Guillain-Barre Syndrome – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

Guillain-Barre Syndrome is an inflammatory disorder in which the body's immune system attacks the nerves, causing severe weakness and numbness and eventually leading to muscular paralysis. While the exact cause is not known, in about 60% of cases, this condition is preceded by an infection either of the lungs or the digestive tract. Respiratory paralysis can be a serious complication of this condition and requires immediate hospitalization. Plasmapheresis and intravenous immunoglobin are usually used to reduce the severity of this condition and to ensure a speedy recovery.

The Ayurvedic treatment of Guillain-Barre Syndrome consists of treating the nerve damage and the resulting numbness or paralysis. Medicines like Yograj-Guggulu, Kaishor-Guggulu, Trayodashang-Guggulu, Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu, Mahavat-Vidhwans-Ras, Vata-Gajankush-Ras, Tapyadi-Loh-Ras and Dashmoolarishta are usually used to treat nerve damage. Herbal medicines like Yashtimashuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia), Mandukparni (Centella asiatica), Nirgundi (Vitex negundo) and Dashmool (Ten Roots) are also very useful in this condition.

Medicines which act on the 'Majja' dhatu (tissue) of the body are also very effective in treating this condition and include medicines like Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Gugggulu, Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis) and Musta (Cyperus rotundus). In addition, localized therapy can also be used in this condition. In the acute phase, lasting for the first 3 to 6 weeks, only medicated steam fomentation is done. After this period, medicated oils are used to massage the body, followed by medicated steam fomentation. Medicines used for these procedures are: Mahanarayan oil, Mahamash oil, Mahasaindhav oil, Dashamool qadha (decoction) and Nirgundi qadha. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Yashtimadhuk, Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), and Bhrungraj (Eclipta alba) are used to correct immune dysfunction in the body.

Since this disease can cause serious complications including respiratory failure and death, hospitalization is a must in the acute phase of this condition. However, to avoid long term disability, Ayurvedic treatment should be started as early as possible. Treatment needs to be given long term for good results.