- 6 Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Stroke
- 1. Acupuncture Reduces Pain and Depression
- 2. Yoga Can Help Increase Range of Motion
- 3. Tai Chi Helps Improve Balance
- 4. Massage Therapy Can Improve Fine Motor Skills
- 5. Aromatherapy Relieves Stress
- 6. Herbal Supplements May Improve Neurological Function
- Natural root and herbs can cure STROKE January 15, 2019 5:33pm EST
- New Hope for Stroke Recovery
- Retraining the Brain
- Recovering From Stroke
- Natural Remedies for Stroke Recovery
- Herbal remedy ginkgo biloba ‘can help stroke recovery’
- Strokes – the definitions
- How to recognise a stroke
- Additional symptoms of stroke and mini-stroke can include:
- Stroke: This herbal extract could improve brain function
- Ginkgo biloba extract and stroke
- Combined therapy better than aspirin alone
- Must-Have Essential Oils for Stroke Recovery
- Can Essential Oils Help Post-Stroke Paralysis?
- The Best Essential Oils for Stroke Recovery
- Trying Essential Oils for Stroke Recovery
6 Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Stroke
Doctors often prescribe standard medical care, like medication and therapy, after a person has a stroke. But research shows that complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies, like acupuncture, yoga, and massage therapy, can also benefit people who have had a stroke.
“Herbal or vitamin supplements, acupuncture, massage, and meditation have all been used to help with symptom relief, increase mobility, and improve mood and outlook after stroke,” says Koto Ishida, MD, clinical director of the Center for Stroke and Neurovascular Diseases at NYU Langone in New York City.
Here are six evidence-backed ways to treat a stroke using complementary and alternative medicines:
1. Acupuncture Reduces Pain and Depression
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese complementary medicine that involves penetrating the skin with fine needles. In addition to being safe and inexpensive, acupuncture is a promising alternative approach to stroke recovery.
“Studies suggest that acupuncture after a stroke may improve problems with pain, spasticity, physical functions, quality of life, and cognitive functions,” says Yu-Ching Hsu, Chinese medicine doctor at Tainan Hospital, Ministry of Health and Welfare, in Tainan, Taiwan.
Acupuncture has been used as a form of stroke rehabilitation in China for thousands of years, though it’s becoming increasingly practiced in Western countries, according to a study published in the journal Acupuncture in Medicine.
“While acupuncture may also facilitate recovery of function and independence, it also has the added advantage of improving nervous system function more directly,” Narda G. Robinson, DO, President and CEO of the CuraCore Integrative Medicine & Education Centers in the United States and Canada, says.
“Acupuncture works by sending corrective signals into the nervous system to activate self-healing processes and encourage proper firing of nerve impulses in the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. It also relaxes tense muscles and reduces inflammation, thereby helping with the pain and spasticity that stroke patients may experience.”
A review published in October 2017 in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences looked at the effectiveness of acupuncture as a treatment for ischemic stroke and found that the treatment promotes the growth and development of tissue in the central nervous system, regulates cerebral blood flow in the ischemic area, and improves long-term memory after a stroke.
Additionally, a study published in March 2017 in the journal Medicines found that accupuncture may have beneficial psychological effects on patients after they had a stroke, lowering the risk for depression.
2. Yoga Can Help Increase Range of Motion
Problems with balance and coordination are common after a stroke, and practicing yoga may help you improve those impairments.
A study published in 2014 in American Journal of Recreation Therapy examined the effects of yoga on 26 individuals with chronic stroke. After an eight-week yoga intervention, participants reported improved emotional regulation, increased stability and range of motion, and improvements in activity and participation.
According to Dr. Robinson, yoga can help patients achieve more independence with activities of daily living and lessen their fear of falling.
“Yoga therapy may assist patients in improving their balance as well as their quality of life,” Robinson says. “Working intentionally with stretch, strengthening, body awareness, and balance exercises are some of the ways in which yoga therapy can produce benefits for stroke patients.”
3. Tai Chi Helps Improve Balance
Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that involves a series of slow movements and stretches coupled with deep breathing. The body and mind work together to perform coordinated movements by focusing on each posture as it flows to the next, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Research shows that the practice can help stroke patients improve balance, too. A review published in May 2018 in the journal Clinical Rehabilitation looked at 10 studies involving over 700 participants who suffered from neurological disorders and found that tai chi was effective in reducing fall incidences in Parkinson’s disease and stroke.
4. Massage Therapy Can Improve Fine Motor Skills
Massage therapy is the manipulation of body tissues in order to enhance a person’s health and well-being. A study published in 2012 in the Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine found that Thai massage and herbal treatments can improve daily function, mood, sleep patterns, and pain in individuals who have suffered a stroke. Massages can help people who have had a stroke by relieving pain, and improving sleep and mood.
There’s also research to support that certain types of massage can lead to improvements in fine motor skills.
In a case report published in April 2012 in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, a woman suffering from postpartum stroke showed improvements in her speech and fine motor skills after 14 sessions of urut Melayu, the traditional Malay massage.
