Going ‘green’ with MS…:o)

I have come across some interesting alternative approaches for the treatment of MS. Here is what I’ve taken from (http://www.mothernature.com):

Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica). This practice, known as urtication, involves taking the fresh plant, which is covered with tiny, hair-like stingers, and simply slapping it against your exposed skin. (Remember to wear gloves whenever you handle this plant). It provides microinjections of a number of potentially beneficial chemicals. Among these compounds is histamine, the chemical that often induces allergies like hay fever. Several compounds in stinging nettle might have effects similar to bee stings (Yes, some people with MS have benefited from being stung by bees, a form of therapy that is occasionally recommended by proponents of alternative healing methods for people with MS). After use, the plant recharges its micro-injector needles and can be used again and again. There have been no reports (in the US at least) of serious allergic reactions to stinging nettle.

Black currant (Ribes nigrum). Black currant oil contains a compound known as gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) that is thought to be useful in treating MS. Herb advocate Andrew Weil, M.D., professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson and author of Natural Health, Natural Medicine, strongly endorses GLA as an effective anti-inflammatory for treating autoimmune disorders. He recommends taking 500 milligrams of black currant oil twice a day and says improvement can be expected after eight weeks. GLA can also be found in borage and evening primrose oil (EPO), but black currant oil may be cheaper.

Blueberry (Vaccinium, various species). These berries contain compounds known as oligomeric procyanidins (OPCs). The biochemistry of OPCs is complicated, but there’s good evidence to show that they help prevent the breakdown of certain tissues, such as the myelin sheaths that surround the nerve fibers. OPCs also have anti-inflammatory activity that might help relieve MS symptoms. This sounds like a good reason to eat more blueberries.

Evening primrose (Oenothera biennis). Like black currant oil, EPO is rich in GLA. British herbalist David Hoffmann, author of The Herbal Handbook, says that EPO is “recommended in all cases” of MS.

Pineapple (Ananas comosus). Pineapple contains enzymes, pancreatin and bromelain, that break up protein molecules. Besides being anti-inflammatories, these enzymes have been shown to help reduce the level of circulating immune complexes (CICs). High levels of CICs occur in a number of autoimmune diseases, including MS. These immune complexes activate the immune system to attack the body, ultimately leading to tissue damage.

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) and other foods containing magnesium. In a letter to the British medical journal Lancet some years ago, a British biochemist with MS said that supplemental magnesium by itself worked better for him than all other supplemental vitamins and minerals. He took 375 milligrams a day. (The Daily Value is 400 milligrams.). I am personally taking magnesium as recommended by my doctor (the one from the orthomolecular clinic I visited) he also said magnesium is of great help to people with MS. If you’d like your magnesium from an herbal source, purslane is the herb richest in this mineral, at nearly 2 percent on a dry-weight basis, followed by poppy seeds, cowpeas and spinach. I steam purslane like spinach and eat it raw in salads. A heaping serving of steamed greens could provide as much magnesium as the biochemist took. So would eight ounces of fresh greens.


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