Sjogren’s Syndrome
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Elaine
Posted on: December 4, 2002

Can you tell me anything of an herb that may help the symptoms of Sjogren’s Syndrome? It is an autoimmune disease that attacks the body’s own moisture producing glands. Mainly the eyes and the mouth. I have to use eye drops maybe twice a day and a gel on the tongue at night to help avoid dryness. If you know of anything that may be able to help me, I would welcome any advice.

Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disorder (one where the immune system attacks the body’s own cells) affecting the salivary and lacrimal (tear) glands. It is often associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis. The root cause of this disorder is often related to problems in the digestive system and food allergies/intolerances. It is most beneficial to consult with a natural practitioner to restore intestinal health with diet and herbs. Ensure that your diet includes sufficient essential fatty acids in the form of oily fish (e.g. salmon, mackerel, sardines) and freshly ground flax seed or supplement with fish oils. Ask your health food store for good brands of and evening primrose oil, which has been of help in Sjogren’s, and antioxidants, which will include natural sources of vitamins A, C and E and the mineral selenium.

Foods that are helpful include oatmeal, soaked overnight and cooked as porridge, and blueberries (1/2 - 1 cup fresh or frozen daily), which provide nutrients to the blood in the head.

Herbs that are used in Sjogren’s include:

- prickly ash bark: improves circulation of blood to the head

- licorice: anti-inflammatory and digestive system protector. Supports the adrenal glands, which produce anti-inflammatory steroids. Do not take in high blood pressure, pregnancy or liver disease.

- North American ginseng: supports the adrenal glands

- Ginkgo: improves blood circulation to the head.

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