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Q: My wife has chronic progressive multiple sclerosis. She has had it for 20 years and is extremely disabled. Can Tibetan medicine help MS patients?

Richard, Anchorage, Alaska

 

A: There is a treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) according to traditional Tibetan medicine and this includes diet, behavior and Tibetan herbal medicine. MS is classified into general and specific types. The general types are further classified into hot, cold, old and new type of MS and the specific types affect head, upper body, and extremities, known as rLung, Tripa and Badkan tye of MS.

The general symptoms are dizziness, loss of memory, sleeplessness, vomiting, hallucination, itching, intolerance for loud noise, loss of strength in all the extremities or sometimes on one side of the body, crooked formation of mouth and head. Trembling, fluctuations in body temperature, for example sometime hot like fire and sometime cold like rocks; some experience trouble in bending and some with straightening their body. Other symptoms are loss of sensation in the affected parts, loss of muscle strength and some people experience excruciating pain in their body.

The treatment usually used by Tibetan doctors, along with herbs, are therapeutic methods like moxabustion, blood letting or medicinal steam baths. I will not elaborate on moxabustion and blood letting as it is a very sensitive and dangerous method but you can get that treatment by visiting doctors in India. Application of warm sesame oil on the sole of the feet, center of the palm, middle of the chest and T1 helps in circulation.

Diet and behavior: Always try to take nutritious and warm food, yogurt, buttermilk (whey), rice porridge and lean fresh meat. Avoid any kind of ALCOHOLS, fatty and fried food, raw garlic and onion, pork, egg yolk, cigarettes, any kind of fermented or caffeinated products, and consume less fish products. Do not sit in the sun too long, do some mild exercise, water aerobics, oil massage and slight movement in your body always helps.

Some of the prepared Tibetan herbal formulas like Jangchoe 37, Samnor, Samkhyung, Dhali 16, Agar 20, Jumar 25 and Ratna Samphel are very beneficial in treating MS. Spices like nutmeg, saffron, black pepper, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, can be used with food or can be mixed with red and white sandalwood, black and white sesame seed, Terminalia chebula, Phyllanthus emblica,Terminalia bellerica and strawberries are sometimes quite helpful in treating MS too. I think Tibetan medicine can benefit MS so I would suggest you to see a qualified Tibetan doctor, try some of Tibetan herbal pills and experience the benefit but remember Tibetan medicine is not a magic bullet so you have to be patient to see some result.


- Dr. Namgyal  

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