Natural Solutions for Depression and Anxiety with David Foreman: Rational Wellness Podcast 59
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David Foreman, the Natural Pharmacist, speaks about natural solutions for depression and anxiety with Dr. Ben Weitz.
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0:52 My intro on depression and anxiety and how such patients are treated with drugs that modulate neurotransmitters like serotonin, despite the fact that there’s never been a successful human study linking low serotonin levels with depression. I also talked about how difficult it is to get off these drugs once you have been taking them.
8:50 I asked David what should patients do who are suffering some mild depression? David responded that they should use his four pillars of health program encompassing diet, exercise, spirituality and supplements that you can find in his Pillars of Health Heart Disease book.
10:54 David recommended that someone with mild depression should contact a Functional Medicine practitioner like one of us to help explore some of the underlying causes of depression by looking at diet and lifestyle. Alcohol is a depressant for the nervous system and should be avoided. You need to feed your brain by avoiding refined, sugary, starchy foods and eating more fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, legumes, lean cuts of meat, and wild salmon for the omega threes for your nervous system.
13:51 From a Functional Medicine perspective, rather than treating depression, depression is just a symptom and we need to find out what the underlying cause including nutritional deficiencies, lack of exercise, if you have a lot of inflammation, then your brain will be inflammed. You need to look at hormone imbalances and the gut, considering the gut/brain connection.
21:16 David mentioned three herbs that can help with depression and anxiety: 1. Zembrin from South Africa, which comes from a cactus, helps you relax and calm down and also help your concentration and focus, 2. Rhodiola, which is an adaptogenic herb that helps to balance your system, 3. Passion flower, that helps with sleep.
David Foreman, the Herbal Pharmacist, is available for speaking engagements and can be contacted through his website, http://herbalpharmacist.com/ and you can email him directly and he will respond.
Dr. Ben Weitz is available for nutrition consultations specializing in Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders like IBS/SIBO and Reflux and also specializing in Cardiometabolic Risk Factors like elevated lipids, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure and also weight loss, as well as sports chiropractic work by calling his Santa Monica office 310-395-3111.
This is Doctor Ben Weitz with the Rational Wellness Podcast, bringing you the cutting-edge information on health and nutrition, from the latest scientific research and by interviewing the top experts in the field. Please subscribe to the Rational Wellness Podcast on iTunes and YouTube, and sign up for my free eBook on my website by going to drweitz.com. Let’s get started on your road to better health.
Dr. Weitz: Good morning Rational Wellness Podcasters. Thank you so much for joining me again today. For those of you who enjoy this podcast, please go to iTunes and leave us your ratings and review so more people can find out about the Rational Wellness Podcast. Our topic for today is depression and anxiety, what to do about it. For depression in the United States it’s very common if you go to see your doctor that he’s going to prescribe a medication like a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or SSRI, like Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro, and these are among the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States. They’re prescribed not just for depression and anxiety but for a whole host of other disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, eating disorders, arthritis, chronic pain, neuropathic pain, IBS, migraines, ADHD, addiction, sleep disorders, and now mind wandering. The problem is that these medications–it’s not clear that we have any idea how they work or even if they do work. In fact, it’s only a conjecture that depression is actually caused by a deficiency in serotonin or norepinephrine. In fact, there’s never been a successful human study linking low serotonin levels with depression.
According to a recent article in the New York Times, the long-term use of depressants is surging in the US. According to federal data, some fifteen and a half million Americans have been taking these types of medications for at least five years, and the rate has almost doubled since 2010. Unfortunately most of these antidepressants were originally only approved for short-term usage by the FDA, and there’s only a few studies that have actually looked at the safety of taking these for longer than a few years, yet many patients are put on these indefinitely. Then when they try to get off them, it becomes very, very hard to get off them. A large percentage of patients, a significant percentage of patients have a very difficult time getting off these antidepressants, and a lot of them just stay on them because they can’t get off.
