Q: I have MS and overall am well but for the fatigue which is very difficult to deal with. Also my memory and concentration is poor, maybe due to age, i turned 50 this year. Im
also on antidepressants which could be causing the foggy feeling which I have a lot.
I would appreciate any help or advice you could pass on. I know of the herbal remedies and wonder which you would recommend.
A.C. (by email)
A: As I'm sure you will know, MS is believed to be an auto-immune condition. Autoimmune conditions occur where the body's natural defence mechanisms, the immune system, attack the body's own tissue. In MS, specialised immune cells in the body enter the brain and mistakenly attack myelin and the symptoms of MS are caused by this damage to the myelin.
We have two products which I think will help you to deal with your MS.
Firstly Simba, the African Potato tuber or Hypoxis hemerocallidea. The African potato is rich in phytosterols in particular beta sitosterol. Phytosterols are plant fats found in all fruit and veggies but, due to the way our food is processed and manufactured these days, levels of these important phytosterols are diminished and our western diet is largely deficient in them. Phytosterols play an improtant part in balancing and regulating the immune system. In other words, they will enhance an under-active immune system and dampen down an over-active one. The African Potato tuber is also a potent natural anti-inflammatory.
Dr Jimmy Gooi, Consultant Immunologist at St James Hospistal in Leeds, looked at Simba for us in the laboratory when we first brought it into the country in 2000. He observed it's actions on his own blood and some of his colleague's blood and was amazed to report that it had the ability to stimulate lymphocytes and that the results were consistent and reproduceable. We took the indications for Simba from Dr Gooi and have helped many people with auto-immune conditions with this product over the last 11 years. Dr Gooi said that he thought that a re-balancing and regulating of the immune system could possibly stimulate any nerve cells that were still alive to produce myelin. A natural healing process can also repair myelin and prevent the condition from deteriorating.
Secondly, Filisa , the Sutherlandia Frutescens plant. Sutherlandia is what is known as an adaptogen. The term adaptogen is used to refer to a natural plant or herb that is proposed to increase the body’s resistance to stress, trauma, anxiety and fatigue. Adaptogens are completely safe and effective and, although the term adaptogen is quite new (it was introduced in 1940's), it’s description is still changing. Presently an adaptogen has been presented as an agent that allows the body to counter adverse physical, chemical or biological stressors by raising nonspecific resistance toward such stress, thus allowing the body to adapt to stressful circumstances.
Adaptogenic plants or herbs are unique in their ability to balance endocrine hormones and the immune system, and they help the body to maintain optimal homeostasis.
Adaptogens are proposed to have a normalizing effect on the body and to be capable of either toning down the activity of hyperfunctioning systems or strengthening the activity of hypofunctioning systems
Adaptogenic herbs play a significant role while easing and managing autoimmune disorders as they help the body adapt to any stress, whether illness, intense fatigue or coping with illness. Herbs with an adaptogenic action also stimulate the body’s natural defense mechanisms, helping to support and balance the immune system.
Explaining the effects of the adaptogens is difficult, since they will influence each individual differently. If you are mentally exhausted or physically fatigued the adaptogens will help you feel more energetic, vitalized, and full of zest for life – but yet, they are not normal stimulants. Adaptogens are non-toxic and are not habit forming, while they exert a normalizing influence on the body, possessing a wide range of therapeutic benefits, causing no disturbance to the normal functioning. Adaptogenic herbs can also help to improve adrenal and immune function.Should you however be stressed-out, or emotionally tired adaptogens will help you to relax and make life easier to cope with, yet they are not tranquillizers and will not have a drug-like effect on the body.
Filisa, or rather the Sutherlandia plant, contains a number of key chemicals. Firstly GABA, an important inhibitory neuro-transmitter which occurs naturally in the body. When we are stressed, anxious and depressed we can suffer from a shortage of GABA and this neurotransmitter is responsible for feelings of well-being and calmness. Filisa can be safely taken alongside prescription anti-depressants and works in a very gently way with no known side effects. Sutherlandia also contains L-Canavanine which is anti-viral, anti-bacteriala nd anti-fungal.
Filisa and Simba work very well together and are very synergistic with each other. But, if you decide to take them, you should be prepared to be patient and persevere. Simba will take around 6 weeks to really get into your system and take effect. I would always recommend a minimum course of 6 to 8 months of Simba and Filisa together, for any auto-immune condition, before assessing the benefits. These are not quick fixes -- we are trying to correct and repair and it's a huge task ahead of these humble plants.
I also believe that Hyperbaric (high pressure) oxygen improves the delivery of oxygen to damaged tissues in the brain and speeds their repair and there appear to have been some impressive results from this therapy.
Nerve cells require calcium and and also evening primrose oil makes good a deficiency of linoleic acid (Vitamin F) for efficient function of the brain. According to the MS unit at the Central Middlesex Hospital in London, a diet rich in essential fatty acids appears to arrest deterioration.
I hope this is all useful.