Sex and Damiana
by David Jay Brown
Damiana (turnera diffusa) is a small shrub that is native to parts of North and Central America. It grows in Texas and Mexico, and has been used for centuries as an aphrodisiac in Central America–primarily by women, who drank damiana tea prior to lovemaking. The Damiana shrub can grow up to six and a half feet tall, and the entire plant has a characteristic aroma that most people describe as pleasant–and similar to chamomile–due to an essential oil present in the plant. The dried leaves of the damiana plant, or damiana plant extracts, are available in most health food stores.
Although there has been little scientific research done on damiana, and no clinical studies have been conducted on its effects, chemical analysis shows that damiana contains alkaloids similar to caffeine that can have physiologically-stimulating effects. These alkaloids can stimulate blood flow to the genital area, and they are sometimes reputed to increase sensitivity in the region. In addition to these caffeine-like alkaloids, damiana also contains a mildly irritating oil that some people believe stimulates the genitourinary tract.
Many people–both men and women–say that damiana makes them feel sexually aroused, but women are said to be especially responsive to damiana. I first heard enthusiastic reports about damiana from the participants in my sex and drug workshops. Some couples would simply rave about the sexual benefits of drinking Damiana tea. Also, more than a few people told me that they experience a mild euphoria for several hours after using damiana, and that it’s effects are similar to low doses of cannabis.
Some herbalists recommend damiana as a general tonic for the reproductive system, and say that, in addition to being an aphrodisiac, it can also be used to help treat depression and anxiety. It is primarily used by women to treat low libido, although sometimes it’s also recommended as a treatment for urinary and vaginal infections, as well as menstrual problems. Herbalists recommend it to men as a remedy for impotence, premature ejaculation, and prostate complaints.
Sex and Deprenyl
by David Jay Brown
Deprenyl (selegiline hydrochloride) is a moderate-level stimulant and antidepressant that has been shown to improve memory, protect the brain against cell damage, alleviate depression, extend the life span of laboratory animals, and heighten sexual desire in both men and women. This impressive substance is available by prescription in the U.S., and it is primarily prescribed to help people with Parkinson’s disease, memory disorder problems, and sometimes depression.
However, a lot of healthy people also use deprenyl to improve their mental performance. It is considered by many people to be a “cognitive enhancer”, or a “smart drug.” Along with drugs such as hydergine and piracetam, and herbs like Gingko Biloba, these substances have a reputation for enhancing memory, accelerating intelligence, and improving concentration. There is also a good deal of scientific evidence to support these claims. (For an excellent summary of the scientific studies in this area see John Morgenthaler and Ward Dean’s book “Smart Drugs and Nutrients“. To read an interview on this site with John Morgenthaler click here.)
Many people report that smart drugs often have sexually-enhancing “side-effects”, and deprenyl has one of the leading reputations in this area. According to Ward Dean, M.D., a gerontologist that I spoke with in Pensacola, Florida, “anything that improves brain function is probably going to improve sexual functioning.” This is probably because sexuality and health go hand-in-hand, and sexual vitality is a pretty good indicator of overall health.
Deprenyl is a selective inhibitor of the dopamine-destroying enzyme monoamine oxidase (MAO) in the brain. Because deprenyl inhibits this destructive enzyme, levels of the excitatory neurotransmitter dopamine rise in the brain, which generally causes people to feel more pleasure and become more physiologically aroused.
Interestingly, unlike most other MAO inhibitor drugs (like the antidepressant Nardil), there are usually no dietary restrictions necessary when one takes deprenyl. When taken at moderate levels (under 10 mg.), deprenyl only inhibits the action of a specific type of MAO–MAO B–which doesn’t interfere with the body’s ability to metabolize the amino acid tyrosine, like a broad-spectrum MAO inhibitor does. This is why most other MAO inhibiting drugs carry the serious danger of triggering a hypertensive reaction if one eats tyrosine-rich foods, like cheese. Deprenyl has been described by researchers as working with great precision in this regard, and the physicians that I spoke with agreed that it was unusually safe.
Deprenyl is better than safe; this truly remarkable drug has also been shown to significantly increase the maximum lifespan of laboratory animals. To fully appreciate how significant deprenyl’s life extension potential is, one has to understand the difference between maximum life span and average life span. Many factors can affect the average lifespan (or the “normal life expectancy”) that an animal lives–genetics, diet, exercise, nutritional supplements, mental attitude, etc. However, even under the very best of conditions, there is an upper limit at which the longest-lived animals of a particular species can survive, and that is the animal’s maximum life span.
