Epilepsy Talk

Natural Herbal Remedies for Epilepsy | February 15, 2020

Long before Dilantin and Phenobarbital, there was epilepsy. And herbal remedies.

Of course, these herbal epilepsy remedies are NOT substitutes to anti-seizure medications, but are more like a supplementary support. Most of them work by preventing a seizure and other symptoms of epilepsy.

(NYU Langone Medical Center estimates that 20 percent of people taking prescription drugs also use herbs.)

Some may sound weird and others familiar. But hey, how can you argue with success?

Ash Gourd:

For some reason, this particular type of gourd is believed to have healing powers for those who suffer from seizures. Therefore using ash gourd as a home remedy for epilepsy can help to relieve the symptoms and prevent seizures.

Eating the gourd or drinking the juice of it can help, but turning to a supplement featuring this type of gourd can provide the best relief and is highly recommended as a natural cure.

Bacopa Leaf:

Used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine, the Bacopa leaf, or Brahmi, is an effective home remedy for epilepsy. It is a powerful nerve health promoter and is known to enhance memory, concentration as well as treat epilepsy. It enhances nerve health and protects the neurons against damage, keeping seizures at bay.

Black Cohosh:

Highly recommended in numerous respected publications. Like many of the herbs already mentioned, it’s considered a sedative and antispasmodic and has been extensively used for epilepsy.

Blue Vervain:

Worth mentioning here after reading old American herb doctors tales of their successes with stubborn cases of epilepsy. Blue Vervain is another wonderful herb used by many cultures all over the world. It is an American Indian remedy for several diseases including nervous afflictions.


Packed with several medicinal properties, it can be used as an effective remedy to reduce the episodes of seizures, as it helps stimulate your brain and strengthen the nerves. Take few fresh basil leaves and extract juice from them.

Castor Oil:

A natural emollient that penetrates the surface layers of the skin, making it softer and more supple. The effects of externally applied castor oil can be enhanced through the use of a “castor oil pack” — a piece of wool flannel saturated with the oil and applied to the body. Use of a pack allows the greatest penetration in a specific area of the body. The application of heat further increases this penetration, allowing the oil to better impart its qualities to the body.

Chamomile Tea:

Known for its antioxidant and cleansing properties, chamomile tea can also abate the symptoms of epilepsy. It’s a natural soothing agent and works by calming the nerves. If you feel you have a seizure coming, you should definitely try this remedy. Sipping a strong chamomile tea can be of great help. Boil some water and add a teabag of chamomile tea. Allow it to steep for at least 15 minutes, making sure that the tea is very strong. Sipping it will immediately soothe your on-edge nerves.

Coconut Water:

Ever experience that totally refreshed and cool feeling after drinking coconut water on a sweltering day? That’s because coconut water is a magic potion loaded with vital minerals, electrolytes, and water. These three things promote better neuron health and keeps the neurological system cranked up, ensuring proper functioning of the brain.


Most easily found in every home, garlic is full of medicinal benefits. To use it as a home remedy for epilepsy, take equal quantities of water and milk. To this, add 3-4 crushed cloves of garlic. Boil the mixture well and drink a glass of this mixture everyday. The water and milk keep your body hydrated and replenished with minerals, while the garlic has many properties for improving neurological health.

Epsom Salt:

Magnesium sulfate, as it is also known as, has a wonderful effect on nerve health. This is a naturally found salt that is rich in magnesium and sulfur, which are both responsible for better absorption of calcium by the body. The magnesium also helps by maintaining proper nerve functioning, reducing stress, and eliminating toxins. Simply taking one tablespoon of Epsom salt every day with a glass of water can prove beneficial for epilepsy. Some businesses focus on selling entirely pure “food grade” Epsom salt, which contains magnesium sulphate. Whether there’s truth to these claims is unproven. The best amount to take is about a tsp. every morning, should you decide to use Epsom salt.

Essential Oils:

Essential oils are natural soothing and calming agents. Oils of lavender, ylang ylang, and chamomile can be used daily to keep up nerve health and to reduce anxiety and stress related to epilepsy.

