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Jet lag

Power Pills for jet lag and other maladies are a bad thing

Saturday, March 05, 2011 by: Christopher Babayode
Tags: jet lag, pills, health news

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(NewsTarget) A recent article in a business travel magazine trumpets the age of Power Pills. These are pharmaceutical drugs used to increase cognitive function and concentration, eliminate jet lag and boost energy amongst other things. Replete with a mini guide of which pills to take and their pro's and con's, the article misses the point made by one of the authorities it interviews. The said authority, a UK professor of clinical pharmacology, says: "If you have to rely on pharmacology to live your life, you may have a problems". In other words using pharmaceuticals like this is unsustainable. This is an important point when you consider that pharmaceuticals change biochemistry and that human biochemistry is altered by altitude. Complicating human biochemistry at altitude is the last thing you want to do to travel well.

Of a four page article only half a page is given to natural alternatives. These alternatives seem to be haphazardly selected and don't reflect the depth of natural alternatives available to those who want healthier choices. It would seem the article is pro pills as long as they get the job done. However one of the main problems with this approach is pointed out by the professor; he says, "it's easy to develop a tolerance so you start taking more to get the same effects". The use of natural substances avoids this problem. They get the job done, preserve your health, and build vitality consistently.

There are two groups of substances travelers looking to avoid jet lag naturally should turn to. They are Adaptogens and Nootropics. Adaptogens can help balance the immune system and the stress response. Nootropics can help enhance aspects of brain biochemistry in harmony with the way the brain works. Unlike pharmaceuticals they have a long track record of successful use. Their use has been documented by healing traditions such as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurveda. Side effects are virtually non-existent if used correctly and benefits are cumulative.

As it isn't appropriate to go into detail of all the Adaptogens and Nootropics available, here are a few you can consider and investigate further. Please be responsible and consult with your primary health care resource if necessary. The article suggests a variety of pharmaceuticals. Healthier choices could include Rhodiola for improved cognitive function and focus, Bacopa to promote memory and focus, and Dang Shen and Jiaogulan for a more sympathetic approach to jet lag, with the inclusion of Chlorella or GABA rich Chlorella. Ordinary Chlorella will suffice in the absence of the GABA rich variety as its glutamine is still available to convert to GABA which can aid sleep onset.

In addition to these choices other Adaptogens and Nootropics you might want to consider could include Ashwagandha, Holy Basil, Jiaogulan, Gotu Kola, Gingko and Rosemary. You can choose to take your preferences in tincture form or as a decoction; some can be incorporated into teas and smoothies. Whatever choices you do make, rest assured that opting for a natural approach is in the best interest of your long term health when flying and your health in general. Moreover these substances are easily available without having to deal with the politics of the pharmaceutical industry.

Article - Power Pills - Business Traveller magazine February 2011.
Adaptogens - David Winston and Steven Maimes
Article - Smart Drugs - The Economist May 22nd 2008.
Rhodiola - Darbinyan V, Kteyan A, Panossian A, Gabrielian E, Wikman G, Wagner H. "Rhodiola rosea in stress induced fatigue--a double blind cross-over study of a standardized extract SHR-5 with a repeated low-dose regimen on the mental performance of healthy physicians during night duty." Phytomedicine 2000 7(5):365-71.

About the author

Wherever you go P.H.A.R.E. well.
The Jet Stress Specialist.

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