The average life span of a human being is approximately 70 to 80 years. However, the maximum life span of a human being is around 115 to 120 years. The laboratory animals in the deprenyl studies showed a 40% increase in maximum life span, the human equivalent of living 170 years. Since deprenyl’s primary effects work the same in all mammalian brains, it stands to reason that deprenyl’s life extension effects are likely to carry over to humans, just as the mental benefits do. Many people have certainly verified that the increase in sex drive occurs in both humans and laboratory animals.
Sex and Pheramones
by David Jay Brown
Pheromones are airborne chemical messengers that travel between animals of the same species, including humans. Each of these invisible, odorless messenger molecules is packed with a whole range of detailed information about you–such as your level of sexual desire, your level of aggression, and the attributes of your immune system.
Pheromones can cause us to have very powerful emotional reactions, without our being conscious of where the feelings are coming from–and often those feelings are of a sexual nature. Some pheromones have even been shown to alter hormone levels and fertility.
Every pheromone molecule carries with it your one-of-a-kind chemical “signature”, which is as unique as your DNA. Although you might not be aware of it, pheromone messenger molecules are continuously whirling off your body and into the air around you. They rise up from the recesses of your sweat glands, and they linger in strands of your hair. They hover around each of us like a mystical aura, creating invisible clouds of precise psychobiological information.
Pheromones are processed by two tiny organs inside the base of each nostril called the vomeronasal organ or the VNO. When these excitement-generating chemical messengers enter the VNO, and signal the brain, they completely bypass the higher cognitive circuits, and directly affect the hypothalamus, which is the center of the more primitive, emotional region of the brain. This helps to explain why we often get such strong gut reactions about people when we meet them for the first time.
The most potent pheromone-generating regions of the body are located in the groin, the armpits, and in the narrow strip of skin between the base of the nostrils and the upper lip, which is called the nasal sulcus.
Researchers believe that people dance closely with their potential sexual partners in order to get their noses close enough to their partner’s underarms, so that they are in a better position to evaluate that person’s pheromones.
Understanding the nasal sulcus’ role in pheromone production may help to explain why people kiss as a prelude to sex. It may be that people kiss their potential sexual partners as a way to more effectively sniff out their partner’s pheromones. Kissing appears to be nature’s way of getting our noses even closer to pheromone-rich regions of the body, allowing for an even more thorough evaluation. Oral sex, obviously, is another highly effective way to accomplish this.
There’s been a lot of research into pheromones over the past few years, and scientists are learning just how powerful the psychological and biological effects of these tiny chemical messengers can be. One of the results of this research is that a whole market has been created for pheromone-based perfumes, colognes, and other products that are designed to enhance one’s sexual attractiveness.
Since pheromone production tends to decrease with age, a number of products have been designed to help restore one’s pheromone clouds to more youthful levels. The adrenal hormone DHEA is thought to be a precursor to some pheromones, and taking DHEA or pregnenolone supplements may help to boost the production of these pheromones. (Click here to learn more about DHEA.)
Another interesting development to come out of this research is pheromone-based pharmaceuticals. Scientists are learning that pheromones can be altered in the laboratory to have powerful drug-like effects. These potent, synthesized modifications of naturally-occurring human pheromones are called vomeropherins, and they are currently being developed by Pherin Pharmaceuticals in Menlo Park, California. The development of designer pheromones may soon allow us to create heightened states of sexual excitation and enhanced states of sexual pleasure, as well as entirely new states of consciousness.
Anyone who wants to learn more about pheromones and vomeropherins should read Love Scents by Michelle Kodis. To order a copy of Love Scents click here.
Sex and DHEA
by David Jay Brown
DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) is a steroid, a type of hormone that is produced by the adrenal glands, aswell as by the brain and skin. It is the most abundant steroid in the human body, and it is therecursor to all adrenal hormones, which start to decline in both men and women ataround the age of 25.
DHEA production declines with age in such a consistent linear fashion that one’s blood level of the hormone is often used as a bio-marker for aging. Since the body converts DHEA into all the other adrenal hormones, when DHEA levels begin to decline, so do the levels of these otherhormones. This includes testosterone and estrogen, which are linked to both sex drive and performance.
