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

msf

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Sorry, I have been busy with work recently. The root does not have a brand, since it is the root of a plant: this is one reason why this will not be explored by any pharma companies, as you can buy it in any Chinese medicine shop (under the name Huang Qin 黄芩 - it is probably a good idea to go to when that is fairly reputable though, as there have been cases of hepatoxicity where they found that it was mixed with other things).

Yes, I have continued using it, without side effects as long as i take enough anti oxidants to get rid of the periphal neuropathy effect. It is still as effective as before: I can still exercise pretty much freely (or at least with much more freedom than before - I will report back when I try something that would be gruelling even for a healthy person, like a long boxing session). It also has to a large extent replaced ALA as the thing that allows me to get on with my day without lactic acid build up, although when I exercise it seems to work best if I take both, although I haven't really played around with the formula too much. As I stated above, it doesn't seem to get rid of the basis of my ME, as I can still get ME symptoms if I drink too much or eat too many FODMAPS, but it does allow me to forget that I have ME for long periods of time, which is pretty great.
 
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I really don't see how this could work. (I'm not saying it doesn't, just that I am puzzling over the reasons why. I personally take this before minor exertion, cooking for example and get no benefit. I did this on and off in March 2020).

However having taken the following for months in 2018 and 2019 Hotouynia Cordata, Red Root, Lomatium Dissectum, Andrographis Panciulata. I can say that what they will do is increase energy levels by stimulating immune response and (just a theory) clearing down any active replication of viruses in the immune system. There is also a possiblility that combining these anti virals together causes a th1 response. At any rate, after 2 months in 2019 of taking these anti virals and getting the energy benefit, I subsequently crashed with lower levels of energy for about 3 to 4 months upon stopping. I stopped because I realised I had created a false floor and my energy levels were actually a lot lower and I knew it was more important to stop and recover than keep going.

I can't see why or how skullcap could have any benefiical effect other than the one mentioned above. I notice that when I take combined anti virals as listed above I tend to feel unwell for 7 to 12 days and then thereafter I get a huge energy boost. This is by no means a cure however, the effects don't last, but it is possible I took myself to a good place on these anti virals, I have absolutely no way of knowing for sure.

As for skullcaps anti PEM facility, I'm willing to give it a go. Are we talking 1 teaspoon of a standard skullcap tincture 30 minutes before exercise? @msf

As for the neuropathy I get this as well, more so with siberian ginseng. Sudden intense pain in a part of the body - usually peripheral that lasts 5 to 10 seconds and is extremely painful and then passes. This goes away if you discontinue. The only potential damage I've noticed is that if I don't take any tablets, especailly ginseng and I crash, my nervous system fires when I am fatiguing and my whole body twitches. I don't know if this has been caused by ginseng use or is just a symptom of ME, as I started taking ginseng 2 weeks after I got sick.
 
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@Seven7 The only thing that I have found which will counter act the vasolidilation is any of the adaptogens in this order, rhodiola rosea, siberian ginseng, korean ginseng. Reishi/shitakki/maitakki and astragalus might also do it but not 100% on those. Within a few days of taking ginseng, my BP rises, blood pressure goes up and all my dizziness disappears. I subsequently only get dizziness on it when I am fighting off a virus, like I am right now.
 

msf

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I really don't see how this could work. (I'm not saying it doesn't, just that I am puzzling over the reasons why. I personally take this before minor exertion, cooking for example and get no benefit. I did this on and off in March 2020).

However having taken the following for months in 2018 and 2019 Hotouynia Cordata, Red Root, Lomatium Dissectum, Andrographis Panciulata. I can say that what they will do is increase energy levels by stimulating immune response and (just a theory) clearing down any active replication of viruses in the immune system. There is also a possiblility that combining these anti virals together causes a th1 response. At any rate, after 2 months in 2019 of taking these anti virals and getting the energy benefit, I subsequently crashed with lower levels of energy for about 3 to 4 months upon stopping. I stopped because I realised I had created a false floor and my energy levels were actually a lot lower and I knew it was more important to stop and recover than keep going.

I can't see why or how skullcap could have any benefiical effect other than the one mentioned above. I notice that when I take combined anti virals as listed above I tend to feel unwell for 7 to 12 days and then thereafter I get a huge energy boost. This is by no means a cure however, the effects don't last, but it is possible I took myself to a good place on these anti virals, I have absolutely no way of knowing for sure.

As for skullcaps anti PEM facility, I'm willing to give it a go. Are we talking 1 teaspoon of a standard skullcap tincture 30 minutes before exercise? @msf

As for the neuropathy I get this as well, more so with siberian ginseng. Sudden intense pain in a part of the body - usually peripheral that lasts 5 to 10 seconds and is extremely painful and then passes. This goes away if you discontinue. The only potential damage I've noticed is that if I don't take any tablets, especailly ginseng and I crash, my nervous system fires when I am fatiguing and my whole body twitches. I don't know if this has been caused by ginseng use or is just a symptom of ME, as I started taking ginseng 2 weeks after I got sick.
I know people have varying degrees of brain fog, so I will spell out the proposed mechanism (it was not proposed by me, but that is another story): ME patients have problems with the part of the energy chain known as Complex V; skullcap corrects this problem

As I stated above: I take an infusion made from brewing 8-10 cross-sectional pieces of the root in hot water for about 15 min.
 
