GABA – Gamma-aminobutyric acid, is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that literally calms down the central nervous system’s electrical activity. This assists in managing neuropathic pain, seizures and is particularly needed in conditions like multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, shingles and neuropathy. GABA is the main mechanism via which the drug Gabapentin, a powerful pain relieving drug, works.
GABA is particularly useful in inducing a sense of relaxation by shutting off excitatory neurotransmitters.
Neurological Functions of GABA
– Calms CNS
– Motor Control
– Regulation of Anxiety, etc.
How Is It Produced
First, the precursor amino-acid Glutamine is converted to the excitatory neurotransmitter Glutamate. Glutamate, with the help of Vitamin B6 and the enzyme glutamate decarboxylase, is further converted to the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA.
As I have mentioned in my other articles on neurotransmitters, it is very important to supplement probiotics for the purpose of properly metabolizing these nutrients the forming neurotransmitters.
Glutamine Rich Foods
– Miso Soup
Herbs For GABA
Passionflower and Valerian are the most easily available and simple to use supplements that can assist with GABA. Many doctors recommend Ashwagandha however, the specific way to use Ashwagandha is a little complicated (It requires a drug carrier and a metabolic stimulant – both of which are disease specific). Passionflower is the most simple herb to use, and is known to work directly on GABA. In my experience, Passionflower when consumed as a tea, eases neuropathic pain and is particularly useful in my clients with Fibromyalgia with Multiple Sclerosis. Valerian works in a very similar manner and is sometimes combined with Passionflower.
Talk to an Ayurvedic doctor about properly using these herbs. Make sure to consult with your primary care doctor as well.
(Always use medicinal herbs under the supervision of a doctor)
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Written by Dr. Nishal R.
Copyright © 2017