refers to a chronic condition in which repeated fits or attacks of unconsciousness occur
with or without confusions. It is a serious disorder of a central nervous system
. It occurs in both
children and adults. Most attacks, however, occur in childhood and in early adult life. Attack
rates show a progressive decline in frequency with age.
is a very ancient disease which afflicted some of the world's greatest personalities,
including Napoleon, Alexander and Julius Ceasar. Theactual word " epilepsy" comes from the
Greek word which means " to seize upon". The ancient people believed that evilspirits entered
the body of the person afflicted, seized upon his soul and threw his body into convulsions. The
Greeks believed that the gods induced this disease. The early Christians blamed the devil for
One of the main problems that a person with epilepsy
has to face is continual uncertainty about
whether or not he or she will have an attack on any particular occasion. Patients may find
themselves increasingly inhibited from engaging in social events because of the understandable
fear that they might embarrass themselves by having another attack. Such people also
encounter difficulties in employments and other relationships.
is recognised by recurrent sudden attacks at irregular intervals. The patients twitch
convulsively and fall unconscious to the ground during these attacks which cause tremendous
nervous unheavel. There are two main types of epilepsy
known as petit mal and grand mal.
Each follows its own specific pattern.
In petit mal, which is a less serious form of epilepsy
,an attack comes and goes within a few
seconds. The patient has a momentary loss of consciousness, with no convulsions except
sometimes a slight rifidity, or there may be slight attack of convulsions such as a jerk, or
movement of the eyes, head trunk or extremities, with no perceptible loss of consciousness. The
patient may not fall. He may suddenly stop what he is doing and then resume it when the attack
is over, without even being aware of what has happened. Petit mal attacks may occur at any
time in life but are most frequent in children.
The attack in case of grand mal comes with a dramatic effect. There are violent contractions of
the arms, legs and body, accompanied by a sudden loss of consciousness. Before the onset of
an attack, some patients have a warning or aura in the form of strange sensations such as a
current of air or a stream of water flowing over a body, noises, odours and flashes of light. IN a
typical attack,. the patient cries out, falls to the ground loses consciousness and develops
convulsions. With the convulsions may come foaming at the mouth, twitching of the muscles,
biting of the tongue, distorted fixation of limbs, rotation of the head and deviation of the eyes.
The patient may lose control
of his urine and faeces. The attack may last several minutes and is
usually followed by a deep sleep. On waking up, he may remember nothing of what happened to
People who suffer from epilepsy
are not abnormal in any other way. They usually know that fits
can be triggered off by particular stimuli. Between epileptic attacks, their brain functions
denotes electrical malfunctioning within the brain due to damage of brain cells or some
inherited abnormality. There are many causes of epilepsy
. Digestive disturbances, intestinal
toxaemia and a strained nervous condition are very often the main cause of petit mal. Grand mal
usually results from hereditary influences, serious shock or injury to the brain or nervous system.
Meningitis, typhoid, and other diseases attendant with prolonged high temperature can also lead
to grand mal.
may be caused by several other factors. It may result from allergic reactions to certain
food substances, especially some particular form of protein which is the main constituent of
meat. Circulatory disorders such as hardening of arteries leading to the brain may also cause
epileptic seizures. This type is rare and occurs only in very aged people. Chronic alcoholism
lead poisoning, cocaine
and other such habits can also lead to this disease. Other causes of
epileptic seizure include mental conflict, deficient mineral assimilation, particularly of magnesium
and calcium and wrong vitamin metabolism
. According to some researchers, hypoglycemia
low blood sugar is also involved in most cases of epilepsy
In the natural form of treatment, the sufferer from epilepsy
has to follow a rigorous regimen
consisting of a strict dietary, complete relaxation and optimum exercise in the open air. He must
adhere to a simple and correct natural life. He must assume a cheerful, optimistic attitude,
refrain from mental and physical overwork and worry.
The most important aspect of the treatment is the diet. To begin with, the patient should be
placed on an exclusive fruit diet for first few days. During this period he should have three meals
a day of fresh juicy fruits such as oranges, apples, grapes, grapefruit, peaches, pears, pineapple
and melon. Thereafter, he may gradually adopt a well balanced diet of three basic food groups
viz. (i) seeds, nuts and grains, (ii) vegetables and (iii) fruits with emphasis on sprouted seeds
such as alfalfa seeds and mung beans, raw vegetables and fruits. The diet should include a
moderate amount of raw milk preferably goat's milk and milk products such as raw butter and
homemade cottage cheese.
The diet should eliminate completely all animal proteins
, except milk, as they not only lack in
magnesium,but also rob the body of its own magnesium storage as well as of vitamin B6. Both
these substances are needed in large amounts by epileptics. The best food sources of
magnesium are raw nuts, seeds, soyabeans , green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale,
beet-tops etc. The patient should avoid all refined foods, fried and greasy food, sugar and
products made with it, strong tea, coffee, alcoholic beverages, condiments and pickles.
The patient should avoid over eating and take frequent small meals rather than a few large ones.
He should not eat large meals before going to bed.
Mud packs on the abdomen twice daily help remove toxaemic conditions of the intestines and
thereby hasten removal of epileptic conditions. The application of alternate hot and cold
compresses to the base of the brain, that is at the back of the head will be beneficial. The
procedure is to dip the feet in a bucket of hot water and apply first a hot towel and then a cold
one to the base of the brain. The alternate hot and cold towels should be kept for two or three
minutes about four times. The process shall be repeated twice every day. Full Epsom-salt bath,
twice a week are also beneficial.
If the sufferer from epilepsy
has taken strong drugs for many years, he should not leave off
entirely all at once. The dosage may be cut to half to begin with and then gradually reduced
further until it can be left off completely.
An epileptic should strictly observe all the natural laws of good health and build and maintain the
highest level of general health. He should remain active mentally but avoid all severe mental and
. And above all, he should avoid excitements of all kinds.