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Fasting and taking valerian/passion flower/melaton

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05 Jul 2010 19:40 #4752 by grasslily20
grasslily20 created the topic: Fasting and taking valerian/passion flower/melaton
Is it okay to take valerian root, passion flower, theanine and / or melatonin for stress and sleep purposes during a fast? Any adverse reactions to this? I'm currently on day 5 of my fast and want to know if this is fine. Thanks for the help.

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05 Jul 2010 20:54 #4753 by TheFastDoctor
TheFastDoctor replied the topic: Re: Fasting and taking valerian/passion flower/melaton
These could indeed be the lesser of evils if you cannot do without but bear in mind all of these contain taste, smell and several organic chemicals that could trick the body into believing you are actually eating. This might "dent" your conversion into, and maintenance of catabolism. The ideal is to use Endorphins (released during exercise, massage, reflexology or even acupuncture) for the same purpose. Repeatedly performing the 5-step elimination cycle activities are quite effective in achieving the same goal.

Yet I would rather take these and continue with the process than to abort due to not tolerating the fast.

André

All my posts are "generic", based on my opinions and experiences only and are not intended to replace the advice of your own licensed medical practitioner.

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05 Jul 2010 23:01 #4754 by grasslily20
grasslily20 replied the topic: Re: Fasting and taking valerian/passion flower/melaton
It's not really a matter of my inability to tolerate the fast. I have anxiety whether or not I fast although when the fast is going well this anxiety lessens. My main concern was the safety of consuming these herbs on an empty stomach since I haven't eaten in 5 days and plan on continuing for at least 2 more days if not more.

Also, I'm not sure whether or not you're familiar with these herbs. The FDA claims that the long-term effects are not known because there have been few clinical trials. I know kava kava is claimed to cause liver damage after prolonged use and even a skin rash, but I've heard that valerian, passion flower, theanine are all quite fine long term. My main concern is if there's any connection with them causing certain illnesses like cancer? I know plenty of herbs are claimed to prevent that, but I don't want to get started with taking these herbs if there's that possibility. If it ain't broken don't fix it sort of situation, but then again, I do feel calmer and better after taking passion flower. I suppose though it's not absolutely imperative since I've done without before. Which is why I want to know their safety, and particularly their safety in fasting.

Thank you for your help.

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06 Jul 2010 10:40 #4755 by TheFastDoctor
TheFastDoctor replied the topic: Re: Fasting and taking valerian/passion flower/melaton
Bear in mind, dear Grasslily, that the basis of life is a phenomenon called "homeostasis". In essence this means that whatever your environment does to you, your body responds in a way to neutralize that effect:
If you are in a cold place, you shiver in order to heat up;
If you are hot, you sweat to cool down;
If your blood pressure increases, the heart slows down to reduce it again;
If your blood pressure is low, the heart speeds up to increase it.
Some of the worst headaches are those caused by continuous use of analgesics ("pain killers").
Etcetera.

Thus, every medicine (and do bear in mind, most drugs are derived from herbs anyway) has in innate tendency to cause what it relieves, by eliciting a counteracting effect from the body. Valeriana is a good tranquiliser indeed but in time you will become dependent on it as your body produces less internal tranquilizers (like Endorphins) and more internal stimulants (like Adrenaline) in order to maintain homeostasis or the natural balance.

Practically all addictions are the result if this mechanism. In order to get maximal benefit from any drug (herbs included) you should try to maintain your system's sensitivity to it. The best way to maintain sensitivity is to use it sparingly and specifically to go for maximal periods without.

Personally, I won't "take" ANY of these, even when not fasting, and therefore cannot recommend them.

André

All my posts are "generic", based on my opinions and experiences only and are not intended to replace the advice of your own licensed medical practitioner.

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06 Jul 2010 18:43 #4757 by grasslily20
grasslily20 replied the topic: Re: Fasting and taking valerian/passion flower/melaton
Thank you for this information Andre. So, in short, even though you don't recommend it, would I still be okay taking these during a fast? Can there be an adverse reaction taking them during a fast vs. not.

By the way, I'm on Day 6 now. I'm definitely planning on going into Day 7, but I may even extend it to Day 11-12 since I feel pretty good.

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06 Jul 2010 19:09 #4759 by TheFastDoctor
TheFastDoctor replied the topic: Re: Fasting and taking valerian/passion flower/melaton
Quite right. If you feel better taking something, even if it could be only a psychological effect, it will still be to your benefit. We should never underestimate the power of the mind.

Wishing you success on your extension.. it's a really good way of planning the duration of your fast. By not deciding beforehand, you remain "in charge" and in particular once you have passed your "target date" you should be more relaxed about the decisions to terminate or carry on.

Take good care.

André

All my posts are "generic", based on my opinions and experiences only and are not intended to replace the advice of your own licensed medical practitioner.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

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