse Effects 146 Pharmacological Perspective 147 Chapter 12 Daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus) 149 Botany 151 Therapeutic Uses 152 Constituents 153 Pharmacokinetics 154 Pharmacodynamics 155 Adverse Effects 158 Pharmacological Perspective 159 Chapter 13 Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata) 161 Botany 162 Therapeutic Uses 163 Constituents 164 Pharmacokinetics 166 Pharmacodynamics 168 Adverse Effects 173 Pharmacological Perspective 173 Chapter 14 Coffee, Tea, and Cocoa 175 Botany 177 Therapeutic Uses 178 Constituents 180 Pharmacokinetics 182 Pharmacodynamics 184 Adverse Effects 186 Pharmacological Perspective 187 Chapter 15 Epilogue 189 Endnotes 195 Index 237show more

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