Adrenaline production in stress is actually drug abuse.

How Ephedrine, Galantamine and Nicotine Treat Inflammation in Psoriasis

Adrenaline is involved in so many chronic diseases and most doctors have no clue about it. It is not actually the “stress” what destroys the body over time, it is the adrenaline and imbalanced adrenergic receptors what lead to health problems. Psoriasis is just one, but not the only one disease which involves the Autonomic Nervous System dysfunction including the dysfunctional vagus nerve.

Long-term stress is adrenaline abuse

If you experience a long-term emotional stress you are actually abusing the adrenaline because adrenaline is ultimately released always when we are stressed.

If the cells are constantly flooded with adrenaline they will desensitize themselves to its effects because that is the way how body reacts to every drug over time.

The problem with adrenaline desensitization is that adrenaline is endogenously produced (body produces own adrenaline) and therefore it is essential for proper function of the whole body (nervous system, hormonal system including the regulation of blood sugar levels).

So if the body desensitizes the cells to adrenaline there will be the whole host of new problems.

One is the effect on blood glucose levels which in turn will very possibly lead to hypoglycemia, hyperinsulinemia and weight gain. More gained fat leads to more inflammatory cytokines as you can read about it here “Psoriasis and overeating – binge eating is a dopaminergic problem”.

Hypoglycemia is one of the worst hidden conditions you can develop because it usually leads to more adrenaline production and makes the whole adrenaline problem even worse.

Another culprit about adrenaline desensitization is the specific desensitization of the neurons. Nervous system controls all the functions of body and having the nervous cells non-responsive to adrenaline may manifest as any symptom.

Brain fog, low motivation, fatigue, back pain, fibromyalgia, PTSD,… all these conditions are strongly linked to nervous system dysfunction.

Adrenaline, blood flow and psoriasis.The desensitization of cells to adrenaline may also severely impair the blood flow into the various organs and tissues as I have described in my previous post “Adrenaline: The effects of Alpha and Beta adrenergic receptors on vasoconstriction and blood flow in psoriasis”.

How to modulate the important adrenergic pathways?

The role of adrenergic receptors in inflammation was repeatedly confirmed. It is also proved that beta 2 adrenergic receptor agonists (activators) possess the anti-inflammatory effects.[11,12]

There are 2 major ways how you can directly affect the adrenergic pathways taking just the natural products:

1. Improving the response of alpha-7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor

Galantamine increases the acetylcholine levels and sensitizes the alpha-7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Nicotine binds to and activates the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors including the alpha-7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

2. Activation of Beta 2 adrenergic receptor

Ephedra contains an ephedrine which is a strong agonist (activator) of the adrenergic receptors (including the beta 2 adrenergic receptor).

Which way to go?: Galantamine vs. Ephedra vs. Nicotine

  • Galantamine – the most recommended way, generally safe and well researched thus suitable for long-term use
  • Ephedra – less recommended way, generally not intended for long-term use in healthy people
  • Nicotine – not recommended, possibility of developing the addiction, nicotine may be an option only if you know 100% what are you doing (so not intended for most people)

Inflammatory reflex – adrenaline and acetylcholine

Look at the next picture for the better understanding why ephedrine (from Ephedra), galantamine (from snowdrop or spider lily) and nicotine (from tobacco) as 3 different natural molecules may significantly help with psoriasis and I believe that not just with psoriasis.

Inflammatory reflex - psoriasis, adrenaline, ephedrine, nicotine and galantamine

Inflammatory reflex. If everything goes well the inflammation is balanced through activation of beta 2 adrenergic receptor on the T-cells which release the acetylcholine. If that acetylcholine binds to alpha-7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor on the macrophages (type of immune cells heavily involved in inflammation) the production of TNF-alpha and other inflammatory cytokines is strongly inhibited.
Image source: Ulf Andersson and Kevin J. Tracey. Neural reflexes in inflammation and immunity. Published June 4, 2012 JEM vol. 209 no. 6 1057-1068 The Rockefeller University Press

Endotoxin-activated macrophages are heavily responsible for TNF-alpha, IL-1 Beta and IL-6 production in psoriasis and many other chronic health problems.[1]

What you can learn from the picture above is that there are two ways how to suppress the excessive inflammation:

  • by stimulation of beta 2 adrenergic receptors on T-cells
  • by activation of alpha-7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on macrophages.

