Transcript of Episode 173: Using Plant Medicine for Anxiety
With Dr. Daniel Pompa, Meredith Dykstra and Cameron George
Cellular Healing TV without Meredith. You will notice that, well, Meredith had a China Syndrome. Well, actually, I think it—I don't remember the movie, but I think it was known as the Pepsi Syndrome. They were making fun of the China Syndrome where the core of the nuclear reactor melts directly through the earth. They call that a China Syndrome, but that a guy would spill his Pepsi on his computer and then of course it started the whole meltdown. Then it was known as the Pepsi Syndrome. Well, we know Meredith doesn't drink Pepsi, so she had a tea syndrome. She spilled tea on her computer. This is a real story. This just happened, so poor Meredith was in a frenzy, saying, “You have to do the show. I don't have my computer,” so it is me and my guest, Cameron George, who has been a guest on the show because of his absolute amazing story and recovery.
Really, today's show is about some of the brilliance that Cameron has really come up with. He's even worked with some of my clients with using things like kava, some of these unique herbs that we can use to lower sensitivity, change the brain, change the cells. You're going to hear all about that today. Cameron, welcome to the show.
Thanks for having me. You know how much I love being here.
Cameron, I have to say, you watch every show, right? I mean you do. You watch every Cellular Healing show, so it's funny you being on this end. Well, I'll tell you what, we had—I don't know when it was. How long ago was it that I had you on the show?
That was back in probably May of 2015 I think. I think it was somewhere around episode 70, something like that.
Now, if Meredith were here, she would be telling them exactly what Cellular Healing TV episode it was, and they can go watch it. If it's back in May 2015, y'all can find it.
I think it's actually episode 70. I'm positive about that, actually. I remember now. It was 70, so if you just scroll back down to episode 70 it should be there, and that was where I just basically focused on preframing and the whole story of even childhood—how I became sick and the whole situation there.
I want you to give a little bit of your story for viewers, and then you can go watch that episode. It's an unbelievable episode with the details and how he got where he is now because, literally—and I'll start here and turn it over to you with your story, but look, I mean, you went 12 days without food or water, not because of choice, because you reacted even to every drop of water you were putting in your mouth. At that point, people were thinking you were basically checking out. Tell your story. You were the most sensitive guy that I knew. Of course, I have a lot of other clients and so do my doctors, somewhere along that sensitivity scale, but you were really that.
Yeah, I know. It's like we always talk about the spectrum—the chronic disease spectrum or in this case, the sensitivity spectrum. You always say that there's thousands, maybe even millions of Americans, people in this country, who are on the spectrum that have sensitivities, that just think that they have headaches, that they're chronically fatigued and have all these unexplainable symptoms. Really, their nervous system, their immune system has become overwhelmed. We always use the bucket metaphor that there's been a lot of trauma, a lot of stress just from exposure to environmental factors, pollutants in food, emotional stress, trapped emotions. You talked about that. Eventually, the bucket overflows.
You start turning on all these bad genes, and your nervous system starts to wire a fight or flight response. It starts to form some new neuropathways that think it's helping you out, but they're really not. It's a trauma syndrome, not unlike PTSD. Actually, chemical sensitivity is definitely a form of PTSD. Actually, if you've ever heard of Gulf War Syndrome, that's essentially environmental illness, multiple chemical sensitivity. It was veterans that were not only exposed to a lot of chemicals but a lot of trauma at the same time and had this slew of unexplainable symptoms.
In the last story, we spent the whole show talking about my story, and I'll just run through a few details of it right now. If I got any criticism last time, I actually got bombarded with messages and calls after the last one, and some people were like what did you do about it because we really didn't have time to talk much about what I had been doing since. We were just talking about this horrific nightmare of a story.
Essentially, I was always kind of a sickly kid, not what most people would consider a sickly kid, meaning that I didn't have cancer, or I wasn't in a wheelchair, or I wasn't in a specialized education class in school or anything like that, so not on the severe end but just had a lot of really, really deep functional issues that played out—that ended up carrying out in my nervous system, in my brain, and then ended up carrying out in my behavioral patterns too. That manifested—and this is a relatively common thing, but I was just on the more significant spectrum, of impulses, compensatory strategies, unconscious compensatory strategies, meaning constantly trying to cope with deficits that were within my system. We talked about some of those last time that could have been, obviously.
I was fully vaccinated as a kid. I was born by Cesarean Section, a lot of stuff. It's that perfect storm. A lot of my childhood behaviors—those compensatory strategies—ended up being toxic because when you're a kid, you don't know. You just know that there's a hole inside you. You get anxious in certain situations. You get incredibly depressed. You don't have energy, so you end up migrating unconsciously towards things like sugar, things like caffeine and stimulants. The more you use, the more it creates a deeper need.
You even went from that to long-distance running. That's a compensatory strategy. It really is.
That particular strategy is one—it came out of me trying to do the right thing because I understood that drugs and alcohol and everything like that—those forms of stimulation and self-medication were very damaging. I got into those for periods of time in my younger years and then always went back to running because, ultimately, I needed something.
If I had a lack of anything in my life, really, it was just a lack of good advice. It wasn't that I didn't have great, phenomenal people in my life. My parents are two of the most phenomenal people I'll ever know. They love me. They supported me in everything, but there just wasn't that understanding, especially where I live. I live in the southern part of the country, in Arkansas, and there's not a lot of alternative medicine. It's just very, very mainstream, treat the symptoms, medications. If you're not dying, then you're not sick kind of thing—no understanding of functional issues. Those things snowballed over years' time.
