Polyneuropathy
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Cherre
Posted on: June 23, 1998

I have a friend in her 50’s that was diagnosed with polyneuropathy a couple of years ago. Conventional treatment does not seem to be helping. Do you know of any herbs that might help with the condition?

There are many different diseases which include polyneuropathy (nerve disturbance in several peripheral nerves simultaneously) as a feature, including Guillaine-Barre syndrome (inflammatory or post-infection), inflammation of the blood vessels or trauma causing compression of the nerves, Diabetes, vitamin deficiency and many more. Your friend’s doctor will be able to provide her with information on the factors involved in her case. A good Naturopath or other holistic therapist, with a complete history of your friend’s medical background, will be able to recommend specific measures and monitor progress.

In general, your friend will want to encourage the health of her nerves, her blood and her circulation by: cleansing toxic build up from food additives, drugs and environmental pollution; anti-oxidants to resist disease and a good diet high in fruit and vegetable and low in fats. Fruit, vegetables, vitamins C and E and selenium are good anti-oxidants. Vitamins B complex, B12 and B6 are supportive of the nerves. Evening Primrose Oil provides nutrition for the brain, but is conta-indicated if there is a history of epilepsy.

Oats (as in oatmeal porridge) supports the nerves. The herb Horsetail (Aquisetum arvense) is a nourishing immune enhancer that helps to rebuild body tissues, is a diuretic cleanser and contains flavonoids which are good for the blood vessels, making it especially useful if the polyneuropathy has a rheumatic or a narrowing of blood vessels component. Both Oats and Horsetail provide calcium, necessary for nerve health.

Daniel Mowrey, in "Proven Herbal Blends" (available at Richters) suggests a tonic to improve the health of nerves and glands that contains Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), Gentian root (Gentiana lutea), Chamomile flowers ( Matricaria chamomilla), Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata), Dandelion root, Yellow Dock root (Rumex crispus), Skullcap (Scutellaria laterifolia), Wood Betony (Stachys officinalis), Kelp, Cayenne and Saw Palmetto Berries.

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