Latly, I have been really interested in finding more herbs for anxiety. Probably because I suffer from a little bit of anxiety from time to time. When I would research about herbs for anxiety I would always get the same ole’ herbs…passionflower, kava kava, 5-HTP…etc. I have tried all of these herbs and I’m really into trying something new so that’s where Mulunga comes in.
Mulungu tree above
In Brazil mulungu has been used for a long time as a natural sedative. The herb is said to be able to stabilize the central nervous system. In stressful times it helps to balance and calm the nerves. The herb is also used as an antioxidant; to tone, balance and strengthen the liver. The use of mulungu may influence the heart beat regulation positively. It might help lower the blood pressure as well. The active substances in mulungu are studied extensively. The herb contains large amounts of novel flavanoids, triterpenes and alkaloids.
Two studies point out that one of them, erysodine, could be of use in treating nicotine addiction, because it works as antagonist and blocks nicotine receptors.
For a long time, kava kava has been nature’s most widely used sedative. However this plant gained a lot of negative publicity, because of its possibly damaging effects on the liver. Mulungu has the same sedating qualities (if not more) as kava kava and happens to have positive effects on the liver. This uplifted the popularity of mulungu and now it is one of the most popular natural tranquillizers worldwide.
Several Erythrina tree species are used by indigenous peoples in the Amazon as medicines, insecticides, and fish poisons. Mulungu has long been used in Brazil by indigenous peoples as a natural sedative: it has been used to calm an overexcited nervous system and promote a restful sleep.
In both North and South American herbal medicine systems mulungu is considered to be an excellent sedative to calm agitation and nervous coughs and to treat other nervous system problems including insomnia and anxiety. It also is widely used for asthma, bronchitis, gingivitis, hepatitis, inflammation of the liver and spleen, intermittent fevers, and to clear obstructions in the liver. In both Brazil and Peru mulungu is used for epilepsy. Herbalists and practitioners in the United States use mulungu to quiet hysteria from trauma or shock, as a mild, hypnotic sedative to calm the nervous system, to treat insomnia and promote healthy sleeping patterns (by sedating overactive neurotransmitters), to regulate heart palpitations, and to treat hepatitis and liver disorders. Positive regulatory effects on heart palpitations and decreased blood pressure have been reported; Dr. Donna Schwontkowski, a chiropractor who has used Amazonian plants in her practice, recommends mulungu for hernias, stomachaches, and epilepsy – and to help augment milk flow as well (rain-tree).
The traditional use of mulungu for anxiety and stress has been validated by researchers in a recent (2002) study, where it was shown to alter anxiety-related responses. An animal model (correlating to human generalized anxiety disorder, as well as panic disorder) was undertaken on a water-alcohol extract of mulungu. The researchers reported that the mulungu extract had an effect similar to the commonly-prescribed anti-anxiety drug diazepam. It was suggested in this study that the alkaloids in Erythrina “may alter GABAergic neurotransmission.” GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid) acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain; abnormalities with its function is implicated in diseases including epilepsy, anxiety, and depression. Further research has validated the traditional use of mulungu as an antimicrobial agent for throat and urinary infections; mulungu has demonstrated antibacterial activity in two studies against Staphylococcus aureus, and antimycobacterial activity against Mycobacterium fortuitum and Mycobacterium smegmatis (rain-tree).
I didn’t find many videos talking about Mulungu but here is a spiffy fellow talking about Mulungu and how it can help others:
Skip to 12:00 to hear about Mulungu.
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