New Anti-Epileptic Drugs & Treatments !

Epilepsia, a neuropsychological impairments happen when changes in brain chemistry cause the complex electrical messages travelling between our billions of nerve cells to become scrambled, causing . Some epilepsy patients suffer emotional distress, interictal behavioral disorders, and extreme social isolation. Modern researchers should join hands with Ayurvedic specialists to understand the scientific basis of time tested Ayurvedic treatments. Scientifically verified Ayurvedic therapies and remedies should be used as add-on therapies like the new anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs).

There are over 40 different types of seizure, affecting different individuals in very different ways. �Tonic-clonic� seizures (also called �grand mal�) are the most common. You may fall down unconscious, your body stiffening (the tonic phase) and then jerking uncontrollably (the clonic phase). During the seizure you may make strange sounds, dribble, bit your tongue or be incontinent. It only lasts for a few minutes but, while the person having the seizure can�t remember what has happened, it can be distressing to witness.

Another kind of generalized attack is the �absence seizure� or �petit mal�, is a lapse in awareness in which you may stop what you are doing, stare or look as if you are day dreaming for a few seconds � before carrying on as usual. It is more common in children (especially girls) and in teenagers than in adults. �Partial� seizures may be �simple�, with a range of symptoms including jerking, pins and needles, dizziness and strange distortions of sensation � such as things seeming abnormally large or small.

Treatment Approach: Conventional medical treatments consist of anti-epilepsy drugs which act by calming the nerve cells in the brain, or by raising the seizure threshold. Drugs can control seizures for 70 percent of people with epilepsy, but there may be unpleasant side-effects, ranging from drowsiness and rashes in the short term to poor concentration, irritability, acne and weight gain in the long term. The Ayurvedic treatment is always personalised. Because Ayurveda classify epileptic patients into four types according to the dominant dosa involved in its pathogenesis: Vataja, Pittaja, Kaphaja and Sannipataja. The Vataja type is characterized by frequent fits, regaining consciousness in shortest time interval; bulging eyes; excessive crying, frothing at mouth; irregularly contracted fingers; Kaphaja type has features of prolonged fits with delayed recovery; increased frothing at mouth; white nails, eyes, face and skin; and visions of white, heavy, unctuous, smooth objects (description like grand mal seizures). Pittaja type is characterized by regaining consciousness in shorter periods, scratching of ground, greenish-yellow and coppery nails, eyes, face and skin; and visions of bloody, agitated, irritated, frightful and burning objects (description like partial complex seizures). The fourth type, the Sannipatika form of the disease, is caused by the simultaneous vitiation of all the three dosas that gives rise to a combination of symptoms and signs and is incurable (description like intractable epilepsy).

The Cause of Epilepsia: In Ayurvedic texts, three basic factors have been implicated for the etiology of epilepsy. Endogenous factors (genetic, congenital, constitutional, enzymatic disturbances and idiopathic); Exogenous factors (intake of unwholesome and unhygienic foods, aggravation of vata dosa due to trauma, worms and other environmental factors); and Psychological factors (excessive worry, grief, fear, passion, anger, anxiety and excitement). The aggravated dosa spreads throughout the body through the nerves leading to the manifestation of the epileptic fit in the form of shaking jerks or convulsions or episodes of brief unconsciousness without shaking.

Ayurvedic treatment modalities that include Panch Karma procedures and Yogic support are useful for epilepsy patients. When epilepsy is associated with extrinsic factors, then mantras (hymns) have been recommended. This works on mind blocked by doshas. Vamana procedure by drastic emesis is suitable for Kapha dominant epilepsia, Vasti procedure (herbal enema) are effective in Vata dominant epilepsia and Virechana (Controlled purgation) procedure is suitable for Pitta dominant epilepsia. Anti-epileptic drugs are recommended only after Panch Karma procedures.

A wide variety of ghrtas (purified butters) have been recommended for internal use. Most effective is Maha Panca Gavya Ghrta processed in old cow ghrita. Use of preserved cow�s ghrita is heavily praised by Ayurvedic specialists. It is proved by modern research also that ketogenic diet plays an important role in the treatment and control of convulsions, probabily by interfering the levels of Gamma-amino-butyric acid (GABA). Herbalised oils are recommended for nasal applications (Nasya procedure). A variety of Ayurvedic medicines for epilepsy available in the Indian market include: Asvagandhadyarishta, Sarasvatarishta, Kumaryasava (made by Aloe vera), Chaturmukha rasa (therapeutically processed in Mercury, gold and Aloe vera), Haratal bhasma (yellow arsenic As2S2), Smiriti Sagar Ras (processed in Hartal As2S2 and Mainshila As2S3), Vaatakulantaka rasa (processed in Kasturi), and Yogendra rasa (processed in gold, mercury and aloe vera). �There is global concern about heavy metal toxicity today but we must, keep a scientific and open mind about the Ayurvedic medicines that have intentional therapeutic ingredients we have come to regard as toxic by Allopathic standards but which have undergone special preparatory procedures that have yet to be documented by Western scientific standards. It may be that these very medicines hold the promise of cure for serious diseases like Epilepsia modern Western medicine is currently unable to adequately address.� says Dr Mukesh Jain well known ayurvedic specialist on NMD and head of Sanjivani Wellness Centre, Bhilai India.

Since Allopathic medicines can only stabilise epilipsia but cannot cure it, Ayurvedic medicine can give additional support to fight and win the epilepsia. It is particularly important for people suffering from epilepsy to strengthen their body-mind constitution and reduce stress levels. Epileptic attacks may be triggered by many different factors, so treatment should not focus on a single aspect � such as diet � but aim to make the whole system function at the optimum level. Popular ayurvedic procedures such as Ayurvedic oil massage, Shirodhara, Nasya and Talam (retaining medicated oil on head) helps in pacifying mind. Nerve tonic herbs like Aswagandha (Withania somnifera), Brahmi (Centella asiatica), Jatamamsi (Nardastachys jatamansi), Shankhapushpi (Convolvulus plaricaulis), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) etc are used to pacify nervous system and to reduce instances of abnormal brain functioning. Kapha type epilepsy is also characterized by excess salivation. Ayurvedic herbs such as Tulsi (holy basil) and Acorus calamus are effective and safe in the management of Kapha type epilepsia.


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Ayush Samiti India

The Ayush Samiti is non profit registered charity has been active in the field of authentic Ayurvedic supportive treatment and rehabilitation since 2004.

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