You may have heard that mustard seeds have the potential to cure all things from stomach pain to liver problem, to cancer and even sexual weakness. Some would even tell you that mustard seeds can be used for spiritual cleansing against witchcraft and other evil forces.
If you have ever been on one those ‘molue’ buses in Lagos, you would be familiar with this.
The way the marketers on the buses would present it to you, you would think you have found that cure you have been searching for all your life.
The marketers have different direction on how to use it depending on what you want to treat. You might have to chew or grind and mix with something for whatever ailment you want to treat.
Mustard seed is a product of the mustard tree and there a various types. The most common are white, brown and black. It is very tiny and one of the smallest grains in existence.
Mustard oil can offer numerous health benefits Photo Credit: Organic Facts
There have been claims that mustard seed mixed with olive oil can cure epilepsy, but does it really cure it?
What is epilepsy?
It is a neurological disorder which causes unprovoked, recurrent seizures. It is marked by sudden recurrent episodes of sensory disturbance, loss of consciousness, or convulsions, associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain.
The seizures which occur because of a sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain can last from a few seconds to a few minutes.
What causes epilepsy?
Report has it that no cause can be discovered in 70% of all case of epilepsy in adults and children. Most people with epilepsy never find a specific cause. The seizures may be related to a brain injury or a family tendency, but often times, the cause is completely unknown.
The human brain is the source of human epilepsy and so, it can be brought on by anything that disrupts the brain’s natural circuitry.
Some of the main causes of epilepsy include:
- Severe head injury either during birth or from accidents
- Infection or disease such as meningitis or encephalitis
- Genetic conditions
- Low oxygen during birth
- A change in the structure of the brain
- Abnormal levels of substances such as sodium or blood sugar
- Some of the possible seizure triggers
- Not taking epilepsy medicine as prescribed
- Artificial sweetener aspartame
- Flashing bright lights and colours
- Loud or repetitive noises
- Medications and recreational drugs
- Stressful situations
- Lack of sleep can trigger seizures for some people
Can mustard seed with olive oil cure epilepsy?
With an increasing market and public interest, the popularity of natural treatments for ailments has soared. There seems to be a natural cure for every ailment.
Though not proven, many healing effects of the mustard seed have been discovered by some.
There’s little scientific proof that mustard seed with olive oil can successfully treat epilepsy Photo Credit: DIYhealthremedy
According to some Indian researchers, the extract of Brassica nigra seed (black mustard) can be used to treat seizure, epilepsy and convulsion because of its antioxidant properties and action via enzyme activity mechanism.
The researchers carried out a study titled “Antiepileptic and Antioxidant Effect of Brassica nigra on Pentylenetetrazol-Induced Kindling in Mice.”
The researchers wrote: “Considering the high rate of epilepsy today, with respect to the insufficiency of the available therapies, new strategies and methods are recommended for medical treatment of epileptic patients. Therefore, the present study experimentally investigated the anticonvulsant effect of a herbal medicine candidate Brassica nigra, by using kindling method.
“Statistical analysis of the data shows that the seed extract could reduce the intensity, improvement and duration of seizure. In addition, the Brassica nigra extract increased the SOD and NO levels and decreased the MDA level in the brain tissues.
“Attained results show that the extract of Brassica nigra seed can be used in grand mal seizure treatment. Moreover, the antiepileptic effect of this extract is probably caused by its antioxidant properties and acts via enzyme activity mechanism.”
However, there’s little scientific proof that mustard seed with olive oil can successfully treat epilepsy.
Epilepsy has no known cure, but it can be controlled with medication. There are drugs available to control seizures.
A good number of people with epilepsy have their seizures controlled by medication. Even with medication, some still have problems controlling their seizures. In these cases, doctors might suggest surgery.
Each case is different and the severity and frequency of each person’s seizures vary. There is no single treatment or alternative remedy that will work for everyone as patients do not all react in the same way to drugs.
Most people just keep trying different methods until they find the one that works best for them. Even when the right drug is found for a patient, it can take some time to find the ideal dose.
How to manage it
Epilepsy is a serious disease and it is important to prevent seizures. When a patient is diagnosed with epilepsy, his or her doctor will disclose what treatment is best. The patient’s age, frequency and severity of the seizures, overall health and medical history will determine the type of treatment.
There are many drugs available to treat epilepsy. The doctor will prescribe seizure-preventing drugs or anti-epileptic drugs so that the patient will be able to lead a normal, active, and productive life.
The choice of drug depends on several factors such as the patient's tolerance of side effects and other illnesses he or she might have.
Medications used to treat epilepsy include:
- Carbamazepine (Tegretol or Carbatrol)
- Diazepam (Valium) and similar tranquilizers, such as lorazepam(Ativan), Tranxene and clonazepam (Klonopin)
- Eslicarbazepine (Aptiom)
- Ethosuximide (Zarontin)
- Felbamate (Felbatol)
- Gabapentin (Neurontin)
- Lacosamide (Vimpat)
- Lamotrigine (Lamictal)
- Levetiracetam (Keppra)
- Oxcarbazepine (Oxteller XR or Trileptal)
- Perampanel (Fycompa)
- Phenytoin (Dilantin or Phenytek)
- Pregabalin (Lyrica)
- Primidone( Mysoline)
- Tiagabine hydrochloride (Gabitril)
- Topiramate (Topamax)
- Valproate, valproic acid (Depakene, Depakote)
- Zonisamide (Zonegran)
Most people with epilepsy can become seizure-free by taking anti-epileptic medications
Side Effects of Epilepsy Drugs
Just like every other drug, anti-epileptic drugs have side effects. They are:
- Blurry or double vision
- Stomach upset
- Skin rashes
- Low blood cell counts
- Liver problems
Some people become seizure-free by taking their meds as prescribed.
If drugs do not work, the next option could be surgery, a special diet or VNS (vagus nerve stimulation).
Most patients with epilepsy do not require surgery except on rare occasion, usually if the seizures are not controlled after a trial of two or three medications (usually accomplished within two years).
The area of the brain which triggers the seizures (usually a portion of the anterior temporal lobe) is removed during surgery. Some patients will be completely free of seizures after the surgery while in some others, the seizures will be better controlled.
The ketogenic diet
If medications are not helping a patient or causing side effects, the doctor may suggest this eating plan. It is a high-fat, low-carb plan is effective for treating certain types of epilepsy, used most frequently in children with seizures that have not responded to medications. It is a strict diet which requires careful planning. The diet may be difficult to follow and is usually not recommended in older children or adults.
Most children who follow this diet have at least 50% less seizures and some even stop having them.
People with epilepsy can enjoy a full, active life. Taking your medication as prescribed by your doctor may stop your seizures. If not, you can get other kinds of help.
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