Peripheral neuropathy is a term used to describe damage to the nerves of the peripheral nervous system, which consists of all the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord (the central nervous system). It is one of the most painful and disabling conditions a person can develop.
Peripheral neuropathy is an inflammatory degeneration of nerves supplying the arms and legs, with the legs being affected most often. The neurological loss can be mostly sensory, with burning, intense tingling, or a combination of both; or it can be motor loss, causing weakness and even paralysis in the hands or legs. In many cases, both sensory and motor nerves are damaged.
Far too frequently, the condition is progressive. Causes include kidney failure, diabetes, vascular diseases, and exposure to pesticides, industrial chemicals, or toxic metals.
Statin drugs, taken to lower cholesterol, are known to cause a high incidence of peripheral neuropathy. One study reported an incidence of peripheral neuropathy 14 times higher in people who used statins at the lower recommended dose. Now that recommended doses have doubled, we can expect a higher incidence of this crippling disorder.
New research suggests that peripheral neuropathies are caused by an immunoexcitotoxic process — that is, inflammation of the nerves with overactivation of glutamate receptors, leading to destruction of nerve fibers and overactivation of pain-regulating neurons in the spinal cord. One study found that minocycline, an antibiotic that blocks microglia activation and reduces immunoexcitotoxicity, reduced post-herpetic neuralgia — one of the worst forms of peripheral neuropathy.
Based on that finding, I tried a natural substance isolated from green tea, called L-theanine, on a person suffering with unrelieved, intense post-herpetic pain (which sometimes follows a shingles infection). By the next day, my patient was dramatically improved, and by the second day the patient showed 90 percent improvement.
To learn more about the many ways green tea can improve your health, read my report "Miracle Tea."
L-theanine is a mild stimulant for glutamate receptors and keeps glutamate from full activation, which acts to tame excitotoxicity. The advantage of L-theanine over minocycline is that while
minocycline blocks immunoexcitotoxicity, it also kills good bacteria in the gut.
On the other hand, L-theanine has a good safety profile, even in very high doses, and will not harm gut bacteria. The dose is 200 mg three times a day, taken 30 minutes before meals. This can be increased to 400 mg three times a day if needed. L-theanine also stimulates restful, uninterrupted sleep, reduces anxiety and depression, and improves memory.
When combined with other anti-inflammatory flavonoid supplements such as curcumin, quercetin, resveratrol, luteolin, hesperidin, and ellagic acid, the results are even better.
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