Studies in MS and Other Conditions

No large published clinical studies have specifically investigated the effect of Ayurveda on MS or its symptoms. Some components of Ayurveda have been investigated individually. These include massage, meditation, and yoga, all of which are discussed elsewhere in this book. These therapies may be helpful for some symptoms that occur with MS, including fatigue, spasticity, pain, depression, and anxiety.

Ashwagandha, the Ayurvedic supplement sometimes recommended for MS, has been studied mainly in scientific and animal studies. In these studies, ashwagandha has been shown to stimulate the immune system. It also may produce sedating effects. Ashwagandha has not been studied in clinical trials in MS—as a result, it is not known if it has any therapeutic effects in MS.

Some research has evaluated Ayurvedic supplements for other conditions. One small study found that the herb Phyllanthus was an effective therapy for liver inflammation; subsequent studies did not find beneficial effects. For asthma, mixed results have been obtained using an Ayurvedic preparation, Tylophora indica asthmatica. In experimental animal models of breast and lung cancer, beneficial effects have been shown for Maharishi-4, also known as Maharishi Amrit Kalash-4 or MAK-4. Curcumin, MA-631, and Maharishi-5, produce biochemical effects that might be beneficial for heart disease.

Research on Ayurveda currently is being conducted collaboratively. The National Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine (NIAM) is doing research in conjunction with the National Cancer Institute (Bethesda, MD), the Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha Medicine (New Delhi, India), the Mount Sinai School of Medicine (New York, NY), and the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Center for Alternative and Complementary Medicine at Columbia University (New York, NY). NIAM currently is conducting studies on the effects of panchakarma therapies on the immune system.

Coping with Asthma

Coping with Asthma

If you suffer with asthma, you will no doubt be familiar with the uncomfortable sensations as your bronchial tubes begin to narrow and your muscles around them start to tighten. A sticky mucus known as phlegm begins to produce and increase within your bronchial tubes and you begin to wheeze, cough and struggle to breathe.

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