I went full force into distance running and developed an incredibly abusive relationship with it—I mean, incredibly abusive. I studied distance running so much because I became so obsessed with it during that time, and I knew how to train correctly and everything, but I couldn't control myself. Over-training was my life. At one point, I was running somewhere in the neighborhood of 140 miles a week, whenever I got to college. Those were hard miles, and that's one thing some people can transition themselves to that, but I was doing that with virtually no recovery.
I was eating Taco Bell four times a day kind of thing. We even discussed last time some of the things—I got into diet soda because being a distance runner, it's that belief system of calories in, calories out, less calories. A person like me, you give diet soda, and I'm going to drink a lot of it, like a 12-pack a day.
All of those toxic coping strategies eventually led me to basically crash, somewhere around when I was 20 years old. My nerve system crashed, and I became incredibly chronically fatigued and really couldn't get off the couch, basically had to drop out of school. At the time, what I though was the most debilitating fatigue that was possible. Turns out, I was wrong, but that was what I thought. My nervous system was just on the edge. I was incredibly depressed, anxious, obviously the fatigue and everything that goes along with it—all neurotoxic symptoms, obviously.
I ended up going to the conventional medical route and ended up seeing a psychiatrist where I was prescribed Adderall. That was really the thing that knocked the whole thing out. I was on the edge and Adderall, being on that, that was a whole story. That's on the last episode, but to a vulnerable nervous system, to mine, it was like the nail in the coffin kind of thing.
Do you know what's scary? I have to add this in right now, a scary fact. My son and my daughter said—and again in this area there's a California influence here, but 40 percent of the students in their high school using Adderall, literally, as a study drug because they can't focus without it. They go on to college, and they're using it as this study drug. Of course, then it becomes recreational. That, of course, leads to other things. Imagine this, Cameron. Where are we going to be in ten years? Look what Adderall did to your life. There are many, many kids and parents that need to hear that. Go ahead. Finish the story, and we'll move on.
Just to say real quick, it's well-known, even in psychiatry, even when they're doing all the wrong things and everything, that one of the most dangerous substances on the planet are amphetamines. When we think about amphetamines, the damaging ones in the conventional medical circuit, they see it as meth, obviously. Really, as far as a chemical structure, Adderall is dextroamphetamine, or a mixture of amphetamine salts, depending on if it's generic or if it's name brand. It has the exact same mechanism of action. You're just not getting quite as much at once, so it will destroy your life much more slowly, but it's at epidemic levels.
It's essentially a brain steroid that people use for performance enhancing in order to cram for tests and things. It's that ultimate brain stimulant. We could do a whole show on that just alone, but it's horrendous. You can see more of the details on that in the last show, but that just totally cut my legs out from under me, and my nerve system completely crashed. After the whole Adderall escapade and all of the other factors that made me most susceptible, it was very, very clear that that last thing, the two years of being on Adderall every single day, it destroyed my gut.
All of a sudden, I had a slew of unexplainable symptoms. I eventually took myself off Adderall because my life deteriorated in so many horrendous ways, so I took myself off, and I essentially was left with all this damage whenever I stopped Adderall. I couldn't think. I couldn't function on any level. If I'd leave my house, I would get lost and not know where I was. I had severe cognitive deficits.
Actually, whenever I got some functional brain imaging, I got a SPECT scan down at another clinic down in New Orleans. The physician who did—the radiologist was amazed, said that my brain was comparable to an 80 year old with dementia because that's a neurotoxic pattern, and especially drug abuse pattern, stuff like that. That was the most maddening part about it. I was totally—I thought I had fatigue before, but it totally crashed me. It wasn't like brain fog. It was like brain dead. It was like couldn't even get off the couch, and my system was so weak for the next year or so that I continued to get sicker, and sicker, and sicker, and sicker, and sicker, mainly because I kept eating toxic things and stuff like that too, and my detox pathways were most likely shut down by that point.
Anyway, in 2013, about a year and a half after I went off Adderall, all of a sudden this explosion of hypersensitivities seemed to come out of nowhere at the time. It was the most terrifying and just absolutely in the dark situation where it was like what the heck is going on? I started with the food, right? We talked about last time. I'd put a food in my mouth —I'd never had any allergies that I knew of in my life—and sensitivities are different than allergies in the sense that sensitivities are usually nervous system driven, but I didn't know. I put a food in my mouth one day while I was still very sick, and a massive reaction—started going into convulsions. My trachea closed up to the point where I was gasping for air.
It was essentially like an anaphylactic attack, and was shaking and continued to have these reactions over the next few months and was frantically—once you start reacting, it starts this pattern that you start reacting, start reacting, and the more things you're reacting to, it develops this snowballing, reinforcing thing where the more you react, the more you're going to react, and the more things you're going to react to.
You became allergic to everything on the planet, including water.
Essentially, and that's so hard. I really want to speak to—because I know that so many of your listeners, too, understand this whole environmental illness, multiple chemical sensitivity, kind of PTSD paradigm, but it's almost impossible to explain it to somebody outside of that world who's never experienced it before. It really is. It's almost like trying to explain a kaleidoscope to a blind person.
If you haven't lived it or been on the inside or known someone who has, then it's just horrendous. Basically, in short, after I developed this, I became so reactive where I went a bunch of places to try to get help, obviously. We had talked about last time, I went down to Environmental Health Center where a lot of clients who you get end up. It's this community, this sub-community of very sick people. Man, it's crazy. You'll see some of the sickest people imaginable at this place.