To talk about this and some other related topics, I’m very pleased that my friend David Foreman, the Herbal Pharmacist is here, and we’re going to talk about some alternatives of other things you can do for depression and anxiety. Hi, David. Thank you for joining me today.
David Foreman: Thank you. For the people that listen to your podcast that heard that background on antidepressants, if they have depression already now they’re even more depressed. I don’t want to make light of their situation. You and I have a cool rapport. I think we have very similar beliefs. One of the things I like to do is just I like to be real about things, so hopefully I don’t offend anybody by my commentary. Depression is definitely a very serious thing. As a guy that owned a pharmacy, I still owned my pharmacy when the introduction of those SSRI drugs you were just talking about came out, and at one point one of them, and I’m not going to mention brands, but was actually the number one most prescribed drug in the world. It’s a big deal, and it’s a big topic. I feel like a lot of times people don’t talk about it. Who likes to talk about their mental health? Unless you have really good mental health, most of the time if you’re bringing it up it’s basically a chink in your armor, and especially for guys, man, we’re like bullet proof. We’re like superheroes. It doesn’t get talked about, so I’m glad we’re covering this topic today.
Dr. Weitz: I second your thoughts. I certainly sympathize with people who have been dealing with depression. I know it can be a very difficult situation to deal with. If you’ve been taking these medications and they’re working for you, all power to you. I just wanted to point out some of the issues with these drugs. I know quite a number of people who didn’t really get much benefit from them, and then they have trouble getting off them. We’re just trying to get to the science behind these things. Certainly if you’re listening to this podcast and you’re taking antidepressants or any other kind of medication that’s been prescribed by your doctor, certainly don’t stop it without talking to your doctor. That’s the most important thing.
David Foreman: Definitely. I can’t stress that enough. I got to drive that one point home that you just said about the people that actually have more severe cases of depression, a lot of times I run into. Those are the people who really want to get off of their meds. I recently did a couple of TV engagements on this topic in Phoenix, and I had people emailing me: “My wife has bipolar disorder. Which is a more severe version, and she doesn’t …” They always don’t want to take their meds. My thing is like if you’re that severe and you’re doing well, why would you want to rock your boat? That’s one.
Two is if you haven’t taken the medications for a long time and maybe you do just have mild depression or mild anxiety, the side effects that people go through when they come off of those meds, like if you went cold turkey within a couple of days you’re going to feel horrible, like flu-like, achey. You’ll have focusing issues, sleep problems, more anxiety. We’re now finding out, and I don’t think they’ve been … They haven’t been classified as addictive yet, but I feel like with all of the things that people have going on, I mean the anti-anxiety one for sure are addictive, but antidepressants usually are not. These are things that people need to be weaned off of, and the cool thing is a lot of the things I’ll talk about today, some of them can be integrated into your current regimen. Again, like you said, and I like to drive those points home, just because people sometimes, I feel like, are thick-headed, because they just want to stop having all the side effects from their meds, and they’re anxious to change, but you got to consult with your health care provider. It’s got to be a team effort. It can be done, unless you really do have something more severe going on.
Dr. Weitz: In fact, I think an excellent point to make here is I’m a big believer that everybody needs a team of people to help them. If you’re dealing with psychological issues, you should have a psychological counselor, but I think most people would be best-suited to not only have a traditional MD that they work with, but also a Functional Medicine practitioner like myself or yourself who knows the nutritional end of things. We should all be working together for the betterment of the patient, and not one being better than the other.
David Foreman: I’ll tell you what, if we were in the same room right now I’d be high-fiving you on that one. I’m a high-fiver. We can do a fist bump, so we can do a virtual fist bump. How about that?
Dr. Weitz: I think everybody does the fist bump because they’re paranoid about getting germs. I’m a big believer in germs. I like germs.
David Foreman: I know they exist. I feel like if I believe-
Dr. Weitz: … for our immune system.
