by Greg Lee
When I was a boy, my friends and I would bike to the local novelty store. I would buy the baseball cards and gum. One of my friends would always buy the pranks: plastic bugs, fake vomit, and the garlic flavored candy. One day, he tricked me with a chewing gum pack that had a hidden wire spring. As I took the stick of gum, it snapped on my finger. Yow!
How is chronic pain due to elevated Substance P in people with Lyme and co-infections just like getting your finger caught in a chewing gum prank?
Similar to getting your finger snapped in a chewing gum prank, people with pain syndromes have elevated levels of Substance P
Substance P is a neuropeptide which acts as a neurotransmitter and neuromodulator. It can be found throughout the body. This peptide can activate mast cells to release inflammatory compounds. It is highly correlated with levels of pain in people diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, chronic migraines, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CPPS), chronic neck pain, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), chronic degenerative disc disease, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Substance P has also been indicated in patients with depression, anxiety, brain parasites, neuroinflammation, inflammation, hepatitis, hepatotoxicity, cholestasis, pruritus, myocarditis, bronchiolitis, abortus, bacteria and viral infections. Unfortunately, Substance P may aggravate neurological problems in people with Lyme disease.
Substance P may aggravate neurological problems in people with Lyme disease
In one animal study, Substance P contributed increases in blood-brain barrier permeability, neurological damage, increased CNS infection, and elevated numbers of microglia/macrophages in mice with a Lyme disease central nervous system (CNS) infection. In another lab study, Substance P aggravated the release of inflammatory compounds COX-2 and PGE(2) in mouse brain cells. Another study suggests that Substance P contributes to CNS inflammation in neurological Lyme disease patients. Substance P is often elevated in electrical frequency scans of Lyme patients that report chronic pain. Medications can help with reducing some Substance P symptoms.
A new type of medication called Neurokinin 1 (NK1) antagonists can help with Substance P symptoms
NK1 antagonists have helped relieve depression, anxiety, and vomiting in patients with elevated levels of Substance P. By modulating serotonin and norepinephrine, they help relieve emotional symptoms. Unfortunately, most studies indicate that NK1 antagonists are not effective at relieving pain caused by elevated levels of Substance P. Many patients use opioid pain relief medications which can have side effects including: constipation, nausea, and addiction.
What else can help relieve chronic pain caused by elevated levels of Substance P in people with Lyme disease?
Here are five remedies for reducing pain caused by elevated Substance P
In human, animal, and lab studies, there are five natural remedies which have pain relieving and anti-inflammatory effects in Substance P pain experiments. By processing remedies into microparticles called liposomes, has enabled remedies to be delivered more effectively into the brain to counteract Substance P’s effects of increased neurological inflammation. Liposomal analgesic medications are more effective at relieving pain than their non-liposomal equivalent. Liposomal remedies have also been effective at reducing the production of inflammatory cytokines in a mouse study. Fortunately, liposomal encapsulation and delivery of essential oils and herbs may enhance their penetration and effectiveness against Substance P pain and neurological inflammation in Lyme patients.
Pain Relieving, Anti-Substance P Remedy #1: Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil was effective at inhibiting Substance P smooth muscle contraction in one animal study. In a human study, peppermint oil combined with ethanol was effective at relieving headache pain. Do not apply peppermint oil undiluted to the feet of children under 12 years old, avoid large doses, it may cause heartburn, perianal burning, blurred vision, nausea and vomiting when taken internally. Peppermint essential oil use is contraindicated in children under 30 months old, and people should avoid the intake of peppermint oil with gallbladder disease, severe liver damage, gallstones, chronic heartburn, and cases of cardiac fibrillation and in patients with a G6PD (Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase) deficiency. Nutmeg essential oil may also help to reduce Substance P pain.
Pain Relieving, Anti-Substance P Remedy #2: Nutmeg Essential Oil
Nutmeg essential oil was effective at reducing chronic inflammatory pain through inhibition of COX-2 expression and substance P release in one rat study. Maximum daily internal dose for nutmeg oil is 73 mg and 4% topically. In large doses may produce psychotropic effects. Tea tree is another essential oil that may also help to relieve Substance P pain.