False Pepper:

False pepper is a vine with tiny flowers that are yellow-green in color, and  are typically found throughout India. Alternative medicine makes use of the bark, leaves and fresh fruit to handle a variety of problems. These problems include parasites, rheumatism, stomach difficulties, skin diseases, tumors, psychological problems, and convulsions. The active component in the plant is embelin, and it has anti-fertility, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and anti-oxidant properties. Embelin is a member of a chemical class called benzoquinone, and derivatives of quinone have anticonvulsant properties.


The essential oil of choice for any kind of brain disorder. Frankincense has a molecular makeup that includes sesquiterpenes, derived from plants, that is able to cross the blood/brain barrier. These sesquiterpenes stimulate the limbic system of the brain and other glands within the brain, promoting memory and releasing emotions. Frankincense slows down and deepens the breath. The therapeutic properties of Frankincense oil are antiseptic, digestive, diuretic, and sedative.

Indian Gooseberry:

Amla, is a wonderful fruit, whose benefits never ceases to surprise. Not only is it the richest source of Vitamin C, it also has loads of antioxidants and minerals. One glass of amla juice taken on an empty stomach can help relieve the symptoms of epilepsy and prevent seizures.


Once again, licorice or Mulethi, proves that it is much more than what we know it to be. Grind some licorice and add it to a tablespoon of honey. Take this homemade medicine every day to find relief from epilepsy and its symptoms. CAUTION: Do not consume licorice during pregnancy for any reason as it may cause premature labor!


Lobelia is an effective herb that was historically used in the treatment of epilepsy. It has anti-spasmotic action that helps in abating seizures.


This is a historic way of treating epilepsy since this serves as a nerve tonic and sedative. The tonic is extracted by boiling the herb in hot water. Daily consumption is effective in treating epilepsy.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

These are a group of essential acids that promote overall good health. These fatty acids reduce cholesterol and artery blockages, which in turn reduces the effects of ageing and improve nerve and brain health. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are fish and nuts. Make sure you include these in your diet on a regular basis to prevent seizures. These foods are also rich in vital minerals and nutrients that are important for healthy nerves and brain functioning.


For treating epilepsy, extract the juice of 2-3 onions and mix it well in water. Drink a glass of this mixture daily for at least 2 months and you will find great relief from your symptoms.


Traditionally, it has been used for delirium tremens, St. Vitus’ dance, convulsions, seizures, hysterical states, lockjaw, tremors and epilepsy.

Sesame Oil:

A massage of this lesser known oil can help to immediately soothe the symptoms of epilepsy. Take a little warm sesame oil and massage it well onto the soles of the feet, temples and palms. This works well if done at bedtime after which you can get a good dose of calm sleep.


Turmeric and its chemical compounds have been studied for its anticonvulsant benefits in treating epilepsy and other conditions of our central nervous system such as mood disorders, bipolar disorders, pain, tremors, schizophrenia and even neurodegenerative diseases.

Quite a bit of research points toward the fact that turmeric is good for brain health. Additionally its bioactive constituents also demonstrate anti-epileptic and anti-seizure effect.


Currently one of the most popular orthodox antispasmodic medications in Russia and Germany according to Daniel Mowrey author of Herbal Tonic Therapies. It’s anticonvulsant action has been useful in treating epilepsy. Valerian was used in the First World War to prevent shell shock in front-line troops. Valerian is classified as a tonic herb. It can regulate and balance opposite extremes. Recent research has shown it to be a sedative but more research has reported it can also stimulate in a way as to improve coordination, increase concentration and energy. This tonic nature of Valerian allows it to depress or stimulate where necessary depending on the current needs of the nervous system. Another way Valerian has been characterized by clinical studies is that it has neurotropic effects directly on higher centers of the central nervous system. One of the most remarkable aspects of Valerian is the almost total lack of toxicity, even with long-term use.

