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les genser

a potential new option

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I have one little caveat for myself and licorice root. I have been casually monitoring my BP which is usually in the 120/80 range. The last two days it is hovering more around 140/90. So I've reluctantly cut my daily dosage in half.

Everyone's BP reaction is different I'm sure, but it may be a good idea to monitor it while taking the tincture. I may try  the DGL version that Les mentioned. Other than that it is still getting a big thumbs up from me. And I agree that its affect was almost instantaneous. I took a scheduled dose last night right as I was starting to get the base of skull/right forehead pressure and it immediately stopped.

Good luck to you and your son Bonkers! I hope it works for you.

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for dblu: good on you that you are monitoring your bp. If you are normally in the range of 120/80 the slight elevation should not hurt. I agree you should cut the dose. I think you will be pleasantly surprised with the efficacy at the lower level. In any event, eat bananas or other foods high in potassium. Watch for signs of fluid retention. My bp went up about ten points on both S&D as well. If it worries you and doesn't go down after cutting the dose, you should look into the DGL tincture. I believe it would work on our little problem, since I think it is the phytoestrogens that are effective and I don't think they are removed with the glycherrizin, but since I haven't tried it myself I really have no way of knowing for sure.

An alternate strategy would be to stop the tincture entirely and try using it more as an abortive. Last evening I felt some precursor shadows, some flushing and I thought I was triggering, so right away I took a standard dose. (I have been off it for about a week). I was completely fine in about twenty minutes, with no recurrence so far today (I only took it the one time). I am going to continue to use it in this fashion, if its necessary, and I'll report in.

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This is now the 3rd day of the Grand Licorice Experiment. Michael has now taken 7 standard doses of licorice tincture. No noticeable effect on his HAs so far but the continued feeling of having gotten a sort of tonic "lift" after drinking the potion. I bought 2, 1-oz. bottles of the stuff and will continue the dosing schedule till they're gone. Ron

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Les: Thanks for the suggestions. Before i saw your latest post I had stopped taking the tincture cold for 24 hours. I then had and odd reaction, all-over headache and lethargy the next morning, and took a half dose of one stopper-full. This eased those symptoms and they were soon gone. Could there be a similarity with the withdrawal symptoms of pharmaceutical grade serotonin uptake inhibitors? I will now slowly ween myself off of it.

Because I have been on a 4 week bust with RC seeds my results can't be considered conclusive for the licorice root but I can definitely feel the effect when taking it and it has been very good, to say the least. I am not sure where I'm at with this cycle. Am I in some kind of pre cycle, ramping up to become full blown? Or have the seeds and licorice root kept all major hits to a minimum? After 25 years this is new territory. Time will tell I guess, but last night with the usual shadowing (mostly neck/base of skull) going on, within an instant it all disappeared and I have felt totally normal since then. How strange that it can dissipate so quickly after weeks of dread. Perhaps the seed/licorice combo might be a possibility???

Ok, just my update, for what it is worth.

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W: Thanks. Loads.  I, too noticed the same effects (not all the time).. kind of like a very low grade hangover. They go away after a cup of coffee... at least they do for me.  I don't know about the SRI connection, its a definite possibility, but I will say I took the stuff for 4 weeks straight, stopped cold and had no discernible aftereffects. That will be a question for people in white coats, if I can interest any. (I'm working on it).

I also had the same stuff happening... I would get 'shadowing', as you put it; I still do occasionally... but it does not seem to develop into anything. My intuitive belief is that the shadows are the feedback loops, the chronic pain allergic/alert reactions that we all have that are ordinarily causative because those are the nerves that feed back into the hypothalamus;... somehow the licorice root is interrupting the pattern, and thats why these things don't develop. It is strange, trying to relax when I feel like I'm triggering and trusting that it will go away. And it has, with minimum effort on my part. I have felt for a long time that the key to breaking clusters would be interrupting the pattern; I think long term actual cure is possible too, but that is going to be energetic and mental. One thing at a time.

Maybe the seed/ tincture thing is a possibility; I only did the tincture.

Last thing: If you feel you're shadowing, and it does escalate,(only do this if you are NOT taking regular doses) try it as an abortive... it seems to kick in about twenty minutes, no rebound and the shadows just split.

I wish you continued success.