I, myself, was quarantined in a room for long periods of time, for weeks, or whatever—basically months, in and out. It was totally stripped down, all tile walls and everything, one air purifier in the center of the room because I was so reactive that my reactions could have been lethal because they were so bad.
Eventually, right before we met, I had gotten so bad that everything that touched my skin, everything that I put in my mouth—it had gotten to the point, like you said, that water, I was reacting to water. I couldn't find any water, different types of water. I bought up every water that I could find including tap water, anything, and I got to the point where I put a drop of water on my tongue, and I started going into convulsions. I mean convulsions that were just—and the throat closed up. I'm gasping for air and just hoping that I can go on.
We had talked about last time, too, I think, how the only way that I was able to get myself out of those emergencies was through pharmaceutical means. This is one of those scenarios where I would say and so would you, that there is absolutely a time and place for pharmaceuticals. In this case, since most of these reactions are coming from the limbic system that's just firing at an unnatural, insane rate, what normally helps mitigate these nerve system reactions is like a benzodiazepine type of drug or some sort of an excitatory blocking agent, either a blocker or benzodiazepine, like Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan, and those. I was even so reactive to those that I couldn't even tolerate those.
We ended up getting me to a spot, by the grace of God, where I was near death, hadn't had water for several days, that we were able to get the reaction low enough through some provocation, antigen strategy, I was able to get some of that drug into my system, which then calmed my system down enough to where it could at least stabilize me, which was good at the time, which was around the time we started working together too.
Then you became addicted to the Klonopin. I mean, you couldn't live without the Klonopin, which, fast forward, is some of the discovery that we're going to talk about today
Exactly. I just wanted to tell that part because —
Yeah, yeah, and I'll let you do that, but I also want you to just frame for them—I mean, we were able to start detox with you very slowly with literally drops, folks. Then from drops to more, to more. I mean, Cameron now is able to take full dose pretty much for short periods of time. He went full dose for a while. Then he had to back off, admittedly, but the bottom line is, we went from drops to normal doses, backing in and out of that. Obviously, emptying the bucket is how Cameron ultimately got from where he was to where he is right now. Go ahead and describe that.
Right, and that was what led me to you in the first place too was your philosophy. I resonated with it so much, and then you brought so much more to it and everything too. Just the process which nobody could tell me.
I understood at that time that detox was necessary, that there was this neurotoxic component, but no one had any real protocols of how to really—it was all the stuff that would be your pet peeves, all that stuff.
When we got started, it was the kind of dilemma—at first, we were meeting a couple of times a week or something where we were trying to strategize, just to kind of—I had just come through that horrific experience, and I knew that the only thing that could allow me to—I was still reacting to almost everything. I was stabilized, but I was trying to find some way of getting myself moving forward, and that was the deal.
We knew that the Klonopin would do it, but, obviously knew that that wasn't a long-term option because I had been there with drugs. I understand the pharmacology, and the more you take, the more you need to. It will cripple the systems that are already crippled. For the next few months, or the next, probably almost a year, whenever we were working together, it was just the process of a drop of acai, a drop of Cyto once every few days. I would react, and I just took the reaction, and it was not as bad as it was before that I was forced to fast during that whole crisis period, but it was bad enough to where it still like oh my gosh, and it was like one, and I couldn't even go anywhere near higher than that.
We were kind of stagnant for a long period of time. I was probably making some minor progress, but I was probably at that point on the 30 year plan because it was just moving so slow. It came down to the point where every time I'd meet with you it was just frustration. I could tell you were frustrated. I was frustrated. I just knew that the Klonopin was a thing that could allow me to take some things. If you remember, for a while, I actually was doing cycles by taking the Klonopin. The Klonopin is a long-acting benzo. It has a half-life of about 48 hours, so I started just to empty a little bit of the bucket, once a week, to allow my system to recover and not get any dependency or withdrawal or anything like that. Once a week, I'd have a two day window of time. I'd take the Klonopin, where I could take more Cyto, more acai, everything, and then back off, give it several days, and then do it again. I did that for probably a good nine months, but it came down to the point where it's like, well, I need to find an alternative to this.
From a pharmacological standpoint, I'm looking for a natural alternative that pharmacologically acts similar to a benzodiazepine. The particular pathway, the particular area of interest is compounds that work on this specific signal called GABA, gamma-Aminobutyric acid, sorry. People may have heard of that because that's a supplement that you can buy—just taking a dose of GABA, but a lot of it doesn't get into the brain, and it's not extremely powerful.
Some of the obvious ones—I knew about kava. I'd read about kava, but this is definitely one of the things that I really want to touch on, is that when it comes to botanicals, and it ultimately took me experimenting and things to really understand the magnitude of this. When it comes to botanicals, most of what you see in the health food stores, most of what's out there even buying on the internet, with these very large companies that are just, they're companies. They're trying to just sell a bunch of herbs. They may hype up certain things. They say what they can do. You read about them, and there's all this great stuff out there about what they can do, but that's not what we're seeing therapeutically and clinically with a lot of these Whole Foods grade types of herbs.