5. Aromatherapy Relieves Stress
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils and plant extracts in massages or baths for relaxation. This natural stress-relieving remedy has even been shown to help with depression, migraines, pain, anxiety, and restless leg syndrome.
For stroke patients, aromatherapy may be an alternative therapy option. A small study published in August 2017 in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science divided 14 stroke patients into two groups: one was administered a back massage and foot bath using an essential oil five times in one week, and the other group received the same therapy without the oils.
Researchers found that participants who received aromatherapy in addition to massage reported significantly lower physical and psychological stress as well as an improvement in mood. Additionally, the group that received aromatherapy reported higher sleep satisfaction than the control group.
6. Herbal Supplements May Improve Neurological Function
Herbal supplements, also called botanicals, have been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes.
After evaluating 28 trials that included over 2,000 patients, in a meta-analysis published in December 2017 in the journal Medicine, researchers found that some patented Chinese herbal supplements — Shuxuetong, Mailuoning, Xuesaitong, and Buchang Naoxintong — may improve neurological function and the ability to participate in activities of daily living in stroke patients.
“For some of the supplements, it is important to note that these are not FDA-approved and therefore do not undergo the rigorous screening requirements of prescription medications,” Dr. Ishida says. “This means you can’t be as certain about the purity or quality of the ingredients and there may be differences across brands or even batches within the same brand.”
Ishida recommends always speaking with your doctor before using supplements because there could be risks or interactions with other drugs.
Natural root and herbs can cure STROKE January 15, 2019 5:33pm EST
Hello good people of Florida
I want to use this medium to share of the Goodness of God in helping me recover of Stroke. In 2002 November 8 I had my first Stroke, After returning from my friends house, immediately I was rushed to the Community health Care. The neurologist said that I had been having “mini-strokes” or “Trans Ischemic Attacks (TIA’s)” for years. All the physicians agreed that a congenital heart problem called Atrial Septal Defect was causing the strokes. After the first major stroke, however, I was not well enough to undergo the corrective heart surgery. First, I would have to build strength and endurance through physical therapy, The right-sided strokes had rendered the left side of my body numb to the touch, heavy, and extremely uncoordinated. Peripheral vision was permanently damaged. It was difficult to stay awake, least of all alert. The brain stem swelling caused imbalance, dizziness, and at times a slowing of respiration. Stroke affected vital pathways in my brain, causing constant electric-like pain on the left side of my body.
After the second stroke,I was placed on machines aided life support and the doctors tried all they could but I wasn’t recovering they decided i give a traditional herbal doctor a try, since all they have done to revive me was to no avail. My Children took me back home and reach out to my friends and family for help. luckily for them A college friend of mine had a uncle who was a traditional herbal doctor; “Dr kpomosa” he base in Indianapolis IN and has helped so many people all over the world with his herbal formula ; so they said. My Children were reluctant to give his herbal fomular for stroke a try, they needed me to get well by any means necessary because there mum died of Cancer years Ago. They were willing to go any Length for a cure. Well to God be the Glory Dr kpomosa was a God sent, he placed me on his medication, although he wasn’t present, but with his instructions my children where able to administer his medication that was sent via Transworld express delivery.
His medication was a huge miracle, it was like he had my brain refreshed, my brain began to have control over my body system,3 months after completing dr kpomosa herbal fomular, I regained the ability to walk, speak clearly and drive very well. To God alone I give all the glory and am for ever greatful to Dr kpomosa for being a hand of God in my Life. I want people to think back to Natural herbs, that’s why am sharing this.i believe God has hidden the solutions to all sickness and diseases in Natural herbs and root that we don’t pay much attention to.
Am a living testimony of Natural herbs and root. If you or a loved one is going through a deadly diseases that seems impossible to cure totally, believe me root and herbs is the Solution. You can reach Dr kpomosa on his Facebook page “Dr kpomosa home of relief” for all in need of a permanent cure to stroke or any other Chronic disease like Cancer that took my beloved wife. Dr kpomosa is hope for all. Like Dr Kpomosa would say ‘to every problem there is a solution”.
New Hope for Stroke Recovery
“When we speak about recovery we’re really talking about how the nervous system adapts to the brain missing a part of functioning tissue,” explains Johns Hopkins expert Steven Zeiler, M.D., Ph.D.“We’ve done all we could in the acute period, but the damage is done and it’s irreversible.” The question then becomes, “How do you get the remainder of the nervous system to adapt?” In other words, can we get other parts of the brain to pick up the slack? Turns out that yes, we can.
Retraining the Brain
A groundbreaking Johns Hopkins study from Zeiler and his colleagues confirmed what clinicians have long suspected—we can rewire the brain so that one part takes over functions typically handled by another, now damaged, area.
In studies conducted with mice, the researchers first taught the mice a special way to reach for food. The task is typically directed by a part of the brain called the primary motor cortex, which is involved in physical coordination. Then they gave the mice mild strokes that damaged this motor cortex. As expected, the mice could no longer perform the reaching task with their pre-stroke level of precision. Two days after the stroke, however, researchers began retraining the mice and, after a week, the mice performed the task just as well as before the stroke.
