A series of sudden, brief electrical disturbances in the brain which are manifested in some behavioral abnormality. Although the best known symptoms are convulsions, fits or seizures, most epileptics probably do not suffer from them.
The only important sign of epilepsy is an abnormal electro-encephalogram(EEG). The EEG is a method of measuring electrical activity in part or all of the brain. An electroencephaligraph consists of a machine that sense nerve impulses and converts them to a visible signal. Electrodes are attached to the person’s head, on top of the hair, suitably arranged to measure the regions of interest. The myriad electrical impulses emitted by nerve cells are summarized or averaged in a trace that shows “brain waves”. The epileptic EEG differs characteristically from the normal EEG, and different patterns they reveal. The EEG is notoriously hard to read, however. Interpretation is the work of an expert who has available more than one tracing from the same person.
Epileptic symptoms are immensely varied. They may range from a brief “absence”, unnoticed by the epileptic and perhaps also by his family, to the convulsions of a full scale seizure. The former are especially common amongst small children though they may also occur in later life, often accompanied by bizarre experiences. For example, one man seemed to became more remote if spoken to but would recover quickly when he heard music. An attack is frequently preceded by an aura, a disturbance of sensation of awareness in a part of the brain thought to be the focus of this kind of attack. Auras include an unidentifiable but usually unpleasant Taste or smell, visual or auditory hallucination, deja vu, abnormal sensations, twitching of the thumb and forefinger or facial muscles, feelings of fear, cold or heat. For each patient, the aura is almost always the same. It may or may not followed by a fit or loss of consciousness or both, depending on the person,, but again, the pattern of each attack is usually similar.
Any attack may be followed by headache. After a fit, the person often falls into a deep sleep. Absences are seldom remembered, but even more severe attacks may be forgotten.
Since anyone can have an epilepti-form attack( epilepsy means that the patient has had more than one), it is scarcely surprising that the disease is universally recognized through out history. Because it alters behavior moreover, the mystery and awe that have surrounded epilepsy are also understandable. Witch doctors, wise men and women seers, and prophets have no doubt often been epileptics who learned from the demands of a pre-scientific society how to capitalize on their indis-position.
Attacks are usually noted before the age of 5, but the mild absences of childhood may disappear as puberty approaches. Evidence of epilepsy is almost always recognized by puberty and very rarely over the age of 30. The later attacks appear, the more chance that they will be severe, that is involving fits.
The sex ratio in childhood epilepsy is about even. Amongst adults, males predominate. Heredity is an important element in the disease, but the genes probably determine the threshold of attacks rather than their location of severity. Again, it is worth remembering that with the right electric shock,blow on the head or emotional stimulus, almost anyone can suffer an epileptiform attack. How easily an frequently they occur seems to be a family affair.
It has been customary to classify epilepsy broadly as petit mal and grand mal, little and great attacks, respectively. Children were said to have primarily petit mal epilepsy, but it is now recognized that the developing brain differs electrically and in neurological structure from the adult brain. As noted, some children recover completely with the passage of time whereas others continue to have similar attacks all their lives and another group grows worse. The old distinction, therefore, may be less useful than classification by where the electrical seizure seems to begin: at some focal point or generally throughout the brain.
The aura characterizes focal epilepsy and its content is the principal indication or symptom of the place affected by the initial attack. Thus, a visual hallucination probably means that the attack begins in the part of the brain concerned with early steps in vision, the visual cortex. Movement of the thumb and forefingers indicates that a small area at the top center of the brain is the first to be affected by electrical malfunction. If it is the left hand, a small region to the right of center at the top is affected; if the right hand, it is to the left of center. Focal epilepsy may or may not include fits and loss of consciousness.
It generalized epilepsy, the electrical malfunction affects the whole brain at the same time. Auras do not precede these attacks which can also be mild or severe and may or may not include fits and loss of consciousness. The mild petit mal attacks almost never have auras, and EEG evidence indicates they are usually generalized.
Never signal within nerve cells or neurons are electrical impulses consisting of the movement of charged atoms called ions into, out of, and within neurons. In the brain, where millions of neurons are wired together in formations are so complex that only segments of them have been studied let alone understood, the electrical activity is always evident and equally resistant to analysis. Even in sleep, the senses remain alert and movement is common, indicating that although the nature and amount of electrical activity differs from wakefulness, it is still present. Neurons in parts of the brain are insulated by sheaths of a fatty substance called myelin which are white against the neuronal grey, but other tracts and unmyelinated and therefore, relatively uninsulated. In the normal brain, signals follow prescribed courses. In an epileptic attack, signals break out of proper pathways, increase in frequency and strength and generally behave like a “brainstorm”.
Yet neither the nature of the specific malfunction nor its cause is understood. If it is the case that epilepsy reflects a lower threshold to electrical malfunction, then some or all of the neurons in the brain of epileptics may “leak”ions which could mean that part or all of the neuronal wall is “weak” or less resistant to ionic movement.It is possible that once a neuron or group of connected neurons has malfunctioned, they are “potentiated” so that seizures occur more readily in future. Nerve signals are induced by messages that excite the neuron electrically. However, in the brain, about half of all nerve signals tell the neighbouring neuron not to signal; that is, the signal inhibits rather than excites the next neuron. Perhaps inhibitory signals are less efficient in the brain of epileptics, though why this should be the case or even what precisely it means in electro-chemical terms remains a mystery. Quite possibly, the nature of epilepsy will remain unclear until normal brain function is better understood.
The aim of Ayurvedic treatment of this condition is to correct the nervous system and strengthen the heart.
Brahim and Vacha are two medicinal plants which are used for the treatment of this condition. The entire plant of brahmi is used in medicine whereas only the rhizome or the underground portion of Vacha is used.