Violet Tree:

The violet tree is a little tree with fragrant purple flowers indigenous to the more tropical parts of Africa. Alternative medicine practitioners use the roots to handle a variety of physical and psychological problems such as discomfort, irritation, nervousness, headache and epilepsy. Research has  compared the extract of the root of the violet tree to phenobarbitol, which is an anti-convulsant drug. This research confirmed the conventional usage of the violet tree as a natural treatment for epilepsy. More studies are necessary to support these results.

Herbs you should not take according to www.epilepy.com








Note: Precautions with herbs. Evening Primrose Oil and Borage can lower your seizure threshold. Sage and Hyssop can be pro-convulsant.

Some herbs decrease the level of anticonvulsants in your body. Watch out for toxins and pesticides in unregulated herbs. And most herbs should be avoided by pregnant women.


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  1. You must be a mind-reader. Many thanks.

    Note, too, that licorice can raise your blood pressure.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by HoDo — February 15, 2020 @ 8:55 AM

    • Reading your mind. That’s a new trick!

      Thanks for the heads-up about licorice.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — February 15, 2020 @ 8:58 AM

    • Because my sodium goes low i buy those salt water liquorice toffee to have when I feel it beginning to get low. THEIR GOOD TOO!! 😃

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Kathy S.B — February 19, 2020 @ 10:56 AM

      • Sounds yummy. Have you ever tried salted caramel? You can get it in chocolate bars, ice cream, gelato, and just about any sweet you can think of.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — February 19, 2020 @ 10:58 AM

      • Goodmorning Phylis 😊. Believe it or not we have all of the sugar beets, yams, carrots, turnips, corn and on and on. But I never thought of that!! Thank you Phylis 😊😘

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Kathy S.B — February 19, 2020 @ 11:26 AM

      • Goodmorning Phylis 😊. I’ve been having to add an electrolyte powder to my morning coffee (now my only cup of coffee daily). But the other day a noticed I began to have a sharp pain in the top left side of my chest. So I stopped them. Also my family doctor changed my vitamins to a singular vitamin (I came to realize must be generic). I ended up having to stop to powder and the vitamin due to a rash I started to get and the pain I was feeling. So now I think I am going to see if I can find “dark chocolate and your ice cream” For IF I FEEL MY SODIUM GOING LOW!! Once I stopped the vitamins and powder the rash began to go away!!!!! Wow everyone is being told to stop junk food, pop, and on and on. Funny how I am being told to consume them now!! Lol I never thought about having to pick or get what I need from “MOTHER NATURE” to help myself, I just ALWAYS DID IT BECAUSE I ALWAYS HAVE!! Please have a very good day today and take care of yourself 😊💗

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Kathy S.B — February 20, 2020 @ 10:32 AM

      • Well, you yourself said that Mother Nature is best.

        And unfortunately, if you DO take a supplement is has to be biodegradable, so it is readily available for nutrition.

        Perhaps, this will help.

        Brain Food for Your Health…


        Epilepsy Fighting Foods


        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — February 20, 2020 @ 10:41 AM

      • Thank you Phylis please have a very good day today and take care of yourself 😊🦅💗

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Kathy S.B — February 20, 2020 @ 10:43 AM