The damaged part of the brain hadn’t recovered, says Zeiler. Instead, another part of the brain called the medial premotor cortex took over. To show that, researchers gave the mice strokes in that part of the brain and saw the reaching ability again disappear. But, once again, the mice relearned the task as yet another part of the brain stepped in to handle the job of the medial premotor cortex.
In a similar study, the researchers found that the earlier retraining started, the better. “If you retrained the mice after a one-day delay they got better, but after a seven-day delay they didn’t improve,” Zeiler says.
Johns Hopkins’ Kata Project, a collaboration between neuroscientists, engineers, animal experts, artists and entertainment industry experts, has designed an immersive experience for post-stroke patients who will try to “swim” as a virtual dolphin named Bandit. Upcoming clinical trials will determine if this unique experience helps patients recover motor function faster than the current conventional treatment of repetitive exercises.
Treatment depends on the type of stroke: ischemic or hemorrhagic.
For this type of stroke, treatment focuses on restoring blood flow to the brain.
- You may get a clot-dissolving medicine called tissue plasminogen activator (TPA). This medicine can improve recovery from a stroke, especially if it’s given as soon as possible after the stroke happens. Doctors try to give this medicine within 3 hours after symptoms start. Some people may be helped if they are able to get this medicine within 4½ hours of their first symptoms.
- You may also get aspirin or another antiplatelet medicine.
- In some cases, a procedure may be done to restore blood flow. The doctor uses a thin, flexible tube (catheter) and a tiny cage to remove the blood clot that caused the stroke. This procedure is called a thrombectomy.
For this type of stroke, treatment focuses on controlling bleeding, reducing pressure in the brain, and stabilizing vital signs, especially blood pressure.
- To stop the bleeding, you may get medicine or a transfusion of parts of blood, such as plasma. These are given through an IV.
- You will be closely watched for signs of increased pressure on the brain. These signs include restlessness, confusion, trouble following commands, and headache. Other measures will be taken to keep you from straining from excessive coughing, vomiting, or lifting, or straining to pass stool or change position.
- If the bleeding is from a ruptured brain aneurysm, surgery to repair the aneurysm may be done.
- In some cases, medicines may be given to control blood pressure, brain swelling, blood sugar levels, fever, and seizures.
- If a large amount of bleeding has occurred and symptoms are quickly getting worse, you may need surgery. The surgery can remove the blood that has built up inside the brain and lower pressure inside the head.
After either kind of stroke and after your condition is stable, treatment shifts to preventing future strokes and other problems and to your recovery.
- You may need to take a number of medicines to control conditions that put you at risk for stroke. These conditions include high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation. Some people need to have surgery to remove plaque buildup from the blood vessels that supply the brain (carotid arteries).
- A stroke rehabilitation (rehab) program can help you regain skills you lost. Or it can help you make the most of your remaining abilities.
Recovering From Stroke
Rehabilitation after a stroke begins in the hospital, often within a day or two after the stroke. Rehab helps ease the transition from hospital to home and can help prevent another stroke.
Recovery time after a stroke is different for everyone—it can take weeks, months, or even years. Some people recover fully, but others have long-term or lifelong disabilities.
What to Expect After a Stroke
If you have had a stroke, you can make great progress in regaining your independence. However, some problems may continue:
- Paralysis (inability to move some parts of the body), weakness, or both on one side of the body.
- Trouble with thinking, awareness, attention, learning, judgment, and memory.
- Problems understanding or forming speech.
- Trouble controlling or expressing emotions.
- Numbness or strange sensations.
- Pain in the hands and feet that worsens with movement and temperature changes.
- Trouble with chewing and swallowing.
- Problems with bladder and bowel control.
Rehab can include working with speech, physical, and occupational therapists.
- Speech therapy helps people who have problems producing or understanding speech.
- Physical therapy uses exercises to help you relearn movement and coordination skills you may have lost because of the stroke.
- Occupational therapy focuses on improving daily activities, such as eating, drinking, dressing, bathing, reading, and writing.
Therapy and medicine may help with depression or other mental health conditions following a stroke. Joining a patient support group may help you adjust to life after a stroke. Talk with your health care team about local support groups, or check with an area medical center.
Support from family and friends can also help relieve fear and anxiety following a stroke. Let your loved ones know how you feel and what they can do to help you.
Preventing Another Stroke
If you have had a stroke, you are at high risk for another stroke:
- One in four strokes each year are recurrent.1
- The chance of stroke within 90 days of a TIA may be as high as 17%, with the greatest risk during the first week.2
That’s why it’s important to treat the causes of stroke, including heart disease, high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation (fast, irregular heartbeat), high cholesterol, and diabetes. Your doctor may prescribe you medicine or tell you to change your diet, exercise, or adopt other healthy lifestyle habits. Surgery may also be helpful in some cases.
