Alternate medicine for brain recovery?

Hi, my fiance met with a road accident in 2014 and sustained frontal lobe injuries. We are thinking of trying alternative plant based herbs which are known to increase cognitive functioning- Gingko biloba and Thyme-Leaved Gratiola (Brahmi). My only concern is he is on anti-psychotics and anti-depressants right now. Has any of you tried these while being on these medicines? I dont know if there will be interactions and how safe they are. Our GP has left the decision on us.

Any suggestions would be welcome as we are really confused.

Thanks!

6 Replies

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  • Hi Shal, there is a website that will tell you of any known interactions between prescribed medications and it also covers herbal medicines too. I forget the name of the website but I have found it by googling medicine interactions I think. You enter your medications and strengths and it will then do the work for you.

    I have an open mind on these things but just remember that brain damage is what it is, the brain does not repair itself. You can improve recovery by training your brain to use other areas to make those all important pathways and that is done by repetition, repetition, repetition. It goes without saying that a healthy diet and fresh food , plenty of sleep/ rest will aid recovery.

    I am 4 years post BI, it was not frontal lobe, I had encephalitis and the main damage was done deep in my brain , but a lot of initial problems were global.

    I am undergoing acupuncture at the moment and finding it works for me. My GP suggested it may and I have been lucky. An open mind helps.

    Do your research and if you decide to go for it, let us know the outcome.

    I was on antidepressants but have since stopped those, before I undertook the acupuncture I must stress. You must always seek the advice of your GP before doing anything as I see you already have. Herbal medication can be a minefield, some are very powerful. Speak to a Chinese herbalist, but make your own mind up. My GP is also very open minded, with Chinese medicine he says it can't be wrong after all these years can it?

    Good luck with your search

    Janet xx

  • Not exactly herbal, but we have found that fish oil and blueberries really seem to help a bit with memory.  My husband eats masses of blueberries and I have certainly noticed a slight improvement (but don't expect miracles).

  • Hi 

    I'm not sure on any of these things but do know that the better I eat, the better I feel. 

    Would a good pharmacist be able to help ? I know mine are very knowledgeable on both manufactured and herbal remedies. Worth an ask ?

    good luck 

    :-) 

  • Hi Shal,

    I'm glad to hear you and your fiance are thinking of using natural medicines. Nature is the best. I don't believe in all that pharceutical crap.

    I used to brush my teeth with the commercialised toothpastes. I had sensitive teeth so I switched to Sensodyne. That helped for a few years but sensitivity came back. After looking more into nature I now use coconut oil in oil pulling. Basically useing it as a mouth wash. That has offered way better help than some commercially sold toothpaste.

    Anyhow, I digress. I can't really help in taking natural medicine alongside pharmaceutical meds. What I would do though is research on the internet. The internet has a wealth of information and I would get my information from a number of websites. I would not refer to one website alone.

    Take care,

    MJ

  • The anti-psychotics and anti-depressants medication, will have a information sheet, which will list among other things any expected counter-indications with other medications/food sources.

    grapefruit and alcohol are fairly common

  • Hi,

    Sorry for the delay in responding.

    One of the best places to start is with a clean diet - so remove all the bad stuff; processed foods, fatty foods, cafeine, sugar, alchohol etc.  And replace it with all the good stuff that people tell you about - fruit, nuts, dates and lots of protein and like the used to say "fish for brains".   One of the things that really helped me is that to achieve this I had to relearn to cook and this improved my cognitive functons.

    The anti depressants are there for several reasons apart from control mood they also slow the brain down whilst new pathways are being developed to cope with the damage the anti depresants also help with Serotonin levels which are also an important brain checmical. 

    A lot of people report good results from taking Omega 3, cumin (curcumin) and the vitamin Bs.  What I would suggest is taking a general good quality (but not expensive) multi vitamin.  

    The other thing that some people take is a Serotonin type suppliment (HTP 5 is one) however, I would check with the doctor as this is very close to the prescription medicine.

    The two most important natural remedies are left to last

    rest and sleep this is by far one of the most important things. Balancing activity with "down time" is very hard to do and its best to start a routine;  get up, breakfast, potter around, elevenses (rest), potter around, lunch(rest) etc. It is very hard to achieve and many of us still get it wrong over exert ourselves and then take days to recover.

    The final thing is mental state, many of us battle with this still - the acceptance that we won't get back to "normal" but the need to not give up and keep on working at things to improve our abilities. It is a huge roller coaster for the survivors and partners and familly.  After 4 years I still struggle with this balance on the one hand I know I won't get back to where I was, but still keep on searching for things to get me "better".

    All the best on your journey

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