  2. Last night I was just sitting back & relaxing watching TV & i quickly felt a feeling in my stomach, & then THAT QUICK a feeling starting in my head. I did not just sit there to see what was going to happen. I knew where my LOBELIA was & I took 1/2 a dropper full of it with 2 to 3 oz of water. After 5 minutes it was all gone, as even after I took the lobelia that feeling I was having wanted to hang around for 1 to 2 minutes. For me,, the sooner I take the LOBELIA to stop the seizure activity, the BETTER IT WILL WORK. If I had waited another 30 to 60 seconds, I may still be feeling sore now from a GRAND MAL seizure that did not happen, as I took it when I did thinking BETTER BE SAFE THAN SORRY as I KNOW that Ativan or any other AED does that for my brain. So what is the replacement for what ? According to last night, drugs replaced herbs as I did not chew up more lamictal or “”vimpat that I took 1 hour before”’ than seizure activity started. And IF I had any toxic foods or drinks, I may had need to take more lobelia than what I took to stop the seizure or shorten the time the seizure would had been if it progressed. So explain to me,, WHY there is a determined arrogance from EVERYONE,, to not broadcast & talk about this serious problem, concern & constant seizure triggers / or root cause as to WHY the human brain gets to be so destructive with unstable brain chemistry from every excitotoxin there is in almost everything we consume & DIGEST ? Also tell me why that is wrong for me to ask, much less get PERSONALLY REJECTED BY EVERYONE when I & IT never gets an answer. I thought ALL PEOPLE who have seizures matters & we ALL are to be 1 for ALL & ALL for 1 ? No, not in this world. EFA proved that to me 20 years ago. All of their powers of educating, & so called compassion for people who have seizures, are all a scam if you ask THEM THE QUESTIONS that you want answers for that the AAN & neurologists KNOW but will never answer for you, so YOU who have the seizures, can suffer more, because YOUR QUESTION is not one that THEY care to answer for you, so SUFFER for their own benefit for giving you more EEG’s & alike in months & years to come. I have lived that TO KNOW I am not babbling, as you think I am. It’s a REALITY & more people than I are living this. Maybe I am the only 1 who is willing to SPEAK OUT about it. So be it. Every dog has its day so they say. Doesn’t matter if you live with or with out seizures, but the experts & advocates are SO compassionate & they have no idea what a seizure is, to actually having one & THEY JUDGE what questions & concerns are worth answering FOR me & EVERYONE OF US ? but it may effect their own self / careers & BANK ACCOUNT$ ? 1 woman in a EFA group supports me on this, BUT she is never willing herself to talk much about it. I need to call her about something else which MAY help her daughter. No surgeries required for this.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by jcdavis@hardynet.com — February 15, 2020 @ 10:21 AM

    • Herbs over drugs? I’ll take it every time. And the news about Lobelia is a great insight.

      Of course it can not get a patent, so BIG Pharma is on a seize and destruct mission.

      Especially the FDA.Your government at work.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — February 15, 2020 @ 11:09 AM

    • Goodmorning Mr.JCDAVIS. Simply helping one another in terms of what may help us help ourselves and eachother and throwing ideas out there for us to try or what may or may not work for eachother is why we all read and are part of Epilepsy Talk with Phylis’s Blog. I thank you for that because I had no idea about “LOBELIA”. As for arrogance from everyone if you mean “society” in general or even the actions of “the powers that be” that is up to everyone to decide what they do. However we all have to have the confidence and knowledge to educate ourselves (which is I believe a HUGE REASON) why we all come together here now before we put our actions into words and action for the “GENERAL PUBLIC” to also become aware and have some compassion and true wanting to help and assist us. We have to help eachother to help ourselves first and then we could broaden or spread our wings to educate the world. As for neurologist’s, EPITOLOGISTS, doctors, nurses and on and on well it may not hurt them to have the courage and time to help us help ourselves and ask us questions and listen to us “the horses mouth” themselves. Seems to me they don’t even want to do that!! Which is why we are here now. Who better to help and advocate for us than eachother. Thank yours for judging we have all suffered the consequences of judgements by others. Money is money it comes and goes but we are not money we are humans with feelings. Thank you

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Kathy S.B — February 19, 2020 @ 1:43 PM

  3. Hi
    I found this post on natural herbs extremely helpful. I will now be incorporating some of these natural herbs into my daughters daily routine.

    A big thank you x

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Maria — February 15, 2020 @ 11:01 AM

  4. Very interesting information. I must study this further. Thanks

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Flower Roberts — February 15, 2020 @ 12:45 PM

  5. I’m glad to see more embrace of non-pharma solutions in the epilepsy community. That said, while many of these herbs can be helpful, no amount of herbs can out-supplement a bad diet. Going at least keto and preferably carnivore will stop epilepsy in its tracks for many people. At the bare minimum folks needs to get the junk foods out, things that contain MSG, fake colors, fake flavors, etc. and eliminate gluten, alcohol, and sugar. Just that made a major difference in my seizures. Now that I am carnivore they are gone altogether. I know it sounds crazy. It did to me too at first. But, try it anyway. What do you have to lose but your seizures?

