Acorus Gramineus (Calamus Root aka Sweet Flag) essential oil has shown to inhibit NMDA (glutamate) receptor activity, increase GABA and lower glutamate upon inhalation. We have been able to source this, here. I will occasionally add this to our diffuser to help calm any crazy days.
- “These results demonstrated that EO extracted from AGR exhibited neuroprotective effects on cultured cortical neurons through the blockade of NMDA receptor activity, and that the glycine binding site appeared not to be the major site of action. ” http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0024320501009444
- “Furthermore, inhalation impressively inhibited the activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transaminase, a degrading enzyme for GABA as the inhalation period was lengthened. The GABA level was significantly increased and glutamate content was significantly decreased in mouse brain by preinhalation of the essential oil. The above results suggest that the anticonvulsive effect of this AGR oil is originated by the enhancement of GABA level in the mouse brain, because convulsion depends partially on GABA concentration which can be properly preserved by inhibiting GABA transaminase. Moreover, fragrance inhalation progressively prolonged the pentobarbital-induced sleeping time as inhalation time was lengthened.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12843622/.
Why Is This Important?
Glutamate is also the most abundant neurotransmitter, responsible for regulating over 50% of the nervous system. It is classified as an excitatory neurotransmitter, which means it excites or stimulates nerve cells located throughout the nervous system. Glutamate also has the ability to regulate other neurotransmitters, dopamine, serotonin and GABA are great examples. When glutamate is in excess it is extremely toxic to the brain and nervous system. It can become so excitatory, it is considered a excitotoxin, which means that it overstimulates brain cells to the point of killing them or damaging them enough to cause severe mitochondrial dysfunction (associated with low muscle tone) and neurological inflammation. Excess glutamate is believed to be involved in a variety of neurological and neurodegenerative disorders including autism, obsessive compulsive disorders, hyperactivity disorders, complex motor stereotypes, tics, insomnia, anxiety disorders, seizures, sensory processing disorder, addiction, depression, chronic fatigue, PANS, PANDAS, Alzheimers, and so on. Excess glutamate also impairs methylation and depletes glutathione levels, which are vital for detoxification, controlling inflammation and gut health. Working to lower glutamate/inflammation and balance GABA, is key to improving overall health.
Obviously diet (REID) is one of the most important, if not, the most important step in lowering glutamate. However, this natural option may prove beneficial in helping when experiencing a peak of symptoms related to high glutamate and neurological inflammation, i.e. following consumption of a high glutamate food, trauma or a “flare” from PANS (pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder) or PANDAS (pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections). Additionally, working to lower inflammation/glutamate by treating underlying sources inflammation (metals, microbial imbalances, parasites, microglial activation, poor detoxification pathways, various toxins, etc.) will also be hugely beneficial. We’ve personally found homeopathy to be great for this.
I do not have personal experience with all options mentioned in the “Lowering Glutamate” page, nor would I recommend all of them (especially the pharmaceutical options). You will want to read the comments as some of the items used to temporarily lower glutamate, can actual work to increase glutamate/glutamate sensitivity over time.
The information shared within this blog has been gathered by a mother, not a physician, and should not act as medical advice. Under no circumstances shall I, or any contributors and affiliates of the blog, be responsible for damages arising from use of the blog.