William Regelson, M.D., a specialist in medical oncology at the Medical College of Virginia–who was interviewed for this site–claims that by restoring one’s DHEA levels to their youthful equivalent, an aging person can improve their memory, rejuvenate their immune system, increase their overall physical energy, reduce body fat, prevent heart disease, and enhance their libido.
According to Dr. Regelson, taking DHEA supplements can significantly increase sex drive, and he thinks that “just about every adult age forty-five or older can benefit from taking DHEA.” Dr. Regelson said that one of the most constantly repeated comments that he hears from patients, as well as colleagues and friends, who are taking DHEA is that it has renewed their interest in sex. Men in particular report this effect from taking DHEA.
According to the Massachusetts Male Aging Study, which investigated sexual function and activity in men aged 40 to 70, the incidence of impotency increased as DHEA levels declined. Interestingly, many older men not only report an increased sex drive after they begin taking DHEA supplements, but also less of a problem achieving erection. In fact, many older men who have not had morning erections for years report that they suddenly began to experience them after taking DHEA.
DHEA is converted into testosterone, which is known to enhance libido in both men and women. This helps to explain why so many people report heightened sexual desire after they begin taking DHEA supplements. But there may be more to DHEA’s enhancement of sexual desire and performance than simply raising testosterone levels. Because taking DHEA raises the levels of all adrenal hormones, it tends to make people feel more energetic, and enhances feelings of well-being in general. It also tends to improve overall heath, and anything that improves physical health and well-being is likely to reflect positively on one’s sexual health as well.
Sex and Yohimbe
by David Jay Brown
Yohimbe is an herb that is available in most health food stores, which is derived from the inner bark of a tree that is indigenous to West Africa. Brews distilled from yohimbe bark have been used for centuries by natives in this region in order to fuel their unusually impressive tribal sex ceremonies, which are reported to sometimes last as long as two weeks.1
Yohimbine, the most active chemical compound in the yohimbe bark, is actually available as a prescription drug in the United
States for treating impotence. It is prescribed as an alternative to Viagra, due to the fact that it can also help facilitate erections in men. Research studies with yohimbine have shown it to be effective in helping men with impotence problems around 33 to 46 percent of the time.2 Some men that I’ve spoken with report that yohimbe actually gives them spontaneous erections, and that it also increases the amount of semen when they ejaculate.
However, unlike Viagra, many men (and women) report that yohimbine (and yohimbe) also increases sexual desire. Yohimbine was the very first drug to ever be listed in the Physician’s Desk Reference (PDR) as having “aphrodisiac” properties, although (strangely) the PDR states that “Generally, this drug is not proposed for use in females.” There is little scientific data on the effects of yohimbe and yohimbine on women, although I’ve heard more than a few anecdotal reports that it can also increase sexual desire in women.
Some people report that higher doses of yohimbe can have what are described as mild psychedelic effects that last for several
hours. This includes feelings of euphoria, heightened physical and emotional feelings, and “warm spinal shivers”.3
However, higher doses of yohimbe cause some people to report that they feel anxious, and, according to the PDR, people
sometimes experience other mild side-effects with yohimbine, such as dizziness, nausea, tremors, increased blood pressure and
elevated heart rate. The PDR also cautions against yohimbine’s use in conjunction with antidepressant medications and other
To buy Yohimbe online, click HERE.
1. Morgenthaler, J. and Joy D. Better Sex Through Chemistry. Smart Publications, 1994. p. 115.
2. Reid K, Surridge DH; Morales A, Condra M, Harris C, and Owen J. “Double-blind trial of yohimbine in treatment of
psychogenic impotence.” Lancet (England). 2(8556): pp 241-3, 22v Aug 1987.
3. Morgenthaler, J., p. 130.
Sex and L-arginine
by David Jay Brown
L-arginine is an essential amino acid found in many common foods (such as nuts, turkey, and dairy products), and it is readily available in most health food stores as a nutritional supplement.
In addition to being one of the building blocks of proteins in the body, L-arginine has been shown to increase the ability to obtain erections and maintain stamina in men. It has also been reported to increase libido, as well as the intensity of sexual sensations in both men and women.
This effect is due, at least in part, to the fact that L-arginine increases the production of nitric oxide, an excitatory neurotransmitter (or chemical messenger in the brain) that is also responsible for causing erections men. Nitric oxide is the only known gaseous neurotransmitter in the body, and it helps men obtain erections easier because it facilitates blood flow to the erectile tissue of the penis.