David Foreman: I know. I feel like if I believe in them too much, then I will get sick, and I pretty much just don’t care. It’s those moments where I have that mental … Perfect. It’s those moments where I have that mental weakness that “are they actually going to bother me,” that they do, and I’m like, “I had a weak moment.”
Dr. Weitz: There you go, the power of the mind.
David Foreman: Right on.
Dr. Weitz: How do you want to start this conversation? What should patients do when they’re just feeling a little depression? What’s the first thing they should do, do you think?
David Foreman: This is where I love the fact that I came from traditional medicine, and now I’m this natural medicine expert, because I feel like as opposed to people that are all on, all-in on just natural medicine, they hate when I say what I’m about to say. If you’re having-
Dr. Weitz: By the way, I’m not talking about somebody who’s about ready to hang themselves.
David Foreman: That’s not even funny. I’m sorry I laughed, but I was just-
Dr. Weitz: I know exactly what you’re talking about. You’re feeling a little blue. You can’t quite get motivated. Not somebody with a long-term history of depression.
David Foreman: If it’s something that’s just new and coming on, for one thing, for years I’ve been preaching something called four pillars of health which are diet, and I know these things all resonate with you as well: diet, exercise, spirituality and supplements. I feel like in order to really be that truly healthy individual you need to have a balance of all four of those components. You can’t just eat right, or you can’t just take supplements, or you can’t just be a work-out warrior. You just can’t pray the paint off the walls. You’ve got to have a balance of those things. Usually when someone, and I’ll throw myself into this equation, because I’ve walked that world before. First thing is to really do some introspective thinking about, which is more probably on the spiritual side of it is like try to figure out what might be triggering you to feel that way. Are you having financial problems, or is one of your kids getting into trouble? Are your parents aging and you’re worried about taking care of them? Dig inside yourself and try to figure out what the root of that concern is, and perhaps even contact someone such as yourself and say …
I always feel like that’s a good start. Start with someone that’s open to the natural modalities that is a qualified health care provider as well, which both of us are. Let us get a better spin on it. Again, this conversation is really more for the people that … You’re not a chronic depression person. If you are, that’s a whole other discussion which we can have if we have time. Then look into through guidance through this health care provider. There’s definitely some things that we can do diet-wise, like so, again, my four pillars. For me getting out and getting some exercise is critical, because it helps take care of stress. Your body releases hormones it normally wouldn’t, called endorphins, which would give you that high, uplifted feeling, not high like you’re stoned, but high like you’re just feeling better about yourself. Diet plays a huge role-
Dr. Weitz: By the way, exercise also increases brain derived neurotropic factor (BDNF), so it makes it easy to read and learn things, so there’s a lot of huge benefits to the brain from exercise.
David Foreman: Exactly. Then you get into the diet part. What are you eating, drinking? Alcohol is a depressant. A lot of times people that are feeling down or blue may have a cocktail or two or three to take the edge off. I was just traveling in Europe with one of my really good friends, and he kind of had a come-to-Jesus moment with me, and not about myself but about himself. We kind of rolled the bus over and he’s like, “Man, I’m dealing with so much stuff right now with my dad, and my family, and my work. I’m just drinking way too much right now, because it helps numb that feeling.” Alcohol is actually more of a depressant. It’ll actually make the cycle go more and more.
People do a lot of caffeine or if … You got to feed your body. You got to feed your brain, and so you want to make sure you’re eating a cleaner diet, and cleaner meaning avoiding all those processed, refined, sugary, starchy foods, and eating more fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, legumes, lean cuts of meat. Man, nothing better than a salmon or whatever for the omega threes for your nervous system. Diet plays a role in there. Spirituality. I’m not going to get into the religious side of things, because everybody has a different way of doing it. For me, I’m a Christian, so I’ll go back to my Bible or I’ll look up passages or I’ll pray. I’m not saying that’s what you have to do, but I feel like you should pick something and practice it, whatever it may be.
