Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease in which the nerves of the central nervous system degenerate. This disease is believed to be an auto-immune disorder, resulting from an immune dysfunction of the body. Genetic factors are believed to play a major role in MS. There are different types of MS, including a relapsing- remitting type, a primary progressive type and a secondary progressive type. Symptoms include visual disturbances, muscular spasm, numbness and weakness, loss of sensation, speech impediments, tremors, giddiness, cognitive defects and depression. Heat appears to intensify symptoms for some patients while pregnancy probably reduces the number of attacks.
The Ayurvedic treatment of MS is aimed at treating the basic pathology of the disease, reducing the number of attacks, improving recovery from attacks, halting or slowing down the progression of the disease, and treating immune dysfunction.
Medicines used for this purpose are: Yograj-Guggulu, Trayodashang-Guggulu, Kaishor-Guggulu, Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu, Vat-Gajankush-Ras, Maha-Vat-Vidhwans-Ras, Agnitundi-Ras, Vish-Tinduk-Vati, Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) and Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus). Yashtimadhuk and Kuchla (Strychnos nuxvomica) form the main stay of treatment for this disease.
Medicines which act on the ‘Majja’ Dhatu (tissue) of the body are also very effective in treating this condition and include medicines like Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis) and Musta (Cyperus rotundus).
In addition, localized therapy can also be used in which medicated oils are used to massage the body, followed by medicated steam fomentation. Medicines used for these procedures are: Mahanarayan oil, Mahamash oil, Mahasaindhav oil, Dashmool qadha (decoction) and Nirgundi qadha.
Specific problems or complications have to be treated separately, in addition to the use of the above-mentioned medicines. Visual disturbances can be treated using medicines like Triphala-Ghrut, Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Shatavari and Saptamrut-Loh.
Muscular weakness can be treated with medicines like Ashwagandha, Kuchla, Tapyadi-Loh and Trayodashang-Guggulu.
Cognitive defects can be treated using medicines like Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Mandukparni (Centella asiatica), Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis), Vacha (Acorus calamus) and Ashwagandha.
Depression can be treated using Vacha, Laxmi-Vilas-Ras and Shrung-Bhasma.
Psychotic symptoms can be treated using Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi) and Sarpagandha (Rauwolfia serpentina).
Medicines like Yashtimadhuk, Vish-Tinduk-Vati, Bruhat-Vat-Chintamani, Tapyadi-Loh, Abhrak-Bhasma, Trivang-Bhasma and Suvarna-Bhasma can be given on a long term basis to bring about maximum recovery from this disease and prevent recurrence. All such patients should be under the regular care and supervision of a Neurologist.