For those of you who are allergic or sensitive to the psychoactive drugs typically handed out by doctors to patients who experience seizures and epileptic attacks, there are a number of natural alternatives. Supplements, herbs, alternative therapies, and training can help with the disorders as well as anything medication. Many alternative treatments aren’t the quick-fix that drugs are and many take a degree of dedication and time to prove effective, but the rewards are always great.
As it stands, nearly 20% of patients with epilepsy take herbs in addition to prescription drugs. Some of these include:
- Tree of Heaven
- marijuana (requires a bong)
- lily of the valley
- burning bush
- scullcap (careful, it will make you sleepy)
- valerian (not in any way associated with Game of Thrones)
- mistletoe (recyclable on Christmas)
Most of these can be found in pill, tea, or (in the case of marijuana) smoke form. Mixtures of some of these herbs, such as skullcap and passionflower, can have an increased effect while balancing each other. Some mixed concoctions are sold in stores, while others must be created at home. Consult your physician and research materials to make sure you don’t combine anything that would give you explosive diarrhea or worse, as some of these like any medication, have side-effects.
Some supplements, like magnesium, 5-HTP, GABA with vitamin F, Omega-3 fatty acids, Epsom salt, and vitamin B6. Also, a few things to avoid: Preserved food, meals-ready-to-eat, or food that has been heavily sugared or loaded with artificial chemicals and preservatives. Supplements taken in concert with herbs can have an even more positive effect.
Acupuncture has been used by Eastern medical practitioners for centuries to treat seizures and other neurological disorders. Finding a skilled acupuncturist is difficult, but speaking from my own experience is less…erratic, than the side-effects of pharmaceutical-grade synthetic medications.
Though there has been little research proving it, some chiropractic techniques coupled with diet can help regulate the frequency and severity of seizures. Personally, I’ve always found my nerves benefit from being bent so far out of position that I can feel them pop in my brain, especially when my doctor was working on my lower back.
A well-disciplined mind can detect when seizures are about to happen and thus prepare the individual for them, or they can even override the seizure completely. Learning the self-control required to make it work is difficult, but with the addition of herbs and, if necessary, medications it can be taught. Eventually, though it may take several years, the intensity and frequency of seizures can be reduced.
Just because these alternative treatments are available doesn’t mean they will be an effective treatment. Sometimes stronger medications are required and more rigorous monitoring of the condition demanded by physicians. If you choose to undertake alternative treatments, be sure to consult your physician and have them regularly monitor your health.