Chinese skullcap seems to correct PEM/the energy problem in ME

msf

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Yes, as I said, I have started using the root, but before I took the pill form, which did not seem as effective and also seems to have a higher risk of liver problems. I take about 8 cross sections of the root and infuse them in hot water for about 15 min. I should really buy some kitchen scales so I have a better idea of how much I am taking each time.
 

borko2100

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Unfortunately the Complex V inefficiency study has not been replicated yet. Hopefully it will be replicated by someone, however after so many dead ends in the past I am not certain it will be.
 

msf

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Unfortunately the Complex V inefficiency study has not been replicated yet. Hopefully it will be replicated by someone, however after so many dead ends in the past I am not certain it will be.
Unfortuntately most biomed studies aren't replicated, so I am putting this information out there in case other people don't want to wait around for that to be happen, and for the eventual trial of some novel patented drugs that have the same effect as the unpatentable Chinese skullcap to be carried out. In doing this I have tried to flag up the potential side effects of Chinese skullcap, namely occasional hepatotoxicity, and in me, some peripheral neuropathy, albeit manageable so far.

Anyway, I am getting on with my life these days, and thus don't spend much time on this forum, but I would like to help other people to do the same if I can, even if the evidence that it is based on does not satisfy some medical types; if skullcap is helping me by some other route then it doesn't really matter that much to me, I still get to enjoy my life again.
 
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msf

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Oh is vasodilator and lowers BP.
Do you have POTs? How does the POTs react to it?
I don't have POTS, but it may also be helping as a vasodilator, as I have found that L-Argenine helps when taken before exercise, as does a small amount of alcohol. Skullcap's effect is much more pronouced than either of the other two, however, so I don't think this can fully explain its efficacy in my case.
 

JES

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https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6781171/

This one was the clincher for me: Baicalin (a chemical in Chinese skullcap) restored the infection-triggered decrease in ATPase (the enzyme for Complex V, or the fifth step in the energy chain), thereby restoring normal energy metabolism. Yes, this was in chickens, but it seems to have the same effect in me too, so draw your own conclusions from that.
Herbs have hundreds of active compounds with synergistic effects, so I'd say it's very difficult to pinpoint a particular mechanism as the cause. According to this source, the root of Chinese skullcap has a baicalin concentration of around 8-15%, but it also contains several other flavonoids.

The chickens in the study were fed 450 mg pure baicalin per kilogram. Going by the above mentioned concentration, this would equal a minimum of around 7 grams per kilogram of Chinese skullcap root. The animal doses don't convert proportionally to human doses and I don't have the conversion data at my hands, but it's safe to say you would need tens if not hundreds of grams of Chinese skullcap root to get the same amount of active baicalin as the chickens in that paper, which I think wouldn't be very safe.
 

msf

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Herbs have hundreds of active compounds with synergistic effects, so I'd say it's very difficult to pinpoint a particular mechanism as the cause. According to this source, the root of Chinese skullcap has a baicalin concentration of around 8-15%, but it also contains several other flavonoids.

The chickens in the study were fed 450 mg pure baicalin per kilogram. Going by the above mentioned concentration, this would equal a minimum of around 7 grams per kilogram of Chinese skullcap root. The animal doses don't convert proportionally to human doses and I don't have the conversion data at my hands, but it's safe to say you would need tens if not hundreds of grams of Chinese skullcap root to get the same amount of active baicalin as the chickens in that paper, which I think wouldn't be very safe.
Yes, I also did the maths at some point, but it's rather a simplistic calculation: the amount used was enough to negate the effects of an active infection, while I think in my case the active infection I had is no longer active; I did not say it has completely negated the effects of the chronic infection I had or its sequelae, just that it has done so enough to allow me to exercise freely again; the part being analyzed in the study was the lungs of the chickens, rather than the muscles and blood that I think it is mainly affecting in my case; and crucially, baicalin is known to change into other substances in the body, such as baicaelin, and vice-versa, with different organs endng up with different ratios of these compounds, which again calls into question the validity of directly comparing the lungs with other parts of the body. It is therefore much more useful to treat this as a proof-of-concept study rather than as a study of the dosage required for a different condition in a different organism. The only conclusion I drew from this study was the one you quoted above: baicalin (a chemical in Chinese skullcap) restored the infection-triggered decrease in ATPase (the enzyme for Complex V, or the fifth step in the energy chain), thereby restoring normal energy metabolism. On this basis I thought it was worth trying to see if it had a positive effect in terms of my own energy levels; I took approximately the maximum dosage of skullcap used in Chinese medicine to do this, as this seemed to be the safest course of action that might still show some effect; the outcome was that it has had a very strong effect on my energy levels, allowing me to exercise freely again, and to enjoy that exercise.