- Know the Facts About Stroke pdf icon
- Know the Signs and Symptoms of Stroke
From other organizations:
- What You Need to Know About Strokeexternal icon–National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
- Know Stroke: Know the Signs. Act in Time.external icon–National Institutes of Health
- Mind Your Risksexternal icon–National Institutes of Health
- Strokeexternal icon–Medline Plus
- Brain Health Resource Pageexternal icon–American Heart Association/American Stroke Association
- Internet Stroke Centerexternal icon
- Life After Strokeexternal icon–American Heart Association/American Stroke Association
- Mozzafarian D, Benjamin EJ, Go AS, et al. on behalf of the American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2016 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2016;133:e38-e360.
- Lambert M. Practice Guidelines: AHA/ASA guidelines on prevention of recurrent stroke. Am Fam Physician 2011;83(8):993–1001.
Natural Remedies for Stroke Recovery
When an individual suffers a stroke, it is rather typical to attempt all of the traditional techniques of stroke treatment, such asphysical therapy, speech treatment, and medications. Nonetheless, for some individuals, these measures do not work effectively. In reality, often the conventional approaches of recovering from a stroke could not totally recover feature. This leads clients to think about various other approaches to get their capabilities back, and most of the time the solutions are natural or alternative medicine practices.
Natural treatments should not be utilized as a replacement for the more standard methods of stroke recovery. This is due to the fact that the research into these approaches is either inconclusive or unfavorable. Some clients do discover advantages with natural solutions, however, and they ought to not be marked down rapidly. When made use of in combination with basic stroke recuperation techniques, natural solutions can enhance the possibility of restoring back abilities lost after a stroke. For a more thorough listing of stroke therapies you may check outwww.stroketreatment.com.
Acupuncture is an alternative therapy that has been made use of for centuries. Although it is rarely made use of stroke sufferers in the United States, it is an accepted practice on stroke victims in nations such as China. Acupuncture is believed to enhance the blood flow to the locations that do not have feature. For this reason, it is often made use of in cases of paralysis, where the increase in blood flow helps to bring function to the muscles. It is likewise used in cases of balance troubles and language problems. Although some research has actually proven that acupuncture is helpful, often these studies are small or skewed. More research should be performed to completely suggest acupuncture as a conventional treatment for stroke victims.
Massage is unique kind of touch therapy that has been revealed to advertise leisure, assistance improve depression, and lesser blood pressure. Some research has actually shown that it is helpful to stroke survivors since it helps to reduce the quantity of anxiety and depression they feel over their restrictions. It can also bring enhanced blood flow to muscles that are either paralyzed or spastic.
Nonetheless, specific limitations ought to be remembered. For circumstances, muscles will not receive perk when they are rubbed without complete leisure. In some cases, stroke victims cannot fully unwind a muscle, and this can cause less than optimal outcomes in that muscle. In addition, the pressure should not be a deep and penetrating touch. The function of massage is to flood the muscle with blood flow and pressing deep can just bring about broken muscles. Furthermore, it might cause major bruising in some patients who are taking blood-thinning medicines for stroke avoidance. The research into massage helping with stroke deficits is still in its early stages; however it can help with the mental aspects of handling a stroke’s consequences. For this reason, it might serve to some stroke victims.
Many natural solutions are made use of in standard Chinese medication to treat the impairments causing by ischemic stroke. The majority of natural supplements try to increase blood flow to the regions of the brain that were harmed during the cerebral mishap. A couple of supplements are understood for their neuroprotective effects, meaning they shield the brain cells from any further harm.
Usual natural herb made use of in ischemic stroke is danshen, and it helps to enhance circulation. In stroke recovery, such could assist restore feature. However, much of the research into this herb is inconclusive. Another herb utilized is Siberian ginseng. This natural herb is made use of to protect brain cells, and it does have some activity on improving the blood vessels in the body, not just the brain.
Herbal remedy ginkgo biloba ‘can help stroke recovery’
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Ginkgo biloba is one of the oldest living tree species
A study claims that the popular herbal extract ginkgo biloba may help the brain recover after a stroke.
The herbal remedy, available in health food shops and some pharmacies in the UK, is used in China to aid memory and fight depression.
In a trial of 330 stroke patients over six months in China, the supplement was linked with better cognitive skill scores on tests.
Experts say the evidence for ginkgo is too weak to recommend it.
Those behind the small study – published in the online journal Stroke & Vascular Neurology – admit that larger, longer and more robust trials are needed.
It was carried out by Nanjing University Medical School, with patients from five Chinese hospitals.
All 330 participants began the trial within a week of having an ischaemic stroke. The average age of the patients was 64.
Roughly half of them were given 450mg of ginkgo biloba daily, in addition to 100mg of aspirin, while the remainder were given only the aspirin.
During a stroke, the blood supplying vital parts of the brain is interrupted, often leading to impaired memory and a decline in organisational and reasoning skills among stroke survivors.
Researchers wanted to see if combining ginkgo biloba with aspirin might help lessen or halt the cognitive decline.
Previous experimental studies in animals have suggested that ginkgo biloba protects against the nerve cell death associated with blood clots in the brain, possibly by increasing blood flow in the cerebral arteries.
Strokes – the definitions
Transient ischaemic attacks (also known as mini-strokes) – symptoms resolve within 24 hours but the majority resolve within 10-60 minutes.