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Thanks msf. Ok I haven't figured it out in paper but that seems like a high dose at any rate. I wonder what it is in raw grams. It could be a tablespoon of tincture. Impossible to know really. Even so at that dose it could well be liver toxic. The recommended dose for most tincture is max 1 teaspoon 3 to 5 x a day. I'll have to research the max powdered dose for skullcap per day.

Well whatever ME subset responds to chain V they will likely benefit. That isn't everyone sadly.

I can definitely experiment with this. Albeit worried about the liver toxicity. Even so ill take it with milk thistle tincture to counter act.
 
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Hello MSF,

Thank you for your reports and congratulations on your recovery! It's always great to see that someone makes good or even excellent progress!

I have made good progress by taking sodium selenite, but I'm afraid I also overdid it so I had to cut down my dosage. ATM, I am also taking Oxymatrine since I am suffering from a chronic coxsackie infection (CVB5 with IgG levels of 1:320 - but I have to check my antobody levels again).

May I ask what triggered your CFS/ME? Are you also suffering from a chronic coxsackie infection?

You really got me interested in trying Chinese skullcap....

Best wishes :)
 

msf

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Hello MSF,

Thank you for your reports and congratulations on your recovery! It's always great to see that someone makes good or even excellent progress!

I have made good progress by taking sodium selenite, but I'm afraid I also overdid it so I had to cut down my dosage. ATM, I am also taking Oxymatrine since I am suffering from a chronic coxsackie infection (CVB5 with IgG levels of 1:320 - but I have to check my antobody levels again).

May I ask what triggered your CFS/ME? Are you also suffering from a chronic coxsackie infection?

You really got me interested in trying Chinese skullcap....

Best wishes :)
Hi Johnny,

My ME was triggered by a Yersinia infection, which I only seem to have cleared recently thanks to antibiotics. I think I wouldn't be as able to exercise without getting rid of the infection, but according to the papers I linked to above, skullcap should help most people with ME. I don't know much about coxsackie infections, but the main consequence of the Yersinia infection as I understood it was increased gut problems/gut permeability, and therefore increased LPS in my bloodstream (as Hanson's study showed is the case in ME patients). As I said above, skullcap does not seem to get rid of this aspect of the disease (gut problems/permability) but instead seems to mitigate the knock-on effects of these problems (immune activation/metabolic disruption).
 
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Ok re your post here. I've got rid of the hit issues as well and the crashes induced thereafter.

My protocol was primarily andrographis paniculata to clear any and all infections. It works on a lot of different pathogens. I've written a thread about the plant.
On top of that BCAA's stop a crash and reishi extract buffers PEM. When I took those two I became drowsy when my immune system dropped but I didn't experience muscle fatigue anymore. At least not much.
If I take Siberian ginseng and the above I don't crash at all. It's more of a quick drop in energy that lasts less than a day. But if I do too much I become physically weak and I have to rest for up to a week. It just increases the energy envelope.

So these seem to confer a similar or same benefit.
 

msf

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It's hard to say since everyone has a different severity of symptoms etc, but I think the benefits I get from skullcap are stronger than those you mentioned from reishi and ginseng. I have taken ginseng before without noticing too much of an effecit, and I take BCAAs now, which are effective, but BCAAs help with the DOMS, whereas skullcap has an effect both during and after the exercise: it allows me to do more during the exercise session while staying in the energy state 'safe zone' that does not lead to serious PEM. I did get some PEM yesterday, which is one of the first times I have in over two months of taking skullcap, but I probably did not take enough or just went too hard during the session when I was already quite tired from work etc. As you stated above, 2-9 grams is the usual dose of skullcap in Chinese medicine, so I will play around with the dosing and see what effect this has on exercise.
 

msf

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It is actually very easy to find, since you can find it wherever you find Chinese people, which is everywhere. It is probably easiest to get it off the internet if there is no Chinese medicine store near you.

I think the formula is not so much a formula as a rule of thumb. The amount of skullcap that is needed will differ anyway based on how much exercise you do and other factors. I think if you are just trying it to see if it works then take 3-9 grams of the root infused in hot water as they do in Chinese medicine.
 

Marylib

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Sorry, I have been busy with work recently. The root does not have a brand, since it is the root of a plant: this is one reason why this will not be explored by any pharma companies, as you can buy it in any Chinese medicine shop (under the name Huang Qin 黄芩 - it is probably a good idea to go to when that is fairly reputable though, as there have been cases of hepatoxicity where they found that it was mixed with other things).

Thanks for giving the Chinese character for the root. I find it is easier to source it this way from the local Chinese community. The miracles of the internet - now to practice drawing it!
 

msf

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I'm slightly surprised no one has tried this yet.


Just for completeness, here is my list of things everyone should try (and which have allowed me to live a normal life again).

trazodone
FODMAP diet
alpha lipoic acid
Chinese skullcap