Galantamine for inflammation

Lycoris radiata - galantamine for psoriasis.So as you are trying to decrease the amount of circulating endotoxins which are constantly absorbed into the blood from the small intestine or dental infection (including the root canal teeth) you may want to try decrease the inflammation with galantamine.

Galantamine is considered as safe natural molecule (found in Lycoris radiata, daffodil and snowdrop bulbs) with major side effect being the bradycardia (slow resting heart rate), however this would occur mostly in high-predisposed persons or when taking very high doses.[2] Most people never experience any serious side-effects from galantamine when taken in normal doses.

The major anti-inflammatory effects of galantamine seem to be its acetylcholinesterase inhibiting properties and positive allosteric (indirect) modulation of alpha-7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

More about galantamine is written in my previous post “Galantamine may cure psoriasis”.

Ephedra for inflammation

Ephedra - psoriasis and adrenergic receptors.I DO NOT recommend anybody to take EPHEDRINE or EPHEDRA! Ephedrine significantly increases the blood pressure so everybody with high blood pressure or heart problems should avoid ephedrine!

Ephedrine which is a major alkaloid in Ephedra sinica (Chinese: Ma Huang) proved to be very effective anti-inflammatory substance against the LPS (endotoxin) induced TNF-alpha mediated inflammation in laboratory rats.[3]

There are also the reports on some websites from people who cleared up their psoriasis with Ephedra tea.

The effects of Ephedra on psoriasis are mediated probably by the anti-inflammatory properties of ephedrine against the TNF-alpha induced inflammation.

Ephedrine directly activates the beta 2 adrenergic receptors what may bring substantial anti-inflammatory results as you may see in the picture of Inflammatory reflex above.

Blocking the beta-2-adrenergic receptors is heavily associated with worsening of psoriasis as is usually seen in patients taking the beta blocker drugs in order to manage their high blood pressure.

Beta blockers are associated with worsening of psoriasis in existing patients but also increase the chances of developing psoriasis in non-psoriatics.[4,5,6]

Ephedra and ephedrine legal status

Ephedrine is banned or controlled in many countries worldwide so you should check your local laws when ordering ephedrine or Ephedra online. Ephedrine can be used to make a methamphetamine and that is the official reason why authorities banned this natural molecule.

Ephedrine wrongfully earned its bad reputation also due to mostly amateur athletes who were abusing it and combining with other performance enhancing drugs like anabolic steroids or stimulants (including the caffeine) which resulted in a number of deaths.

Even though we can not blame ephedrine for that during the last 10-15 years Ephedra and ephedrine became banned or controlled in many countries. In some countries you can still buy ephedrine in small amounts or whole Ephedra but it is usually not allowed to sell them as supplements.

Ephedra has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years and people were not dying due to Ephedra. Abusing anything will lead to health problems or even death. People can get addicted to ephedrine just like they can get addicted to caffeine in coffee.

Ephedrine is a stimulant so there is a chance you may develop a psychological dependence along the physical addiction just like to caffeine.

Nicotine for inflammation

Tobacco - nicotine exposure may be anti-inflammatory and help psoriasis.I DO NOT recommend anybody to take NICOTINE! ALL CONTENT ON THIS BLOG IS JUST FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY!

As you may know nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are called “nicotinic” because of ability of nicotine to bind to them. Thus anti-inflammatory alpha-7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor which is a part of inflammatory reflex can be activated by nicotine as well.

In this view nicotine can be considered as anti-inflammatory drug.[9]

However, chronic nicotine exposure leads to increase in inflammation.[10]

I believe that the increase in inflammation after chronic exposure to nicotine is partly due to down-regulation of alpha-7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor which is so vital for proper inflammatory response.

Why I do not recommend nicotine as anti-inflammatory substance?

