Epilepsy is brain disorders in which clusters of nerve cells, or neurons, in the brain sometimes signal abnormally. Neurons generally generate a signal (electrochemical impulses) to all parts of body that acts to produce human thoughts, feelings and actions.
The Ayurvedic Way to Treat Epilepsy : The Mirgi Attack
But in the case of epilepsy, the normal pattern of neuronal activity becomes disturbed resulting in strange sensations emotions behavior. Sometimes symptoms such as muscle spasms; convulsions and loss of consciousness are also seen.

During this sudden attack of illness, neurons may fire up to 500 times per second, which is much faster than normal person. In some people this attack of illness are occasionally; for others, it may happen up to hundreds of times a day.

Epilepsy is also known as a seizure disorder that is generally diagnosed after a person has had at least two seizures (except in the condition case by alcohol or due to extreme low blood sugar). It is some time diagnosed even after one attack, in a situation where a person puts them at high risk of having another.

Epilepsy Causes

The causes of epilepsy is unknown most of the time experts believe that epilepsy generally may be related to a brain injury or a family tendency. The low oxygen during birth is also responsible to some extent for the causes of epilepsy.

Epilepsy History Background

The word “epilepsy” comes from the two Greek word “epi” and “Leptos” the epi means (upon, in, near) and the Leptos means (seizure). From these roots we have the old French word called epilepsie.

In Latin it is called epilepsia and in Greek it is called epilepsia or epilepsies and in india it is known as mirgi.Epilepsy was one of the first brain disorders to be described in the ancient Babylon more than 3,000 years ago.The strange behavior caused by some seizures has contributed a lot, through the ages by many superstitions and prejudices.

The people believed that during the attack of epilepsy the demons or gods visit in them. However later in 400 BC, the physician Hippocrates suggested that epilepsy was a disorder of the brain.

Ayurvedic view on Epilepsy

Epilepsy is termed as “Apasmara” or “Apasmaram” in Ayurveda, the main reasons cited by Ayurveda scripts include lazy life, stressful life, suppression of natural urges and poor diet. Different type of epilepsy is caused due to distinct reasons. The best way to find reasons it to go through examination by an Ayurvedic physician.

Epilepsy is mostly caused due to a vata disorder, but it can additionally be caused by vitiation of pitta or kapha. Vata type seizure is generally a mental problem that is caused due to poor sleep, stressful days and mental exertion. Digestive complications like gastritis, constipation, etc. can also be reasons.

There are several Ayurvedic treatments for epilepsy which are described in ancient Indian texts called “Vedas”. The principles of Ayurveda were subsequent for generation and then finally revealed through the Samhitas (the encyclopedic works) of Caraka and Sushruta dating back to about 1000 BC.

The Ayurvedic treatment for epilepsy is refer to the clinical manifestations of the disease, that are divided into four types according to the body type ‘dosha’ of each person or mood. According to Ayurvedic texts there could be these reasons for epilepsy.

  1. It might be due to internal factors such as genetic or idiopathic.
  2. Due to constitutional alterations and enzyme.
  3. Due to external factors such as a trauma, unhealthy food, worms and environmental factors.
  4. The psychological factors could also be responsible.

The diagnosis of epilepsy is only carried out after a comprehensive evaluation, as well as its detailed history of the patient.

Ayurvedic Treatments for Epilepsy

The ayurvedic treatments generally depend on the type of epilepsy that is detected as well as its historical background. In the case of external factors certain mantras and hymns are used for healing.

The channels of the heart and mind channels are sought to be unlocked this way.Enemas or purgatives are also part of the treatment in which some purified butters and other Ayurvedic compounds are given to a person according to their circumstances.

Certain unctions prepared by mixing herbs and animal ingredients are also used for topical applications. Ayurvedic treatments for epilepsy may consists of silver, gold, various oils and different herbal made remedy that can be taken internally or applied topically such as :

  • Bacopa monnieri
  • Withania somnifera
  • Sarpagandha vati
  • Svarna bhasma
  • Svarnamakshika bhasma
  • Vaatakulantaka  rasa
  • Yogendra rasa and many others.

Many experts believe that these Ayurvedic treatments for epilepsy must be tested for efficacy and then used in combination with conventional therapies as a complementary or holistic approach.

Herbs Used To Cure Epilepsy

1.Passion Flower

According to UMM the herb passionflower can help to prevent seizures. But a service of U.S Library of Medicine “MedlinePlus” says that there is insufficient evidence to prove this. The Passionflower is often combined with other relaxing herbs like valerian and chamomile and is considered safe if when used medicinally for less than a month.

There are some side effects too such as dizziness, confusion and sleepiness. Passionflower may interact with other medications and reduce their effectiveness, so take advice of a medical professional before using this herb.

Note: Pregnant women must not use this herb as it can cause the uterus to contract.

2.Kava kava

It is also one of the herb which is beneficial in epilepsy described by “University of Maryland Medical Center”. Kava is a traditional herbal remedy used for convulsive disorders such as epilepsy.

It is called as “piper methysticum” which belong to a member of the pepper family. It is also used to treat insomnia, anxiety and fatigue. Kava can be taken as a tea or in a form of capsule.

Note:  Do not use this herb without consulting a doctor. This herb can cause serious side effects such as liver damage and hepatitis must not be used by people with liver disease.

3.Bacopa

The anti-seizure property of the leaf extract of Bacopa monnieri is attributed to the saponin compounds found in it. They Increase the activity of brain chemicals such as serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid, which is believed to reduce calcium current in pyramidal and interneurons that trigger epileptic seizures.

An extract of bacopa reduces the rate of seizures in a small group of people.As well increase the level of serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid the two chemicals in the brain that are thought to regulate pyramidal neurons and interneurons that initiate epileptic activity.

4.Aloe vera

Aloe vera extract especially found in southern Africa belong to lily family have a complex set of chemicals properties that could cure diseases such as epilepsy.

According to article published in the journal “Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology” a study carried out by Lourdes Rodriguez-Fragoso and colleagues found that a polysaccharide gum which comes from the aloe vera plant has been useful and beneficial against epilepsy.

Yoga As A Treatment For Epilepsy

There is some evidence that show yoga can be very useful to the people with epilepsy. The goal of yoga as a treatment for epilepsy is to aim the body to improve the internal balance. It is the attempt to achieve inner peace and the slowdown in domestic activities.

When yoga is used in addition to other ayurvedic treatment for epilepsy it can improve a person’s health in many different ways. This can help to reduce the severity or frequency of seizures that a person can experience.

Home Remedies to Cure Epilepsy

1. A juice of Hastifolia Monochoria added to milk should taken at night.
2. Regular intake of garlic juice is good for the treatment of epilepsy.
3. Acorus calamus powder with honey must be taken.
4. A juice of Racemus asparagus added to milk must be taken at night for several days for the cure of epilepsy.
5. A juice of Benicia hispida 100 ml a day is good for epilepsy.

While epilepsy is different for everyone Finding the right medication and dosage can be complex. Your doctor will consider your condition, frequency of seizures, your age and other factors when choosing which medication to prescribe.

Image Credit : Epilepsy Camp by Camp ASCCA