Ginger May Salvage the Brains of Those Doing Ecstasy (MDMA)
The recreational drug known as ‘ecstasy’ or ‘molly’ is a synthetic amphetamine derivative primarily used by young people in dance and music environments. While the drug, technically known as 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA), has been studied for its potential as a psychotherapeutic agent in post-traumatic syndrome disorder, and is unique among Schedule 1 drugs (which include cocaine and heroin) in having empathy inducing or so-called empathogenic properties, it is not without its dark side: namely, its well-characterized neurotoxicity, including its ability to produce experimentally confirmed brain lesions in the animal model.
Of course, anyone who follows our core advocacies and research here at Greenmedinfo.com probably already knows that any non-naturally occurring chemical (which incidentally is largely produced in clandestine laboratories that go without proper controls on quality, standardization and elimination of various impurities), may have serious short- and long-term adverse effects. Here is a summarization from the National Institute on Drug Abuse:
Reported Undesirable Effects (up to 1 week post-MMDA, or longer):
- Sleep Disturbances
- Lack of appetite
- Reduced interest in and pleasure from sex
- Significant reductions in mental abilities
Potential Adverse Health Effects:
- Involuntary jaw clenching and teeth grinding
- Muscle cramping
- Blurred vision
- Marked rise in body temperature (hyperthermia)
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart failure
- Kidney failure
Symptoms of MDMA Overdose:
- High Blood Pressure
- Panic attacks
- Loss of consciousness
It also logical that a substance used to induce a spiritual state – such as love/empathy/joy – cannot be sustainable and truly regenerative as that produced through acts of kindness, yoga, exercise, good nutrition, prayer, meditation, etc. And so, if one induces these feelings of ‘happiness’ through a ‘bottom up’ chemical manipulation of the brain, there must be counter-effects as the brain and physiology seek homeostasis, resulting in an inevitable dysphoria – a low will follow an artificial high.
Of course, even MDMA should be viewed within the larger context of legal drugs, including pharmaceuticals, alcohol and tobacco, which may cause far greater harm and virtually no mood-related benefit in the case of tobacco, for instance.
The good news is harm from the use of chemical drugs like MDMA can often be mitigated through the use of natural substances, many of which we know in our foods and use as spices or seasonings. Recognizing the prevalence of MDMA use, with millions of users globally, we want to highlight a recent study that found ginger is effective in preventing MDMA-induced brain damage. At least, we hope, those who are going to continue its use, or maybe are addicted to it, can take precautionary steps to prevent or decelerate the inevitable damage it will produce when used habitually.
The new study published in the journal Basic Clinical Neuroscience titled “Ecstasy-induced caspase expression alters following ginger treatment,” used an animal model administering to the body cavities (intraperitoneally) of 15 male rats 0, 10 mg/kg MDMA, or MDMA along with 100mg/kg ginger, for 7 days. When their brains were analyzed for markers of neurological injury and inflammation (caspases 3,8 and 9), the ginger + MDMA group was found to have significantly reduced MDMA-induced cell death (apoptosis) in the hippocampus (an important brain structure substantially involved in learning and memory) of the male rats, leading the researchers to conclude:
“Therefore, ginger appears to be a useful medicinal herb as a potential treatment for the MDMA- associated adverse effects.”
This study was actually not the first to identify the potential value of ginger in protecting against MDMA-induced brain damage. Back in 2012, a study published in Cell Journal titled,
“Zingiber Officinale Alters 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine-Induced Neurotoxicity in Rat Brain,” also found that ginger resulted in the following improvements in MDMA exposed rats:
- Improved learning
- Increased hippocampal cell number (indication of less MDMA-induced brain cell death)
- Increase in anti-apoptotic (cell death) gene expression
“Our findings suggest that ginger consumption may lead to an improvement of MDMA-induced neurotoxicity.”
These results clearly indicate the potential value of ginger in those exposed to this chemical. By no means do want this information to be used to justify MDMA use outside the clinical setting of psychotherapy – that is, with the qualification, that more natural and therefore likely safer ’empathogens’ may be worth exploring such as psyliocybin and LSD-25, a natural derivative of ergot fungus, before MDMA. On the other hand, realistically, people – and especially the young who crave transcendent experiences and may lack the caution of older individuals – are going to do what they are going to do. This is why we would like to get the information out there. This is no different than us advocating the use of N-acetyl-cysteine or reduced glutathione for those who are on Tylenol and unsuspectingly damaging their livers, or those who consume alcohol habitually, without taking probiotics or methyl-donors to balance out the adverse health effects of using it recreationally too often.
Source for Story: