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What Are the Different Types of Herbs for Epilepsy?

By Meshell Powell
Updated Feb 28, 2024
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The use of herbal remedies to treat a seizure disorder known as epilepsy is a popular yet controversial practice. Although many people who have tried these herbal remedies have reported significant improvements, some medical professionals remain skeptical concerning the efficacy of this type of treatment. Some of the most commonly used herbs for epilepsy include motherwort, valerian, and black cohosh. Additional herbs that may be beneficial in the treatment of this disorder include lobelia, skullcap, and mistletoe. Any specific questions or concerns about the use of herbs for epilepsy should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

Motherwort and valerian are popular herbs for epilepsy. Used for centuries to treat epilepsy, motherwort is thought to prevent seizures and may also act as a mild sedative. Side effects of motherwort may include drowsiness, upset stomach, and uterine bleeding. Valerian may help to relieve anxiety and stress, common triggers of seizures among those with epilepsy. Insomnia, headache, or excitability may occur when taking valerian.

Black cohosh and lobelia are frequently used herbs for epilepsy. Used to prevent muscle spasms and as a sedative, black cohosh has long been a favorite herbal remedy for those with seizure disorders such as epilepsy. Side effects of black cohosh may include vaginal bleeding, stomach cramping, or weight gain. Lobelia may be helpful in treating epilepsy, although this herb can be quite toxic if not used at the proper doses. Potential side effects include nausea, rapid heartbeat, or even death.

Skullcap and mistletoe may sometimes be used as herbs for epilepsy. In addition to treating epilepsy, skullcap may also help to prevent tremors and work to calm the nerves. Drowsiness, seizures, and liver damage may occur when using this herbal supplement, especially if it is taken on a regular basis. Mistletoe is thought to treat conditions relating to the spleen and may be helpful in treating epilepsy. Visual disturbances, stomach upset, and blood pressure changes are among the possible side effects of using mistletoe to treat epilepsy.

Due to the lack of regulation when it comes to herbal supplements as well as the relative shortage of documented case studies involving the efficacy of using herbs for epilepsy, this form of treatment should be used with extreme caution. Some herbal treatments may not be safe for those with certain medical conditions or those who are taking some medications. For this reason, a doctor should be consulted before taking herbs for epilepsy.

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