Every now and then (maybe 3 or 4 times per year ) I wake up tired (unusual for me) and within a couple hours I go into a funky depression where I just feel I'm on the verge of sobbing. It's quite annoying.
I find the only thing that snaps me out of it is to take 1300 mg of gotu kola. Within about 2 hours I'm feeling fine and all is well.
So my question is, what do you think the gotu kola is correcting? If I can figure that out then maybe I can transfer that correction to a benefical food.
Also, I have had an extremely strong urge for turkey for the past couple days but couldn't get to the store to buy any. I'll be stopping tonight and picking some up for dinner. Maybe a tryptophan thing?
Do you think the turkey craving and the gotu kola solution are related????
As a side note, I didn't have any bad stuff to eat yesterday, just my normal beneficials.
After some research this morning I may have answered my own question. Could the common denominator be niacin?
Here's what I found on two different websites:
What factors might contribute to a deficiency of vitamin B3? Because part of the body's B3 supply comes from conversion of the amino acid tryptophan, deficiency of tryptophan can also increase risk of vitamin B3 deficiency. (Tryptophan deficiency is likely to occur in individuals with poor overall protein intake.) Physical trauma, all types of stress, long-term fever, and excessive consumption of alcohol have also been associated with increased risk of niacin deficiency.
Gotu kola herb contains bitter compounds that have a sedative effect, dilate peripheral blood vessels and increase the flow of urine. It is an excellent herbal source of niacin, calcium, magnesium, manganese, silicon and sodium. Gotu kola has been used to treat insomnia, failing memory, schizophrenia, fever, headaches and inflammatory skin conditions.
Seeing turkey and gotu kola both have niacin (B3) in common that would explain why the gotu kola makes me feel better and why I'm craving turkey.
My normal breakfast I brought to work today was oat bran, rice milk, almonds, blackberries and grapefruit. None of which I wanted. I looked around my desk to see if I had anything that I did want to eat and peanut butter was the definite winner. I read the label and a serving contains 20% RDA niacin. I see a pattern!
Bumping up my niacin foods will be my plan of attack unless someone has a better suggestion?
PS - Isn't nutrition fun???? It's like being a food detective!
Best food sources of niacin (per 100g) are: brewers yeast (100mg) organ meats (liver 13mg; kidneys 13mg) peanuts (12mg) mackerel (12mg) beef (10mg) whole grains (brown rice 6mg)
Tryptophan plus vit B6 can be converted into niacin (lean meats and peanuts are good sources of tryptophan).
The frank deficiency state for niacin is pellagra (the three D's: dementia, diarrhea, dermatitis). Deficiency signs are skin and gastro-intestinal lesions, chilblains, nervous and mental disorders, bad breath and mouth sores. Coincidentally, gotu kola has been used to treat all of these conditions.
Out of curiosity, how did you arrive at taking gotu kola for your fatigue/depression?
Alia - Thanks for your fatigue link. I'm stopping smoking this Monday and do have all those supplements on hand to ward off any "crash and burn" symptoms that may crop up. When I was at work yesterday I wished I had brought them with me but unfortunately they were all sitting on my kitchen counter.
I did have a cup of green tea yesterday. I'm not too fond of green tea but Tazo makes a green tea, ginger, pear combo that I occasionally enjoy. Thanks for your suggestion, I'll try to incorporate drinking a cup each day.
Erin - Thanks for the niacin food list. I'll do some research on the brewer's yeast today. I know at one time I was giving it to my cats as part of their raw food diet. Maybe I'll buy a jar and we can all share it.
Addressing your question about how I stumbled upon gotu kola and its success for me, I have no answer. Probably surfing the web and decided to give it a try. It absolutely gives me the best and fastest results and has never let me down (so to speak).
Erin, I do want to thank you for mentioning mouth sores. I've been fighting canker sores all week and just can't get rid of them. Usually if I take a mega dose of probiotics that clears them up overnight but no go this time. I also tried lysine but no help.
I did have about 4 ounces of turkey for dinner last night ( I try to steer away from turkey because of all the c**p it's pumped up with). I haven't really been eating very much meat the past few weeks. I've been concentrating on developing a taste for salmon (I'm a total fish-phobe) and using beans mixed with whatever for complete proteins. The longer I'm on BTD, the more meat has been smelling icky to me.
I'll do some research today on vitamin B foods and my food goal this coming week will be to increase those.
Thanks for your suggestions! I so appreciate everyone's knowledge and their willingness to share.