Viagra actually works by enhancing the effect of nitric oxide, and one of the reasons that drinking alcohol can interfere with a man’s ability to obtain an erection is because alcohol reduces the production of nitric oxide.
Although it’s mechanism for facilitating erections in men is clearly established, the mechanism by which it enhances libido and sexual sensations in women is less clearly understood. Animal studies suggest that the effect may be due to a chain of events triggered by nitric oxide that cause the release of two important female hormones–LHRH and LH–which lead to ovulation and sexual behavior.
L-arginine is sometimes used in a topological cream by women, which is applied to the external female genitals, and is said to improve clitoral erections and ease of orgasm.
Many healthcare professionals recommend L-arginine as an effective treatment for a loss of interest in sex, impotence, and difficulty achieving orgasm. Since it is easily available in most health stores, and since it is not only natural to the body, but essential, many physicians that I spoke with believe that taking L-arginine supplements should be one of the first treatments that men try if they are having problems with impotence.
Sex and Cialis
by David Jay Brown
Cialis (tadalafil) is a pharmaceutical in the same class of drugs as Viagra, and like Viagra, is also prescribed for erectile dysfunction. Cialis is often hailed as a kind of “super-Viagra” because it has a similar success rate to Viagra, but it generally lasts around nine times longer.
Cialis can help men with erectile difficulties achieve erections for up to 36 hours, which allows couples to be much more spontaneous with their sexual intimacy than they can be with Viagra, which only lasts around 4 hours. Also, unlike Viagra, Cialis does not have to be taken on an empty stomach, and it does not cause blueish-tint shifts in color vision like Viagra sometimes does.
Cialis and Viagra actually work by similar mechanisms . Both drugs are known as “PDE5 inhibitors”. This means that they inhibit the effects of an enzyme called “Phosphodiesterase type 5” (PDE5). PDE5 causes erections to droop by degrading another enzyme called “guanosine 5-triphospate” (cGMP), which is triggered by nitric oxide (the primary neurotransmitter responsible for causing erections in men) during sexual arousal.
Nitric Oxide triggers the release of cGMP, which relaxes muscles in the penis and allows blood to flow into the paired erectile chambers (known as the Corpora Cavernosa) that run along the length of the organ. By inhibiting the effects of the enzyme PDE5, as Cialis and Viagra do, one extends the initial penis-stiffening effects of nitric oxide.
Cialis has been the subject of 22 clinical studies with more than 4000 men who suffer from erectile dysfunction. It was found that the erection-enhancing effects of the drug generally last between 24 and 36 hours. Cialis was reported to improve erections in 81% of men who had previously experienced impotence, with 75% of intercourse attempts successful.
The most common side effects reported with Cialis were headaches, back aches, general muscle aches, and an upset stomach. Around 1 in 7 people taking Cialis experienced a headache, and around 1 in 8 experienced dyspepsia (indigestion). The side-effects were usually reported to occur between 12 and 24 hours after taking the drug, and generally went away after a few hours. In studies that were done with Cialis most men reported that the benefits outweighed the side-effects, and the majority of men who experienced the side-effects continued to use the drug.
Cialis is a prescription drug in the United States. Men should not take Cialis if they are taking nitrate medication for angina or alpha-blocking drugs. Also, men who take Cialis should not drink grapefruit juice because it could make side-effects (such as headache and dyspepsia) more likely.
Like Viagra, Cialis only helps to facilitate erections when the man is sexually aroused. However, on rare occurrences erections with Cialis may sometimes last longer than one wishes. If this occurs for more than two or three hours (a painful condition know as “priapism”) one should seek medical attention immediately, as permanent damage to the blood vessels in the penis can occur.
Sex and Viagra
By David Jay Brown
Some people claim that Viagra has made more people happy than any other drug in human history.
Before Viagra, men with erectile difficulties had to endure some pretty extreme pharmacological measures in order to obtain erections. For example, some men with erectile dysfunction used to inject a drug called Paperverine directly into their penis in order to obtain erections. Perhaps equally unattractive was a method of depositing suppositories of a drug called alprostadil directly into the urethra of the penis. Although both of these treatments for producing erections are quite reliable (around 77%), the pain and complications involved make them unattractive to most men with impotency problems.