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Hi Ting,

I bought mine locally from a chain health-food store. It wasn't easy to find. If you live near a reasonably big city, you should be able to find it. If not, similar should be available via internet. If you'd like to come to my house, I'll share mine with you. I'll make you food. You can stay a few days. We'll have fun.

Teasingly,

Ron

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A licorice root rave?  Sounds fun, count me in!

Seriously, I picked some up the other day, but following a day with a high fever, Andrew just came off 24 hrs PF!  Has not had that treat EVER!  Even at his best still has 5-6 low kips every 24 hrs.  Maybe the fever, dunno.  Time will tell.  But PF time is not a time to try something new.  For now, hoping he will have another 24  [smiley=cheesy.gif]

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Hey mom... not that mysterious, maybe...a fever would naturally disrupt the thermostat in the hypothalamus, maybe enough distraction to interrupt the usual pattern. Andrew, by the way, is extremely wise (in my opinion, anyway) for refusing pain meds. I have done it myself for years, after many of the same things (dental stuff, sinus surgery, herniated discs). I don't think they actually help that much and the rebound loops are awful. I sometimes wonder, given how the brain and body really tries hard to always be in balance, if many of the things we do to abort come back to haunt us later; things like vasoconstrictors and such. Not that I'm giving up coffee.

Also; I have a feeling that the fewer meds you're actually on, especially anything that would already mess with you hormonally, the better the licorice tincture will actually work.

I'm glad you are there for Andrew. When I was his age and first starting to get clusters I was living alone and was terrified; I thought my brain was growing a tumor the size of Detroit.

Anybody out there looking for sources for licorice root tincture, if you cannot get it locally (and I sympathize, I live deep in Appalachia) there are several good reliable internet sources;;; try Gaia Herbs, they are a national brand and they offer licorice root tincture, although I couldn't get the technical specs on their site. Terrafirma has what looks like a nice organic tincture, and there were a bunch more.

Eventually, if there is interest, I can post how-to instructions to make your own. All you need is a few ball jars and for about 30 bucks or so you can make about a five year supply. Takes two weeks, the old fashioned way.

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Hey mom... not that mysterious, maybe...a fever would naturally disrupt the thermostat in the hypothalamus, maybe enough distraction to interrupt the usual pattern. Andrew, by the way, is extremely wise (in my opinion, anyway) for refusing pain meds. I have done it myself for years, after many of the same things (dental stuff, sinus surgery, herniated discs). I don't think they actually help that much and the rebound loops are awful. I sometimes wonder, given how the brain and body really tries hard to always be in balance, if many of the things we do to abort come back to haunt us later; things like vasoconstrictors and such. Not that I'm giving up coffee.

Also; I have a feeling that the fewer meds you're actually on, especially anything that would already mess with you hormonally, the better the licorice tincture will actually work.

I'm glad you are there for Andrew. When I was his age and first starting to get clusters I was living alone and was terrified; I thought my brain was growing a tumor the size of Detroit.

Anybody out there looking for sources for licorice root tincture, if you cannot get it locally (and I sympathize, I live deep in Appalachia) there are several good reliable internet sources;;; try Gaia Herbs, they are a national brand and they offer licorice root tincture, although I couldn't get the technical specs on their site. Terrafirma has what looks like a nice organic tincture, and there were a bunch more.

Eventually,[highlight] if there is interest, I can post how-to instructions to make your own. All you need is a few ball jars and for about 30 bucks or so you can make about a five year supply. Takes two weeks, the old fashioned way.

[/highlight]

How bout you just do it.

       Potter

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Well, Les, you've certainly generated some interest in your licorice potion. After only a very few days, I don't think I could get my kid to give it up. Hell, I think I'm gonna try it. I paid $10 for a 1oz bottle. I got a whole bunch of Ball jars. How can I get a copy of your how-to-make-the-shit instructions?

Thanks,

Ron

p.s. - Pssst, Dan. What are you wearing?

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I actually got the licorice thing. I got hit right away. After Tried two times today, same thing happened both times. Maybe i just don`t tolerate licorice. Mushrooms sometimes give me bp drop, same with imitrex. Seems this does the same. I know it`s not supposed to, but it does. Maybe just a reaction in the beginning.

Dan, if your into droopy eyes, that`s just how it is. In here, hard to take a pick, just too many choices ;)

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Uh.... maybe not the best word to play with in English. "Spunk" has some rather odd connotations that we'd probably do best not to get into here. How about "playful" or even "feisty?" "Feistilicious?" Ron

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Just so you know...[highlight]Ron hits on all the cluster babes. Hell, he even hits on me when he's feeling really spunky.[/highlight]

Dan

Pssst, Dan. What are you wearing?

