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

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

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Description

  • Copyright 2012
  • Dimensions: 6" x 9"
  • Edition: 1st
  • eBook (Watermarked)
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-282502-3
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-282502-3

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.

Sample Content

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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