Kava is actually one of those that you can actually get at a lot of places, but it's not true kava. It's not real kava. What I mean by that is that the traditional preparations of kava, and this is also the case for so many other botanicals, especially the psychoactive ones—these big companies cut every corner in the book when it comes to sourcing, how they're grown, how long they're grown, if they're harvested at the right time, how they're stored, how they're transported, how they're extracted. All of these things, any one of these things are not done correctly, and it can drastically reduce the efficacy of that particular compound. You know what that means for something like kava is that it really takes going to the experts.
Who are the experts? Well, the indigenous people of whatever compound that you're looking at. You know, botanical. Which, kava is out of the south Pacific Islands. It grows in all the south Pacific Islands, and it's been used for hundreds of thousands of years—hundreds or thousands of years. The indigenous people are really the stewards of this knowledge, of really not only how to grow it, how to harvest it, but actually how to integrate it into your particular program and how to use it because that makes all the difference in the world, too.
Kava, traditionally, is not used in extract form. It's actually made as a drink, and it's not brewed or anything, but it's normally cold, traditionally. Kava, first of all, is a shrub-like plant. It's like a small tree that grows about eight feet tall at most. It matures between two and five years, and you want the older plants. That's one of the first pitfalls. A lot of the kava that you're seeing at Whole Foods and places, they're harvesting these things at one year. Right off the top, the kavalactones aren't mature, and they don't have the robustness that makes it a potent medicine, a really therapeutic medicine. Not only that, is they're extracting an alcohol. Alcohol does not extract all of the constituents, especially all the kavalactones, which are the active constituents, so it ends up being a really watered down version of what you're actually getting.
The drink itself, whenever the indigenous people prepare it, and they drink it, they'll harvest it, and then they'll immediately—they drink it fresh. They'll macerate it or grind it down in some sort of a water and knead it into a water to rupture the cell walls and release these active compounds, the kavalactones as they're called, and then they'll just drink it straight. It's a cup. Kava is very intertwined into the religious, economic, and political cultures of these islands and has been for a long time. It's a sacred thing to them, too, because it's so therapeutic for conditions of stress. It has these phenomenal effects.
What's most important too—and just to speak about the effects of kava, when taken, good kava, and taking it correctly, is that it really is more relevant today than they really have ever been because so much of the onslaught and the overburdening of stress that we have in our lives and especially the new stressors—chemical stressors, electric stress, all that stuff—is creating epidemics of trauma-based illness. This wiring of the nervous system, and especially neurotoxic conditions, what are the two main symptoms? Anxiety and insomnia are the most common, probably, symptoms of any chronic illness that seems to come up at some point. A lot of people are prescribed benzodiazepines for those. Kava acts very similarly, but instead of a benzodiazepine where the more you take it, the more your body gets dependent on it, and the more that you have to have it, and the less it works. Kava actually is just the opposite.
There's a lot of study that's taken place on kava that actually shows, and anecdotally what we see, is what we call a reverse tolerance. We believe that it actually has an up regulatory effect on those calming chemicals on the GABA receptors, which means if your GABA receptors—if that side of your nervous system has been beat down by too much stress, too much trauma, then it can actually kick it back into gear and bring a consistent state of calm. It can actually have a healing effect the more that it's used, which is totally the opposite of a pharmaceutical. It also works in the acute.
If you take the right kavas, and if you find the right strain for you, because it's very strain-specific, just like cannabis. You hear about cannabis and people having to get medical cannabis and try all these different strains. It's a very similar process because it's a very complex plant. There's a lot of different strains with a lot of different ratios of these different phytochemicals. It can have very powerful acute effects.
In some ways, it can even be more efficient than benzodiazepines for people too, if you find it correctly. Speaking about the chemically sensitive people, the people that are very hypersensitive to all sorts of stimuli, which would include PTSD and things like that, it has the ability to down regulate the excitability of your limbic system, your amygdala—
Which allowed us to be able to go at the detox more aggressively because ultimately, unless you remove the interference, you're not going to get well. Taking kava's not going to make you well; however, just like the clonazepam, you were using that to be able to dose things higher. We would have never got where we were if it wasn't for that; however, we both realized you can't go on with that drug. There was a down regulating effect; however, we said we have to find a natural thing.
We had some ideas. I think the brilliance that I credit you for is, obviously, experimenting with the kavas, learning these different strains, where to get them, how to dose them. You learned a lot in several months about this, and sharing it with these people—believe me, how many people we have watching this and listening to this—anxiety, sleep, mood disorders, sensitive to this and that. Being able to down regulate that nerve system reaction, I'm telling you, it's been magic not just for you but for many of my clients and my doctors' clients too.
People are going to want to know where you get it because there's special websites you can offer, and even how to use it. One of the things is people try it and go, “I tried it.” They got a negative reaction. You've even tailored that end to where you have to use it correctly. Kind of move into the user-friendly thing here.
Right, absolutely. What you said about it being essentially a safe crutch, that’s so key. That’s huge because for people—and I’ve talked to people—we’ve talked to people who are either already totally dependent on benzodiazepines or have these unbearable symptoms. As we both know, the big answer is the fully integrated multi-therapeutic process of healing, but that takes time. We need these safe crutches that aren’t going to knock us back. That’s what we used it for, and it’s been brilliant for that.
I want to add to that, too. We don’t want to make it sound easier than it—nobody is on the diet more direct than you. Fasting, intermittent fasting, ketosis, in and out of different diets. Multi-therapeutic approach, true cellular detox, all of these things you have done, so folks, please hear that. All of this we’re saying with this, using this cup as a tool to gain leverage so we’re able to do the detox. Good point.
