Alternative Treatments Used to Lessen Epileptic Seizures

Anti-seizure medications are the most commonly used treatments for epilepsy but these may come with adverse side effects and do not work all the time. From vitamins to herbal supplements to acupuncture and biofeedback, epilepsy treatment can have so many forms but sadly few studies have been done to prove natural epilepsy treatments are as effective as pharmaceutical drugs.

Certain alternative treatments can complement your ongoing treatment but before you use them, check with your doctor first


A growing public interest that has started a burgeoning market, herbal remedies has now become a billion dollar industry in the United States. With a range of supplements to choose from, It seems there is an herb that exists for one specific ailment. According to the Langone Medical Center of New York University, about 20% of Americans who are taking prescription medications also use herbs.

Listed below are some of the herbs commonly used to treat epilepsy:

– burning bush
– valerian
– groundsel
– tree of heaven
– hydrocotyle
– skullcap
– lily of the valley
– peony
– mugwort
– mistletoe

All these herbs have the ability to lessen seizures; however, no scientific study has been done to prove that they work. The supplements are not regulated by the FDA and so there is no guarantee of their efficacy and safety. Digestive problems, rashes, headaches, and other unpleasant side effects may sometimes come about from their use.

Not all herbs work for epilepsy seizures. Some of the herbs that should not be used for epilepsy treatment include:

1. Chamomile – this herb may prolong the side effects of anti-epilepsy medications
2. Garlic – garlic may probably increase drug levels
3. Valerian, passionflower, kava – can potentially enhance sedation
4. St. John;s wort and ginkgo – has a tendency to interact with anti-seizure drugs

Treatment Can be Complemented By Vitamins

Some vitamins, along with a healthy diet can help lower epileptic seizures. Bear in mind that vitamins, by itself, isn’t enough to address epilepsy. You need to also heed your doctor’s advice to prevent possible overdose.

For epilepsy, the most common vitamins used include:

– Vitamin E
– Folic acid
– Vitamin D
– Vitamin B6

Biofeedback and Self-Control

To lessen the frequency of seizures some epilepsy sufferers attempt to control the activity of their brain. This is based on the belief that if a person can feel the signs of an impending seizure, then he may be able to prevent its rise.

The study done by the Langone Medical Center showed that some patients sense the rise of symptoms 20 minutes prior to experiencing seizure. Some people can experience symptoms for a number of days that eventually lead to the seizure. These symptoms include:

– Fatigue
– Depression
– Bad headaches
– Anxiety

Methods for self-control can help decrease the intensity of the seizure once it arises or even prevent it from arising altogether. Techniques can vary but all of them entail good focus and concentration. Some of these techniques include:

– Walking
– Immersing in a task
– Sniffing a strong odor
– Literally saying “no” to the seizure
– Meditation

Although these techniques help very much in coping with seizures, unfortunately, there is no guarantee they will work every time and there is no single way to stop a seizure.

Biofeedback is one other technique. It uses electrical sensors to modify brain waves. Similar to self-control measures, biofeedback is meant to help you have control of your brain activity.

Biofeedback is often used by physical therapists. Don’t get yourself treated by a biofeedback practitioner if he/she doesn’t have the proper credentials. Always seek a qualified professional for treatment.

Other Alternative Treatments

Acupuncture is considered to be an alternative to Western medicine. How acupuncture exactly works is still a puzzle to Western medicine. This ancient Chinese practice used it to treat medical issues such as acute and chronic pain. Acupuncturists assist the body to self- heal by the placement of fine needles in certain parts of the body.
To reduce seizures, acupuncture has the power to alter the activity of the brain. Despite having a sound solid theory, no scientific evidence exists to prove it as an effective treatment for epilepsy.

One can also decrease seizures with healthy dietary changes. The ketogenic diet is the best-known diet for this condition. It focuses on eating a higher amount of fats. It is deemed as a low-protein, low-carb diet. Doctors can’t explain how this sort of eating pattern helps lessen seizures.

The ketogenic diet is usually applied for children with epilepsy. A lot of people find it hard to follow the restrictions this therapy entails; nevertheless it can be used to complement other therapies to help lessen seizures.


The best source for the care and information of your epilepsy is still your neurologist. Each patient manifests unique signs and symptoms and they may differ in frequency and severity. There is not one Western or alternative treatment that works for everyone.

A lot of patients use a trial and error method where they try various types of treatments until they find one that really works for them. Natural medicine can be used to complement your current conventional treatment. In certain instances, alternative treatment can even be more effective than Western modes of therapy.

With vitamins and herbs, there are still risks in their use despite their potential. Some of these therapies have the tendency to interact with drugs and certain natural supplements can even be as potent, sometimes even more, as Western medications.

Take note of which natural methods you think will help you and talk to you doctor. You should not count these treatments out as they may have benefits that can significantly lessen your seizures.