Natural Treatments for Epilepsy: Do They Work?

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

Overview

Epilepsy is traditionally treated with antiseizure medications. Although they can be extremely helpful, these medications may not work for everyone, and as with any medication, can come with a risk of side effects.

Some people with epilepsy turn to natural treatments and alternative therapies to help relieve their symptoms or complement their treatments. From herbs and vitamins to biofeedback and acupuncture, there are a number to choose from.

ishonest No.323 - Cleanse Sebum

Recommended
No.323 - Cleanse Sebum

Although some natural treatments are backed by a modest amount of research, many aren’t. There’s far less evidence supporting natural treatments for epilepsy than conventional medicine.

If you’re interested in adding something new to your epilepsy treatment regimen, speak with your doctor. You may find that some natural treatments can complement your current treatment plan. Yet, some herbs are dangerous and can interact with effective medications.

Working with a doctor to discover the right treatments for you can help you assess the potential benefits and risks, as well as let them advise on next steps.

1. Herbal treatments

With an increasing market and public interest, herbal treatments have soared in popularity. There seems to be an herb for every ailment.

Regenerate skin while you are asleep

Learn more

Some of the most commonly used herbs for epilepsy are:

  • burning bush
  • groundsel
  • hydrocotyle
  • lily of the valley
  • mistletoe
  • mugwort
  • peony
  • scullcap
  • tree of heaven
  • valerian

According to a 2003 study, a handful of herbal remedies used in traditional Chinese, Japanese Kampo, and Indian Ayurveda medicine have shown anticonvulsant effects. Still, there are no randomized, blind, controlled studies to support their benefits.

The safety, side effects, and interactions are not well studied.

Some of the above listed natural herbs can actually cause illness — even death. Currently, there’s not enough scientific proof that most herbal remedies successfully treat epilepsy. Most evidence is anecdotal.

ishonest No.501 - Frizzy Hair

Recommended
No.501 - Frizzy Hair

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also doesn’t regulate herbal supplements. Herbs sometimes cause unpleasant side effects such as headaches, rashes, and digestive problems.

Although some herbs might help epilepsy, others may worsen your symptoms.

2. Vitamins

Certain vitamins may help reduce the number of seizures caused by some types of epilepsy. But keep in mind that vitamins alone don’t work. They may help some medications work more effectively or reduce your necessary dosage.

Follow your doctor’s instructions before taking vitamin supplements to prevent a possible overdose.

Other vitamins
How to Get Rid of Blackheads Without Damaging Your Skin

Learn more

Medication used to treat epilepsy may also cause biotin or vitamin D deficiency, and worsen your symptoms. In these cases, your doctor may recommend vitamins to help manage your condition.

Infants with seizures caused by cerebral folate deficiency may benefit from supplementation. Folic acid supplementation in people with epilepsy and folate deficiency from other factors may cause more harm than good. Take it only under your doctor’s supervision.

3. Dietary changes

Certain dietary changes may also help decrease seizures. The best-known diet is the ketogenic diet, which focuses on eating a higher ratio of fats.

The keto diet is considered a low-carb, low-protein diet. This sort of eating pattern is thought to help decrease seizures, although doctors don’t know exactly why.

ishonest No.141 - Humectant

Recommended
No.141 - Humectant

Children with epilepsy are often put on the ketogenic diet. Many people find the restrictions challenging. Still, this type of diet might complement other treatment measures to help reduce seizures.

In 2002, Johns Hopkins Medicine created a modified Atkins diet as a low-carb, high-fat alternative to the ketogenic diet for adults with epilepsy.

The organization indicates that recent studies show the diet lowers seizures in almost half of those who try it. No fasting or counting calories is required. A decrease in seizures is often seen in just a few months.

4. Self-control and biofeedback

Some people with epilepsy try to control their brain activity to reduce the rate of seizures. The theory is that if you can detect symptoms of an impending seizure, you may be able to stop it.

Fade brown spots away

Learn more

Many people with epilepsy experience aura symptoms about 20 minutes before a seizure occurs. You may notice unusual smells, see strange lights, or have blurry vision.

You may feel symptoms for several days leading up to the event. These symptoms include:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • fatigue
  • bad headaches

Self-control methods are used to prevent or decrease the intensity of the seizure once it arrives. There are several techniques, all of which require good concentration and focus.

Examples are:

  • meditation
  • walking
  • immersing yourself in a task
  • sniffing a strong odor
  • literally telling the seizure “no”
ishonest No.313 - Prevent Acne

Recommended
No.313 - Prevent Acne

The problem with these methods is that there isn’t a single technique to stop a seizure. And there isn’t a guarantee that any of them will work every time.