That’s how all medicinal botanical really need to be used because these are essentially tools that are essentially—the alkaloids that we’ve kind of been separated from. All indigenous cultures had some form of plant alkaloids at their disposal, and today we have synthetic alkaloids that we call pharmaceutical drugs, and they actually do damage. It’s like a Band-Aid.
I always say that pharmaceutical drugs are like Band-Aids lined with sandpaper. They cover up the problem, but they make the wound deeper the longer that you’re on it, too, if that makes any sense. That’s a huge problem. It’s not the big answer, but it’s crucial because so many of the people that I see and talk to, they’re just frozen. Their symptoms are so bad, they’re constantly either reacting, or they have severe anxiety that they can’t even move. They can’t even start to integrate anything. Once you can down-regulate some of the stress burden, then you can work upstream more efficiently. It props up the weak system.
Right. As far as actually using the kava, I have a couple sources first of all that I can give you guys. I’ll actually make a note whenever this video airs and list a lot of the stuff that I talk about if you guys don’t already. I’ll have a comment on it or something. The main company that I like to use—there’s a company called Gourmet Hawaiian Kava, and that’s one of my favorites, sources that I’ve found so far. It’s GourmetHawaiianKava.com. This is essentially a one-man operation of, really, a kava aficionado that lives in Hawaii that’s lived very closely with the indigenous people.
When I was in Hawaii, I got to speak to Chris, I believe it is, right?
Yeah, Chris. Yeah.
A wealth of knowledge on it.
Yeah, I know. He’s brilliant on it because he lives it, and he’s not interested in it as a business to make money and stuff. He just loves kava as a part of Hawaiian culture and wants to protect its reputation. It’s gotten a lot of bad raps for a lot of bad reasons, or people don’t understand it because of business cutting it down and things like that. That particular website—a lot of people will come back to me and say, “Okay, I went to the website. There’s 15 different strains. I’m confused. They all have long names I can’t pronounce. What’s going on?”
I can give you a couple strains. Of course, you’re not going to be able to spell them. I’ll write these as a comment in the notes whenever this video airs, too. I’ll write most of these hard things down in a comment if you guys see the video on YouTube. There’s one particular strain that I like probably the best as far—because it has a particularly long half-life. It was grown and bred to have a specific long half-life, and it’s called Hanakapi Ai, so Hanakapi, and then A-I is a separate word. You’ll see that on the website. It’s the only one that even looks or sounds like that.
That’s not one that comes in one of the easily ingestible micronized kavas. First of all, we can talk about that because I need to explain that. There’s a few different types of kava that you’ll see. You’ll see the traditional like I’ve been speaking of. The indigenous people use traditional kavas. Of course, they drink it fresh which is even the most potent, gold standard way of taking kava. If you don’t live in a place where kava grows indigenously, you’re not going to get fresh kava unless you have it shipped to you frozen overnight. It’s really expensive.
Even this company is dried kava, but it’s dried correctly, and it’s almost as good as it gets in that form. It just comes in the ground root form. It’s dried, and you’ll see chunks of root in it. You’ll be like, “Wow. It just looks like someone just ground a tree and put it in this bag,” which is what happened.
How you would use this type of kava is a few-step, very, very simple method. Actually, on GourmetHawaiian.com, there’s two videos of two different preparation methods under the Videos tab that you can look at. There’s one that he calls the regular method, and there’s one that he calls the stronger method. I’ve had people report different things about which one they think is stronger. At the end of the day, you just have to separate a lot of the fibers and ruptures in the cell walls and release the kavalactones.
You can do that by putting it in a Nutribullet. I like to add some fat because these are lipid-like—these kavalactones are like fats. I like to add some coconut oil, or some coconut milk, or whatever. You can put it in a Nutribullet, and you can blend it up, and release them that way. You can use the traditional method that they have where they use a stocking or a strainer bag. You put the kava inside, and you get a bowl full of water. You can knead it and kind of wring it out. This is kind of more of a traditional way of doing it for about 10 minutes, or the heating method.
You can put one to two cups of water—I have it written down here exactly what I do—one to two cups of water with two tablespoons. You can start with much less for very sensitive people. That’s what I would say, too. I would start with a very small amount if you’re very sensitive. If you’re just a regular person with average sleeplessness and anxiety, start with two tablespoons of this stuff, of any one of these strains, in one to two cups of water in a pan on the stove on medium heat for three to four minutes until it starts to get thicker, almost the consistency like gravy. It starts to have this kind of film on the top, this gloss. You’re stirring it the whole time, this—
Yeah, but not to boiling, no. You really don’t want to boil it because then you can potentially destroy some of the kavalactones. Then once you’ve done three to four minutes, you see that gloss, you’re stirring the whole—you don’t want it to stick to the bottom of the pan. Then you turn it off. You add probably another cup of water or so, and the strain it out just through a regular strainer, or a cheesecloth, or whatever, and then you’ve got your drink.
It’s actually really simple once you start doing it, but a lot of people that are really sick and overwhelmed, they like to start with the other forms I’m about to tell you about. There’s another form. It’s call micronized. This is essentially the second most powerful way to take these kavas. Basically, what they’ve done is they’ve already ground down and separated a lot of the tannins, and the fibers, and things into just a fine powder form. You can just put a couple tablespoons of this in a glass of water and drink it down.
