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

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Overview

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 ...

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

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Overview

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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780132824972
  • Publisher: FT Press
  • Publication date: 6/7/2012
  • Series: FT Press Science Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

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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's Wort (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 237

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