Jump to content
ClusterBusters
Sign in to follow this  
les genser

a potential new option

Recommended Posts

One more thought I forgot, and it may be suggestive ( I don't know to who, exactly.) A few people have mentioned being more aware of shadows after starting the tincture. I had the same experience, and I think I have an idea why.

When we ordinarily get 'attacked', the onset is so fast that it is practically impossible to separate causes from effects. I believe that the tincture works directly in the hypothalamus, in some fashion stabilizing serotonin levels and thereby, downstream,  preventing cortisol depletion without additional adrenaline release. But we get hit two ways: Inside out, which is direct hypothalamic triggering (an example would be the infamous sleep hits) and outside in, which is triggering by feedback loop (shadows). Chronic pain results in our personal feedback loops, which all travel directly back to or through the hypothalamus, being hypersensitized over time. They can and do trigger the hypo from the outside, and are more in the nature of histamine mediated things, like allergic reactions. (Sinus swelling, neck muscle pain, congestion, stuff like that).

The licorice tincture, by whatever seeming magic it possesses, decouples the hypothalamus from the pain cycle. So expect the triggers to continue, but I think you may be pretty sure they will not escalate. That is pretty much where I am now; if I feel shadows lurking I'll take a dose and relax. Once they are gone, usually about twenty minutes, they don't return. (Did I mention that this tincture is also a really fine mood elevator? and that it also removes toxins from your liver, just because).

Triggers have transgenic cell memory going for them, and they are likely to take a long time to fade, but they will.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This may be helpful, as there seems much confusion about:

If you are having trouble locating a source for tinctures, these may help:

I looked at websites and I will only comment on those that provide technical specifications for their products; and those that will mail order retail.

In the US try Mountain Rose Herbs; all their stuff is organic and small batch and they make a 1:4 whole root tincture. Its also priced decently, 9 bucks a fl. oz.

In Europe (thanks Tony) try organic herbal remedies (organicherbalremedies.co.uk/  whose product also looks pretty good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Les, this is a bit off topic, but I've noticed Ron and Michael reported mood elevation with licorice tincture use.

I tried a bottle's worth and I found myself in a fiarly consistent, particularly good mood after awhile. Now that I'm off of it that happy sunshiney boost is going away.:P It could be coincidence of course, but I suspect the tincture is a factor here.

So my questions are:

1) Is there any dose that you'd consider safe for continual use?

2) I'm one hypoglycemic SOB, and when I take it on an empty stomach (which = low blood sugar), it seems to perk my blood sugar up, followed by a pretty quick drop. I think I'd be better off taking it right before a meal or something. Anything wrong with taking it with food instead of on an empty stomach?

Thanks.  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Triggers have transgenic cell memory going for them, and they are likely to take a long time to fade, but they will.

Les, I know you are busy looking into all of this, the information you have shared thus far has been very interesting! If you have the time, could you explain what "transgenic cell memory" is, and maybe - how it relates to triggers? 

Thanks so much!

DG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry I've been MIA. Early spring flood in Appalachia.

To answer the questions raised above in order:

1. Licorice root, as an SRI, is most definitely a mood elevator; I don't like to refer to it as an antidepressant as that sounds negative, but it is a pretty damn good one. It is being studied(???) for use in menopause for this and other benefits, as I suspect its action is largely hormonal. I believe this is one reason the Chinese put it in about 70% of their herbal mixtures. Most sources discourage prolonged use-- at therapeutic levels. (The low end of which is what recommended). However, I'm finding that the effects linger and a once in the morning tonic dose lasts a long time. I think that would be safe to do on a daily basis. Since it does kick in quickly ( those sugars) I prefer to just treat it as a legal bong hit, if you catch my drift, and use when necessary.

2. I think the sugars would also do exactly what you say, so best to do the tincture on some belly ballast. It might slow the onset, but you won't get the sugar burn.

3. Transgenic cell memory, very briefly, is behavior which is learned by cells which is then passed on to their offspring. It is how cells remember pathogens and antibodies, among other things. In our case, in chronic pain the cells "learn" an allergic type response to stress or other triggering stimuli which instigates an attack. This response remains in the cell memory until the cells learn a more 'normal' behavior. The tincture interrupts the allergic response in the hypothalamus (I think), so what you get are occasional triggering episodes that don't escalate into attacks, and these can be aborted pretty easily. I truly believe that if the tincture is working, you need to have faith that it will stop these triggers short of an attack, and relax, don't tense up and stress. I know this is hard to do, because when you trigger you reflexively go for your defenses and your tool kit, but it has at least been my experience that the big bully triggers have been recast as class clown. I guess in short (and why can't I ever be f-ing brief) I'm trying to say if you are 'triggering' it doesn't mean the tincture is not working for you.

