Encephalitis is an infectious disease caused by a variety of viruses that lead to inflammation of the brain. Encephalitis may be primary or secondary. The former results from a virus invading the brain and spinal cord directly, while the latter stems from a viral infection occurring somewhere else in the body and migrating to the brain.
Treatment typically calls for bed rest, increased fluid intake and antiviral medications. Unfortunately, many viruses responsible for causing encephalitis are resistant to these drugs. However, it is possible to treat encephalitis with holistic remedies in conjunction with conventional treatments.
Natural Stategies to Treat Encephalitis
1. Consult with a certified herbalist or naturopathic physician about the potential benefits of taking the extract of Alpinia officinarum. Also known as Blue Ginger, this herb is a popular ingredient in Asian cuisine and is commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as an alternative to antibiotics or antiviral drugs. According to a team of researchers at the Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, alcohol extracts of the rhizome of this herb inhibit beta-ketoacyl-ACP reductase, an enzyme considered a preliminary pathway to microbial growth.
2. Think about adding Sanguisorba officinalis (Great Burnet) to your herbal medicine chest. This botanical is also frequently used in TCM to treat the secondary complications of encephalitis, namely to prevent damage to brain tissue. South Korean researchers have found that gallic acid present in the plant may help to protect brain cells by suppressing amyloid beta, a rogue protein suspected of contributing to the formation of atherosclerotic plaque in the brain. This and other neuroprotective effects observed by the researchers were reported in the Jan. 31, 2008 issue of Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin.
3. Visit a qualified homeopathic practitioner to find out if Black Hellebore (Helleborus niger) is right for you. Also known as the Christmas rose, this member of the buttercup family is ordinarily quite toxic and may have an adverse effect on the heart. Therefore, it has no place in traditional herbal medicine. However, according to the editors of PDR for Herbal Medicines, it is safe to use in homeopathic dosages to treat encephalitis.
4. Consider cranial osteopathy as part of your program to treat your encephalitis with holistic remedies. This form of therapy involves the detection and release of stored or “recorded” trauma patterns in living tissue, such as those that may occur from infectious diseases. According to Elaine Dowell, Resource Center Manager of The Encephalitis Society of the UK, the practitioner will “support the body in its attempt to return to health, by using gentle techniques to release strain patterns.”