There are a couple advantages to that, just ease. If you’re taking kava on the road, and you don’t want to prepare it, and all this kind of stuff, then it’s also a way of getting good kava just straight into your system and taking it therapeutically that way. Also, it doesn’t taste nearly as bad. Be forewarned. Kava is absolutely an acquired taste. I’ve had people tell me this, too, especially very sensitive people, just some caution—they’re not really cautions, just things to know going into it.
At first, it’s not going to taste good, but you will adapt to it. You’ll actually acquire a taste for it. I actually like it. Two, the first time you take it, it will numb your mouth completely. It will. That’s a way that you know you’ve got good kava, too. That’s a good kind of test in a similar way that if you go to Peru and chew on some coca leaves, it’ll do the same thing. They actually compare it to those, even though it’s not the same at all, not the same plant or anything.
The micronized actually doesn’t do either of those things as much, but the micronized is a little—because it goes straight into your system, it’s a little bit harder on the gut sometimes, not damaging, but just some people don’t tolerate it as well in the gut. Most people seem to tolerate it just fine.
Another thing is that for very sensitive people, start with small amounts. I’ve also had people tell me, “Oh, my gosh! I drank down four cups of this stuff, and I feel high as a kite,” or, “I got this euphoria,” or whatever. At the end of the day, it’s not—you’re never going to get high-high off of it. What it does is it has—it is a psychoactive plant and can induce an uplift in your mood. They use it kind of like we use alcohol, as like a nontoxic version of alcohol as kind of their tribal drink they drink around the campfire, but it also has all these medicinal components to it.
The thing is is that what differentiates it from, say, like cannabis or alcohol is that the headspace that it brings you to, the—it’s not an altered state, meaning that you retain your higher brain function. You don’t ever go to a different place. You don’t ever become a different person, exhibit characteristics that you never would before. You may get a good uplift in your mood and some great relaxation that’s nontoxic, which is a great thing, actually. This is actually very prized.
We tend to back away from things that have any sort of recreational potential to them. That’s because we’re used to very toxic forms of those things. That’s something to keep in mind, but if it’s overwhelming, do small amounts. You can even start by applying it to the skin to kind of get your body used to—if it’s overwhelming, it will subside, and it will balance out. That’s just how kava works. I’ve seen it work almost in every case like that. It eventually balances out even if you have some GI symptoms at first.
It’s intense to your nervous system. It can be a little bit when you first try it, but the more you take it—first of all, its properties—the properties of kava have a stabilizing effect in and of itself. It is an adaptive agent on your nervous system. It has a cumulative affect, too. Unlike a benzodiazepine, like I talked about before where you get the most prominent affects the first time you take it, and then it goes down from there, this actually is just the opposite over about—usually on average from three to six weeks if you consistently take it.
You’ll notice it more if you have deficits in your calming agents. If you’re normal, you won’t notice it as much, but you’ll have a cumulative effect until it reaches peak therapeutic potential. Then it actually is very resistant to tolerance, which is another thing that separates it from almost anything else. So many other, even good, psychoactive plants, you have to cycle more because they lose their effectiveness.
Kava, it can dull a little bit if you use it all the time, which I wouldn’t use it all the time unless you’re in a state where you have to, but it’s very resistant. It continues to work. That’s why it’s been kind of the base of what I’ve been using for myself and other people that I’ve been talking to with these erratic, over-firing nervous systems and stuff, to. You’ve got the traditional, the micronized, and then they’ll also have an option that says, “Instant,” which is basically the same as the micronized.
Where can you get the micronized?
The micronized is also on that same website at GourmetHawaiianKava. I’ll also give you two other websites to look at just because if you want to try different strains, it’s good to have a wide variation. There’s another website called Kalm with Kava. Kalm is spelled with a K. KalmWithKava.com. They have a slew of different strains, too, in both traditional and micronized just like Gourmet Hawaiian Kava. Then there’s the third website that seems to be pretty good. It’s actually one that’s here in the States, but this guy, he sources all of his kava from these indigenous places. It’s called Bula Kava House, Bula spelled B-U-L-A and then KavaHouse.com. They have some really high-quality kavas, too.
If you’re searching outside of that realm of kava, a few things that I do want to touch on here as far as kava safety just to maintain the reputation of kava. It needs to shift anyways. You want to make sure that these are certified noble kavas. If they’re not certified, you definitely want to do some background checking to make sure that they are noble kavas. I’m saying that not because they necessarily have to be, but if you want to be safe-safe—and if I’m going to get on here and talk about kava, we know that noble kavas have an exceptional safety record.
One of the two pitfalls of kava usage and why it’s not used more, it’s become one of these things where people don’t—it’s for two reasons. One, if you google kava on the internet anywhere, you’re going to get a lot of information about its potential calming effects. Then there’s going to be a disclaimer that talks about liver damage. That’s kind of a long discussion, but essentially, that’s whole belief system came out of a very small series of studies, really one study, but a few that came out of Germany and Switzerland back about 15 years ago.
All the studies ended up being flawed. They were actually using leaves and stems in these kava batches, which you know that you don’t do. You can only use the roots. Also, the people involved in the study were also on the slew of other different drugs, too, at the same time, and the data was even flawed to where the outcome of the data actually was later admitted that they totally screwed up the study, too. Actually, those two studies caused a 12-year ban of kava in those two countries. Every other country kind of followed and wrote about liver problems. They've since overturned that ban, said they were wrong. Those bans have been lifted in those countries, but yet if you research it, you still get that on everything.