Then there are supplements that you can take to help your body either re-nourish it or take the edge off. I’m going to cover some of those later in this podcast, but that’s the kind of approach I would take, and I know it’s probably a long-winded answer for you there, but I felt like it all needed to be said.
Dr. Weitz: Good. From my perspective, trying to employ a functional medicine perspective on it, which is the way I tend to look at things, depression is really just a symptom. It doesn’t tell you what the cause is. We need to find out what the root cause of depression is, and there’s a whole series of things that can cause it. You mentioned nutritional deficiencies, lack of exercise. If you have a lot of inflammation in your body, you’re going to end up with inflammation in your brain, that’s going to cause depression. If there’s an imbalance in your hormones, in your body, that can lead to depression. There’s a whole series of things. If your gut, you know the connection between the gut and the brain?
David Foreman: Yeah.
Dr. Weitz: Huge. 80% of the neurotransmitters are produced in the intestinal tract. If you’ve got a messed up gut and you’ve got gas and bloating and constipation, you got to clean that up if you want to really address what’s going on in your brain.
David Foreman: That’s why you do go to somebody who practices a Functional Medicine approach. I used to get really frustrated when I actually did consultations with people, because I’d spend an hour and a half or two or three hours trying to dig to the root, get down in there and figure out why. You got to figure out why you have what you have before you can actually do anything to fix it. For me, it’s either how do you fix it or how do you prevent it. If you don’t want to have these issues, what do I do? It’s a blend of all those things that you just mentioned and I mentioned previously.
Dr. Weitz: Absolutely. Let’s see. Do you want to talk a little more about nutrition and what kind of nutritional factors you think are really important? I know blood sugar imbalances are really crucial. In this society with the overuse of high-glycemic carbohydrates and sugar foods, that’s a really big issue.
David Foreman: I feel like we could spend a day in hours discussing the nutritional link to this. One of the things, I think, that I’ve gotten good at is instead of telling people what not to do, I tell people what to do. Then when they say, “Well, what about this?” I’m like, “Well, was it in the what I said to do part?” Sorry, I’m a super-science, like I’m super-smart on science, but I’m also super-awesome at, and no offense to people, but kind of like … Well, I won’t say dumb it down. I was going to, but I like doing things foundationally and fundamentally. It doesn’t have to be hard. I’m going to go back to-
Dr. Weitz: No. That’s great. That’s one of the hardest things to do is to make the science easy to understand for people who don’t have hours reading journal articles like you and I do.
David Foreman: Yeah. Again, I’d rather not get into what … You just talked about the sugars and all that stuff and the negative effect they have. I’d rather just tell people this, like, hey, if it’s not a whole food, meaning it’s not in its original form, like apple sauce isn’t necessarily an apple, because usually the skin’s not there, and they add stuff to it. If it’s not a whole food, so going back to instead of listing off all the possible things, it’s a lot easier for me just to go, “Hey, fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, legumes, meat, pork, chicken, fish. Those are all …” Everybody’s like, “Pork, really? Meat, really?” I’m like, yeah, leaner cuts, and that’s what you eat. Then I get these people that say, “Well, what about my Chex cereal?” I really do want to go, “You’re smarter than that.” Then I think there really are people that don’t have that cognitive sense. Again, it’s-
Dr. Weitz: Have you taken a look at the supermarket, David? We got row after row of foods like boxes and cans and packages.
David Foreman: I’m not trying to dodge your question either. At the end of the day the reality is if it’s not on that list, and you definitely have a problem … One of my favorite things is if you’re diabetic and you’re listed critically diabetic, you’ve got those blood sugar swings that are just like you’ve ended up in the hospital. I associate that with this: you are covered in gasoline and you’re playing with matches. Would you do that?
Dr. Weitz: I hate to tell you, I treated a number of patients with diabetes and there’s a lot of people that just don’t want a test, they hate the test. They’re all over the place.
