Skullcap for anxiety? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 01-09-2007, 04:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've had panic attacks (I think) for a few years now. It's never been diagnosed by a dr. but I think I'm just an anxious person. My pulse speeds up for no reason sometimes and I can't breathe. I started taking a tincture (sp?) called Kava Kava Plus and it has: kava kava, siberian ginseng, st. john's wort, oats, and skullcap (I was going to take skullcap only b/c I'd heard it's good for anxiety). I also have Rescue Remedy that's flower essences to relieve stress.

My question is: is it safe to take this while I'm still breastfeeding? It seems to help calm me down a lot and I would rather take something organic and natural from the earth than a drug. But, I want to make sure it's safe for the little guy!
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#2 of 12 Old 01-09-2007, 10:50 AM
 
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[QUOTE=bluebottle;6964644]kellymom says probably ok.

http://www.kellymom.com/herbal/ref/h....html#skullcap

"Skullcap/Scullcap

No harmful effects have been documented during pregnancy and lactation, however one source says that use of skullcap during pregnancy and lactation should be avoided due to limited information on its safety. Cases of liver damage have been reported in association with intake of scullcap; but on closer examination, it appears these skullcap products may have contained germander, an herb known to cause liver damage. More general info at WebMD, The Natural Pharmacist and HealthNotes.
"

The "limited information" means they haven't done extensive laboratory testing on helpless animals, with concentrated isolated plant compounds. If people would look at anecdotal evidence as real evidence, then there's plenty of information indicating that it is safe during pg and bfing. The thing about liver damage has nothing to do with skullcap, it was contaminated with something else. Skullcap will not damage your liver. I stay away from mainstream med sites like that when looking for any kind of reliable information on herbs. The mainstream medical world has no idea what herbal medicine really is!
That said, sounds like skullcap is great for you. I would hesitate a little with the kava, however. I don't use kava for extended periods of time, as I find it to be a really powerful herb, and I don't think I would personally use kava while bfing. Skullcap, lemon balm, milky oats, lavender, rose petal, and chamomile are great. I love Deb Soule's products, at www.avenabotanicals.com. They have some really wonderful tinctures.
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#3 of 12 Old 01-09-2007, 11:54 AM
 
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Kava kava can be hard on the liver at certain doses. I don't remember specifically but that might be something to check out.
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#4 of 12 Old 01-09-2007, 12:14 PM
 
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Hops, Chamomile, Fennel, Feverfew, Lemon Balm, Mullein and Catnip are also great for anxiety, as well as Valerian. Motherwort is useful in cases when anxiety is associated with palpitations. Another favorite is Verbena and Passion Flower, infused with peppermint tea..
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#5 of 12 Old 01-09-2007, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the help! I think I'll go and get tea for when I'm at home and just the skullcap for when I'm about.
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#6 of 12 Old 01-09-2007, 11:56 PM
 
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Most who suffer from anxiety are deficient in magnesium, and have an added imbalance of copper and zinc. Usually the copper's too high and the zinc too low. Additionally, mag and zinc are good for breastfeeding. Magnesium citrate is the most absorbable form, the name brand is called Natural Calm. I would get that and some zinc, and then add in the herbs once your nutrition is sound. I'm betting many of the calming herbs are high in magnesium, now that I think of it. www.alternativementalhealth.com has some interesting articles about nutritional deficiencies and mental illness. Magnesium will help!
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#7 of 12 Old 01-10-2007, 01:31 AM
 
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I don't know about the rest of the group, but the siberian ginseng made my anxiety worse.
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#8 of 12 Old 01-10-2007, 04:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxie View Post
Kava kava can be hard on the liver at certain doses. I don't remember specifically but that might be something to check out.
This is true; I had elevated liver enzymes after taking kava. There are warnings about kava in Europe and the US.

Here's a bit of what ConsumerLab.com has to say about kava:

Quote:
However, a growing number of case reports have raised serious concerns about kava's safety. These reports suggest that, occasionally, even normal doses of kava can cause severe liver injury.25,26,36,37,48-50 Based on these reports, regulatory agencies have taken action in numerous countries banning or restricting sale of kava. However, case reports are notorious for failing to show cause and effect, and some well-regarded experts who have reviewed the literature feel that kava has not been shown unsafe.51,52 At present, if you wish to use this herb, we recommend that you seek physician supervision to monitor for liver inflammation. People with liver problems, who drink alcohol excessively, or who take medications that can harm the liver, are probably at increased risk of harm by kava.


and skullcap:

Quote:
Safety Issues

Not much is known about the safety of skullcap. However, if you take too much, it can cause confusion and stupor.1 There have been reports of liver damage following consumption of products labeled skullcap; however, since skullcap has been known to be adulterated with germander, an herb toxic to the liver, it may not have been the skullcap that was at fault.2,3 Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established.
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#9 of 12 Old 01-10-2007, 10:10 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by provocativa View Post
Most who suffer from anxiety are deficient in magnesium, and have an added imbalance of copper and zinc. Usually the copper's too high and the zinc too low. Additionally, mag and zinc are good for breastfeeding. Magnesium citrate is the most absorbable form, the name brand is called Natural Calm. I would get that and some zinc, and then add in the herbs once your nutrition is sound. I'm betting many of the calming herbs are high in magnesium, now that I think of it. www.alternativementalhealth.com has some interesting articles about nutritional deficiencies and mental illness. Magnesium will help!

Excellenct, in addition to adding Mag, a good B Complex and Omega 3s would be beneficial. Learning to BREATH has become crucial for me during my panic attacks... and meditation. I can't say enough good about Yoga for mental clarity and calmness.
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#10 of 12 Old 01-11-2007, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am taking a one-a-day prenatal from Rainbow Light, a Cal+Mag2, Omega 3,6,9. Should I add a B-complex and extra zinc on top of that. Or is there already enough B in a prenatal?
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#11 of 12 Old 01-11-2007, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the info on the Kava. I'm going to try to take it back. It was actually recommended to me by someone at our natural food store and I informed her that I was breastfeeding still.
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#12 of 12 Old 01-11-2007, 09:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rose_bud79 View Post
I am taking a one-a-day prenatal from Rainbow Light, a Cal+Mag2, Omega 3,6,9. Should I add a B-complex and extra zinc on top of that. Or is there already enough B in a prenatal?

I was taking a Omega 3,6,9 combo and actually found my anxiety to be worse. I then read that increasing the consumption of O6 can actually make the anxiety symptoms worse.
http://www.mind1st.co.uk/fish-oil-anxiety.asp

I would try to find a straight Omega 3 oil from a wild source. Farmed fish are fed grains which can also raise the O6 factor (thats why wild are preffered).


Since I have switched to a straight O3 wild, my symptoms have been very much improved.

I am not sure about adding more Bs, but all I take is a high potency multi-vitamin and the fish oil and have found that I am a lot less anxious. I have been dealing with anxiety/panic for 15+ years and have not found anything as effective as the O3 oil.

Good luck to you!
Tara

Tara Momma to Callum and Gavin
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