Minor stroke – symptoms last more than 24 hours but often resolve within a few days – and are usually relatively mild
Major stroke – usually taken to mean some permanent symptoms remain
Source: Peter Rothwell, University of Oxford
All the participants took a neuropsychological test (Montreal Cognitive Assessment) at the start of the trial, and then 12, 30, 90 and 180 days later, to check for any cognitive impairment.
The results showed that those taking the combination of aspirin and ginkgo biloba had higher scores for cognitive skills, including memory and reasoning, than those who weren’t.
Speech problems and muscle strength also improved more rapidly, with indications of improved functional capacity 12 and 30 days after the start of treatment. However, both the clinicians and the patients knew which treatment they had been assigned to, which may have skewed the results, and the monitoring period was not very long.
Ginkgo biloba is one of the oldest living tree species.
Researchers say the extract used in the study contained more protective, and fewer harmful, chemicals than the extract typically used in previous studies.
Few side-effects were reported during the trial.
The participants were subsequently monitored for nearly two years, with little difference in the vascular health of the two groups: 16 people in the combined treatment group, and 20 in the aspirin group had further problems, including recurrent stroke and aneurysm.
However, longer term studies looking at stroke severity are necessary, before any more definitive conclusions can be reached.
Dr David Reynolds, Chief Scientific Officer of Alzheimer’s Research UK, criticised the methodology used in the trial: “The researchers were able to tell which participants received the ginkgo biloba extract and which didn’t – a set up that can strongly influence results.
“There have been extensive trials investigating the effects of this herbal extract in people with dementia and they have not shown convincing evidence of a benefit.”
How to recognise a stroke
- Face – has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?
- Arms – can they raise both their arms and keep them there?
- Speech – is their speech slurred? If you notice any of these symptoms it is…
- Time – time to call 999 if you see any single one of these signs
Additional symptoms of stroke and mini-stroke can include:
- Sudden loss of vision or blurred vision in one or both eyes
- Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body
- Sudden memory loss or confusion
- Sudden dizziness, unsteadiness or a sudden fall, especially with any of the other symptoms
Source: Stroke Association
Stroke: This herbal extract could improve brain function
An ancient herbal extract known as ginkgo biloba might benefit cognitive functioning after stroke, a new study suggests, when used in combination with aspirin.
Share on PinterestGinkgo biloba extract may benefit people who have experienced ischemic stroke.
Scientists have discovered that a daily dose of ginkgo biloba extract and aspirin can improve memory and “command and control” functions in people who experienced ischemic stroke.
The treatment was significantly more effective than aspirin alone.
Study co-author Qi Fang — from the Department of Neurology at The First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University in Suzhou, China — and colleagues have reported their results in the journal Stroke & Vascular Neurology.
More than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke each year, which is the equivalent to one stroke every 40 seconds.
Around 87 percent of strokes are ischemic, wherein the artery that supplies blood to the brain becomes blocked — most commonly due to a blood clot.
This blockage deprives the brain of oxygen and nutrients carried by the blood, which can cause damage to brain cells. Side effects, such as memory and thinking problems and loss of motor function, may arise as a result of this.
Tissue plasminogen activator is currently the gold standard treatment for ischemic stroke. It works by dissolving the blood clot that is blocking blood flow to the brain, thereby limiting brain damage.
However, this treatment must be administered within 3 hours of the initial stroke symptoms, and a lot of patients do not get to the hospital in time to receive it.
As such, there is a need for new treatments that can help to reduce the cognitive damage caused by ischemic stroke. Fang and colleagues investigated whether ginkgo biloba extract could be a possible candidate.
Ginkgo biloba extract and stroke
Ginkgo biloba extract is an herbal supplement that derives from the ginkgo tree, or the maidenhair tree, which is native to China.
It has been used in medicine for thousands of years, from healing wounds to alleviating anxiety and depression. That said, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) claim that there is “no conclusive evidence that ginkgo is helpful for any health condition.”
The new study, however, suggests that it might be helpful for individuals who have experienced ischemic stroke.
To reach their findings, Fang and team enrolled 348 adults from five hospitals in China Jiangsu Province. The adults were aged 64, on average, and they had all experienced ischemic stroke within the past 7 days.
The subjects were divided into two groups. One group received 450 milligrams of ginkgo biloba extract and 100 milligrams of aspirin every day for 6 months, while the other group received 100 milligrams of aspirin only. Aspirin is often used in stroke treatment and prevention, as it can stop blood from clotting.
The researchers note that the ginkgo biloba extract used in their study consisted of fewer harmful chemicals and more protective chemicals than EGb761, which is a form ginkgo biloba extract that has been used in previous research.
At study baseline and at 12, 30, 90, and 180 days later, all participants completed a test called the Montreal Cognitive Assessment score (MoCA), which was used to assess their cognitive functioning.
Combined therapy better than aspirin alone
The final analysis included a total of 330 participants, as 18 subjects dropped out during the 6-month study period.
Compared with participants who received aspirin only, those who received ginkgo biloba extract plus aspirin had higher MoCA scores at all assessment points, particularly for memory and executive function.
Also, at 12 and 30 days after treatment, participants treated with both ginkgo biloba extract and aspirin demonstrated better functional capacity than those who received aspirin only, indicating fewer neurological impairments such as speech problems and muscle weakness.
The scientists found no differences in vascular events between subjects treated with ginkgo biloba extract plus aspirin and those treated with aspirin only, and the combination treatment led to few side effects.
Commenting on their study results, the researchers write:
“The study demonstrated that patients with stroke who received GBE and aspirin manifested better memory function, executive functions, neurological function, and daily life. Additionally, the safety data analysis demonstrated that GBE did not increase the incidence of adverse events.”
Fang and colleagues admit that there are some limitations to their study. For example, it was not double-blind, meaning that the researchers and participants knew which treatments they were receiving. This could have affected the results.
Additionally, they note that the follow-up period was short, and that further studies are needed to assess the long-term effects of ginkgo biloba extract among people who have had a stroke.
Must-Have Essential Oils for Stroke Recovery
Essential oils for stroke recovery might not be a magic pill, but they can help relieve some of the side effects of stroke like anxiety, fatigue, and insomnia.
Essential oils are concentrated and aromatic chemical compounds distilled from plants. They’re a natural form of medicine that can be massaged into the skin or aromatized to stimulate the brain.
This article will go over 7 essential oils that can help promote healing after stroke. Let’s get started!
Can Essential Oils Help Post-Stroke Paralysis?
Before we get into the oils, we want to emphasize that stroke paralysis can’t be cured with essential oils because they don’t promote neuroplasticity.
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to rewire itself so that it can recover functions affected by traumatic events like stroke. The rewiring process is promoted through massed repetition.
The more you move, the more your brain understands that there’s a demand for that function, and the stronger the neural pathways for that function become.
Essential oils won’t perform the repetitions for you, but they can help ease some of the psychological and physical effects of stroke.
The Best Essential Oils for Stroke Recovery
If you want to boost your recovery from stroke, here are some of the best essential oils to try:
Lavender oil has neuroprotective properties linked to preventing oxidative stress in the brain.
Oxidative stress is when there’s an imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals, and it’s responsible for a lot of cell damage after stroke.
Reducing oxidative stress can help preserve neurological functions and minimize the effects of stroke.
Lavender oil is extremely versatile and has lots of additional healing properties.
Worldwide, it is used as a natural sedative (to reduce stress and promote sleep), antidepressant, and analgesic (pain reliever).
Frankincense oil has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties.
This makes it ideal for healing bedsores (damage to the skin caused by prolonged pressure), which are very common among stroke patients because of paralysis.
It’s also suggested that frankincense oil can support mental health by influencing the limbic system (the area of the brain responsible for regulating instinct and mood).
Like frankincense, eucalyptus oil has antiseptic, antioxidant, and antiviral properties.
It helps promote cellular activity and circulation to relieve muscle and joint pain, which is often experienced by stroke survivors.
Eucalyptus oil is a natural stimulant that can boost attention and combat brain fog after stroke.
Many stroke survivors have difficulties sleeping through the night because of complications like anxiety and pain.
Chamomile oil produces a soothing, sedative effect that helps calm the mind and ease nerve tension by inhibiting the release of pain-producing chemicals called prostaglandins.
Rosemary essential oil helps stimulate the brain to reduce lethargy, enhance mental clarity, and boost motivation so that stroke survivors can focus on their rehabilitation.
Many stroke survivors experience pain due to spasticity (continuous muscle contractions).
Rosemary oil can help reduce inflammation to soothe muscle aches and stiffness.
Peppermint oil can help ease dizziness and nausea caused by secondary complications and medications.
It also helps stimulate brain activity for improved concentration and memory.
When massaged into the skin, peppermint oil has a soothing and cooling effect that can calm nerves and relieve pain.
Lemon oil can be the perfect pick-me-up for stroke survivors experiencing extreme fatigue, lack of motivation, and sluggishness.
When inhaled, lemon oil is proven to improve mood and boost energy levels for better performance.
It also has purifying properties that can help detoxify the body and promote digestion.
Trying Essential Oils for Stroke Recovery
If any of these essential oils for stroke recovery strike your fancy, give them a try. They can help relieve side effects of stroke like pain, depression, and insomnia.
Everyone has a unique experience using alternative therapies, so results are not guaranteed. However, essential oils are generally affordable and have minimal side effects when used safely.
Hopefully, you can try some of these essential oils for yourself to boost recovery after stroke.
Featured image: ©iStock.com/paulynn
A stroke is when a blood clot interrupts blood flowing to or within the brain.
Symptoms of Stroke:
If you believe you or someone you know is experiencing any of these signs do not hesitate to call 911 for immediate treatment!
Suddenly feeling weak in an arm, hand or leg
Cannot feel one side of your face or body
Suddenly cannot see out of one eye
Suddenly have a hard time walking
Cannot understand what someone is saying
Feeling dizzy or losing your balance
Having the worst headache you have ever had
How to Recognize a Stroke:
If you think someone is having a stroke, remember the 60 second test:
1. Ask the individual to smile.
2. Ask him or her to raise both arms.
3. Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “It is sunny out today.”