David Foreman: I know, but that’s where it is. It’s like how much do you appreciate your life? That’s when I go if it’s not on my list, how else could I say it? That’s my answer to the diet part. Seriously, if you’re dealing with a health challenge and you really are sick of it, and maybe you are on … I run into this a lot where people are like, “Well, I’m really tired of taking my XYZ for whatever the challenge is.” I had a radio show, and this guy called into my radio show one time, and he was like, “Well, I’ve got type II diabetes, and my doctor’s talking about putting me on insulin. Blah blah blah.”
I’m like, “Well, you got to, like I just told you, like you got to avoid all those processed foods, sugar, focus on those foods.” He was like, “Yeah. I don’t know if I want to do that.” I’m like, “Wait, you got to decide which do you want to do. Do you want to take your meds that cause other side effects?” I ran into a medical doctor the other day that was totally dialed in on it. She was like, “Hey, I am finally …” You never know what causes that epiphany, but she was like, “I finally realized that when I prescribe this medication for blood pressure that the blood pressure comes down but I just gave them 10 other problems.”
I’ve been doing this long enough, and I’m sure you have as well, that I’ve seen enough with those people that really are committed to the program of getting their exercise, eating the right foods, and then getting well. It’s when you get well that then you can play with it a little bit. You can go out with your friends and not worry about, or a holiday or a birthday or whatever, and you can go ahead and have whatever you want, and you can skip a day of working out. Until you get there, and you really want to get off your meds, like I can’t tell you how many times people were like, “Man, I lasted like four weeks, and then I just said to heck with them, and just take my blood sugar pill.” Well, then stop complaining about taking it. Sorry, Ben. I got kind of crazy there.
Dr. Weitz: I totally agree with you. I’ve heard the same kind of stories. What kind of alternatives are there for people who want to find another approach for depression and anxiety?
David Foreman: I’m going to start with depression, and I’m going to cover it really quick. I’m going to just focus on the supplemental side of things. I trademarked years ago Herbal Pharmacist, because when I got started on all of this I really only understood the herbal part of it. Now, I’m like a natural, healthy lifestyle guy, but I’m going to cover a few herbs. On depression, in Germany or in Europe they’ve been prescribing for years a standardized extract of Saint John’s-wort, but/and/or, however you want to pick it, that was used for mild to moderate depression. Keyword is mild to moderate.
Again, if people are already being treated then you can’t just throw this in and mix it what you’re already taking, because depending on the type of medication you’re taking it could cause even more side effects for people. That’s really my go-to. Again, it’s mild to moderate. It’s good for people if you have that thought in the back of your head of like, “Well, maybe it’s more than just that.” Well, then you need to seek help. You need to find out what’s really going on. Then, of course, throwing in those other components that I mentioned. I know that’s probably oversimplifying it. I have this elaborate approach for people to help balance neurotransmitters when it came to that kind of stuff. It was high in certain B vitamins and magnesium, and adding serine and choline and all those types of things. We don’t really have time for that on this. I didn’t necessarily want this show to necessarily go down that path anyway. I think what is better to get into is when we use the word anxiety, I think it gets used loosely. In all honesty, I feel like, Ben, that what we’re talking about is we’re just stressed out. We have a high-stress lifestyle, and for that I’ve got a lot of really cool things.
I’m always learning. I’ve got three herbs that I can talk about real quick that help with that stress component to help take the edge off in different ways, or help the body adapt. Again, these are not a replacement necessarily for diet, exercise, or spirituality as well. I can tell you though that they help. They help quick, until you can learn. It’s hard to change everything at one time. The cool thing is, I talked to you about this right before, and I got a little globe here. The reason I have the globe is the three herbs I’m going to talk about come from three different completely unique regions of the world. They have been used by indigenous tribes in those areas for hundreds of years, and now in the last couple of decades or so we in the natural medicine and modern medicine field have actually identified why. They’ve done clinical trials. Everything I’m going to talk about actually has clinical research behind it to prove how much, and that kind of stuff. I’ve actually got some things I can show on the screen if that’s okay with you, too.
