If the word epilepsy fills you with fear, we don’t blame you. When you or someone you know has a seizure, it can look scary for sure. And what people don’t understand, they want to avoid. Most people do not understand this disease and like to stay blissfully ignorant of its causes and lifelong effects. Many myths surround epileptic people, the foremost being that they are mentally retarded or mentally challenged. This is entirely untrue! People with epilepsy or seizures suffer from a medical condition in which the neurons of the brain sometimes behave erratically, sending out incorrect signals at higher than normal speed, resulting in sudden jerking movements we normally call a seizure. This person has an otherwise normally functioning brain.
Causes of Epilepsy:
- Abnormality in neuron functioning
- Malfunctioning of neurotransmitters
- Recent head injury
- Recent stroke
- Genetic abnormality
- Brain tumors
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Severe alcoholism
- Heart attack
- Viral encephalitis
- Neurocysticercosis – parasitic infection of the brain
- Cerebral palsy
- Oxygen deficiency in fetus
- Severe malnutrition during gestation
The list seems very foreboding and invokes fear of this medical condition. However, researchers are breaking new ground every day in the treatment and control of epilepsy, which is a source of courage to epilepsy sufferers. Modern medicine and treatments can help control many types of epilepsy and aid the patient in leading as normal a life as possible.
Common Symptoms of Epilepsy:
Different types of epilepsy affect different people in different manners. The symptoms vary from being very mild and barely noticeable to the very violent and sudden. All kinds of epilepsy, however, need medical attention and constant care.
- Poor alertness
- Tendency to stare blankly
- Sudden mood changes
- Sudden sensation (sudden smell or tingling)
- Sudden violent streaks
These symptoms occur during an epileptic attack and vanish when the attack is over. The person may or may not have another attack in the near future as epilepsy sometime stays dormant for years before striking a person again.
Home Remedies for Epilepsy:
Though epilepsy is a medical condition and requires careful monitoring and medication under a doctor, there are some things that you can do at home to help yourself or someone dear to you who is suffering from epilepsy. These epilepsy home remedies are NOT substitutes to proper medication, but are like a supplementary support. Most of them work by preventing a seizure and other symptoms of epilepsy.
1. Magnesium Rich Foods:
Research has revealed that a deficiency of magnesium in the body can trigger seizures in an epileptic person. Therefore, ensuring a diet rich in magnesium keeps you a step ahead of your next seizure. Foods rich in magnesium include cashew nuts, almonds and spinach. Make sure you make all or most of these magnesium rich foods a regular part of your diet. Chances are that your doctor, too, will have prescribed a magnesium supplement in your medication.
2. Ash Gourd:
If you don’t recognize it by this name, perhaps you will recognize it by the name of petha. That’s right, the world renowned sweet delicacy made in India, since forever! The actual fruit is called ash gourd or winter-melon. Its benefits in treating epilepsy are well known in India. To use it, peel and grate an ash gourd. Squeeze properly to extract the juice from the fruit and to this, add some licorice powder. Make it a habit to drink a glass of this mixture everyday to get relief from epilepsy and keep the seizures at bay.
Most easily found in every home, garlic is full of medicinal benefits. To use it as a home remedy for epilepsy, take equal quantities of water and milk. To this, add 3-4 crushed cloves of garlic. Boil the mixture well and drink a glass of this mixture everyday. The water and milk keep your body hydrated and replenished with minerals, while the garlic has many properties for improving neurological health.
4. Coconut Water:
Ever experienced that totally refreshed and cool feeling after drinking coconut water on a sweltering day? That’s because coconut water is a magic potion loaded with vital minerals, electrolytes, and water. These three things promote better neuron health and keeps the neurological system cranked up, ensuring proper functioning of the brain.
Never thought you’d read the word ‘milk’ here, did you? We all know that calcium found in milk is good for our bones. But did you know that calcium is also a vital mineral for good brain health? A daily intake of milk ensures that the brain receives this mineral regularly. The water content in milk also keeps the body hydrated. So you really have nothing to lose by adding 1-2 glasses of milk to your daily diet. One of the best home remedies for epilepsy seizures!
6. Epsom Salt:
Magnesium sulfate, as it is also known as, has a wonderful effect on nerve health. This is a naturally found salt that is rich in magnesium and sulfur, which are both responsible for better absorption of calcium by the body. The magnesium also helps epileptics by maintaining proper nerve functioning, reducing stress, and eliminating toxins. Simply taking one tablespoon of Epsom salt every day with a glass of water can prove beneficial for epilepsy.
7. Chamomile Tea:
Known for its antioxidant and cleansing properties, chamomile tea can also abate the symptoms of epilepsy. It is a natural soothing agent and works by calming the nerves. If you feel you have a seizure coming (many people say their seizures are preceded by headaches and anxiety), you should definitely try this remedy for epilepsy. Sipping a strong chamomile tea can be of great help. Boil some water and add a teabag of chamomile tea. Allow it to steep for at least 15 minutes, making sure that the tea is very strong. Sipping it will immediately soothe your on-edge nerves.
