Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
"There are dozens of herbs and other natural supplements that have been found to reduce neuroinflammation" Younger
Younger is almost certainly talking about this paper:
Brain “fog,” inflammation and obesity: key aspects of neuropsychiatric disorders improved by luteolin Theoharis C. Theoharides 1, 2, 3, 4 *, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4490655/pdf/fnins-09-00225.pdf Theoharides is a mast cell guy who has researched ME/CFS. I love that Younger is looking into herbs - easy to get - relatively inexpensive - no doctor's prescription needed....
Can oregano, celery seeds, and thyme help combat brain fog?
A recently-published paper (see link below) reviewed the concept that luteolin can protect against brain fog and other cognitive problems. As most of you know, brain fog is a symptom that many individuals with fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, and similar conditions experience. The authors of the review share my belief that brain fog is caused by the release of proinflammatory chemicals in the brain.
Luteolin is a natural flavonoid compound found in many foods, with some great sources being oregano (particularly dried), celery seeds, and thyme. Several companies sell various forms of capsulated luteolin. As reviewed in the paper, the compound acts as an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory in the brain. Research on compounds such as luteolin is exciting because many of those compounds are already commercially available. There are dozens of herbs and other natural supplements that have been found to reduce neuroinflammation.
Several of those botanicals have been used in Chinese Traditional Medicine, Ayurvedic Medicine, and other traditional medicine approaches for thousands of years. However, most of those compounds have not been tested in properly-controlled human clinical trials. We will begin studying luteolin and eight other botanical microglia-modulators later this year. Our first trial will be on veterans with Gulf War Illness. We hope luteolin will help with chronic pain, fatigue, and brain fog in those individuals. We will later expand the study to individuals with other chronic conditions.
I hope it is indeed the case that some great treatments for pain and fatigue are already available. It must be mentioned though that being herbal or “natural” doesn’t make a supplement safe. Herbal supplements can definitely interact with prescribed medications, so it is always best to check with your physician before starting something new.
Also, not all luteolin products are created equal. For example, some are made from peanut shells, which could cause allergic reactions. Luteolin has also been found to change dopamine functioning, so individuals taking medications for mood disorders may want to discuss the supplement with their physician. Given the scarcity of the scientific information, we cannot recommend that individuals take luteolin. I am optimistic though that research into natural compounds will identify some promising treatments for pain, fatigue and neuroinflammation.