Milk Thistle (contains flavonoid, silymarin)– inhibits microglial activation.

“Silymarin protects dopaminergic neurons against lipopolysaccharide-induced neurotoxicity by inhibiting microglia activation” .https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12473078

“In conclusion, it was conducted that there were toxic effects of MSG on male rabbits through increase the damage in the liver and Kidney and oxidative stress through elevation in ALT, AST enzymes, creatinine and cholesterol. Also, with adding Silymarin daily in a dose of (1.2mg/100g BW) showed ameliorative Impact of (Silymarin) on Monosodium Glutamate Toxicity” HEMATOLOGICAL STUDY OF SILYMARIN ON MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE TOXICITY IN RABBITS http://www.plantarchives.org/SPL%20ISSUE%2020-2/1__1-6_.pdf

OTHER BENEFITS

Anti-inflammatory

Antioxidant

Can help with glutathione production

Improves Sleep

Lowers LDL Cholesterol

Liver Detoxification

Bile Production

Because of the role of milk thistle in inhibiting microglial activation, it could potentially be a heavy hitter for those with underlying immune activation.

WHERE TO BUY & HOW WE USE IT

Milk Thistle can be taken as a dietary supplement (watch for additives like rice flour and gelatin capsules, which can be a source of free glutamate), a tea, or consumed directly on/in food. It has an extremely mild flavor that mostly goes unnoticed. We commonly add a pinch of ground milk thistle seed to our baked goods, meals, and/or smoothies. It has been suggested for a few months at a time, but as always, I encourage you to do your own research on herbs.
While we typically use Mountain Rose Herbs for our herbal products, we have also been able to source a cleaner option on Amazon (linked here).  You can purchase the seed and grind yourself or purchase the powder if from a trusted supplier.
There is also a homeopathic version, Caduss Marianus.  You can read more about homeopathy here.
DISCLAIMER
Milk thistle can be high in oxalate and may not be tolerated well by those with a ragweed allergy. According to WebMD, milk thistle may mimic estrogen and may be problematic for those with related health issues (fibroid tumors, endometriosis, breast/uterine/ovarian cancers.

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.