Ecklonia Cava for Sweet Dreams and More

Humans have always been resourceful and have utilized the gifts of nature around us to survive and thrive. Many plants have been studied by scientists to uncover why indigenous people have valued them for so long. Tremendous leaps in understanding have been made in the last few decades regarding a multitude of molecules and compounds contained in plants and their effects on our bodies. This has been a boon to those of us who choose to use natural products to maintain and improve our health and well-being.

The natural products industry has outpaced Big Pharma in this way since they are restricted to using synthetic ingredients due to patent laws. (A natural substance cannot be patented.) Synthetic ingredients confuse and often overwhelm the body which is why these products inevitably come with a long list of potential adverse effects. Significant breakthroughs and new natural products have come on the market in the past 30 years that are valued by new generations of humans.

My Experiment with Chronic Insomnia

Six months ago I began taking a supplement with a brown sea vegetable called Ecklonia Cava as the main ingredient. I had read enthusiastic articles extolling its many virtues and I wanted to find out if I would notice benefits, particularly to help me sleep. Over $32 million spent on research has revealed insights into why the Korean and Japanese people have prized this plant so highly.

Insomnia is frequently a disorder of hyperarousal present both during the night and the day and is the most common sleep disorder, present in up to 50% of people over 65 years old. This typically means that the sympathetic nervous system (the stress system, alert and watchful) is dominant and over-active and the parasympathetic nervous system (regenerative, relaxed and healing) fails to turn on. This leads the dominant brain waves to be locked in the alert beta-wave state instead of sliding naturally into the alpha, theta and delta waves which are present during normal sleep.

An EEG study on brain waves of healthy middle-age people found that Ecklonia Cava extract (ECE) increased alpha-waves, an indicator of relaxation and parasympathetic nerve response. Animal research shows ECE facilitates increased levels of the neurotransmitters GABA, norepinephrine and serotonin, which may be why a large number of human users report improved sleep.

ECE may also be helpful for people to take any time of day for anxiety and stress. It was found to prevent sleepiness in bus drivers and students during daylight activities, likely due to increased blood flow and oxygen delivery.

This is what motivated me to give Ecklonia Cava extract a try: an 8-week placebo-controlled, double blind study conducted on fibromyalgia patients that showed significant results. The participants who were given ECE reported:

  • Higher energy levels (by 71%)
  •  Sounder sleep (by 80%)
  • Reduced pain (by 31%)
  • Improvement in general condition (by 39%)
  • 2 ¼ more good days per week
  • The study also indicated that ECE increased overall duration of night sleep time (by 1.6 hours) and reduced the time it took to fall asleep (by 47 minutes).

I’m grateful to say that I don’t suffer from fibromyalgia, but I have experienced a lifetime of insomnia which became worse after menopause. Taking ECE has been a delightful surprise! I began sleeping more soundly the first night and the benefits continue since I still take it at bedtime every night. I have experimented with dosages and find that some nights I need to take more than one or two capsules to get the desired effect. (I take a standardized organic extract of Ecklonia cava combined with L-Carnitine and grapeseed extract.)

The only thing not mentioned in the study is the sweet dreams. Dream quality, vividness and recall are enhanced. My experiment has been a rousing success for sleep and more benefits to my health, including reduced sensitivity to spring pollen, are resulting from my nightly use of Ecklonia Cava extract.

Discoveries from 14 Years of Studies

ECE acts as a fat-soluble antioxidant– providing 12 hours of free radical scavenging compared to just 30 minutes for green tea. It is shown to be especially good at neutralizing a particularly dangerous free radical called peroxynitrite, which is linked to several health conditions including chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and multiple chemical sensitivities. No toxicity from ECE has been observed at any dosage level.

Here are other dose-dependent benefits discovered during 14 years of research including:

  • Improved blood flow and vascular flexibility is observed. Sexual performance (and comparison to top-selling sexual performance drugs) resulting from the improved blood flow.
  • Brain function improvements related to blood flow and oxygen supply, memory, alertness, relaxation and improved response to stress. (Lab rats given ECE showed a decrease in beta-amyloid formation in the brain. An accumulation of this substance is observed in Alzheimer’s patients.)
  • ECE appears to reduce histamine release and reduce allergic reactions.
  • Inflammation reduction, cartilage protection, nerve pain relief in cases of neuropathy and positive comparisons to common anti-inflammatory medications.
  • It can inhibit glucose absorption, leading to reduced blood sugar spikes.
  • Ecklonia Cava may help to prevent premature skin wrinkling by increasing the enzyme activity of elastase.
  • Studies show a potent effect in protecting the liver from alcohol.

Ecklonia Cava extract shows strong evidence of being a versatile and safe supplement to help us in many ways, including getting a deeply restful night’s sleep.

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