Epilepsy is a common yet complex neurological disease that disrupts the nervous system’s electrical activity, which ultimately causes seizures. The sudden burst of electrical activity can cause seizures anytime, anywhere in patients with epilepsy. In the United States, it’s estimated that 1 in 26 Americans will develop epilepsy in their lifetime. The disease most commonly affects children and seniors.
Most seizure disorders are treated with medication; however, 20% of people with epilepsy aren’t helped with anti-epileptic drugs. There are some natural remedies for seizures. If not effectively controlled, seizure disorders can negatively affect a person’s life and may even cause injury or death.
Underlying Causes of Seizure Disorders
While the cause of epilepsy is unknown in approximately 60% of cases, there are some common causes of seizures as well as some possible links.
Scarring on the brain caused by infections is a common cause of epilepsy
Serious fever, illness, or infection (HIV, meningitis)
There is a possible link between epilepsy and autism as 33% of children with autism also have seizures
In seniors, family history, strokes, and brain injuries are common causes of new seizures
Alzheimer’s and dementia
Vascular, developmental, and neurological diseases
Brain cyst or tumor
Lack of oxygen to the brain
Lack of oxygen at birth, prenatal injury, brain malformation, maternal drug use
Whether or not the specific cause of epilepsy is known, patients are often able to identify triggers that can lead to an epileptic seizure.
Lack of sleep
Fever or illness
Flashing or bright lights, patterns
Drugs, medicines, caffeine, and alcohol
Food-related triggers, including specific ingredients, overeating, and skipping meals
While there is no cure for epilepsy, patients do have a range of treatment options at their disposal, including natural therapies, which aim to reduce the number, frequency, and severity of seizures. Always speak to a doctor before making any treatment changes.
1. Use Medical Cannabis and CBD as Natural Remedies for Seizure Disorders
Cannabis has been used to treat convulsions for hundreds of years. It’s considered to be an especially effective natural therapy for patients whose seizures aren’t controlled by anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs). The cannabinoid CBD, in particular, shows promise in reducing the frequency and severity of seizures in some patients.
Epilepsy and seizure disorders are qualifying conditions in most states that have a medical marijuana program. Book an appointment with a Heally doctor to get your medical marijuana card.
One full dropper of this oil tincture contains 50mg of CBD. It’s safe, simple, and can be a natural remedy for seizures. It offers quick and easy results with a mellow mint flavor.
Certain diets may help reduce seizures. The low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet and the high-protein, low-carb Atkins diet, has shown positive effects in some patients who don’t benefit from anti-epileptic drugs. The low glycemic index treatment (LGIT) diet is another diet that may help. Research shows that the keto diet may cut seizures in half and eliminate them in 10-15% of cases
Avoid known or potential trigger food ingredients, try intuitive eating as a way to reduce overeating, and ensuring you eat a balanced diet at every meal may also help reduce the frequency of seizures.
3. Herbal Treatments
Herbs are sometimes used to complement anti-epileptic drug treatments since they can make AEDs more effective and calming. Talk to your doctor about trying herbal remedies for seizure disorders, including:
Avoid stimulating herbs that contain ephedrine and caffeine, like ginseng and ginkgo, as they can make seizures worse. Primrose, borage, and St John’s wort should also be avoided as they can make seizures more likely.
Valerian root capsules contain valerenic acid to promote restful sleep and relaxation.
4. Vitamin Supplements as Natural Remedies for Seizures
Certain vitamin deficiencies have been known to trigger seizures. Taking supplements is an easy way to ensure adequate levels of vitamins that are helping in treating epilepsy, including B6, vitamin E, magnesium, and vitamin D.
Lack of sleep, anxiety, and stress are common epileptic triggers. Getting enough rest and making a conscious effort to relax may help reduce seizures. Try meditation, yoga, aerobic exercise, or acupuncture to relax. These can all be natural remedies for seizures.
Interested in using cannabis as an alternative treatment? Get your cannabis card with a licensed physician.