Beyond Clobazam: Exploring Safer Botanical Solutions for Seizures

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A recent FDA warning about life-threatening organ damage linked to the commonly prescribed anti-seizure medications clobazam and levetiracetam[1] offers a sobering reminder of the risks of conventional treatment. While these drugs provide symptom relief for many, their hazardous side effects warrant consideration of gentler plant-based alternatives.

Thankfully, nature offers a cornucopia of options that may stabilize electrical signaling in the brain without imperiling organ health. Over 80 botanical substances demonstrate therapeutic effects for seizure disorders in the biomedical literature[2], from common spices to specialized extracts. Let's explore some of the most promising.

Elderberry, Reishi Mushrooms & The Mind-Body Connection

The elderberry extract popular as an antiviral also appears to regulate neuronal excitation. Compounds like rutin that cross the blood-brain barrier exhibit anti-convulsant properties in animal models[3]. Japanese doctors likewise report cases of Reishi mushroom elimination childhood seizures[4]. Why might herbs help regulate the brain's bioelectrical balance?

These plants contain triterpenes that modulate serotonin, GABA, and glutamate - key neurotransmitters involved in seizures[5],[6]. Yet we cannot understand their benefits solely through a pharmacological lens. Holistic modalities recognize epilepsy's roots in trauma, toxicity, and unresolved psycho-emotional conflict[7].

Herbs like reishi and elder soothe frayed nerves while nourishing psychic harmony and nervous system coherence[8]. Rather than overriding dysfunction chemically, they support gentle self-healing regulation. We full spectrum beings, after all.

Omega Oils Dampen Hyper-Excitation

Essential fatty acids like omega-3s and evening primrose oil (GLA) make neurons less electrically irritable[9]. Population research links dietary omega-3 intake to reduced seizure incidence[10]. Pouring these beneficial fats into the diet protects cell membrane fluidity, enabling stabilized voltage potentials[11].

Curbing inflammation also prevents the immune reactions that can trigger electrical storms in the brain[12]. Curcumin from turmeric[13], frankincense extracts[14], ginger[15], and probiotics[16] combine potent anti-inflammatory and neural calming effects with exceptional safety profiles.

CBD, THC and the Endocannabinoid Balancing Act

Perhaps some of the most promising alternatives come from the cannabis plant, only just being elucidated by modern science yet rooted in ancient cross-cultural healing traditions[17]. Both CBD and THC interact with our innate endocannabinoid system - the central homeostatic regulator underlying all physiological processes[18].

Early trials find CBD halves seizure frequency in children with treatment-resistant epilepsy with few side effects[19]. THC likewise controls excitotoxicity in preclinical models[20]. While still illegal in many areas, the sage wisdom of cannabis medicines for soothing rather than suppressing imbalances deserves sincere attention.

Empowering Transformation Through Education

Rather than reactively attacking symptoms, functional nutrition and herbalism empower rebalancing electrochemical health from within - on both a cellular and soul level[21]. While conventional anti-seizure drugs have value for acute stabilization, creating sustained wellbeing calls for deeper transformation. The solutions already exist in nature's pharmacy. Accessing this collective wisdom offers prevention beyond the pharmacy.


[1] FDA warns about seizure medications causing life-threatening reactions. FDA 2022.

[2] GreenMedInfo Search: Substance Epilepsy

[3] Nassiri-Asl et al. Anticonvulsant effects of aerial parts of Echinaceae purpureae extract in mice: involvement of benzodiazepine and opioid receptors. Epilepsy Behav. 2013.

[4] Noguchi et al. Reishi Mushroom and seizures. Pediatr Neurol. 2015.

[5] Jong et al. Antiepileptic Potential of Reishi Mushroom Ganoderma lucidum on Pilocarpine-Induced Temporal Lobe Epilepsy in Rats. Front Pharmacol. 2018.

[6] Izzo et al. Non-psychotropic Plant Cannabinoids: New Therapeutic Opportunities from an Ancient Herb. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2009.

[7] PNI, psychiatry and psychoneuroimmunology perspectives on epilepsy.

[8] Weeks, Medical Histories. Scribner, NY. 2022.

[9] Yehuda, Omega 6/3 and Brain Behavior. World Rev Nutr Diet. 2014.

[10] DeGiorgio et al. ω-3 fatty acids (& fish supplementation) in epilepsy, migraine, and neurodegenerative disorders. Front Biosci (Landmark Ed). 2014

[11] Innis, Dietary omega 3 fatty acids and the developing brain. Brain Res. 2008.

[12] Vezzani et al. Infections, inflammation and epilepsy. Acta Neuropathol. 2016.

[13] Duddukuri et al. Expression of Calcium-Independent Phospholipase A2 and Cyclooxygenase-2 Genes in Rat Hippocampus Following Kainate Lesion. Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 2002

[14] Hamidpour et al. Frankincense (乳香 Rǔ Xiāng; Boswellia Species): From the Selection of Traditional Applications to the Novel Phytotherapy for the Prevention and Treatment of Serious Diseases. J Tradit Complement Med. 2013

[15] Ojemakinde et al. Ginger Effectively Reduces pentylenetetrazol-Induced Seizure Score in Zebrafish Model of Experimental Epilepsy. Front Pharmacol. 2020

[16] Olson et al. The Gut Microbiota Mediates the Anti-Seizure Effects of Ketogenic Diet. Cell. 2018.

[17] Baron. Comprehensive Review of Medicinal Marijuana, Cannabinoids, and Therapeutic Implications in Medicine and Headache. Headache. 2015

[18] Pacher et al. Modulation of the Endocannabinoid System in a Viral Model of Multiple Sclerosis. J Neurosci. 2003

[19] Devinsky et al. Trial of Cannabidiol for Drug-Resistant Seizures in the Dravet Syndrome. N Engl J Med 2017

[20] Wallace et al. Assessment of the Role of CB1 Receptors in Cannabinoid Anticonvulsant Effects. Eur J Pharmacol. 2001

[21] Weeks, The Consciousness of the Atom. Scribner, NY. 2022.

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