I doubt whether either of us have the expertise, money, equipment and time required to actually determine whether the effect I described obtained from the mechanism I suggested, or from some other effect; therefore, I would suggest people try it for themselves, since Chinese skullcap is used pretty commonly in Chinese medicine, and the cases of liver damage in the literature have only occured after a month or more of use. In me the effect was instantly noticeable, although I was already almost functionally healthy from following reasonable assumptions about what causes ME rather than just playing the skeptic.
 

msf

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I would just like to point out that the comment I made about playing the skeptic was not meant personally; I should perhaps have said instead that the people on this forum who helped me get better were those who tried things for themselves and tried to come up with explanations themselves based on what they had read; I think I learnt a few things about immunology from our former arch-skeptic, but nothing that actually helped me with my condition. So I meant this thread in that spirit, to help those people who are willing to try things and ideas out for themselves, since their contributions on this forum have been of such great help to me.
 

msf

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For those who are thinking about trying skullcap for themselves, I have definitely discovered in the last couple of days that it only allows me to do more, much more in fact, but does not change the fact that if I overdo it I will still crash, as I have this week. I think this was not simply due to doing more cardio in my workout, but a combination of factors, chiefly still being somewhat hungover when I did my work out (I noticed previously that drinking too much can mimic some of the effects of PEM from a workout), and then running after a small child (one that I knew) several times that same afternoon, without having taken anything that allows me to exercise (like skullcap or ALA) directly beforehand. I will conduct a less extreme experiment in a few days to ascertain how long the exercise-enabling effects of skullcap last. Another possible factor in this crash was that I did not use skullcap in the 24 hours before I took it for my work out because I was worried about taking it while my liver was processing a large amount of alcohol.
 
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JES

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I would just like to point out that the comment I made about playing the skeptic was not meant personally; I should perhaps have said instead that the people on this forum who helped me get better were those who tried things for themselves and tried to come up with explanations themselves based on what they had read; I think I learnt a few things about immunology from our former arch-skeptic, but nothing that actually helped me with my condition. So I meant this thread in that spirit, to help those people who are willing to try things and ideas out for themselves, since their contributions on this forum have been of such great help to me.
No problem. I just sometimes like to point out active ingredients and concentrations because those are often not clear and supplement makers don't like to mention them as well when they hype their studies. Chinese skullcap actually has several interesting properties, I remember reading about another component in it, baicalein, which also has some potential. I actually tried a capsule form years ago, which did something to calm my inflammatory symptoms and improved my sleep. I reckon it caused a mild worsening of POTS symptoms, which is why I stopped it back then (many things does this to me). Will put it on the list of things to try again at some point.
 

msf

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I have been taking it every day, but it may be best to limit it to when you really need it, just to be cautious with the liver stuff.
 

msf

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No problem. I just sometimes like to point out active ingredients and concentrations because those are often not clear and supplement makers don't like to mention them as well when they hype their studies. Chinese skullcap actually has several interesting properties, I remember reading about another component in it, baicalein, which also has some potential. I actually tried a capsule form years ago, which did something to calm my inflammatory symptoms and improved my sleep. I reckon it caused a mild worsening of POTS symptoms, which is why I stopped it back then (many things does this to me). Will put it on the list of things to try again at some point.
Yes, I think baicalein is the one that they have done more studies on. Perhaps they will turn out to be like the two types of resveratrol, where they seem to have an somewhat overlapping but not identical range of effects.
 
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msf

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Briefly (and pretty much in the order in which I started taking them), these were:

Sleep - Trazodone
Gut - FODMAP diet
Treating my chronic Yersinia infection with antibiotics
Lactic Acid: DCA (caused peripheral neuropathy), resveratrol, ALA
Muscle soreness: BCAA, L-argenine/citrulline, small amounts of alcohol (the last two working by increasing blood flow to the muscles preferentially before or alternatively after exercise), antioxidants like pycogenol before exercise.
 

msf

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Sorry, just realized I forgot to reply. I am just using the root itself brewed for about 15 min in hot water. It still seems to be effective, although I have been overdoing it a bit recently, so perhaps asking a bit too much of it at present.
 

Bansaw

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Sorry, just realized I forgot to reply. I am just using the root itself brewed for about 15 min in hot water. It still seems to be effective, although I have been overdoing it a bit recently, so perhaps asking a bit too much of it at present.
thanks, any particular brand?