Epilepsy Treatment Natural

The goal of conventional epilepsy treatment is to manage seizures. Natural epilepsy treatment seeks to address seizures by improving the overall health of the individual. Natural epilepsy treatments are called “complementary” treatments because they’re to be used alongside—not in place of—conventional therapies, such as seizure medications.

Many people who use one or more types of natural seizure treatment see a decrease in their seizures’ frequency or severity. Four of the most common types of natural epilepsy treatment include:

  • Aromatherapy
  • Biofeedback
  • Herbal medicine
  • Stress management.

Aromatherapy Treatment for Epilepsy

Aromatherapy is a practice that employs pure aromatic oils that are either inhaled through the nose or massaged into the skin. These oils are made with plant chemicals that have certain pharmacological effects on the body.

Most aromatic oils are either intended to calm or to stimulate the individual. Aromatherapy seizure treatment uses predominantly calming oils to alleviate stress (one of the key seizure triggers). Some of these calming oils include:

  • Bergamot
  • Chamomile
  • Jasmine
  • Lavender
  • Ylang Ylang.

Biofeedback: You Control Your Seizure Treatment

Biofeedback is a natural epilepsy treatment strategy in which you learn to control your body’s processes, such as:

  • Blood pressure
  • Brain activity
  • Temperature.

Biofeedback is typically most effective in individuals with partial (focal) seizures who receive an aura (warning or feeling of onset) before they have a seizure. Biofeedback techniques teach the individual to prevent the seizure by consciously modifying brain activity. This is a challenging technique that, compared to other treatments, requires a great deal of time, effort and money to learn. As a result, it’s not often used.

Herbal Medicine for Seizure Treatment

Herbal medicine offers natural epilepsy treatment with the healing properties of plants. Some people swear by their effectiveness in reducing seizures. Some of the more familiar medicines used in seizure treatment include:

  • Chinaberry juice (Azadirachta indica)
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Qingyang shen
  • Shosaiko-to-go-keishi-ka-shakuyaku-to (a nine-herb extract).

Due to possible drug interactions, no herbal medicine should ever be taken unless first approved by your physician.

Stress Level Management

Although epilepsy seizures are often classified as “unprovoked,” stress and fatigue can increase your risk of having a seizure. Controlling stress is an important natural epilepsy treatment technique that should be a part of any seizure treatment plan.

Stress management may require making small adjustments to your schedule or a complete lifestyle overhaul. Key components of stress management include:

  • Eliminating or minimizing the causes of stress
  • Getting an adequate amount of rest
  • Keeping a low-stress schedule
  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet and exercising daily.

Is Natural Epilepsy Treatment Right for You?

It’s important to consult your doctor before adopting any new natural seizure treatment, as natural therapies can interfere with anti-epileptic medication and produce unwanted side effects. Talk to your doctor about any side effects you notice once you adopt a natural seizure treatment plan.

It’s also important to continue taking seizure medication unless otherwise instructed by your doctor. Discontinuing your medication could provoke severe seizures and possibly even a life-threatening condition known as status epilepticus (a condition involving continuous seizures).

Resources

Donner, E. J. (2006). Complimentary and alternative therapies for epilepsy. Retrieved March 23, 2010, from http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Epilepsy/Complementary-and-Alternative-Therapies-for-Epilepsy.aspx?articleID=6991