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by paleobird — February 15, 2020 @ 2:30 PM

  6. Eliminating sugar made a big difference for me. Wish I could go carnivore again, but there are those pesky cholesterol numbers to consider.

    Keeping hydrated makes a difference, too.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by HoDo — February 15, 2020 @ 2:51 PM

  7. Ahhhh. And of course I have to butt in with an article here, too…

    What’s Sweeter than Sugar and Good for You Too?


    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — February 15, 2020 @ 6:14 PM

  8. Phylis, I agree with you that sometimes a herbal remedy or a mineral supplement might help the occasional person to reduce the frequency or the severity of their epilepsy, But, there is rarely any good science to support the general use of such compounds. There is however quite often good science showing why certain herbs should not be used. Lobelia for example contains toxic alkaloids and as lilltle as six grams can be lethal. See:


    Yes anti epileptic drugs are terribly expensive and come with a host of potential side effects but at least their use is supported by peer reviewed double blind trials and, unlike herbal “remedies” you actually know the amount of active substance that you are receiving.
    Furthermore some herbs interact with certain medicinal drugs. So please let us be cautious about recommending them.

    I too would love to believe that all I have to do is eat garlic and turmeric every day and my problems would decrease….but although I love Tikka Masala Curry and eat in at least twice a week….it hasn’t cured me! Howeber, unlike Lobelia it tastes great and has no side effects so I am not giving it up!

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Michael H — February 15, 2020 @ 9:58 PM

    • Michael, don’t give up on what you believe in and what works best for you!

      And yes, herbal l supplements are not regulated, but knowing the best amount that is appropriate for you (which I agree may be difficult) is stated on the bottle.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — February 16, 2020 @ 9:42 AM

  9. Herbal or not, anything that can help to stop or reduce the constant concern of having another seizure & making the ordeal of living with Epilepsy manageable is certainly relief to the victims of uncontrolled seizures.
    The FDA carrying out deep research on herbal medicine, clearly identifying & spelling out the potential benefits & risks for the patients & for the medical industry to take advantage of herbal medicine would have been more reassuring to use herbal medicine.
    Let’s hope the big pharma is NOT going to stand on the way, subverting the potential benefits of herbal medicine.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by BahreNegash Eritrea — February 16, 2020 @ 1:36 AM

    • Gerrie, I agree that herbal supplements are not regulated and may not work for all.

      But I think suggested guidelines should be appropriate (for most) in the dosage.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — February 16, 2020 @ 9:45 AM

      • Phylis,
        Most people don’t have enough information about herbal medicine.
        Therefore beyond regulations, FDA’s active involvement on encouraging the use of herbal medicine could help those who may NOT know the benefits of herbal medicine.

        Liked by 2 people

        Comment by BahreNegash Eritrea — February 16, 2020 @ 9:53 PM

      • I agree with you there, as long as patents aren’t involved.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — February 17, 2020 @ 9:33 AM

  10. There is an article by Nikki Stamp in the Washington Post about supplements. She writes that it’s understandable that women buy alternative health products because in general women in the US receive poor medical care.

    It’s my suspicion that older women without sons to speak up loudly for them receive worse care than that, while those with seizure disorders are somewhere near the bottom in perceived credibility and value. Of course, then, we try to help ourselves. Of course we make the wrong choices sometimes, as do the doctors.

    Recently I read that “they” are finding out that raw honey is better for a sore throat than OTC or prescribed meds. My grandmother knew that a lifetime ago, when there was no doctor nearby, and no way to get to the doctor far away.

    We want to be free of pain and distress. We want good care. Often, medicine as we know it is too fragmented, distracted, and paternalistic to be helpful. So, yes, investigate herbs and supplements The Chinese have been treating seizures for 2,000 years. Maybe they are not clueless. Maybe white guys are not always the gold standard.