This was the cause of 4.7 metric honkloads of LOL in Gnashville.  :D ;D

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OK ... below are instructions for making an herbal tincture. I am passing this on from the place I learned it : The Herbal Medicine Maker's Handbook by James Green. I highly recommend it, he's an amazingly lucid communicator and instructor.

You will need:

1.the herb, of course. What you want to buy is the herb sold as "cut and sifted"; NOT already powdered. Remember, herb potency deteriorates once the surfaces are exposed to oxygen. Bulk herbs are available on line from numerous sources, probably the most accessible would be Frontier Coop. I think licorice root is about eleven dollars a pound. Its imported from China. Like everything else.

2.Several large Mason jars with tight fitting lids (canning jars).

3.Distilled water

4.Everclear or equivalent (pure grain alcohol).

5. A coffee grinder

6. Cheesecloth and a strainer.

7. A scale (optional, I'll explain below)

8. Measuring cups with metric gradations

OK, here we go:

This is called tincturing by maceration; its an ancient and thoroughly satisfactory method. Lets say for example you bought a pound of licorice root and you want to make half of it. So split it in half (use a scale if you have one, do it by eye if you don't. Exactness is nice, but not critical. Isn't herbalism fun?). Now grind it all up in the coffee grinder. Just like with coffee, the finer you grind it the stronger the finished product as more surface is exposed. You don't need to grind to a uniform powder for this method, just chop it up as much as possible. Place it in a measuring cup and pack it down, and record the total VOLUME of the whole amount you are going to use. Once you know the total volume, place the herb in a mason jar. NOTE: the jar you use needs to be large enough to hold all of the herb and liquid, so plan ahead.

Now you need to make the liquid portion of the future tincture which does the actual extracting. This is called the menstruum.(We are going to do math now. Please don't panic). The "1:5" ratio I keep throwing around refers to the strength of the finished product. This is determined by doing a weight-to-volume calculation. It is really very simple; you multiply the weight of the herb you are using times five, and that gives you the volume of  menstruum, that you need to use.

So for example (and it isn't rocket fuel it does not have to be painstakingly exact) you are using half a pound of licorice root, that's 8 ounces or approximately 240 grams. Multiply that by 5 and you get the required menstruum volume of 1200 milliliters.

Now when you put the herb in the liquid, some of it is going to soak in and be pretty impossible to get completely out. So in order to compensate for this, there is one additional calculation you need to do. Refer back to the total volume of the herb that you ground up. Lets say for example its 600 milliliters. ADD that number to the 1200 for a total of 1800 milliliters of menstruum.

Licorice root extracts well at about 40% alcohol; so take your total (1800) and take 40% of that: 720 milliliters alcohol. Which leaves 1080 milliliters of distilled water.

Pour these amounts into the jar with the herb, Stir it around until all of the herb is wet and seal it up tight. Now, place it on a counter (out of direct sunlight) or someplace you will see it a lot, because every time you see it for the next 14 days give it a vigorous shaking. This is important. At least several times a day. After 14 days, give it an additional day without disturbing it so it settles a bit. After that, get a clean jar, and pour off the tincture through the cheesecloth and strainer. If you are a perfectionist, let it settle again and restrain it, but the sediment doesn't hurt it and at this point its basically done. The yield for eight ounces of herb should be a little over a quart of finished tincture, and I can guarantee you it will be as good as anything you can buy. Better, because you can put the mojo of all the frustration of those years of frigging headaches into it every time you shake it. A quart should be several years worth of tincture.

Its late and I have to go walk dogs and feed horses so I hope this is understandable. If not, any questions I'll fix it later.

Les G.

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Thanks, Les. The only Everclear in California is 151 proof (75% alc) rather than the 180 (90% alc) found in most states. Can that be compensated for by using a higher percentage of the CA Everclear than what you mention in your recipe? Ron

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Ron: It occurred to me this morning that I was being unnecessarily complicated: I always use grain alcohol, but since Licorice tinctures at 40-50% it would be just simpler to use vodka, which is if I'm not mistaken about that % alcohol??

Then you could cut out the percentage calculation and just use vodka for the total liquid volume. That would work perfectly, and make it easier on you.

Sorry. It was late.

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