Stem and leaves of brahmi are very thick and juicy, and they do not get dry easily. Therefore, the juice of this plant is used in medicine. The rhizome of vacha is used in powder form for which it should be dried in shade.
One teaspoonful of the juice of brahmi or the powder of vacha or both combined is to be mixed with one teaspoonful of honey and nay be given to the patient three times a day.
Juice of brahmi is slightly bitter in taste hence some honey according to taste may be added so as to make it palatable. Similarly the powder of vacha has an acrid smell and the addition of honey removes this bad smell and makes it more palatable.
There are many preparations of these two and other drugs. Some of them produce results quickly and there is no unpleasant taste and smell.
One of the compound preparations which produces quicker results in Brihat-vata-kulantaka rasa. This drug, among others, contains also gold in bhasma form.
In 125 gm dose, this medicine is to be given three times a day mixed with honey.
The mental strain of all types should be avoided. The patient should always be kept busy so that he/she does not get time to brood over his/her ailment.
Massage of the head and soled of the feet daily with til oil also helps to get a quick relief from this trouble.
Intake of pungent things is strictly prohibited. Cow’s ghee is considered to be extremely beneficial in this condition. Deep inhalation of cow’s ghee through nostrils also yields a very good results in this disease.
Juice fasting for Epilepsy
Juices of Red grapes, figs, Carrots, Celery and Spinach are the best juices in these conditions. Three to five days juice fasting will help you to restore health and vitality.
Red grapes Juice for Epilepsy
Celery Juice for Epilepsy
Spinach Juice for Epilepsy.
If you are in a juice fasting, then you have to take these juices in every three hours.You may take juices five to six times a day. 300 ml of water with 30 grams of honey may be taken the first thing in the morning on arising. After that, the prescribed juice may be taken at three-hourly intervals. The quantity of juice on each time should be 300 ml, and you can increase it to 600 ml gradually. The juice fasting may continue up to forty days without any ill-effects. You should take adequate rest during the raw juice fasting.
Healing Epilepsy Naturally
Dietetic Treatment: Start with fruit diet for 5 days. Fresh fruit such as orange, grapes, peach, pineapple and melon have three meals a day. Thereafter gradually adopt well balance diet including nuts and grains, vegetables and fruits and sprouted seeds such as alfalfa, mung etc. also preferably raw goat’s milk. In case of epilepsy magnesium and vitamin B6 are needed in large amount are found in raw nuts seed, soya bean green leafy vegetables such as spinach and beet root.
Avoid: The patients should avoid all refined foods. Fried and fatty foods white sugar, strong tea, coffee, alcohol, condiments and pickles. If patient has taking strong medicines for many years then he should not leave off entirely at once. Reduce to half gradually reduce till it completely not required .The patient should avoid physical and mental tension and excitement .And strictly follow the natural laws of good health.
1. Tulsi Juice – Rub tulsi juice over your body everyday after taking bath.
2. Vegetable Juices – Certain vegetable juices, especially carrot juice, in combination with juices of beets and cucumber, have also been found valuable in curing diseases like epilepsy. You may also take following combination of juices – 300 ml of carrot juice, 100 ml each of beet and cucumber juices to prepare 500 ml or half a liter of mixed juice to be taken daily.
3. Grape Juice – Fruits like apples, figs, and grapes are also good in curing epilepsy fast and effectively. The juice of grapes has, however, been found to be comparatively more effective for this disease. The patient should take about 500 ml of the juice of fresh grapes thrice a day for three months. It will provide immense relief and help in the cure of the disease.
4. Tulsi Leaves – If the attack makes one unconscious, grind 11 leaves of tulsi, add a little salt to it and put a few drops of this juice in the patient’s nostrils. He would immediately regain his consciousness. Keep a tulsi plant in your verandah or somewhere near your bedroom.
5. Vegetables Juice: Carrotjuice is beneficial in the treatment of Epilepsy. Other vegetables like Cucumber and Beet Juiceis also helpful in the treatment of Epilepsy.
6. Tulsi Flowers: Always keep the Tulsiflowers in the fold of your hanky. You can smell these flowers deeply at the time of an attack. It will save you from getting unconscious by reducing the Epilepsy attack.
7. Grapes Juice: Grapesjuice is considered as the best treatment for Epilepsy. If you take 500 ml of grapes juice three times a day then it will provide a quick relief from the disorder.
8. Brahmi: This herb is useful in reducing stress which is the main cause of Epilepsy disorder. It can be taken in the tea form. Take a cup of tea prepared from Brahmi leavesthree times a day and you will observe the improvement.
9. Garlic: Take 4 to 5 clovesof garlic and partially heat them in half a cup of water and milk. Take this dose one time a day. Cow’s Butter:It is an effective home remedy that is helpful in the treatment of epilepsy
10. Ash gourd Juice: It is helpful in the treatment of Epilepsy. Take a glass of this juice two times a day and you will notice the improvements in a quick span of time.
What to do after an attack of Epilepsy?
1. `If a seizure occurs, give suitable emergency first aid immediately. 2. Protect the person from injury. Do not attempt to force a hard object like a spoon between the teeth, because you can cause more damage than what you are trying to prevent! 3. Clear the area of furniture or other objects that may cause injury from falls during the seizure. 4. Do not attempt to restrain or hold the person down during the seizure. 5. Protect from inhalation of vomit or mucus by turning the person onto the side and if possible keep the head down. Turn person on to his side while he or she sleeps after the seizure is over 7. If the person having seizures turns blue or stops breathing, turn him or her to the side to keep the airway or mouth open and prevent the tongue from obstructing the airway.