Dr. Weitz: Sure. That’d be great.
David Foreman: Cool. I’m going to start in South Africa, way down at the bottom. I’m sure they don’t like me calling it the bottom of the globe. Southern hemisphere, there was a tribe there that’s been using an herb that comes from a succulent, like a type of cactus. The tribesmen were using it on hunting missions. It helped keep them calm and relaxed and focused. Even actually helped curb their hunger, because that part of South Africa, I think it’s actually the oldest known still living, existent civilization on the planet. Other civilizations have died off, and this is like the oldest tribe we know of. If people want to learn about them, it’s the San tribe, or S-A-N. Really cool stories on the internet on that.
The herb that we get and that we have available to us now that came from that is called Zembrin. I don’t know if I can get a close up of the spelling, but it’s on the bottle. It’s Z-E-M-B-R-I-N. This is just one of the many brands. The ingredient’s called Zembrin, again Z-E-M-B-R-I-N. The clinical research on Zembrin in humans showed that a small dose of 25 milligrams worked really fast. Literally within two hours it affected the stress center of the brain in a positive way. The research showed that it helped relax you, calm you down, but not cause drowsiness. A lot of things that de-stress us or help us unwind, we’ll say, will cause drowsiness.
Those things will normally make you lose focus and concentration, whereas the research on Zembrin says small dose, once a day in the morning helped you relax and calm down really quick. I actually started using it about eight weeks ago, and, man, it works. It’s cool. It also helped improve the people that took it, it helped improve their ability to concentrate and focus. Then one of the things that goes hand-in-hand with the stress module, and I actually attended a seminar in Geneva, where I was just yesterday or two days ago, on the whole thing with stress. One of the things with stress is that it affects your sleep. What they found in their studies was that it helped relax you, and we’ll say chillax; we’re mellow. Improve your concentration and focus, and actually helped a lot of people improve their quality of sleep at night. It’s not a sleep aid per say, you don’t take it at bedtime. It really needed to be taken in the morning to have that sleep component added to it. That’s Zembrin. I don’t know if you have any comments or you want me to keep on going.
Dr. Weitz: No. That sounds kind of interesting. It’s not something I’ve heard of. Would that be considered an adaptogenic herb?
David Foreman: No. Actually my next one is more adaptogenic. To me that’s more experiential. The fact that you can truly feel it work and literally within a couple of hours. My publicist even told me she started taking it. She was like, “Oh my God. Within a couple of days I noticed a huge difference.” Like I said, a lot of things that relax you, they actually will affect your ability to concentrate and focus. They will make you drowsy, maybe a little too much, and so it works differently. My next herb though, we’re going to go to Siberia. We’re going all the way up, and think of the environment in Siberia. Never been there. Personally not necessarily sure I really want to go there. It’s a very harsh environment. The people there have been using an adaptogen-
Dr. Weitz: Just say something bad about Putin, you’ll end up there.
David Foreman: I’m going to try to stay away from politics. Because, Ben, half the people are going to love me and half of them are going to hate me, and I’m not going-
Dr. Weitz: We got to make sure we appeal to the Putin lovers.
David Foreman: Believe whatever you want to. In my head I could think you’re an idiot, but right now believe whatever you want. I’m cool. You said adaptogens, so the people that listen to and watch your podcast they’re probably familiar with adaptogens. You cover them a lot.
Dr. Weitz: Yeah.
David Foreman: Cool. The adaptogen I’m going to talk about today is Rhodiola. R-H-O-D-I-O-L-A. I brought an example. I’ve got a couple of examples of Rhodiola that you can find pretty easy at health food stores. You might even sell products like this, Ben. I don’t know.
Dr. Weitz: We do.
David Foreman: Well, then I’ll put them down. Rhodiola is an adaptogen, and just real quick, my spin on adaptogens is that whenever you’re stressed, you’re out of balance.