If you talk about field testing, thousands of years of indigenous people drinking noble kavas every day—I mean, not every person drinks every day but drink it every day, and we don't have any epidemics of liver problems in any of those areas.
That's the danger of the internet, right? Once something's out there, whether it's real or not, it's out there, and it's happened with many things like that.
It's almost like with government, too. Government gets ahold of something, it just rolls—and all the sudden, people are not actually going to the source. They're just reciting what somebody else has said. They just read an article, and then they just take that on. Most even—I mean, obviously conventional doctors aren't working with kavas, but even alternative doctors stay away from it because of that. A lot of them won't go near it because of that, and it's this amazing tool. It's one of many amazing tools but one that really deserves press at this point because it's becoming more and more relevant.
The other thing is the quality issue. People don't even know what real kava is or that it's a thing. They just try the tincture from the Whole Foods or whatever, and it's—and they're like eh, that's not much or whatever. That doesn't do anything. The other thing is they don't integrate it correctly. Like I'm telling you right now, the building effect, the cumulative effect that kava has is something—a lot of people will try something once. They may get some negative side effects, or you may not get much of anything at all, and they'll give up on it because botanicals aren't the same as pharmaceuticals.
Like I said, a lot of times there is a cumulative effect to these things. These things are very—they're complex compounds. They're communicating with your nervous system, or your immune system, or whatever the compound. They have an intelligence to them, and good things—solutions happen slowly over time. Usually things that end up being bad are things that just bam, in the face, and then it goes away kind of thing. Even though kava can have both of these, what's so fascinating about it with basically no negative return whatsoever.
A lot of people aren't using it correctly or not using it long enough and not understanding that those therapeutic effects are there. Herbalism is really an art form. It's a craft, essentially. That's why we have—we really don't have herbalists that are on the wisdom level, I guess you'd say, of some of these indigenous people. We've been separated from plant medicines for so long that we kind of just take things like their drugs. Take them once, ah, it's not like a drug, or ah, that wasn't too—so they don't take it anymore. Yeah, obviously getting all those things right is so incredibly important.
Yeah, I mean, it's—let me tell you, we hear a lot about cannabis, CBD, legal marijuana. There's a big drive, but you and I have found that—man, kava's just not getting the press it deserves For what people are really suffering with today, kava could be and perhaps is more powerful than cannabis as far as what it's bringing. The problem is getting the right stuff, doing it correctly, all the things you just spoke about. My gosh, I mean, at least cannabis is getting good press. It's en vogue right now. Kava sits back there, and it's the bastardized step-sister. I don't know what to call it.
Yeah, it's there, and there's the cult following down in the islands of people who know about it. Then there's some people who've been experimenting and stuff and utilizing it, but because of those two or three things, because of bad kava, because of the whole liver toxicity thing, that whole belief system, it's no different than some of the horrible belief systems that have surrounded cannabis, too, about all these kind of things.
The think about kava versus even another medicine like cannabis is cannabis, you have to be a lot more careful with. There is a dark side to cannabis. There's a negative side. Don't get me wrong; let's not blame the plant. Really, it's because like I was saying earlier, our divorcement from herbalism and how to integrate these things and actually keep and maintain a balance and when to use them, when to back off—because we've got these stigmas surrounding things like cannabis because it's been illegal. Most of the people that have been using them have been abusing, so of course we're going to have negative side effects, not to mention the hybridization process of breeding up THC and imbalancing the plant, the levels of THC are totally unnatural these days in the recreational sector. There's a huge problem with that, too.
Cannabis has way more drawbacks over long-term use, and the drawbacks of cannabis are relatively trivial. Kava is so amazing to me because of it's power-to-drawback ratio, what it can do versus its—if you screw up and use it too much, trivial consequences, if any, which makes it so—and because it affects the stress system, it's so relevant today.
Absolutely. Like I was saying, I mean, just on that note, too, as far as the realm of different botanicals, if we think about what is possibly out there, first of all, there's a whole host of known ethnobotanicals that are out there that have all—that hit on all different nerve—just on the psychoactive sector but many others, too, that just haven't gotten the press. It's like cannabis, all the effects that you're hearing, all the press it's getting, those effects have always been there. It's been available. It's just been not in the public eye, right? It's been prohibited and all this kind of ignorance and misperception and things.
The same thing applies to—there's so many different other plants. There are exogenous chemicals present in nature, in different plants and fungi, for every endogenous chemical that we have in our own nervous systems, too. There are analogs to those chemicals. That's why drugs work is because they mimic the chemicals that we already have. When you try to do that synthetically and isolate compounds and mess with things, you have no clue. You're hacking the intelligence of the body in a way that's going to give you an incredible amount of negative return, and that's drug addiction. That was what happened to me. It's one of the darkest worlds you can imagine is the world of severe drug addiction.
I know you're doing some research right now in magnolia, affects a lot of the same receptors, obviously, in a different way. I know you've experimented with a little bit of that, as well.
There's good combinations that you can have. I've been focusing—because it's like I've been talking to a lot of the other clients, and I've gotten a lot of, too, friends within this very hypersensitive, traumatized spectrum that really, really benefit from this inhibition that we get from some of these botanicals and need very badly. I've really been focusing a lot on anxiolytic plants. Kava's been the one that's been the base that I would start everybody on, but then there are a whole host of other different ones just that we know about that also are GABAergic in nature, meaning that the affect, modify, these GABA receptors that are essentially the ultimate brakes of the nervous system. That's really what we need a lot of.