This is why, for men with erectile difficulties, Viagra (or sildenafil citrate) was such a huge advance. According to the Physician’s Desk Reference, 82% of men report an improvement in their erections after simply swallowing 100 milligrams of Viagra–which explains why Viagra is one of the most popular pharmaceutical drugs in the world. Since it first became available from Pfizer in 1998, Viagra has been used by more than 16 million men around the world. According to Phizer’s web site, 9 tablets of Viagra are dispensed every second worldwide.
Viagra works by enhancing the effect of Nitric Oxide, the only known gaseous neurotransmitter (or chemical messenger in the brain). Nitric Oxide is the primary neurotransmitter responsible for causing erections in men.
It works like this. Inside the human penis are paired erectile chambers running almost the entire length of the organ called the Corpora Cavernosa. These chambers are filled with spongy tissue, rich in tiny pool-shaped blood vessels, which are surrounded by smooth muscles that play a key role in initiating an erection.
Paradoxically, the muscles must relax for an erection to occur. This allows blood to flow into the penis, and for the corpora cavernosa to inflate. The chemical messenger that allows this to occur is Nitric Oxide, which Viagra enhances the effect of, and thus increases blood flow to the penis. Viagra can accomplish this in as quickly as 30 minutes, and it generally lasts for around 4 hours. This doesn’t mean that one will have an erection for 4 hours, but rather that, with the proper stimulation and arousal, for a 4 hour period, most men won’t have any difficulty achieving a solid erection.
Many men with erectile difficulties say that Viagra changed their lives. Even some men who don’t really have a serious problem with impotence say that they use Viagra as a kind of “insurance”, so that they don’t have to worry about whether or not they’ll be able to perform.
Viagra is a prescription drug in the United States, and it doesn’t work for everyone, such as people with serious organic problems. Also, for people with weak cardiovascular systems, Viagra can have dangerous side effects, so it is important to consult with a physician about your concerns. According to the Pfizer Web site the most common side effects of Viagra are headache, facial flushing, and upset stomach. Also, but less commonly, other side effects may include bluish vision, blurred vision, or sensitivity to light.
Hydergine ® Developer Albert Hofmann Turns A Hundred
by David Jay Brown
The celebrated Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann turned a hundred last January. Thousands of people from around the world gathered in Basel, Switzerland to celebrate his centennial birthday and honor him for his numerous discoveries and contributions to the fields of chemistry and psychopharmacology.
When Dr. Hofmann addressed the large crowds that gathered in his honor, he spoke eloquently. He was unusually articulate and clear-headed for a man that was over a century old. Many people remarked how sharp his mind was and later, when I had an opportunity to interview Dr. Hofmann for a book that I’m working on, I too couldn’t help but marvel at his remarkable cognitive abilities. I wondered if part of the secret to his extraordinary mental clarity was a result of his development and periodic use of the ergot-derived pharmaceutical Hydergine ® (Ergoloid mesylate).
The development of Hydergine
When Dr. Hofmann began working for Sandoz Pharmaceuticals (now Novartis) in Switzerland during the 1930s his research goal was to work towards the isolation of active principles in known medicinal plants. Dr. Hofmann developed Hydergine in the 1940s, while researching the chemistry of ergot, a fungus that grows on rye and was traditionally used by midwives in Europe to lower blood pressure with birthing mothers. While purifying the ergot-derived substance ergotoxine, Dr. Hofmann had the intuition that this alkaloidal preparation was not homogenous. Dr. Hofmann’s intuition proved correct. Upon further analysis ergotoxine turned out to mixture of three different components. (1)
During testing by Professor Rothlin at Sandoz, medicinally useful properties were discovered, and from these three substances, two pharmaceutical preparations were developed: the blood-pressure-stabilizing compound Dihydergot and the cognitive enhancer Hydergine. Although Sandoz was initially interested in new blood-pressure medications, they began devoting a great deal of resources into researching Hydergine, after studies started to uncover its cognition-enhancing effects. Hydergine was developed because of its ability to improve peripheral circulation and cerebral function in the control of geriatric disorders, and it has proven to be an effective treatment for these indications. Hydergine was the first drug to show efficacy as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and dementias. (2)
Today Hydergine is widely used around the world as a treatment for senility, age-related cognitive decline, and as a treatment for a number of other problems. Extensive research has revealed a plethora of brain-boosting and anti-aging benefits that Hydergine has to offer. Hydergine is one of the most tested pharmaceuticals ever developed and it still remains one of Novartis’ most important pharmaceutical products. It has proven to be beneficial and nontoxic in numerous studies. Dr. Hofmann has periodically used Hydergine himself over the years, and I suspect that his use of this cognitive enhancer may play a significant role in his extraordinary mental clarity at the age of a hundred. (3)