Dr. Weitz: I thought you were going to go with Siberian ginseng.
David Foreman: Well, we could go there. We could go with ashwagandha. There’s a lot of them out. That’s a good one though.
Dr. Weitz: I didn’t know that Rhodiola came from Siberia.
David Foreman: It comes from other areas, but the good stuff, man, comes from Siberia. That stuff is really bad.
Dr. Weitz: Herbal stuff, man.
David Foreman: Yeah, it brings a whole new definition to the Herbal Pharmacist if we go down that route. I don’t want to go there. Rhodiola, so when you’re under stress, especially prolonged period of stress, it affects your endocrine system, the hormones, and you’re out of balance like this. What Rhodiola and other adaptogenic herbs do is it helps slowly bring the body back into balance, so that when you do have … We have stress, I think, all day long, for whatever it is. I wouldn’t say I’m feeling stressed out, but right now when I do these interviews I’m stressed out. My body takes a beating. My endocrine system is going, “What’s going on here?!” That affects so many aspects of my health. It brings you back into balance so that when I have this moment that’s a little more stressful than others, I’m not going to go, “Shooo!” Like that. I’m going to be like, oh, it’s just going to hopefully help my body adapt to that change. Rhodiola, it works not only just on that psychological, mental health part of it, but it also works on the physical side of stress. Actually, Zembrin does as well. The difference here is that Rhodiola doesn’t work quick. It might take a week or two to work.
It’s helping your body just be more balanced, I guess you could say. Actually, I have been taking Rhodiola. I only learned about Zembrin a year ago. Like I said, I started taking it about eight weeks ago. I’ve been taking Rhodiola, God man, eight years, maybe longer. I take Rhodiola because I do work out. I do have a super-freak active lifestyle, and I travel a lot. For me, it also helps my immune system so that I’m not necessarily going to get as worn down, because stress wears you out. My last herb-
Dr. Weitz: Hey, man, on that Zembrin stuff, can you take it more than one time a day?
David Foreman: Pardon me?
Dr. Weitz: The Zembrin, the first herb you talked about, can people take that more than once a day?
David Foreman: No. Actually the clinical trials say literally one 25 milligram capsule a day is really, and you need to take it in the morning at some point. I’m in California right now, and I’m getting to the point where if I don’t take it soon … I could probably take it as late as 1:00 or 2:00 in the afternoon, but I find that if I take it when I get up when I take my other supplements. Like I said, it works quick, and it’ll last me all day, but I feel like to get my day going, keep me calm and focused all day long I need to take it just once a day in the morning. You may actually see Zembrin combined with Rhodiola out in the marketplace.
David Foreman: You’ll see Zembrin sometimes in sports supplements, because there is a positive effect there, kind of like I mentioned with Rhodiola as well. The last spot, we’re going to go nearer … Where’d my pin go? There it is. Well, this is in the southern part of Mexico, but the herb that we’re going to talk about, passion flower, was used by the Aztecs. It was used in Polynesia. Passion flower is so different than the other two in that … Actually, the Aztecs used it for insomnia. This is where you normally will recommend passion flower for people that, you know, you’re just so wound up and you are that person that’s like, “Oh, yeah. Man, I come home from work. I’m all wound up, and I pour myself a …” Fill in your favorite adult beverage.
This will cause drowsiness. It’s more for me for people that have trouble sleeping because of the stress, than anything. As I said earlier with the Zembrin, I don’t really have trouble sleeping. You can ask my wife. I don’t have trouble sleeping. I noticed I slept better which is really a cool thing. I slept deeper. Zembrin does work, but it’s not going to kick my butt. If I take passion flower, it’s going to kick my butt. It’s going to make me drowsy. Some people may even have trouble operating a car, so it’s not something I’m going to take it in the morning before I work, because I feel like I’m going to lose my concentration and focus taking passion flower. It’s been one of my go-tos for taking the edge off years ago. It does work pretty quick, probably 45 minutes, however long it takes to digest it, I guess, you could say.
