Neurological Disorders: A Primer

Words: Dr Barbara ETCOVITCH

Homeopathy has the ability to treat a wide variety of neurological disorders — from epilepsy to multiple sclerosis [MS] and stroke. As in all other illnesses, homeopathy can address them at all stages of their development.

I’d like to focus on stokes, since they are the leading cause of serious long-term disability, and homeopathy can be effective in dealing not only with the chronic manifestations of the neurological assault but also with the acute problems that result from the long-term care required.

Conventional medicine conditions us to believe that the symptoms of a cerebrovascular accident [CVA], better known as ‘stroke,’ are alike, or common in all people. Paralysis, weakness and defective or absent speech [aphasia] are examples. Homeopathy, however, leads us to understand that the symptom-picture in any disease is unique to the individual and must be observed very carefully.

As devastating and frightening as a stroke might be, from a homeopathic perspective the symptoms actually represent the attempt of a person’s ‘vital force,’ or guiding energy, to correct the imbalance which has resulted in the state. Observing and following the symptom-picture will lead the homeopath to prescribe the remedy most similar to CVA. The patient should then be on the way to recovery from the energetic imbalance in a shorter period of time than if treated by conventional methods. The use of homeopathy in lieu of drug therapy also reduces the chances of ‘iatrogenic’ illnesses during long-term care.

Acute signs of stroke include mental confusion, disorientation, aphasia, loss of balance, speech difficulties, paralysis, drooping face, severe headache, fatigue, vertigo, numbness and tingling in various parts of the body, and abrupt loss of vision.

Chronic signs and symptoms include confusion, anxiety, brain fog, fatigue, weakness, paralysis, depression, irritability, and sleep problems.

Stokes occur when the blood supply to the brain has been affected. There are two types of stokes: ischemic, which occurs when an artery is blocked and haemorrhagic, which occurs when an artery bursts, causing bleeding in, or around the brain. The former accounts for 87 per cent of all strokes. When brain cells die, the brain may no longer work as it should and this leads to the many familiar problems of a stroke.

Stroke Remedies

Arnica montana, Aconite napellus, Belladonna, Causticum [Hahnemann’s Tinctura acris sine Kali], Lachesis muta, Opium [Papaver somniferum], Baryta carbonicum, Gelsemium sempervirens and Cocculus indicus are some of the leading remedies that can be prescribed to address a stroke. Each portrays a particular mental, emotional and physical profile.

Arnica is an important remedy for an ischemic stroke that has just happened, as it absorbs the blood clot and minimises the damage to the tissue. There is soreness and achiness all over with a puffy, discoloured face. Head is hot, while the rest of the body is cool. There can be paralysis of limbs, especially left side and staring eyes and contracted pupils.

Aconite

The Aconite type stroke reveals a full pulse with great anxiety of mind and body and restlessness. A stroke requiring this remedy can arise from a chill, or sudden fright. There is redness of face and a hot head, and throbbing carotids. The eyes may be red and prominent with dilated pupils and a fixed stare. We can see paralysis of the tongue and stammering as well as trouble swallowing.

Belladonna

This remedy exhibits throbbing of the carotid and temporal arteries, and drowsiness with loss of consciousness and speech, and paralysis of limbs on the right side. The mouth can be drawn to one side with difficult deglutination. There may be involuntary urination, delirium, and weird visions. There is great redness of face with congestion in the head and dilated pupils. Veins of the head and neck may be distended.

Causticum  

This remedy is of great use when speech problems arise after strokes and from strokes arising after great anger. There is loss of speech, slurring and stuttering. Right-sided paralysis with coldness in the parts. Paralysis of single muscles groups — arms, legs, vocal cords. Tremors and paralysis.

Lachesis  

This is useful for strokes due to blood clots — often from the heart valves. The stroke may follow physical exercise. Attacks may be preceded by absent-mindedness, or vertigo. There may be deep pains in the brain, especially left side. Paralysis of left side and coldness of hands, especially left. Mouth drawn to one side and inability to swallow. Cannot bear anything tight around the neck.

Opium

In Opium we see comas from strokes, a besotted appearance and painlessness. There is contracted, unresponsive pupils and confused mind. The patient lies in a state of stupor and is unconscious with half-opened eyes and dilated pupils. Respiration is laboured and there may be snoring and rattling, and convulsive motion of limbs and tetanic stiffness of the whole body.

Baryta  

This is a remedy useful in child-like regression since a stroke. The patient acts like a child and has to relearn things. There may be a history of severe arteriosclerosis. Stokes, arising in aged persons.

NB: It is imperative that a specialist homeopathic physician, with good clinical experience in neurological disorders, is consulted promptly and the given case scaled up for treatment, at a hospital facility, in the event of an emergency. Self-treatment is strictly prohibited.

Dr BARBARA ETCOVITCH is a Classical Homeopath, Interfaith Minister, freelance writer, and lecturer. She has a BA from Sir George Williams University, a MA in Literature from the University of Ottawa, Canada, and a Diploma in Classical Homeopathy from the School of Homeopathy, Devon, England. She was ordained by the All Faiths Seminary International in New York City in 2004. She has been in homeopathic practice for 30+ years treating human and animals alike, from her office in Montreal, Canada, and worldwide via Skype and WhatsApp.

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