L-Theanine is extracted from the leaves of green tea. It is implicated in reducing anxiety and causing calmness without sedation. Best of all, it also benefits cognitive function by improving focus and memory.1 L-theanine’s benefits can be experienced within 30 min to an hour of intake.
Its’ physiological mechanisms of action include increasing alpha brain waves2, reducing stress-induced corticosterone3, and increasing GABA (a calming and uplifting brain chemical) by stimulating its receptors in the brain. Alpha brain waves are associated with a state of relaxation, focus and mental alertness.4,5,6,7
L-Theanine further has a protective effect on the brain by reducing the toxic degeneration of nerve cells by A-beta (1-42) proteins which causes Alzheimer’s disease, and by suppressing inflammation.8
Another remarkable benefit of L-Theanine, is its positive effect on gene expression in brain areas referred to as the hippocampus and amygdala. These brain areas are implicated in the development of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) following a severely traumatic experience. 9-11
Passionflower has a long history of use for anxiety, restlessness, sleep disorders, mental stress, irritability, and epileptic seizures. It also shows clinical potential in the treatment of attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder.
Passionflower provides various bioactive compounds which increases GABA (calming neurotransmitter in the brain), serotonin (happy neurotransmitter) and noradrenalin (underlies the body’s stress response).12 These bio-actives also provide anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant protection in the brain, reducing the risk of damage to nerve cells. 13 Passionflower also shows anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-oxidant, anti-hypertensive, and anti-tumour activity.14
Clinical Indications 19
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Anxiety & Nervousness
- Sleep disorders
- Attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder
Lemon Balm has been used for thousands of years for various medical concerns, including digestive complaints, fever, wounds, mental decline, headaches, insect bites, herpes, gout and skin disease. However, Lemon balm is most well-known for its significant benefits in depression, irritability and sleeping disorders.15 Treatment with Lemon balm improves metal performance, uplifts mood, and reduces feelings of stress and anxiety.16
By increasing the activity of acetylcholine, a brain neurotransmitter, which is involved in arousal, memory and learning, and by increasing blood flow to the brain, Lemon balm helps to improve memory.17 It also increases GABA, promoting an increased level of relaxation. By increasing GABA, glutamate is decreased. By keeping glutamate levels in balance, and increasing brain-derived neurotrophic factor, healthy maintenance, growth and development of the brain cells are promoted.
In summary, Lemon balm protects the brain against the damaging effects of stress, is helpful in the treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), reduces tension and agitation, improves mood and cognitive function, and helps to improve symptoms of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.18
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Sleep disorders
- Cognitive dysfunction