4. The force is with you, always.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4. The force is with you, always.

Gracias :D

I got one guy at herbs wholesale to search the stuff for me here in Finland, he could not find any with alcohol still in it. So I have 2 bottles coming up from the link above. Anyways he was rather interested about liqorice root in treating CH (more interested than any doctor I've seen in past weeks).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TTT, you might want to look over the "Licorice Root Summary" in the Clusterbuster files (accessed from the "Forum Jump" menu at the bottom of the page).  http://www.clusterheadaches.com/cb/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1298659068

:)

I did (before I came upon your tip) and printed it, great job *thumbs up* haven't printed this much stuff for years, I have piles and piles of prints everywhere ;D

So much information. If we'd have people like Les in healthcare we'd have "what a beautiful world" in Armstrong kinda way

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found Licorice Root Extract at Whole Foods.  The sales person said it was the same a tinture.  I couldn't argue.  Brand name Herb Pharm.  1:2 with 19-29% grain alcohol.  20-40 drops per dose is recommended.  Cost $11.29 for 1 ounce.  Interesting flavor in a little water...

Time for just 2 doses before bedtime yesterday.  Really different results over night, too.  I have a habit of rating my CHs on a 1-10 scale, and unlike normal I had 4 CHs last night as well (instead of 1-2).  The difference was that all of them lasted only 10 minutes with a pain level of around 2.  The pain never moved into my left eye as normal for the really bad ones.  I used a cold wet wash cloth.  Just painful enough to ruin my sleep pattern and get me up...

Greg

PS - Compared to the 2 hour #9 level that I had the other night, they were better.  We will see after today, and then I'll enter the Poll in the other topic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Greg: The herb pharm is fine. What you experienced is exactly what I've been experiencing, and particularly what I had when first starting... multiple episodes at night which never escalate; I never even got out of bed to deal, I just breathed and acupressured through them and they lasted about five ten minutes. My experience was that the night stuff goes away after about a week of tapering off. Those are hypo events. I think you are showing a good reaction here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.hannasherbshop.com/shop/product/2391

This is where I ordered mine from.

Ingredients: Licorice root extract (1:5) in alcohol (50%) and distilled water. 38 drops equals 450 mg.

$7.95/oz  (seemed a very fair price to me)

Ordered on Monday 7th. Got order confirmation, but no shipping confirmation. Will keep posted.

IAMSHAMAN order has already shipped out and is en route.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Les, firstly, thank you for so much detailed and well-written information. Very informative. After poring over your research, I decided to hold off on my planned "alternative" experiment and give licorice tincture a shot. I have taken one dose, so nothing to report yet, just hopeful.

For an additional source, I received my bottle of tincture today from iHerb.com, Eclectic Institute brand, 1:4 strength in organic alcohol. It was $12 for 2oz. . .they gave me a flyer in my package, new customers can get $5 off their first order with "referral code POS356". No, I'm not selling anything, so the regular cynics can save their breath. It's just a way for someone to get 2oz of licorice tincture for $7 if anyone is still searching for a source.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most prices will probably range (retail) around 9 or 10 dollars an ounce. That iHerb price is very fair for what seems to be a good product (1:4 organic alcohol). Organic licorice root will be somewhat pricier as the raw material cost doubles.

Even at ten bucks an ounce, its less than 30 cents a dose.

I've said it before: Suck on that, drug pirates.

I just hope it works for you guys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to throw a question out here, I guess specifically for Les (I already feel like I should write you a check for my co-pay or at least give you my insurance info.)

So, beginning yesterday, I took one dose of the tincture at about 5pm, and another at around 9:30pm (I know those are pretty close together, but I wanted to get a second dose in before I went to sleep.) As many have reported, I could definitely "feel" something different, but it's very difficult to describe.

Anyway, in recent weeks, my irregular hits have started to fall into a pattern, and I've been getting hit regularly at around 4am every day. Last night, after getting some decent sleep, I got smacked at about 4:30am as usual. I really wanted to let this one go to see how strong it would get and how long it would last, to see if anything was different. But when it started getting intense, I chickened out and chugged an energy shot.

So, my question is. . .based on this experience, should I conclude that the tincture is ineffective in my case? I hate to jump to conclusions, but most of the anecdotal evidence is that licorice, if properly administered, produces instant results. I'm going to continue on the 3x per day regimen for now. I'm expecting a CH sometime mid-afternoon and another around 8pm, so I'll have more info to work with later today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK; to the best of my knowledge, here's the short answer.