The many benefits of Hydergine
Studies indicate that Hydergine has the ability to enhance memory and learning. It improves a range of cognitive abilities, such as concentration and recall (4,5,6) and helps to prevent damage to brain cells from insufficient oxygen. (7) A number of studies even suggest that Hydergine may be able to help reverse existing damage to brain cells. (8)
Some of Hydergine’s cognitive enhancement may be due to the fact that it increases oxygen and blood flow to the brain because it’s a mild vasodilator. (9) It also enhances brain cell metabolism and mitochondrial metabolism. Hydergine’s ability to improve cell metabolism inspired a team of Italian researchers to study how it affects the intracellular features of rat mitochondria, structures within cells that produce energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) by respiratory metabolism. In these studies Hydergine not only increased the volume of the mitochondria, it also reduced their size, which is similar to the more efficient mitochondria in younger animals. (10)
Hydergine is an extremely powerful antioxidant. When I spoke with life extension researcher Durk Pearson he said, “We suspected that Hydergine might be a powerful antioxidant due to its structure, so we suggested an experiment that was done at NYU. Every time vitamin C is oxidized and then reduced by the iron in redox cycles, you produce a hydroxyl radical. And the hydroxyl radical is tremendously chemically reactive. It’s about as reactive as fluorine is at eight hundred degrees Fahrenheit–so it can rip up anything. What they found is that Hydergine was the most powerful antioxidant that they tested.”
Hydergine stimulates new interconnective growth between neurons. It causes the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is involved in the repair of damaged neurons and the growth of neurons and neurites. (11) According to Pearson, “If you deprive the brain of BDNF the neurites die back and eventually the cell bodies connected to them die. The brain normally produces BDNF, but as you get older you produce less and less. You end up with some nuerites dying back and your brain sort of gets disconnected. The neurons get disconnected from each other.”
This is an important mechanism by which Hydergine may enhance learning and memory in the elderly. Hydergine mimics the effect of a substance found in the brain called nerve growth factor, which stimulates protein synthesis that results in the growth of new dendrites (tiny tree-like branches at the receiving ends of brain cells). (12) Many neuroscientists believe that intelligence is correlated with the number of interneural connections in the brain. Studies have demonstrated that Hydergine actually increases cortical thickness in the brain through this process and that it also raises levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine. (13)
Studies have shown that Hydergine helps to stabilize brain oxygen levels. (14) If brain oxygen levels are too low then Hydergine raises them, and if they’re too high then Hydergine lowers them. This is why some European countries use Hydergine preoperatively in surgery and after strokes, hemorrhages, and heart attacks to gain precious time. It is also sometimes used to gain more time after certain types of accidents, such as drowning, electrocution and drug overdoses.
Hydergine reduces deposits of the age-related toxin lipofuscin in the brain (15), and normalizes systolic blood pressure. (16) It has also been shown to reduce symptoms of lethargy and, in some cases, even lower abnormally high levels of cholesterol. (17) Many people report that their brain simply feels more awake and more lucid on Hydergine.
Some studies on Hydergine have demonstrated only mild effects, leading some people to believe that it’s not very effective. (18) However many European physicians believe that these studies were less dramatic than others simply because the dosages used were too low, and studies comparing the effects of a 3 mg daily dose to a 6 mg daily dose support this notion. (19) The U.S. recommended dose is 3 mg. per day, while the European recommended dose is 9 mg. per day in 3 divided doses. Some people need to take Hydergine for several months before they notice any significant effects.
Hydergine is extremely nontoxic and has very few side-effects. Initially, Hydergine may cause some mild nausea, gastric disturbances, and bradycardia. It is contraindicated for people who are allergic to it, who suffer from psychosis, or who have an abnormally slow heartbeat or low blood pressure. (20)
Combining Hydergine with other ergot derivatives or other cognitive enhancers may have a synergistic effect, so you may need to scale down the dosages of all the drugs. One should seek the advice of a physician when combining Hydergine with other cognitive enhancers in excess of 9 mg. per day. Most people do well at dosages of around 3 mg. to 9 mg. per day, in divided doses, with occasional breaks. The most common side effect is stomach upset. This can be avoided by using specially coated (FAS) tablets or by using a sublingual liquid preparation.