    Here ended the rant. Thank you for listening.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by HoDo — February 16, 2020 @ 10:02 AM

    • There’s lots to be said about age-old wisdom.

      Kathy pointed out that after all the OTC drugs didn’t help her, raw honey did.

      I think that many are tired of the fallout and failure of OTC meds and are looking for an alternative.

      This is not meant to be a mandate, but rather a guideline for those who choose alternatives.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — February 16, 2020 @ 10:10 AM

    • Hodo,
      Thank you for spelling it out like it is.
      I understand & feel your message.
      The truth hurts so bad, it’s too painful to face it.
      Yes, for millenniums there were traditional medicine & traditional healers caring for the good of human race with minimum interference & financial erosion, until the “civilized world” turned the misfortunes of mankind into hostage crisis, expendable proposition for the hospital industry to exploit the medical hardships of mankind for profit.
      My grandfathers living for 90 years in a tiny village by the shores of the Red Sea, NEVER stepped into doctors office nor hospital institutions before gracefully dying surrounded by their children, grandchildren, friends & neighbors, cared for by traditional medicine & healers of a lifetime, unlike my generation.
      Too bad times have changed & changes are hard to accept.

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by BahreNegash Eritrea — February 16, 2020 @ 11:02 PM

      • I would be interested in a discussion on decreasing the stigma of seizure disorders. It seems to be pervasive and internalized.

        Liked by 2 people

        Comment by HoDo — February 17, 2020 @ 8:05 AM

      • “It is my dream to help people of all ages eradicate the stigma associated with epilepsy. We need a new badge of pride.

        “We should not be ashamed of who we are. One way to stop this torment that many live with is to talk about it and not keep it a secret.

        “When you keep epilepsy a secret, it is because you feel ashamed and believe it is the mark of disgrace. It is not.” — Joyce Bender, President’s Award Winner

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — February 17, 2020 @ 9:36 AM

      • The Stigma of Epilepsy…



        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — February 17, 2020 @ 9:41 AM

      • You know the funny part to this is when we actually ask the people who can help properly allow those of us with epilepsy teach those (professionals, non-professionals) from the “horse’s mouth” OUR VARIOUS KNOWLEDGE they just don’t want to hear it!!!!!!! So how do we really HELP THEM WANT TO HEAR FROM US IN A WAY WHERE WE CAN HELP THEM POSSIBLY LEARN AND VISA VERSA? There’s NO SHAME IN WHO WE ARE!! Maybe the shame is in WHO THEY LIKE TO THINK THEY ARE!! We just get to hopefully humbly and compassionately teach and tell everyone else that really wants to hear 💗

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Kathy S.B — February 19, 2020 @ 10:44 PM

      • You know what is very upsetting is when we are taught (traditionally) what to pick and consume in order to help ourselves and health we are then told by “specialists and doctors or pharmacists” to NEVER CONSUME because their bad for us as epileptics. Good thing I’m a bit of a rebel without disguise!! Because I still pick and consume them anyways. Of course until oil/gas or any outside forces begin to erode the ground and water we grow things on or drink. Just food for thought that’s all. Thank you

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Kathy S.B — February 19, 2020 @ 11:13 AM

      • Goodevening 😊. Well I could go on and on but in all honesty some natural herbs and plants are actually very healing to all of us in one way or another. However all I was trying to do was give some examples from my life experience. Exploitative of natural plants and what not is exactly what professionals want us to tell them about. But why bother allowing what we’ve been taught to do only to line the pockets of a group of people who only like to line their pockets with our knowledge? I want us with epilepsy and our families and friends to all be caring, compassionate people for eachother and take care of one another just for being who we are. We only the changes 😘.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Kathy S.B — February 19, 2020 @ 10:37 PM

  11. Please, just curious to ask…any information on Magnesium L Threonate (helpful for seizures?) and/or Glucosamine (helpful?)? TIA!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by ralph — February 16, 2020 @ 7:45 PM

  12. Thank you for the great work that you do, Phylis!

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Daniel Vincent — February 17, 2020 @ 10:06 AM

  13. Re: stigma. I’m very careful who I disclose to because of some of the comments that come back. My supervisor, when I was diagnosed the first time, made me sign a legal document stating that I would not have a seizure on company premises, even though I had explained at length that I don’t have grand mal seizures. The reaction from the fellow I was dating was worse, but as this is a public forum, I won’t share. (My psychotherapist called it, “disgusting.”). Enough of those, and you shut up.

