Seizure refers to the physical changes in the behavior of a person which occur after an episode of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. This causes a temporary dysfunction. Some of the warnings signs before the seizure takes place include a change in vision, a headache, sudden feeling of fear or anxiousness, a feeling of being sick to your stomach, dizziness, and a jerky movement of the arms and legs that may cause them to drop things.
A severe seizure may show symptoms such as violent shaking and a loss of control and consciousness which often leads to injury or can possibly be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Usually, these symptoms are unpredictable, episodic, stereotypic, and brief.
Types of Seizures
These type seizures usually start in a certain part of our brain and can affect us physically and emotionally. Focal seizures can make us hear, feel, and see things that are not there.
These affect both sides of the brain. They can cause muscle spasms, loss of consciousness or fall.
Seizures Fall Under Two Categories
Epileptic – These seizures occur two or more times and do not have an apparent trigger. The most common type of epileptic seizure is symptomatic epilepsy, which can be defined as epilepsy that follows an injury to the brain known to be capable of causing epilepsy. Symptomatic epilepsy is common in newborns and older adults.
Non-epileptic – These are seizures that are triggered by a condition that irritates the brain such as infection, head injury, and a stroke. There are also drugs that can cause these seizures.
Herbal Medicine Can Help With Seizure Disorders
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Lavender is commonly used for anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, depression, headache, and pain. According to experts, it is the international flower for epilepsy. Studies have found that it has sedative, mood-improving, relaxing, and neuroprotective properties. However, one must avoid a type of lavender known as Spike lavender (L. latifolia) as it can only induce seizures.
When it comes to preventing convulsions, black cumin is one of the best. Results of a 2007 study revealed that consumption of a water extract from black cumin seeds can significantly reduce seizure activity. Aside from this, black cumin was also found to be capable of preventing memory impairment and neurotoxicity.
Valerian acts as a sedative on the brain and nervous system. It is considered as one of the best remedies that can help cure seizures and should be considered by individuals with epilepsy. Scientists claimed that valerian has anti-convulsive compounds which are responsible for its effectiveness in treating epilepsy.
Skullcap is used for treating anxiety and nervous tension. It has anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, slightly astringent, emmenagogue, febrifuge, nervine, sedative and strongly tonic. For many years, it has been used as an anticonvulsant. It has been found to be beneficial in the treatment of various neurological disorders such as anxiety disorder, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
There were several studies showing how cannabis can help treat symptoms of seizure disorders. Thanks to its active ingredients known as cannabinoids which were found to effective against cases of drug-resistant therapy.
What To Do During An Epileptic Seizure?
If you are with someone having a tonic-clonic seizure (where the body stiffens, followed by general muscle jerking), try to stay calm and follow these tips:
- Keep the patient safe and protect them from injury.
- Shut and lock doors that lead outside if you are at home
- If they have food or fluid in their mouth, roll them onto their side immediately.
- Place something soft under their head and loosen any tight clothing.
- If the seizures are uncontrolled, avoid using sharp objects such as steak knives or scissors.
- Time the seizure, if you can.
- Reassure the person until they recover.
- Gently roll the person onto their side after the jerking stops.
Herbal medicine is experiencing a renaissance these days, thanks to studies that show its many health benefits. A study in the journal Alternative and Complementary Therapies is one example. In their paper, a team of researchers from Bastyr University in Washington reviewed some of the medicines commonly used in managing seizure disorders.
Seizure disorders happen when the brain’s electrical activity is disturbed, causing temporary dysfunction. Some seizures cause uncontrollable shaking and loss of consciousness, but most reported cases involve a person becoming unaware of what is happening. Around two percent of people will experience a seizure once in their lifetime, with only a third of them experiencing another one.
Focal seizures: These start in a particular part of your brain, and their names are based on the part where they happen. They can cause both physical and emotional effects and make you feel, see, or hear things that aren’t there. About 60% of people with epilepsy have this type of seizure, which is sometimes called a partial seizure. Sometimes, the symptoms of a focal seizure can be mistaken for signs of mental illness or another kind of nerve disorder.
Generalized seizures: These happen when nerve cells on both sides of your brain misfire. They can make you have muscle spasms, blackout, or fall.
Seizures aren’t always an “either-or” thing: Some people have seizures that start as one kind, then become another. And it’s not easy to classify some of them: These are called unknown-onset seizures, and they can cause both sensory and physical symptoms.
While a seizure can last anywhere from 10 to 15 seconds, it can be risky for some people, especially if it happens when they are standing. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone loses consciousness during a seizure. There is, however, a type of seizure disorder called the convulsive status epilepticus, where the seizure lasts for more than five minutes, and intense muscle contractions cause difficulty breathing. This is a medical emergency and should be attended to immediately. It’s also worth noting that putting an object in the mouth of someone having a convulsion isn’t helpful either as it can cause more harm.