For patients with multiple sclerosis, herbal treatment is one possible form of treatment. A number of non-conventional treatments have been described as effective in treating MS. Herbal treatment could conceivably be included among these effective forms of treatment when used appropriately- under the supervision of a medical professional.

It is important for MS patients to realize that herbal treatments are forms of medication. The fact that they are based on herbal preparations might win them the label “natural” in some quarters, but that does not mean that they can be taken at any time and in any amount without negative consequences. Herbal preparations have the capacity to be just as potent as the pharmaceutical drugs that are sold in pharmacies as prescription drugs. In fact, a good number of prescription drugs were originally synthesized to mimic the active ingredients of herbal preparations. The historical foundation for both allopathic and herbal medicine is knowledge about medicinal plants and their active ingredients.


Combining Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis: Herbal Treatment and Conventional Medicine


This means that, like conventional medications, herbal preparations can be abused. They can also be contraindicated in some patients: in other words, they might not be suitable for patients who have certain medical conditions or who are using certain forms of medication. Giving such patients herbal preparations would be likely to exacerbate their conditions or even endanger their lives.

In the case of patients with multiple sclerosis, herbal treatment should not be in conflict with whatever conventional medications they are taking to manage the disease. Irresponsibly combining the two different forms of treatment could cause patients pain or discomfort. It could also undermine the action of the conventional medication and result in faster progression of the MS. Herbal treatment used in this way would cause more harm than good.

In order to avoid such a scenario it is important for patients to be careful about how they combine different forms of medicine. If they plan on taking herbal preparations, they should make a point of consulting individuals who have the requisite training in herbal medicine. In addition, they should keep their medical doctors apprised of their forays into the world of herbal medicine.

Some examples of herbs that might be taken by MS patients to help relieve some of their symptoms include ginger, which is effective for digestion and the circulation, and chamomile, which is a nerve relaxant. Ginseng helps to strengthen the immune system while liquorice, a source of natural steroids, helps to keep inflammation down. The hawthorn berry is yet another herb; it helps to alleviate stress.