Bell’s Palsy & Homeopathy

Words: Dr Narayan C DESHPANDE

Bell’s palsy, as Johns Hopkins Medicine states, is an unexplained episode of facial muscle weakness, or paralysis. It begins suddenly and worsens over 48 hours. This condition may also emerge from damage to the facial nerve — the 7th cranial nerve. Pain and discomfort usually occur on one side of the face, or head.

Imagine your face showing a painful countenance, after you’ve had anaesthesia at your dentist’s office. Your face is expressionless, your speech is difficult, your smile, or frown, is dumb, and you have saliva from your mouth drooling like a bucketful of water. This could give you an idea as to what it is to suffer from Bell’s palsy, a form of paralysis that affects the facial nerve. Bell’s palsy is as distressing as it gets — more so, when it ‘hits’ someone out of the blue.

The facial nerve controls the muscles on the side of our face. It allows us to ‘express,’ smile, cry, and wink. Do you know what makes your eyes blink, or cause tears and/or helps you to appreciate the taste of food? Simple. The facial nerve.

VK came to us with a painful facial presentation. She was suffering from Bell’s palsy for 2-3 years already. Her agony had begun with a tingling sensation, accompanied by pain. This had gradually progressed into paralysis on the right side of her face and forehead. The condition became progressively worse — so much so, opening and closing her mouth became an arduous task. The distress also made her weak and restless.

Conventional medications provided no relief. Worse still, she suffered from side-effects caused by the medications. It was at this stage that she began to explore the possibility of a natural treatment plan, or option. This brought her to my clinic. VK was prescribed the homeopathic Causticum 200C, based on her symptoms and personality, along with dietary and lifestyle modifications. As the homeopathic treatment progressed, her condition improved. It has been a few months now — and, she’s fine.

Cause & Effect

The exact cause of Bell’s palsy is not known; what we know is the problem can occur at any age, irrespective of sex, or ethnicity. It affects one in 4,000. Although the condition improves within weeks to months in some people, it tends to relapse in 10 per cent of people. When Bell’s palsy affects someone indefinitely, it may cause permanent facial damage, or disfigurement.

Diabetics, hypertensive individuals and pregnant women are more likely to be affected as compared to the general population. Emotional stress, environmental stress [e.g., cold], physical stress [e.g., trauma] and viral infections are other triggers.

Bell’s palsy is characterised by drooping of the face on the affected side. This is often a result of facial nerve malfunction. It is also typified with the inability to control movement in the facial muscles. Other symptoms include taste impairment, difficulty in blinking, tingling sensation, headaches and pain in the neck.

Conventional medicine advocates the use of steroids, or anti-virals, to help reduce the infection, or inflammation and also speed up the healing process. However, most individuals cannot tolerate them because of side-effects. Individuals who do not improve with medications are advised surgery to relieve the compression of the facial nerve, a possible cause of Bell’s palsy.

Healing With Homeopathy

Homeopathy is evidenced to be effective and safe in the treatment of Bell’s palsy. The best part: it has no side-effects. Homeopathy also helps to ease pain in Bell’s palsy; it improves the tone and strength of the facial muscles too. It provides long-term results; it also helps to avoid the use of the scalpel [surgery].

Homeopathy offers good, long-term, tangible and useful results in the treatment of Bell’s palsy. Homeopathic treatment depends upon one’s personality, characteristics and overall constitution. Arnica montana is ideally suited for people who have sustained an injury prior to Bell’s palsy. Hypericum perforatum is suitable when there is nerve damage and the jaw begins to lock. When the mouth and face begin to feel stiff, with the patient being sensitive to cold air, Mezereum is a suitable remedy.

For best, long-term and optimum results, it is imperative to speak to a professional homeopathic physician.

Self-Help

  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet, rich in leafy, green vegetables
  • Do regular exercise
  • Get a facial massage; do facial exercises
  • Increase your intake of vitamin B-12 [cobalamin], B-6 [pyridoxine] and zinc supplements for good nerve health
  • Keep blood sugar and blood pressure levels under control
  • Apply moist heat applications to the paralysed areas to reduce pain
  • Keep your face warm — wear a scarf, or jacket, with a hood, because exposure to cold aggravates the condition
  • Drink fruit juice, water, or cold drinks with a straw
  • Cut food into small pieces and eat on the side of your mouth that feels comfortable
  • Practice relaxation techniques to beating stress
  • Always consult a professional homeopathic physician; do not self-treat.
Dr NARAYAN C DESHPANDE, BSc, MD [Hom], is Author & Ambassador, ThinkWellness360. He’s formerly Officiating Professor & HOD, A H Medical College, Bengaluru, Professor Emeritus, and former in-charge Principal, Government Homeopathic Medical College & Hospital, Bengaluru, former PG Guide, Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Karnataka, former PG Examiner, Mangalore University, MGR University of Health Sciences, Chennai, Health University, Salem, and former Health Expert, Karnataka Public Service Commission, Bengaluru. A recipient of the prestigious Nadaprabhu Kempegowda Award for his 35+ years of commendable service to homeopathic education and alternative healthcare, Dr Deshpande lives in Bengaluru, India [Subject Photo: Courtesy, Andrea Kamphuis/Wikipedia].

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