Other Ergot-derived cognitive enhancers
Albert Hofmann’s intuition about ergot turned out to be extremely fruitful. This remarkable fungus has proven itself to be a gold mine of medicinal treasures; Hydergine is only one of numerous drugs to be derived from ergot. Some of the other ergot-derived cognitive enhancers include the more potent pharmaceutical bromocriptine and the recently developed pharmaceutical nicergoline.
Bromocriptine is a dopamine receptor agonist, which activates dopaminergic neurons and mimics the effect of the excitatory neurotransmitter dopamine. (21) It is the most potent of the ergot derivatives and although it is primarily used to treat Parkinson’s disease, it also has profound antiaging effects because it enhances dopamine, which tends to decrease significantly with age. It also effects the pituitary gland production of the hormones prolactin and growth hormone (GH) in some very beneficial ways that appear to counteract some of the symptoms of aging. (22)
Bromocriptine inhibits prolactin, which tends to increase with age, and it increases GH secretion, which tends to decrease with age. Although bromocriptine increases GH secretion in healthy individuals with normal GH concentrations, it actually suppresses GH production in people with a condition known as acromegaly, which causes excessive GH production. Studies indicate that bromocriptine does not affect the release of any
Pregnenolone and Psoriasis
ecently, I discovered a way to dramatically improve a chronic problem I’ve had ever since I was a teenager: psoriasis. This skin problem dissipated after I began using a combination of pregnenolone
with a synthetic form of Vitamin D, called Dovonex (a topological ointment distributed by Squibb Pharmaceuticals).1
Prior to taking these two substances in combination, I tried them both alone. Each showed a mild to moderate improvement when I used them separately, but in combination the effect was nothing short of extraordinary!
I’m currently 37 years old. My problem with psoriasis began when I was 12 years old. The red, scaly patches of dry, irritated skin covered my elbows, knees, ankles, ears, scalp, and hands in the summer. In the winter, the problem spread over larger portions of my body. Over the years I have tried many different topological (on the skin) treatments. In the past the only things that seemed to help some were sunlight, low stress, and a healthy diet.
About two months ago I began taking 10 mg of pregnenolone orally per day. Initially, I noticed pregnenoloneincreased my physical energy, sharpened my mental focus, and cranked up my sex drive. Since I began takingpregnenolone my overall health has benefited and my general mood has elevated. Also, I soon noticed that my psoriasis had significantly improved simultaneously.
It occurred to me that I might try applying the Dovonex ointment in combination with the pregnenolone. I was astonished to discover that my psoriasis was now completely clearing up. Within two weeks of using the two together, I virtually cleared up every patch of psoriasis on my body. For the first time since I was 12 years old, my ears – the worst affected area of my body – became 100% free of psoriasis. I was so happy! And still am!
Another factor that could be involved in the resolution of my psoriasis may be due to the fact that I completely eliminated alcohol from my diet at the same time that I began taking pregnenolone supplements. Prior to the supplementation, I had been drinking several glasses of wine a few nights per week. This seemed to be aggravating my psoriasis. Complete elimination of wine from my diet may have played a role in the success I had with treating this very upsetting disease that has plagued me since adolescence, but no more!
I would very much like to see some research done in this area. I spoke with Dr Eugene Roberts, a biochemist researching the therapeutic effects of pregnenolone, about this subject. Dr Roberts told me that psoriatic skin often is associated with low levels of DHEA.2 He said a topological DHEA-Vitamin D ointment might prove useful for treating psoriasis. He was very excited about my personal results. He is currently trying to find dermatologists who are interested in being involved in a study on how these steroid hormones may be helpful for those who suffer from psoriasis.
I hope that sharing my story helps others. I have been so positively affected by the combined use ofpregnenolone and Vitamin D ointment, that I believe it may be beneficial to others who suffer from psoriasis.
–David Jay Brown
- Brown AJ. Vitamin D analogues. Am J Kidney Dis. 1998;32(2 Suppl 2):S25-39.
- Holzmann H, Benes P, Morsches B. Dehydroepiandrosterone deficiency in psoriasis. Hypothesis on the etiopathogenesis of this disease. Hautarzt 1980;31:71-75.