Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine

cupuncture is one of many components of what is known as traditional Chinese medicine, a healing method that has been in use for more than 2,000 years. Traditional Chinese medicine is used by approximately one-fourth of the world's population. In Western countries, the use of traditional Chinese medicine, especially acupuncture, has grown over the past two decades. It is estimated that more than one million Americans are treated with acupuncture yearly. The recognition of acupuncture by...

Supplements and MS

Supplements are one of the most popular forms of CAM used by people with MS. The largest and most detailed survey of dietary supplement use among people with MS was conducted at the Rocky Mountain Multiple Sclerosis Center. Of the respondents to this survey, more than 90 percent had used dietary supplements since being diagnosed with MS, and more than 80 percent were using some type of dietary supplement at the time of the survey. The full results of the survey are available at www.ms-cam.org,...

Other Bee Products

A variety of bee products other than bee venom also are used in apitherapy. These products often are recommended for MS and those symptoms that may occur with the disease, such as fatigue, weakness, visual difficulties, and memory problems. No evidence suggests that these products are effective for MS or MS-associated symptoms. Bee pollen, which is composed of plant pollens, plant nectars, and bee saliva, is sometimes recommended to lessen fatigue, increase strength, and improve many other...

Important Precautions About ementary and Alternative Medicine and

This book provides much detailed information about specific types of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). This information is intended to assist people in assessing CAM therapies for multiple sclerosis (MS). In addition to this specific information, some general ideas are important to understand and may be helpful in the CAM decision-making process The information in this book should not be used to convert anyone to CAM therapy use, and it should not be taken as a recommendation to use...

Cranberry and Other Herbal Therapies for Urinary Tract Infections

Cranberry juice is of relevance because urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common with MS, and cranberry juice has a long history of use in their prevention and treatment. From the 1920s to the 1970s, it was believed that the acid from cranberry juice makes the urine acidic and that this increase in acidity prevents and treats UTIs. However, subsequent studies showed that the effect of cranberry juice was probably due to the presence of two types of compounds, fructose and a class of chemicals...

Herbs to Avoid with Urinary Tract Infections

Some herbs may irritate the urinary tract (Table 23.4). The most commonly used herb on this list is coffee. The herbs in this category may worsen the TABLE 23.3. Herbs with Possible Sedating Effects TABLE 23.3. Herbs with Possible Sedating Effects TABLE 23.4. Herbs That May Irritate the Urinary Tract Thyme Watercress Yellow cedar Yerba mansa effects of UTIs, which occur frequently in some women with MS. In addition, frequent use or high doses of these herbs may irritate the urinary tract even...

Music Therapy

Active music therapy in the treatment of multiple sclerosis patients a matched control study. J Music Ther 2004 61 225-240. 2. Lengdobler H, Kiessling WR. Group music therapy in multiple sclerosis initial report of experience. Psychother Psychosom Med Psychol 1989 39 369-373. 3. Wiens ME, Reimer MA, Guyn HL. Music therapy as a treatment method for improving respiratory muscle strength in patients with advanced multiple sclerosis a pilot study. Rehabil Nurs 1999 24 74-80.

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...

Studies of MS and Other Conditions

The effects of prayer and spirituality on multiple sclerosis (MS) have not been rigorously studied. One frequently described case of MS that appeared to respond dramatically to prayer and faith involved Rita Klaus. Klaus was a nun who was diagnosed with MS in 1960, at the age of 20. Because of the effects of her illness, she was given dispensation of her vows and left the convent. She eventually married and had three children. Her disease progressed significantly over the years. She wore leg...

Creatine

Creatine is a supplement claimed to increase muscle strength and increase body mass. In addition, it may have a protective effect on nerves. Both of these possible effects are relevant to MS. Creatine is made in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. It is involved in generating energy for muscle cells and other cells in the body. Creatine is available as a dietary supplement and may be obtained in the diet by eating meat and fish. Limited clinical studies have been done on creatine. In healthy...

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...

Coffee and Other Caffeine Containing Herbs and Supplements

Coffee, perhaps not generally thought of as an herb, is in fact one of the most popular herbs in the world. Its effects on mental alertness and fatigue are well known to those who drink their regular morning cup of coffee. The effects of coffee are due to one of its chemical constituents, caffeine. In addition to coffee, other herbs and supplements contain caffeine. Coffee is of interest for people with MS because of its possible effects on fatigue. No systematic approaches exist to using...

Psyllium Bran and Other Herbs for Constipation

Psyllium is an herb used to relieve constipation. It is of potential importance to people with MS because constipation is a relatively frequent symptom of the disease. Clinical studies have shown that psyllium effectively treats constipation. Unlike most other herbs, psyllium is approved by the FDA. It is referred to as a bulk-producing laxative because it increases in size, or bulk, when it comes in contact with water. Psyllium, probably the most popular bulk-producing laxative, is used daily...

Yohimbe and Yohimbine

Yohimbe refers to the bark obtained from a West African evergreen tree, which traditionally has been used for sexual disorders and as an aphrodisiac. Yohimbine is one the major chemicals present in yohimbe. Limited studies have evaluated the effectiveness and safety of yohimbe for sexual disorders. Some studies indicate that yohimbe may be beneficial for erectile dysfunction in men and decreased libido in women. However, it has many serious side effects, including severely decreased blood...

Journal Articles

Adlard PA, Perreau VM, Engesser-Cesar C, et al. The time course of induction of brain-derived neurotrophic factor mRNA and protein in the rat hippocampus following voluntary exercise. Neurosci Lett 2004 363 43-48. Brown TR, Kraft GH. Exercise and rehabilitation for individuals with multiple sclerosis. Phys Med Rehab Clin N Am 2005 16 513-555. Chen H, Zhang SM, Schwarzschild MA, et al. Physical activity and the risk of Parkinson disease. Neurology 2005 64 664-669. Ernst E, Rand JI, Stevinson C....

Valerian

Valerian has been used as a sedating and calming herb for over 1,000 years. It is sometimes referred to as the Valium of the nineteenth century. Valerian has a characteristic odor, which is similar to that of dirty socks. A stink rating is sometimes used to evaluate different valerian products. Valerian may produce its effects by an action similar to that of Valium diazepam and related prescription drugs benzodiazepines . However, the active chemicals and their exact biological activities have...

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...