Another approach involves biofeedback. Like self-control measures, the purpose of the process is to take control of your brain activity.

Biofeedback utilizes electrical sensors to alter brain waves. At least one study found that biofeedback significantly reduced seizures in people with epilepsy who couldn’t manage their symptoms with conventional drugs.

Physical therapists commonly use biofeedback. If you’re interested in this procedure, seek a professional with credentials.

1 Natural Way to Get Rid of Pimples as Fast as Possible

Learn more

It may be difficult to manage your condition with self-control and biofeedback alone. Both procedures require time, persistence, and consistency to master. If you decide to go this route, be patient. Don’t reduce or stop taking any prescribed medications without your doctor’s approval.

5. Acupuncture and chiropractic care

Acupuncture and chiropractic treatments are sometimes considered alternatives to conventional epilepsy treatment.

The exact way acupuncture helps isn’t understood, but the ancient Chinese practice is used to help ease chronic pain and other medical issues. It’s thought that by placing fine needles in specific parts of the body, practitioners help the body heal itself.

Acupuncture may change brain activity to reduce seizures. One hypothesis is that acupuncture may keep epilepsy in check by increasing parasympathetic tone and changing autonomic dysfunction.

What can clear severe acne?

Learn more

The practice sounds good in theory. But there isn’t scientific evidence to prove that acupuncture is an effective epilepsy treatment.

Spinal manipulations in chiropractic care may also help the body heal itself. Some chiropractors use specific manipulations to help control seizures on a regular basis. Like acupuncture, chiropractic care isn’t widely viewed as an effective form of epilepsy treatment.

The bottom line

For the most part, evidence supporting natural treatments for epilepsy is anecdotal. There isn’t the research to support safe use.

There also isn’t a single treatment or alternative remedy that will work for everyone. Your neurologist is your best source of epilepsy information and care. Your brain is a complex network. Each case is different, and seizures vary in severity and frequency.

ishonest No.151 - Repair Skin Barrier

Recommended
No.151 - Repair Skin Barrier

Different kinds of epilepsy also respond to different herbs and different medications. Herbs or other natural treatments may interfere with medications and seizures might result.

Many people try varying treatment methods until they find one that works best for them. Epilepsy is a serious disease, and it’s important to prevent seizures. Natural treatments may complement your medical treatment. In some cases, these therapies may even improve your treatment.

Despite their potential, natural treatments still pose significant risks. This is especially the case with herbs and vitamins, as they can interact with some medications.

Some supplements can even be as powerful as conventional drugs. Be sure to consult your doctor before adding any herbs or supplements to your regimen.

You shouldn’t discount natural treatments for epilepsy, but treat them as separate options for epilepsy care. Take note of which methods interest you and discuss them with your doctor before you try them.

The safest way to treat epilepsy is in full consultation with your neurologist. Adding herbs or other treatments without consulting them may interfere with your medication’s effectiveness and might risk more seizures.

Read more on: treatments, epilepsy


What we do

We make skincare treatments and customize them for your skin-related problems, genetics, lifestyle, and environment.

How you benefit

You get total control over your skincare and the choice to change your skin. An impossible has just become possible.

How Custom Beauty Works

Desktop Mobile Graphic
Take the Quiz

Tell us about your skin, general health, lifestyle, environment, and all your skin goals. The quiz takes 4-8 minutes.

Outline of microscope
Create Your Treatment

Our algorithm creates a unique routine with a few customized products. The algorithm uses 50+ years of skincare research.

Outlines of Packaging
Divide and Rule

Every product is designed for one problem. Apply the product when the problem appears. Much like you treat flu or headache.

Product Values

A family sharing common values functions effortlessly and effectively. So do our products. All our products share these values.

Outline of bulb
Precise

Typical skincare routines confuse your skin with 20-50 ingredients. Our custom routines contain 1-8 ingredients, sending clear signals to your body to use the ingredients and recover faster.

Outline of Green Leaf
Concentrated

Our skin can use only active ingredients, also called actives. Most products contain up to 10% actives, whereas our products contain at least 90% actives. You get better value. Your skin avoids junk food.

Get Started

Never Used Before

Take the quiz below and discover a customized treatment for your unique skin-related problems, lifestyle, and environment.

Know Your Treatment

Every treatment has a unique 3-digit ID. You can find the ID on the product label. Search the ID on top right corner or click below.

Targeted Solutions

If a particular skin problem is bothering you, browse our products for your specific problem. You can customize your routine later.