Conclusion

On the basis of current evidence, acupuncture and Asian herbal medicine, both of which are components of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), should be approached differently by people with MS. Acupuncture is of low risk, is possibly beneficial, and may be a reasonable treatment option for some people with MS. In contrast, Asian herbal medicine should be considered with caution by people with MS, especially for use on a long-term basis. Reports of treatment benefits using this therapy cannot be...

Additional Readings Books

Complementary and Alternative Medicines. Philadelphia Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins, 2004, pp. 58-60. Jellin JM, Batz F, Hitchens K. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Stockton, CA Therapeutic Research Faculty, 2005, pp. 82-83. Kaplan GP. Ayurvedic medicine. In Oken BS, ed. Complementary Therapies in Neurology. London Parthenon Publishing, 2004, pp. 145-158. Manyam BV Ayurvedic approach to neurologic illness. In Weintraub MI, Micozzi MS, eds. Alternative and...

Herbs That May Interact with Antidepressant Medications

Tricyclic antidepressants are an older class of antidepressant medications. These drugs, which include amitriptyline (Elavil) and nortriptyline (Pamelor), may be used to treat depression or pain in people with MS. When using these antidepressants, one should avoid St. John's wort, belladonna, henbane, jimson weed, mandrake, and scopolia. St. John's wort also should be avoided when taking the antidepressants known as SSRIs, which include fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), and paroxetine...

St Johns Wort

John's wort has been used for therapeutic purposes for more than 2,000 years. Its most common current use is as an antidepressant. Although St. John's wort has been studied extensively, the chemicals that may produce its effects have not been clearly identified. In the past, it was thought that a chemical known as hypericin may be responsible for its effects. However, more recent studies indicate that another chemical, hyperforin, may play an important role. In addition to uncertainties...

Echinacea

Echinacea is one of the most popular and well-studied herbs. A long history of echinacea use exists for the treatment of medical conditions, especially infections. North American Indians used echinacea medicinally, and it was the primary herbal therapy for infections in the early 1900s. Echinacea poses a theoretical risk for people with MS, yet, surprisingly, it is sometimes recommended for MS and appears to be used by a relatively large number of people with the disease. Echinacea is of...

Antioxidant Vitamins Generally Vitamins A C and E

Among all categories of dietary supplements, antioxidant vitamins were among those used most frequently by a large group of people with MS who were surveyed through a study at the Rocky Mountain Multiple Sclerosis Center (the full results of this survey may be seen at www.ms-cam.org). Antioxidant vitamins include Vitamin A or beta-carotene (a chemical converted to vitamin A) These vitamins act on free radicals, chemicals that can damage cells in the brain and other organs of...

Alpha Lipoic Acid

Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant compound. Like the antioxidant vitamins, alpha-lipoic acid acts to decrease the damage produced by free radicals. Alpha-lipoic acid normally is present in the mitochondria, the energy-producing parts of the body's cells. Alpha-lipoic acid may have relevance to neurological disorders, including MS. Encouraging results with alpha-lipoic acid have been obtained in animal and human studies by Dr. Dennis Bourdette and others at Oregon Health Sciences University...

Calcium EAP

Hans Nieper, a German physician, developed a compound known as calcium EAP. It is also known as calcium-2-aminoethyl phosphate, calcium AEP, and calcium orotate. Thousands of people have apparently been treated with this compound. Most information about calcium EAP is available only from literature by Dr. Nieper who died in 1998 or organizations affiliated with him. Calcium EAP is one component of an approach to MS referred to as the Nieper regimen. It is believed that...

Summary of the Effects of Popular Dietary Supplements

Aloe May interact with steroids, possible toxic effects with oral use Alpha-lipoic acid Promising studies in animal model of MS, human studies are underway Androstenedione Multiple possible toxic effects Ashwagandha Ayurvedic herb that is sometimes recommended for MS, may be immune-stimulating Asian ginseng No definite therapeutic effects possibly immune-stimulating may interact with steroids may inhibit blood clotting may interact with warfarin Coumadin Astragalus Possibly immune-stimulating...