Pain Relieving, Anti-Substance P Remedy #3: Tea Tree Essential Oil
In a human skin and rat skin study, tea tree oil and it’s active compounds reduced Substance P induced microvascular changes, histamine, and inflammatory response. In other studies, tea tree oil assists in wound healing and reduces inflammatory compounds. This oil has a low risk of dermal irritation. Maximum safe dermal use is 15%. Caution: high doses, approximately a teaspoon to a half a teacup, of tea tree oil have resulted in ataxia, drowsiness, diarrhea, unconsciousness, and allergic reactions. Angelica sinensis is an herb that may also help to treat pain from elevated Substance P.
Pain Relieving, Anti-Substance P Remedy #4: Angelica Sinensis Herb
In one mouse study, Angelica sinensis reduced levels of Substance P, the number of mast cells, inflammatory cytokines: Interleukin-4 (IL-4), Interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), and Interferon-gamma (IFN-γ), as well as the expressions of nuclear factor kappa-beta (NF-κB). This herb has been used for hundreds of years in Chinese medicine for relieving pain, lubricating the intestines, and treating female irregular menstruation and amenorrhea. It has also been used extensively for treating anemia and other blood disorders by tonifying, replenishing, and invigorating blood. A literature review of this herb illustrates the wide range of pharmacological activities, including anti-inflammatory activity, antifibrotic action, antispasmodic activity, antioxidant activities, and neuroprotective action, as well as cardio- and cerebrovascular effects.
Angelica is also used to treat coldness, numbness, painful joints, soreness and weakness of the low back and knees. Topically, it is used with other herbs to treat sores and abscesses, reduce swelling, expel pus, relieve pain, and heal slow-healing sores. It unblocks the bowels and is used to treat constipation and dry stools. It has also been used to treat arrhythmia, stroke, migraine, nephritis, upper gastrointestinal bleeding, liver disease, bed wetting, uterine prolapse, insomnia, blocked blood vessels in the hands and feet, herpes zoster, alopecia, psoriasis, dermatological disorders, deafness, anal fissure, chronic hypertropic rhinitis, and chronic pharyngitis.
Herb – drug interaction: It is suggested that concurrent use of Angelica with wafarin may potentiate the effects of wafarin, anti-platelet, and anticoagulant drugs. This herb reduces scopolamine and cycloheximide induced amnesia in rats. Angelica also treats acetaminophen-induced liver damage. Another herb called Dragon’s blood may also help to relieve pain from elevated Substance P.
Pain Relieving, Anti-Substance P Remedy #5: Dragon’s Blood Herb
This herb has been used for thousands of years for treating various pains for due to its potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. In one study on rat neurons, this herb demonstrated anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects by blocking the synthesis and release of substance P through inhibition of COX-2 protein induction and intracellular calcium ion concentration. In another animal study, Dragon’s Blood active compounds had a synergistic effect on relieving pain in spinal nerve cells. A combination of herb and essential remedies may help with reducing chronic pain caused by elevated levels of Substance P in people with Lyme disease.
These five remedies may help to reduce chronic pain caused by too much Substance P
People with neurological Lyme disease that also have chronic pain may have elevated levels of Substance P. Similar to not getting your finger snapped in a chewing gum prank, a combination of herbal and essential oil remedies may help to reduce the levels of Substance P, inflammatory cytokines, and chronic pain. These remedies may also help with protecting the brain and nervous system against the damaging and inflammatory effects of Substance P. Processing these herbs and essential oils into microparticle remedies, called liposomes, may enhance their ability to penetrate the blood brain barrier, lower levels of Substance P in the central nervous system, and relieve chronic brain and body pain. Since liposomal remedies requires special knowledge and equipment, work with a Lyme / liposomal literate natural remedy practitioner to develop a customized, safe, and effective treatment plan for your condition.
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