In part 1, I spoke about the importance of reducing/inhibiting neuro-inflammation, in order to slow down the progression of multiple sclerosis. By slowing down the progression, we give the brain time to heal and to start regenerating myelin, thus improving neuron health and reducing severity of symptoms.
The second part of treatment involves assisting the brain in regrowing myelin and neurons in general.
This is done by inducing as process known as “Neurogenesis”
Neurogenesis is the process of regrowing neurons. This is accomplished by the release of certain growth promoting chemicals such as BDNF – brain derived neurotrophic factor, along with the presence of fatty acids, etc. Certain medicinal herbs are able to stimulate the process of neurogenesis by promoting the release of BDNF and other neurotrophic agents.
Stimulate Neuron Growth (Neurogenesis) – How?
Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera), a popular Ayurvedic herb, is known for its brain boosting benefits. Ashwagandha contains naturally occuring steroids that stimulate growth, hence why it is used for the purpose of gaining weight. It is also a powerful nootropic and psychotropic, and has a significantly positive effect on neurological health – especially in terms of neuron growth.
Ashwagandha is commonly used in:
-Irritable Bowel Syndrome
-Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
-Premature Ejaculation, and several other sexual dysfunction disorders.
Studies have proven that Ashwagandha improves cognitive function, improves memory, reduces inflammation, reduces anxiety, and provides neuro-protection by inducing antioxidant enzymes.
In the case of Multiple Sclerosis, Ashwagandha can assist in regenerating the myelin sheath by inducing neurogenesis. In research, Ashwagandha induced neurogenesis via multiple mechanisms including the stimulation of production of BDNF – Brain derived Neurotrophic Factor. One of the chemical constituents known as “Withanolide A” is able to induce neuritic regeneration and synaptic reconstruction, meaning is has the ability to reconstruct entire neuronal networks.
Research has also shown that ashwagandha is quite beneficial in reducing the symptoms of diseases like Alzheimers and Dementia, indicating that it does in fact have a proliferative effect on the brain, and can therefore be considered a beneficial therapeutic agent in the case of neuro-degenerative conditions like Multiple Sclerosis, etc.
Talk to an Ayurvedic doctor about Ashwagandha and incorporating it into your treatment for Multiple Sclerosis.
(Always use medicinal herbs under the supervision of a doctor)
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by Dr. Nishal R.
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