Homeopathic Remedies for Post Stroke Symptoms
by Heather Caruso B.Sc., Hom, RNCP/ROHP
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is somehow cut off. Brain cells are deprived of oxygen and the cells die. The effects of a stroke depends on a number of things, where the damage occurred in the brain and the extent of the damage from lack of oxygen and blood flow. Every year in Canada, a person suffers from a stroke every ten minutes and over the course of a year, that adds up to 50,000 people. For every minute of delay in treatment of a stroke, it is estimated that 1.9 million nerve fibers in the brain die. More women die from strokes than men do and more women will have a stroke than get breast cancer.
The causes of stroke vary but most often in 50 percent of cases, it is due to uncontrolled high blood pressure. Factors that are linked to stroke incidence is as follows:
- Hypertension or high blood pressure (over 50 percent of strokes are linked to hypertension)
- Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a condition where the heart beats irregularly and causes turbulent blood flow, which may trigger the blood to clot. People with AF are 5 times more likely to develop a stroke than people without it. Approximately 15% of all people who have had a stroke have AF.
- Diabetes are 3 times more likely to develop a stroke. Almost 20% of people who have had a stroke are diabetic
- Inactivity increases one’s risk of stroke. Those who exercise five times per week or more are less apt to develop a stroke.
- Smoking doubles one’s risk of stroke.
- Diet plays an important role in stroke prevention, those who eat a heart healthy, low glycemic Mediterranean diet can reduce their risk of stroke up to 80%.
- Sleep apnea can increase one’s risk of stroke three times that of a person without sleep apnea.
- Being overweight with more abdominal fat increases one’s risk of stroke.
- Alcohol and drug abuse increase one’s risk considerably.
The symptoms of stroke are important to note because if treatment happens right away, it can prevent a lot of damage to the brain. Some common symptoms are as follows:
- Sudden weakness
- Droopy face
- Speech difficulty
- Weak arms
- Blurred vision
- Trouble walking and loss of balance
If you suffer from these symptoms, it is best to take an aspirin to thin the blood and head to emergency immediately. The sooner one gets treatment, the better the outcome. Oftentimes the symptoms of stroke will mock a migraine, but better to be safe than sorry.
In the clinic we have seen many cases of post stroke symptoms, such as some underlying weakness, trembling or paralysis. Homeopathic medicines are very effective with mild symptoms and can improve on more severe symptoms. Herein we will mention a few homeopathic medicines and mother tinctures.
Homeopathy is a medicine that is suited to one’s unique symptom picture, so two people suffering with symptoms of stroke may require different remedies according to their symptoms. Homeopathic medicines help the person suffering from stroke symptoms not just the name of the disease. Homeopathic medicine in a potency higher than 6CH does not carry any side effects. There are many remedies for post stroke symptoms but here are a few that are most commonly indicated:
Aconite is well indicated in post stroke, when the event has just happened. There is great fear and anxiety and it may have been precipitated by an emotional shock or a fright. These types feel restlessness and tossing about. There is a hot heavy and bursting sensation in the head. Congestive headaches. Quick pulse and tachycardia which causes anxiety. The pulse is full, hard, tense and bounding. The limbs are numb and tingling, especially the left arm. The hands may be hot and the feet cold. The mouth may be numb, dry and tingling. There may be vertigo on rising.
Arnica is useful post stroke to aid in healing. This remedy is often called for after chest or heart pain after a vigorous, violent run. It is useful in cases of angina, where there is a severe pain down the left arm and elbow. Stroke symptoms may occur after over exertion, injuries, surgeries fright, financial loss and anger. Strokes in these types have a great effect on the person’s mental function. They may be absent minded, forgetful, forgetting the word they are about to say. These types are famous for saying that they are fine and sending away the doctor when they need help.
Baryta Carbonica is useful for post stroke symptoms in the elderly. These types may tend to take cold easily, suffer from dementia or slow metal grasp. They become slow and inept. They have difficulty concentrating and become shy towards strangers, almost childish. They may suffer from senility and other types of cardiovascular disease.
Crotalis Horridus is a remedy that is useful for post stroke paralysis that tends to affect the right side. It is suited to types that may be overly talkative, muttering and depression. They tend to focus on thoughts of death and cerebral decay. They can be agitated, irritable and cross.
Lachesis is a remedy for post stroke paralysis affecting the left side. These types may suffer from hot flushes, high blood pressure and a sensitivity to things around their neck.
Homeopathic mother tinctures are herbal preparations that are often used in homeopathic prescribing. They are herbal remedies so they may have side effects as opposed to homeopathic remedies however, if prescribed properly they should have minimal side effects compared to prescription drugs. However, if taking any prescription drugs be sure to check for side effects. Some mother tinctures that help with stroke prevention and symptoms are as follows:
Allium Sativa is made from garlic. Garlic is an excellent cardiovascular tonic, and is thought to thin the blood, improve circulation and heart disease.
Gingko Biloba is a useful remedy for improving the circulation. It helps with memory loss associated with poor blood flow. This herb is known to decrease clotting and platelets, so best not to take it with blood thinners.
Vinca Minor is a great herb that improves circulation to the brain. It helps with cognitive function and also tinnitus and vision.
As you can see homeopathic medicine is very individualized and two people may get different remedies depending on their unique symptom picture. In an ideal world, everyone would have access to a homeopath and a medical doctor and they don’t disparage the other person’s treatment. This way the patient can have the best of both worlds.
In my years of practice, I have treated many people with post stroke symptoms. It amazes me that even in some severe cases in time, they get improvements. Post stroke cases are difficult and it is best to seek the help of a qualified homeopath rather than self prescribing. The beauty of homeopathy is that it can work in conjunction with these medications so that the patient can have the best of both worlds to experience their best outcome using homeopathy.
Heather Caruso is a homeopath and holistic nutritionist for the past 20 years in Guelph Ontario. For more information or to book a free get acquainted chat go to www.carusohomeopathy.com