8. Bacopa Leaf:
Used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine, the Bacopa leaf, or Brahmi, is an effective home remedy for epilepsy. It is a powerful nerve health promoter and is known to enhance memory, concentration as well as treat epilepsy. It enhances nerve health and protects the neurons against damage, keeping seizures at bay.
9. Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
These are a group of essential acids that promote overall good health. These fatty acids reduce cholesterol and artery blockages, which in turn reduces the effects of ageing and improve nerve and brain health. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are fish and nuts. Make sure you include these in your diet on a regular basis to prevent seizures. These foods are also rich in vital minerals and nutrients that are important for healthy nerves and brain functioning.
10. Indian Gooseberry:
Amla, is a wonderful fruit, whose benefits never ceases to surprise! Not only is it the richest source of Vitamin C, it also has loads of antioxidants and minerals. One glass of amla juice taken on an empty stomach can help relieve the symptoms of epilepsy and specially prevent seizures.
11. Sesame Oil:
A massage of this lesser known oil can help to immediately soothe the symptoms of epilepsy. Take a little warm sesame oil and massage it well onto the soles of the feet, temples and palms. This works well if done at bedtime after which you can get a good dose of calm sleep.
This well known herb is not just a fragrance factor for food. Basil or tulsi is a revered plant in India for a reason. It can be used to treat many diseases and conditions, including epilepsy. For patients of epilepsy, a direct intake of Basil leaves and application of basil leaf juice to the body are both equally effective. Its fragrant nature has soothing, calming and detoxifying effects on the body.
13. Cow’s Ghee:
Ghee or clarified butter is an excellent source of nutrition and has been used for providing extra nutritional care in many debilitation diseases and conditions. It is a powerhouse of concentrated nutrients and can help epileptics greatly. Including pure cow’s ghee in the diet of an epileptic helps in preventing seizures, curing epilepsy related headache, and is a source of healthy fatty acids.
The benefits of detoxification of the body extend to epilepsy as well. Many times, epilepsy and its symptoms are caused by neurotoxins that build up in the body due to an unhealthy diet and poor lifestyle. Therefore, detoxifying helps the body in releasing the harmful build-ups and freeing the body of all possible toxins. Many epileptics have made it a regular practice to Detox at regular intervals.
15. Essential Oils:
Essential oils are natural soothing and calming agents. Oils of lavender, ylang ylang, and chamomile can be used daily to keep up nerve health and to reduce anxiety and stress related to epilepsy.
Known and accepted worldwide for its multifarious benefits, yoga can help in treating and curing epilepsy too. Under the supervision of an instructor, practice yogasanas (postures) that are beneficial for nerve and brain health.
Hing, is another natural and easy home remedy for epilepsy you can try for combating epilepsy. In a glass of milk, add some Asafoetida, some rock salt (Sendha Namak) and Ghee (rarified butter) and allow it to boil well. Wait till the milk itself gives out some cream or ghee and consume this mixture daily.
For curing epilepsy, extract the juice of 2-3 onions and mix it well in water. Drink a glass of this mixture daily for at least 2 months and you will find great relief from your symptoms.
Once again, licorice or Mulethi, proves that it is much more than what we know it to be. Grind some licorice and add it to a tablespoon of honey. Take this homemade medicine every day to find relief from epilepsy and its symptoms. CAUTION: Do not consume licorice during pregnancy for any reason as it may cause premature labor!
People suffering from epilepsy must adhere to a strict diet plan that excludes too much oily and spicy food. Ensure that your diet is low on refined sugars and flours as well. Limit your intake of alcohol and cigarettes. A healthy lifestyle can go a long way in curing and controlling a condition like epilepsy, therefore, give your body the fighting chance it needs by practicing healthy habits.
An epileptic person is not a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. They need a lot of attentive care, but can take care of themselves during non-attack periods. The onus of the patient and the helper is mainly to make sure the triggers of epilepsy are kept at bay. This can be a difficult task as different people can have different triggers that can set off an epileptic attack. It can be sudden stress for one; and exposure to loud music for another; heat and humidity for one and dehydration for another. By observation, try to identify what triggers affect your epilepsy the most and do your best to eliminate them from your life.
Epilepsy is a serious medical condition, but it is very much possible to control it and its after effects with just a little attentive care. Follow your doctor’s advice closely and inform him/her about the home remedies you are thinking of trying. Try not to miss any dose of the medication and keep your body and surroundings free of all epileptic attack triggers.
Epilepsy no longer needs to be a hush-hush ailment with little or no treatment available. It can be brought under control to ensure that the afflicted person leads a normal, healthy life. Share these home remedies for epilepsy with anyone who has this condition, for these can help them alleviate the pain and discomfort that a patient suffers from.
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