Neuropathy is a very painful condition that can be caused by several reasons. The most common reason is diabetes. However, a traumatic event or illness can also bring about this debilitating condition. The symptoms of neuropathy include numbness, tickling or prickling sensations, muscle weakness, and pain.
Although there are several treatments for neuropathy, there is no known cure at this time. Many treatments involve prescription drugs but some people prefer to try a more natural treatment for their pain. If you are one who would rather try natural treatments instead of drugs to control the pain, consider these suggestions.
A well-balanced, healthy diet, a good exercise program, and avoidance of alcohol will give you a good start on the road to pain-free living. Next, consider these herbs: evening primrose, capsaicin, and skullcap. These three herbs may help bring relief although there is no evidence that they provide an actual cure for neuropathy.
EVENING PRIMROSE OIL
Evening primrose is a flowering herb native to North America. The oil that is given for treatments is extracted from the seeds. Primrose oil is rich in linoleic acid and gamma-linolenic acid, two fatty acids that are important for nerve function. There have been several clinical trials with patients of neuropathy in which these patients responded positively to treatments with primrose oil. With the treatments of primrose oil, the patients demonstrated improved nerve function. The primrose oil was administered for 6 to 12 months before the improvements were recognized. However, the primrose oil may interfere with anti-coagulant and anti-platelet medicines. Therefore, you need to consult your physician before initiating a primrose oil treatment program.
Capsaicin is substance that gives chili peppers their distinctive hotness. It is one of the few natural treatments that are approved by the Federal Food and Drug Association. Capsaicin directly affects the nerve fibers of neuropathy. In several clinical studies, topical capsaicin was used on patients with neuropathy. After eight weeks of treatments, patients reported significant improvements to their neuropathy. In addition, capsaicin relieved neuropathy as well as a tricyclic antidepressant. Personally, I like hot chili peppers and enjoy their heat along with my food. They are full of antioxidants and I believe adding them to the diet may be beneficial for many ailments. However, you have to be able to handle them. As with any herb, check with your doctor before adding them or the capsaicin topical cream to your regimen.
Skullcap is found in the moist fields, thickets, and woods of North America. This herb was used by the Cherokee and Iroquois natives in normalizing menstruation, aid the kidneys, and preventing small pox. Since it is a traditional nerve tonic, skullcap may help relieve muscle weakness, nerve damage, and the numbness of neuropathy. According to researchers, the active ingredients in skullcap are bioflavonoids, powerful antioxidants that prevent cell damage by free radicals.
Yes, there are natural treatments for neuropathy. Primrose oil, capsaicin, and skullcap have documented proof that they are beneficial for neuropathy. However, as with any treatment, always consult your physician before beginning any type of herbal treatment.
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