Our brains have a lot in common with plants. Perhaps this is why plant-based medicines work so well. Plants are simply a lot smarter than drug companies are… after all, they’ve been producing medicines for a lot longer than the drug companies have.
You’ve probably heard of serotonin. But did you know that plants have a serotonin system like ours?
Plants use SEROTONIN, melatonin, and tryptophan for similar reasons that our brains use them. Plants decide when to open their flowers and when to ripen fruit based on these signals. In our brains, melatonin increases when we don’t see the sun, and we feel tired. In plants, when sun is deficient, the plant shifts its energy toward fruit and reproduction, rather than growing taller. In humans, serotonin is similarly used to regulate sleep, mood, and reproduction.
But surely this is a fluke… Surely there can’t be other amazing connections between our brain, and plants.
Turns out plants have a DOPAMINE system, too. Plants use dopamine to produce alkaloids and toxins which act to protect the plant from stress and infection. In humans, dopamine is very much involved in stress, since adrenaline is made from dopamine, and controls the stress response.
In both plants and in human brains, GLUTAMATE and GABA control growth, and novelty seeking. Ketamine (a treatment we offer) acts on the glutamate system to stimulate depressed and exhausted brains and cause them to re-grow, and sprout new connections. If your brain is a tree, ketamine encourages it to prune away unhealthy branches, and sprout new, healthy ones.
Finally, ACETYLCHOLINE is used by plants to control water homeostasis, and the daily mechanical action of opening and closing of flowers. In humans acetylecholine controls attention, arousal, and memory.
And if you’re still not convinced, look at the difference between chlorophyll and haemoglobin. Chlorophyll is what turns light into energy in plants. In other words it’s how plants breath. Haemoglobin is in our red blood cells, and it is what provides oxygen to our tissues…
– Thomas Cook, M.D.