Whether or not the tincture produces results seems to depend on a few things I have become aware of and probably lots that I don't. Factors which seem to matter are what meds if any you have been taking or have taken regularly. Trigger avoidance seems to matter a lot. (Having experimented on myself, I can state the following with some confidence.) Licorice root will not eliminate outside-in triggering events. This may be TMI, but we're all friends here: My sinuses are extremely sensitive now. Dusts will set them off, as will smoke (cigarette) and weed. I have been trying to quit smoking for months, and when I stay off cigs for a few days, I don't trigger. Smoking pot triggers me the same way; when I avoid it I'm fine, but,well, lets just say I don't avoid it all the time. And I trigger, but the difference now is that its more of an 'allergy' kind of attack of the type I guess normal people get that they run to the benadryl for. Whereas these episodes used to trigger full blowers within minutes which were completely incapacitating, I am convinced the licorice acts as a sort of disconnect, preventing the hypothalamus from getting involved. I can continue to function, and the triggering episode will usually fade out spontaneously. If I don't engage in dumb behavior, I don't have this problem.

So here is what I believe:

1. If the tincture changes the pattern or severity of your attacks, its working.

2. How well it works depends on you internally (how much old or new pharm. damage you have, what are you taking now) and externally (are you triggering yourself, knowingly or not)

3. My best suggestion would be to not stress yourself, and abort if you have to. BUT, abort with O2, ice, caffeine etc.; DO NOT attempt to abort with triptan shots or other meds which could interact.

4. Pay attention and you will be able to identify things that are triggering you. Stop them if you can, or if you are an idiot like I am tell yourself you 're experimenting on yourself.

5. I would give it a week of regular use before giving up on it. Hallucinogens can take time and painful hits to produce results. Be patient.

I hope this helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been using Herb Pharm (1:2) extract that I bought at an HEB grocery store here in Houston for $9.95. Just this morning depleted the bottle, so time for another trip to the store.

My experience has been a decrease in the intensity and duration of the CHs. Normally I'll awake in pain, get up immediately and chug down an energy drink. Gets kind of rough drinking those at night when you're trying to sleep.

Several nights ago had the experience of the headache going away before I had even finished the drink. Kinda pissed me off as I felt like I had wasted an energy drink.

Another thing, last Tuesday evening I took the licorice about thirty minutes prior to a 60 RC seed dose, my second dose. I definitely felt the effects of the LSA, something I hand't  noticed in my previous doses of RC seeds.

By the way, the Herb Pharm product is "Certified Organically Grown" according to the label.

Really can't tell if the licorice extract is having an effect on the CHs or not as I have been successfully using the RC seeds for prevention for quite a while now. One thing that does seem different now is the lessening of the duration of the post dose headaches.

I had been relatively PF for several months. I don't do a regular dosing schedule with the seeds. I usually take three dose of 60 spaced a week apart when these damn HAs start hammering me. This last bout started 4 days after I had gotten some kinda virus resulting a cough, lung congestion and just generally feeling like crap. This is also the time I started using the licorice.

Pardon the rambling post, I just naturally tend to ramble.

Well, off to the store, PF days & nights to all.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info, Les. . .makes total sense. I will say that I've been pretty clean, as far as other meds in my system. I am decidedly anti-pharmaceutical, so the only thing I've had is a nine-day prednisone taper about four months ago. Since then, I've experimented with kudzu, that's about it. I stopped taking that a couple weeks ago too. And I'm a bit of a square, too. . .no smoking, a rare drink.

So, back to the licorice. Since my last post, I've continued taking it 3x a day, and some things have changed. One of my 4am hits happened as usual, but it was lower in intensity (maybe a 5) and lasted much longer (close to 2 hours instead of the usual 40 minutes). Not exactly a picnic, but it was a change. Yesterday, I started to feel my usual 3pm hit coming on (with the nose tingling, eye watering) while I was at a party, so I snuck out to my car and slammed an energy shot and waited. Instead of spiking into a full-blown headache then tapering off from the taurine, this one just never happened. There was a little bit of orbital pain, but nothing that even slowed me down. It was gone in under 10 minutes.

Last night, I made it through the entire night totally pain-free, which hasn't happened in a long time. And this was after having a few beers, too. No pain so far today, either. So, something is different. I'll continue to report progress on this thread, for those interested.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No pain so far today, either. So, something is different. I'll continue to report progress on this thread, for those interested. 

Wonderful news!  And please do continue--I for one am very interested.  Thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ok, LT2  I need not be your mother here...  But.  Alcohol is a significant trigger for something like 99% of us.  You'd do yourself a favor by not consuming while in cycle...  Just sayin..

I enjoy an occasional beer myself, but never when in cycle.  :)

Jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, mom. . .I mean, Jeff!   :)

Just kidding, man. Alcohol has never really been a trigger for me, with the exception of red wine. I think it has more to do with histamines than the alcohol. And yesterday was just a perfect day for a couple locally-brewed IPAs!

4pm, and no hits yet today. . .which means I've missed my usual 4am as well as my mid-afternoon fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×