    I don’t feel ashamed but neither do I speak up. The discussion I was hoping for was about when and to whom and how to disclose, in a society where disability is not just a condition but, oh, a class. A lower class. A state of being not quite human. Not always, but often enough.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by HoDo — February 17, 2020 @ 10:26 AM

    • Goodness that sounds awful HoDo!!!!! I must lived a very sheltered life because I never hid my epilepsy. I just figured people have to like, love or care for me like I would with them or want to be. There really should be a bill of rights for epileptics in all countries!! I don’t have closets or carpets in my house and we all have storage beds that way nothing is ever hidden or we can’t lie (beside epilepsy doesn’t afford me that right anyways). Just goes to show maybe society has the problem not us 😘

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Kathy S.B — February 19, 2020 @ 11:19 AM

  14. To be honest, HoDo, epilepsy was my dirty little secret through many jobs.

    It wasn’t until I became a freelancer that I felt comfortable discussing my epilepsy and “coming out of the closet”.

    Once at work, the copy machine outside my office caught fire and the building was evacuated.

    I was out cold on the floor with my office door closed.

    When I asked “Where’s the copier,” several hours later after I finished writing my ad, everyone knew something was wrong.

    On the other hand, I had a seizure on the first date with my husband. (So much for full disclosure!) And he was terrific.

    Here I was, “damaged goods” (that’s what everyone led me to believe) and there was this wonderful man concerned and taking care of me.

    I guess what I’m saying is that there IS hope.

    But maybe sometimes, it’s just luck.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — February 17, 2020 @ 11:01 AM

    • There is hope, yes. Many thanks to the people who provide it by seeing US as people first. I would like to find alternative terms, though, for “dirty little secret,” as neither adjective is accurate.

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by HoDo — February 17, 2020 @ 11:36 AM

      • Strong advocacy, persistent public campaign, mass information & education can certainly help in overcoming the stigma, fear of the unknown & rejection associated with epilepsy.
        In my case knowing nothing about Epilepsy, I refused to believe I was having seizures & kept walking out from the hospitals asking,,, “who brought me her, how did I got here & what am I doing here”, until my long time employer recommended I take medical leave & provide doctor’s clearance to keep doing the same work I’ve been doing for 30yrs.
        Taking my employer’s advice/recommendation & staying in Stanford University hospital for a week, I was in total disbelieve to see myself having two grandmal seizures in the hospital’s recorded videos.
        The whole ordeal seemed a rude awakening & impossible to accept.
        All of sudden, I felt like I became burden to my family & liability to my employer.
        Ever since, it has been a very slow gradual process to overcome the stigma associated with my epilepsy.
        Therefore, the more we learned to accept & learn to live with our medical hardships, the more opportunity we provide to the society to beat the stigma associated with epilepsy.

        Liked by 2 people

        Comment by BahreNegash Eritrea — February 17, 2020 @ 2:00 PM

      • I remember one time I overheard someone say “she has fits”. I walked over (ON MY SKATES) and said “IF I HAD A FIT EVERYONE WOULD DARN WELL KNOW DARN QUICK!! GET IT RIGHT!!!!! ITS A SEIZURE!!!!!!! And NOW IF YOU WANT I CAN HAVE A FIT? And YOU CAN COACH YOUR OWN CHILDREN!!”. My husband said to me (as I was leaving hockey practice “WELL HONEY BUNNY LET US PROUDLY GO HOME NOW ALL SWEATY!! 😊💞”

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Kathy S.B — February 19, 2020 @ 11:24 AM