IF THE INDIVIDUAL HAS TROUBLE WITH ANY OF THESE TASKS, CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY!
(The above (Symptoms and Recognizing a Stroke) are taken from the American Stroke Foundation
Just a quick note: regular use of any of the oils mentioned in this article or any of the supplements can also be considered for those of you who have not experienced a stroke and do not wish to have one. It is easier to prevent a stroke as opposed to dealing with recovering from one.
In referring to stroke patients, “Many patients need help to regain their strength and walk again. Ecas chief executive David Griffiths said, aromatherapy was a good way to improve the quality of life for those with physical disabilities. A survey conducted by Ecas found that half the patients questioned after an aromatherapy treatment reported improvements in joint mobility. The charity also found that three quarters of patients reported a decrease in physical tension and more than half felt an increased sense of wellbeing.”
Using essential oils will help not only the person who experienced the stroke, but also those assisting in
their care. The essential oils will help with frayed nerves for all.
Since a stroke affects the blood flowing to or in the brain the best place to apply the oils is: on the base of
the neck, temples, and the bottom of the feet, paying particular attention to the big toes of the feet. (Why
big toes? In reflexology your big toe is your head.)
There are several oils that have been shown in laboratory tests to pass the blood brain barrier. The essential oil that is best known for this miraculous feat is Frankincense. You can place a drop of Frankincense under your tongue (diluted) and within three seconds it will be affecting the brain (in a positive way if you have a good essential oil). It doesn’t taste great, but have a drink of water to chase the taste away.
Speaking of water, your brain is 90% water. It is also over 65% oxygen. If you’re not drinking water you are missing out on one of the easiest things you can do to help yourself stay healthy. By the way, water is water, nothing added. Why do we say that? Because only water can rehydrate the brain.
Essential oils recommended for dealing with a stroke and reasons why:
Frankincense: Relaxing oil, powerful antidepressant. Used as an aid for people dealing with
brain damage. Assists in controlling tremors. Able to cross the blood brain barrier and assist in brain repair and function. Reduces scar tissue.
Geranium: Remedy for emotional and physical wounds, aids circulation, regenerates cells and Taps into the power of the heart.
Helichrysum: Decongests, unblocks, and rejuvenates. Great for the nervous system. One of the best essential oils for traumas. Where the body has been wounded or the emotions assaulted, this oil provides relief. It has the capacity to mobilize emotional paralysis, work with neuralgia, and is a neurotonic. It also improves meridian flow. If you are dealing with nerves this is the first oil to reach for. Helps stimulate the myelin sheathe and helps migrate the nerves so they can jump over or around a damaged area (neurosynaptic repair). Nerve regrowth is a slow process; expect 2-3 months recovery for every year it’s been damaged. First sign of regrowth will be tingling sensation, then burning, then pain. Helichrysum oil can dissolve blood clots.
Lavender: Comforts, revives the spirit and calms the mind. Balances the skin, body, and mind. Regenerates cells and thread veins. Reduces scarring. Relieves pain, heals wounds, and
rejuvenates. Can dissolve blood clots.
Lemon: Improves circulation, tones capillaries and veins. Addresses slackened muscle tissue and poor circulation.
Peppermint: Energizes a sluggish body. It detoxifies and activates lymph flow and drainage.
Rosemary: Excellent for regeneration. Assists with blood flow. Excellent to use following paralysis or where degeneration of muscular tissue has occurred in the body. Stimulates circulation, provides the body with energy and vitality. Combats physical and mental lethargy and strengthens arterial blood flow. Promotes circulation in the extremities of the body. Do not use with high blood-pressure or seizures.
Sandalwood: Renowned for treating the mind and body at the same time. Tissue regenerator, deprograms cellular misinformation and carries oxygen at the cellular level, increases capillary circulation. If I might make two suggestions as to the preferred essential oils that have shown the fastest results in dealing with a stroke: Helichrysum and Frankincense.
Nutritional Supplements that are also worth looking at:
• A good liquid nutritional supplement like VitaWave and Thai Go.
• Nattozimes is a potent fibrinolytic enzyme that has been shown to support normal blood pressure, dissolve blood clots and prevent them from forming in the first place!
• Super Omega 3 helps keep the blood more viscous and help remove plaque on the walls.
• HS II: Helps keep arteries open and clean, and improves circulation.
• 400-600 IU Vitamin E per day has been shown to reduce risk of heart attack by up to 40%.
• CoQ10 – 50mg has been shown to strengthen a weak heart. In tests many people have been able to reduce heart and blood pressure medications by taking CoQ10 supplements. NSP Coq-10 50 mg is equal to over 400 mg of any other brand, because it liquefies in the body while others crystallize in the body.
Inhaling the soft, balsamic, camphorous aroma of frankincense may instill deep breathing and euphoric relaxation, making it a favorite for encouraging peacefully mindful meditation and eye-opening spiritual enlightenment.