  • Nicotine intake by smoking the cigarettes will lead to addiction in as much as 30% of those who ever tried smoking.[7]
  • Nicotine is rapidly metabolized so keeping the blood levels constantly up is not easy without time-release patch and flooding the body 24/7 with nicotine to lower the inflammation may not be a good idea.
  • I think that having time release patch may induce addiction in predisposed people quite rapidly even though pure nicotine is considered to be less addictive than whole tobacco because there are also some other alkaloids found in the tobacco and the combination may result in activation of even stronger addictive pathways.[8]

If you read my previous post “Nicotine cleared up psoriasis” you would know that nicotine affected pathways play a big part in psoriasis pathogenesis.

In some people nicotine may really clear up psoriasis, especially in those whose psoriasis appeared after they stopped smoking.

The others should not experiment with nicotine as psoriasis treatment if they don’t want to take the risks of developing the psychological dependence or physical addiction to nicotine.

There is also a good chance that psoriasis might worsen after the nicotine trial due to possible (further) desensitization of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

For the reasons stated above I would not recommend nicotine for the purposes of decreasing the inflammation in psoriasis.


1) Salkowski CA, Neta R, Wynn TA, Strassmann G, van Rooijen N, Vogel SN. Effect of liposome-mediated macrophage depletion on LPS-induced cytokine gene expression and radioprotection. J Immunol. 1995 Sep 15;155(6):3168-79.
2) Isik AT, Bozoglu E, Naharci MI, Kilic S. Evaluation of the effects of galantamine on cardiac function in elderly patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Am J Geriatr Pharmacother. 2010 Oct;8(5):454-9.
3) Wu Z, Kong X, Zhang T, Ye J, Fang Z, Yang X. Pseudoephedrine/ephedrine shows potent anti-inflammatory activity against TNF-α-mediated acute liver failure induced by lipopolysaccharide/D-galactosamine. Eur J Pharmacol. 2014 Feb 5;724:112-21.
4) J Savola, O Vehviläinen, and N Väätäinen. Psoriasis as a side effect of beta blockers. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed). 1987 Sep 12; 295(6599): 637.
5) Tsankov N, Angelova I, Kazandjieva J. Drug-induced psoriasis. Recognition and management. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2000 May-Jun;1(3):159-65.
6) Basavaraj KH, Ashok NM, Rashmi R, Praveen TK. The role of drugs in the induction and/or exacerbation of psoriasis. Int J Dermatol. 2010 Dec;49(12):1351-61.
7) Caille S, Clemens K, Stinus L, Cador M. Modeling nicotine addiction in rats. Methods Mol Biol. 2012;829:243-56.
8) Clemens KJ, Caillé S, Stinus L, Cador M. The addition of five minor tobacco alkaloids increases nicotine-induced hyperactivity, sensitization and intravenous self-administration in rats. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2009 Nov;12(10):1355-66.
9) Hirschburger M, Zakrzewicz A, Kummer W, Padberg W, Grau V. Nicotine attenuates macrophage infiltration in rat lung allografts. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2009 May;28(5):493-500.
10) Paul P. Lau, Lan Li, Aksam J. Merched, Alan L. Zhang, Kerry W.S. Ko, Lawrence Chan. Nicotine Induces Proinflammatory Responses in Macrophages and the Aorta Leading to Acceleration of Atherosclerosis in Low-Density Lipoprotein Receptor−/− Mice. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. 2006; 26: 143-149

You may also like...

2 Responses

  1. ghul says:

    hey quick question.
    wouldnt the body adapt to chronic exposure of Galantamine and at the end be worse of then before?

    • John says:

      I don’t think so because Galantamine is not an agonist of Nicotinic Acetylcholine receptors (like Nicotine).

      Galantamine just improves the response of existing Acetylcholine in the system which binds to the acetylcholine receptors.

      So when Galantamine supplementation stops then this improved response stops too but the basic response stays in my opinion.

      Sure, Galantamine possesses the Acetylcholinesterase inhibitory properties but that should not cause worsening of psoriasis after discontinuation of supplementation in my opinion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.