There are two common forms of epilepsy, which results from excessive electrical discharges in some of the nerve cells in the brain. Childhood epilepsy is called Petit Mal, and the fits, which are very brief, sometimes pass unnoticed. The child may sit rigidly staring ahead, while the eyes blink rapidly, and the hands and arms may jerk. He or she will lose consciousness only momentarily, and the attacks usually cease by the end of the teens. Adult epilepsy involves attacks which can be very alarming, lasting for several minutes, in which the sufferer can froth at the mouth and thresh about.
Epsilepsy is a common complaint, often hereditary, which affects about five people in every 1000. People who suffer from epilepsy are forbidden by law to hold a driving licence, unless they have been free of attacks for two years. Severe and repeated attacks can result in permanent brain damage.
Chinese Medicine regards epilepsy as a problem caused by phlegm blocking the orifice of the heart, plus internal dampness and qi or blood stagnation. Therefore a Chinese Medicine practitioner will treat the heart, spleen and even sometimes the liver.
Epilepsy is a very difficult condition to cure, and treatment is complicated, involving herbs such as sweet flag root, Chinese senegar root, bamboo shavings or bamboo juice from young shoots. If the patient does respond to treatment, herbal remedies can stop the fits in some cases and cut down the number of attacks in others, as well as enabling the prescription of chemical drugs to be reduced, but it is a long-term treatment and not always successful.
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