There's also some that affect the serotonergic system, serotonin, which is like when people take 5-HTP. That's an amino acid precursor, but it's very subtle. For some people, that's great. That's enough or whatever. That's also inhibitory because that's a precursor to melatonin, which helps us sleep. Sometimes combining some of these, too, is totally safe and good, and I've had people combine—because if you have two compounds like kava that affects those receptors or chemicals in a certain way, and then another compound that comes at it from a different angle that can be very synergistic. You can even cycle them. If one starts to get a little bit—and you can cycle them so you have something else.
Magnolia officinalis, or any of these barks in the magnolia genus, contain a lot of these GABA analogs, these GABA-ergic compounds. The one you were speaking about that I had told a few people about, there's a product called HonoPure, so H-O-N-OPure, and it's on a website called Econugenics.com, and essentially it's just a really good concentrated extract of the main calming lye gland in that. It's called honokiol. That's where the name HonoPure—it's pure honokiol. That actually—there's tons of studies on honokiol on not only its neuro-protective effects, decreasing seizure threshold or increasing seizure threshold, and also anti-inflammatory effects, etc. There's a lot of stuff on that. It's one that's really, really good, too.
Just to name a couple others, ziziphus or ziziphus, that's a long name, and it's one that's out of Chinese herbal medicine, actually, and this is another one that's actually proposed to have an effect on a particular enzyme that helps your body convert excess glutamate into GABA, which just explain that real quick is—glutamate is actually what drives seizures. That's what drives most sporadic excitatory conditions and uses calcium and things. Glutamate is the most excitatory chemical in your body. Think about—
GABA's the most inhibitory, so just to get people to understand you're driving opposite ends.
We hear about excitotoxicity from things like diet soda or implicated in part of the mechanism for how vaccines could damage and mercury and things like that, activating the immune system and everything Excitotoxicity is driven by that chemical glutamate. GABA counteracts. They're almost like opposite brother and sister. This is why this works and why I think, too. We talk about CBD in seizures, and I think and a lot of the different kava experts I've talked to have actually seen kava to be more effective in people who are resistant to CBD therapy just to control the symptoms, again, while you're working upstream with that, too.
The one that I was talking about, ziziphus, real quick. I can give you a website for that, too, in case people—there's a concentrated powder from Lost Empire Herbs was a company that has it, which is a pretty good extract of it. Ziziphus seems to go really well with HonoPure. For some people, if they want to cycle off kava, you could take a couple of these other ones and things. Again, I know this is a lot, and when this video airs, I'll put a comment, and I want to list all these things so that you guys can know and experiment.
I can communicate with you on that, too, that same—there's comment sections?
Yeah, absolutely. I can—I'll be on there if you want to leave a comment or something. Then I'll check it or whatever, so yeah. This is a lot, and it does take—it takes experimentation, guys. The good thing about this ethnobotanicals is that you can do safe experimentation. They're not like pharmaceuticals. I mean, some you have to be somewhat cautious with, but always start in small amounts and just see what your body is doing. There are plants—nature is full of medicine in all forms. It's full of nourishing, good food-like medicine, essential nutrients, but it's also full of these molecules that help up-regulate and prop up our weak system in all sorts of disease processes and times and things. There's a lot of undiscovered medicines out there, too. There's a lot available underground that we know about already. I can sit here and name, and name, and name.
We're at the top of the hour. I have to—I'm telling you, it'll be one of our most download shows because you gave some gems. I'm telling you, people are suffering from this. You're a wealth of knowledge, Cameron. I've watched you come from here to where you are. It's been an unbelievable journey. You were so coachable. It's digging this deep. Now you're transforming lives. We call that from pain to purpose, man. Look at the purpose God is doing through you, man. You'll be speaking from my stage about this topic. I've already told you that.
Before we go, I just had to say this, too. It's been—me, my family, we are so—we thank God every day that we found you, that we met you, because honestly, it was exactly what I needed, just to find someone who was truly authentic, and truly like-minded, and someone who's not trying to sell me something or anything like that. You were pain to purpose, too, and honestly, I mean, I can't think of many people who I respect more than I respect you, Dan, obviously. I mean, obviously my ultimate hero's my parents and everything, but wow, I mean, we just—we love holding—
I told you at the very beginning when you were struggling. I said look, Cameron, God has a purpose in this. You watch what comes out of this. I saw your brilliance when you were sick, when you didn't see it. Watching this and a lot of this research you're doing just I see it happening. I see a lot of it. I see this passion, and it came out of your pain. You just encouraged many people watching this because believe me, if you're watching this, you're struggling, there is purpose in your pain.
I tell the doctors I coach, you want to figure out what your purpose is? Look in your pain. Dude, you're going to be—you're part of the solution, man, no doubt about it. Thank you so much.
Yeah. I just want to say right quick, those of you with really complicated conditions that are very, very sick out there, in a process like this, I know it sounds like a lot of information. The answer always is a multi-therapeutic approach. It always is turning the tide in your body's favor of adding in the good things, removing the interference, and it does take a lot of time. The devil's in the details. Fine-tuning some of these details can make all the difference in the world. I've just found that out with just working with some people and myself on trying to get down these safe crutches and control the nervous. That's just one small part of it. Hiring a coach, if you can, is a phenomenal thing.
No doubt about it. Thanks, Cam. Awesome show, and man, I'm sure you'll be on future shows. You'll definitely be in a seminar. Thanks, bud. Appreciate it, man.
Thanks so much for having me, man.