  15. Funny how in some cultures “medicinal herbs” are the BIG PLAYER!! Yet for my whole life I always had sage, mint, and on and on. And I never had a seizure with them.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Kathy S.B — February 19, 2020 @ 11:02 AM

  16. Also I had actually asked about “turmeric” and was VERY STERNLY TOLD “NO YOU CAN’T TAKE THEM!!”

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Kathy S.B — February 19, 2020 @ 11:04 AM

    • “Turmeric and curcumin are available in the United States as dietary supplements. Both appear to be safe for most people, although no studies demonstrating safety in patients with epilepsy are available.” https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/838414

      “Epilepsy as well as chronic use of most antiepileptic drugs predisposes to cognitive impairment. Curcumin has been reported to possess antioxidant, anticonvulsant as well as neuroprotective potential.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20840851

      Go figure???

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — February 19, 2020 @ 12:15 PM

      • WOW!! Who would of ever thought?! Funny how sometimes we just naively do without ever asking. Then when we do finally ask we get thrown “CURVE BALLS!!” Thank you Phylis 😘

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Kathy S.B — February 19, 2020 @ 12:18 PM

  17. Phylis, I personaly do not use herbal suplements because it is so difficult to obtain uncontaminated pure herbs. And I must admit I prefer peer reviewed double blind trials rather than anectdotal evidence. However, I came across the following review from 2003 which does appear to offer some suport for some herbal suplements. I do not know how reliable the article is but it. Ight be of interest?


    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Michael H — February 21, 2020 @ 6:02 AM

    • I researched this thoroughly and included every article I could find.

      Your article is the best.

      But as a former health & wellness writer, I do believe in herbs as a supplement and I, myself, have seen the improvement.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — February 21, 2020 @ 10:12 AM

  18. So interesting! This was a big learning curve for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by annadusseau — March 19, 2020 @ 10:54 AM

  19. Very informative post! Herbs are such wonderful forms of medicine!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by abimcgpjnaik — June 10, 2020 @ 12:54 PM

  20. Phylis Feiner Johnson, I don’t understand the skepticism behind herbal remedies. If their use predates modern medicine, why are they frowned upon?

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by ragnarsbhut — June 27, 2021 @ 12:05 PM

    • They are frowned on by people who want to be in control of how we spend our money and who we believe. The medical establishment seems to want to be THE authority on what is good for us, regardless of our experiences.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by HoDo — June 27, 2021 @ 12:45 PM

      • HoDo, I also find it to be surprising that some herbal compounds are used in the development of medicines, however, on their own they get dismissed. Where is the logic in that?

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by ragnarsbhut — June 27, 2021 @ 1:26 PM

      • The logic is in the control. If I grow herbs in my yard and make my own meds, it costs me next to nothing, and I am in control. If Pharma sees that this works, adds fillers and color and charges big bucks, they are in control and I pay for it. From a Pharma point of view, totally logical.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by HoDo — June 27, 2021 @ 2:40 PM

  21. If it can’t be patented, BIG Pharma goes against it. And they hold all the cards.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — June 27, 2021 @ 12:13 PM

  22. Consumerlab.com is a great source for accurate supplement information. They 3rd party test for contaminants and accurate labeling. They also analyze and report on studies. You have to pay for a subscription to access detailed information but I think it is worth it. They test things like protein powders and cocoa too.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Sue — March 27, 2022 @ 8:29 PM

  23. Sue, thanks so very much for the tip!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 27, 2022 @ 9:20 PM

    • I agree with Sue, I have used consumer labs for some years (at about a dollar a week) and find
      It a great source of information, Web MD and other sites give free information on pharmaceuticals and limited information on “additives” but they do not test compounds or issue certifications. Of course consumer labs do not test every batch of any product and products can vary from one batch to another depending upon the origin of the materials used so you are still at the mercy of the manufacturer ( just as you are particularly with imported generic pharmaceuticals… )

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Michael H — March 27, 2022 @ 10:32 PM

  24. WebMD is one of my go-to resources for information.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 28, 2022 @ 9:45 AM

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    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

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