Sometimes I’ll even recommend it in … I do have an example of it in capsule form here, but I tend to like it in the liquid form if you really want it to work quick. A lot of times in natural products for sleep, it’ll be combined with things like lemon balm and valerian root. Those are the three main herbs. Again, I feel like the Zembrin and Rhodiola you can use together, and that’s something I am now doing, because they work differently, and I feel like I want the benefits of what both offer me as opposed to just the benefit of one. You can get by with one. I’m just saying. If I was going to pick one out of three, I’d start with Zembrin because I feel like it crosses more pathways. I also feel like taking something like Rhodiola, man, there’s a lot of other cool stuff that goes on there too.
Dr. Weitz: Would you say that somebody dealing with mild depression or anxiety who’s never taken anything would do well to try one or all three of these herbal formulas?
David Foreman: I would not recommend passion flower for someone that has those down feelings.
Dr. Weitz: That’s more for sleep.
David Foreman: Yeah, because I feel like anytime we add something that brings you down, slows the mind down a little bit like I feel passion flower does, I feel like, like I mentioned earlier in the beginning about alcohol and how it could keep the wheel going in the wrong direction. Actually, alcohol causes nutrient depletions that your body actually needs those nutrients to make and balance your neurotransmitters. You’re digging yourself a deeper hole by doing that. No, I wouldn’t say that. If you are stressed out, the three things that I talked about, yeah, they all work really well. Again, it all boils down to what level are you at.
If you’re feeling, I mean I think you said hanging yourself earlier. If you’re feeling that down and out, then you need to seek professional help. About six or seven years ago I was going through a really just horrific part of my life, and actually at one point was being treated by a counselor for PTSD, that’s how crazy it was. For me, it was changing my diet and making sure I got my exercise. For me, making sure I was really grounded in my spiritual walk, and taking supplements. As an adjunct to all that, sometimes you got to talk it out with people.
David Foreman: Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what the root of your wires touching in the wrong way, and so I feel like it’s always a good idea. Maybe you call your doctor, or somebody that you trust in the medical profession and say, “It’d be really cool to find …” I used to think counseling was for idiots. I hate to say it that way, but man, I’ll tell you what, my counselor really helped me dig the root of some other things that really helped me. Not just the traumatic life stuff I was dealing with, but also helped dig to the root of why maybe I wasn’t handling those situations as well. I’m sorry, Ben, I’m giving you a really long-winded answer on that, but I-
Dr. Weitz: No. That’s great.
David Foreman: I feel like people need to know it’s more than just one thing. Yeah, these supplements rock. None of the three would I be … Was something for depression at all, at all. Again, that’s a disease state anyway, so I can’t really use those words. For stress, I feel really comfortable these work, but if you’re way out there, you’re feeling like ramming your car into somebody. I hate to say it, but road rage is a big deal, and that’s like you’re not handling your stress well. You know?
Dr. Weitz: Yeah. Okay, David. I think that’s pretty good. Any final thoughts you want to tell our listeners?
David Foreman: No. I feel honestly like I got real long-winded in a few spots, and I feel like if people have questions they can either go back and listen to this again, or I welcome people to email me directly on my website: herbalpharmacist.com. No, I don’t really have a lot to add, Ben.
Dr. Weitz: Great. That’s the best way for people to get a hold of you is to go to the herbalpharmacist.com.
David Foreman: Yeah. Herbalpharmacist.com. I have social media links there as well. Then, of course, when you put this available I’ll make sure that I reciprocate sending the links out on all my social media as well: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. I feel like it was a great topic today. Thank you for having me on. I really appreciate it.
Dr. Weitz: Absolutely. I enjoyed talking to you again, and I’ll talk to you some time in the future. Thank you, David.
David Foreman: Thank you. Take care.
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