Geranium: Remedy for emotional and physical wounds, aids circulation, regenerates cells and Taps into the power of the heart .
It is perhaps most famous for its uplifting abilities, promoting positive energy and lively moods. It rejuvenates the senses, helping to sharpen cognitive function and awareness. For some, the intoxicating aroma of helichrysum oil can even spark the passions.
Decongests, unblocks, and rejuvenates. Great for the nervous system. One of the best essential oils for traumas. Where the body has been wounded or the emotions assaulted, this oil provides relief. It has the capacity to mobilize emotional paralysis, work with neuralgia.
If you are dealing with nerves this is the first oil to reach for. Helps stimulate the myelin sheathe and helps migrate the nerves so they can jump over or around a damaged area (neurosynaptic repair).
Nerve regrowth is a slow process; expect 2-3 months recovery for every year it’s been damaged. First sign of regrowth will be tingling sensation, then burning, then pain. Helichrysum oil can dissolve blood clots.
Wonderfully relaxing, lavender has been a flower known for its tranquil properties for years. Its distinctive floral aroma is fresh and it can: Calm your spirits. Brighten your mood.
Provide a spa-like experience. Comforts, revives the spirit and calms the mind. Balances the skin, body, and mind.
Regenerates cells and thread veins. Reduces scarring. Relieves pain, heals wounds, and rejuvenates. Can dissolve blood clots
Provides sharper concentration and more mindful memory. Lemon oil uplift moods and promote a positive outlook. Improves circulation, tones capillaries and veins.
Addresses slackened muscle tissue and poor circulation.
Promoting skin and hair health. Helping with concentration and memory. Invigorating and refreshing the mind and body.
It is known for its ability to: Refresh and stimulate the senses. Promote clear respiration. Support overall digestive health. Energizes a sluggish body. It detoxifies and activates lymph flow and drainage. Good for upper respiratory issues including cough and congestion. Clear the sinuses and support alertness and mental focus
Excellent for regeneration. Assists with blood flow. Excellent to use following paralysis or where degeneration of muscular tissue has occurred in the body. Stimulates circulation, provides the body with energy and vitality. Combats physical and mental lethargy and strengthens arterial blood flow. Promotes circulation in the extremities of the body. Do not use with high blood-pressure or seizures.
One of the most prized essential oils in aromatherapy, sandalwood oil Gently instills a sense of tranquility.
Is a popular soothing meditative aid. Helps with quiet contemplation. Renowned for treating the mind and body at the same time. Tissue re-generator, deprograms cellular misinformation and carries oxygen at the cellular level, increases capillary circulation. Is a valued meditative aid to help instill gentle tranquility, ease the nerves, and promote quiet contemplation.
Two suggestions as to the preferred essential oils that have shown the fastest results in dealing with a head trauma: Helichrysum and Frankincense.
I run a Stroke Brain Trauma Foundation – Our family has two cases of TBI and my Mon died from a stroke. 😟 (http://www.milkaclarkestrokefoundation.org) and my research let to to these wonderful, healing Essential Oils. I have been using them with amazing results. I prefer diffusing, but they can be used however you like.
You will need to dilute your oils before using them on your body. If you use a diffuser like I do, there is no need for dilution. You need a carrier oil for dilution,
Best Carrier Oils For Diluting Essential Oils
Essential oils are extremely small so they can pass through the skin and into the body quickly. But if you want to keep the oils on your skin and dilute them to create more gentleness on the skin you can combine them with carrier oils.
These larger oils that come from the fatty part of the plant can increase the length of time the essential oils stay on your skin and also prolong the aromatherapy effects.
Some people mistakenly think using carrier oils reduces the effectiveness of the oil but really it can be the opposite. Dilution increases the surface area of absorption and with certain oils can prevent sensitivities.
Common carrier oils include:
Pomegranate seed oil
Essential Oil Contraindications
Because essential oils can act as a powerful form of natural medicine, there are a few instances where they are not recommended for usage:
Do not apply to broken or irritated skin. Always consult your trusted physician before adding any essential oil to your regimen, especially if you are pregnant, nursing or taking any medications.
If you are Pregnant – Do not use Basil, cinnamon, clary sage, clove, cypress, fennel, jasmine, juniper, marjoram, myrrh, rose, rosemary, sage and thyme.
In most cases, these oils are completely healthy but because they can effect hormones they are not recommended at this stage.
If you take Heart medications (blood thinners) – Do not use Clary sage, cypress, eucalyptus, ginger, rosemary, sage and thyme.
Discontinue use and alert your doctor should an adverse reaction occur. Keep out of reach of children and away from eyes and mouth. Essential oils are flammable.
Overall, aromatherapy is a great and inexpensive way to help promote healing, relaxation, and well-being without adverse side effects. Blending essential oils opens up a world of wellness possibilities! It works for me.
NEWS FLASH: Consuming coconut oil daily will do wonders for a healing brain…
In all cases, please discuss any new therapy with your doctor…even when you know they will just act crazy and tell you that you are crazy. 😃😃😃😃Knowledge is power.