Using Herbs for Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complicated condition that impacts the whole body. Infections and respiratory, skin, mental, sensory, emotional and gastrointestinal problems often arise. Herbs are often used to support, prevent and treat these problems throughout the entire body.
Milky Oat Straw
Milky oat straw is packed with nutrients, including vitamins B, E, calcium and protein. Enjoy it as a tea several times per day.
Purchase milky oats from reputable growers or herbalists. It should be a light green color, not yellow. This herb:
- Stimulates and relaxes simultaneously
- Doesn’t have any harmful side effects, unless you are allergic to it.
- Doesn’t interfere with medications and is OK for long-term use.
- Has a gel-like consistency and supports and protects the myelin sheath from damage.
- Is particularly useful during later stages of MS due to its combination of nutritional and protective benefits.
Another herb that feeds the nervous system is nettle, one of the most nutrient-dense herbs on the planet. It also:
- Contains concentrated amounts of protein, fiber, minerals and vitamins.
- Contains iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium and a wide array of other micro and macronutrients.
- Improves the metabolism your cells.
- Is a wonderful tonic that tones and strengthens your bodily tissues.
- Relieves discomfort and enhances the health of the urinary system, which is often impacted by MS.
Ginkgo biloba is rich in brain- and body-protecting antioxidants. It improves blood flow throughout the entire body, including the brain. This herb:
- Improves circulation to the sensory organs.
- Improves the health of the blood itself.
- Is known for its memory-enhancing abilities.
- Effectively treats cerebral insufficiency and peripheral vascular disease.
- Improves energy levels and prevents blood clots, which can arise if a person is sedentary or bed-bound.
- Reduces forgetfulness, confusion, distractibility, depression, ringing in the ears, headache and dizziness.
Passionflower is a gentle, yet powerful herb that relieves stress and promotes sleep. Try combining it with valerian or hops as a sleep-inducing agent. Passionflower also:
- Relieves painful, mobility-limiting muscle spasms, which often arise when MS is present.
- Reduces tightness of the limbs and decreases bladder and other internal spasms.
- Improves moods, reduces anxiety and lifts depression.
Valerian has a strange taste most people find to be disagreeable, but has been safely used for many centuries. Valerian is a calming agent that relieves spasms, as well as:
- Helps to decrease physical and emotional tension.
- Relieves pain and headaches.
- Promotes sleep.
Ordinary garden sage is a powerful herb that revitalizes the body; it builds strength and contains powerful plant compounds that ward off respiratory infections and other illnesses. It reduces congestion and thins mucus, and is particularly soothing for the throat.
People with MS may suffer from bladder spasms and urinary tract infections (UTIs). While corn silk will not make a UTI go away, it can make you comfortable in about 20 minutes. Also, if you find your bladder has lost its tone, drink corn silk tea three times each day.
The most effective tea is made with the fresh green straw removed from an ear of corn. If you can’t purchase fresh corn year-round, make or buy a glycerite of cornsilk. Another alternative is to simply freeze the green silk.
Making a cup of cornsilk tea couldn’t be easier. For regular use, simply place about a teaspoon of the silk in a cup and fill with boiling water. If you are having spasms or have a UTI, use the silk of one entire ear of corn per cup. Place a cover over the cup and let it steep for 20 minutes.
Discard or compost the spent herb and enjoy the light, slightly sweet, corn-flavored tea. Within about 20 minutes its soothing comfort will relieve or diminish bladder spasticity and spasms.
Herbs classified as adaptogens are among the most important plant allies anyone can use, especially if you have MS. Adaptogenic herbs are used long-term to subtly help your entire body cope with physical and mental stress.
Adaptogens energize without making you feel “zoomy,” increase your stamina, and boost your immune system’s effectiveness.
Ashwaganda, eleuthero and the ginseng are all adaptogenic herbs. Schisandra, while not an herb, is a tart berry with adaptogenic actions.
When you first start taking an adaptogenic herb you may not be aware of any change within your body, however with repeated use you will gradually become stronger and healthier. Each herb has similar benefits, but individual characteristics.
There are many ways herbs can help you to live well despite MS. If you suffer from eye problems, constipation, or have skin problems due to immobility, herbs are available to provide relief.