Some sufferers with multiple sclerosis decide to take responsibility for the management of their disease. There was a time when physicians might have frowned upon this, but now it is sometimes encouraged. People who take an active roll in their fight against ms may have better results purely on the physical and mental benefits it provides. It is better to know you are trying to do something instead of just waiting for the disease to take you over.

There were limited treatments for multiple sclerosis at one time because there was limited knowledge. Since more research has been done, some new things have come to light in the fight with on going ms treatments. There is beginning to be a base line of research where new products are being tested as well as ways to diagnose the disease. There is still much research, and trial studies that need to be performed including but not limited to the use of pharmaceuticals, alternative and herbal therapies. There have been breakthroughs which have shown certain similar results in the MS patient. One such thing is the deficiency of vitamin D. It still needs to be more understood, what if any roll, nutrition, genetics, geographical latitudes, and allergies play in this disease. Because of such research, there have been facts that might make ms sufferers resort to alternative methods of treatment besides medication. Some people can not deal with the side effects, and use any means possible to feel better.

Your treatment depends on available options that should be evaluated; therefore you need to be informed on treatments to help you manage your health. Complimentary and alternative medicine, CAM for short, consists of either complimenting or using a completely different way from the traditional medicinal ways now offered by physicians.

Alternative is the practice used instead of conventional medications. Some popular CAM therapies include; diets, dietary supplements, acupuncture, meditation, massage, and yoga. It is always wise to advise your physician of any complementary or alternative choices you make.

Herbs are often used in therapies for many people, alone or in addition of drugs used to prevent symptoms. Herbs can be dangerous, even toxic when the wrong amount or types taken are not complimentary to one another.

Some herbs that might be effective are; cranberry tablets for the prevention of urinary tract infections. Psyllium, which is approved by the FDA, is used for constipation and Valerin may help insomnia. St. Johns Wort has long been the treatment for depression. The strength and amounts of this herb taken to assure the prevention of its toxicity, if any, has not been established by the FDA. It also may interfere with antiviral medications, and the effect of oral contraceptives. Medications for heart disease, seizures, and certain cancers may be affected by herbs.

Certain herbs may interact with medications given to MS sufferers. You should always know what you are taking and the appropriate doses of herbs. Some have immune-stimulating properties that include alfalfa, astragalus, Echinacea, garlic and Ginseng, Chamomile, Asian and Siberian Ginseng, Goldenseal, Kava-Kava, stinging nettle, passionflower, sage, St. Johns Wort, and Valerian may be considered sedating herbs, and care should be cautioned while taking sedating prescriptions at the same time.

The intake of steroids while taking the herbs; aloe, bayberry, or Asian ginseng may worsen the side effects.

Some herbs that have been recommended by some herbalists for the treatment of ms include; chaparral, comfrey and yohimbe.

Some facts found while doing research on certain herbs are; Kava is known primarily as a relaxant, and has been used as a muscle relaxant. Echinacea is used as a blood purifier and antibiotic. Valerian is used alone or in conjunction with other herbs. It depresses the central nervous system similar to GABA (which occurs naturally in the brain) and inhibits nerve impulse transmission. Some people are stimulated with the use of Valerian, so should it cause insomnia, try hops, chamomile, passion flower, skullcap or avena which are herbs that relieve stress, anxiety and insomnia.

Valerian has many physiologic effects on the CNS, or central nervous system such as a depressant or stimulant to gastric, pulmonary and cardiovascular functions.

You should be evaluated metabolically before using herbs to see if they are suited to you as a complement or is of an antagonistic nature to your system. St. Johns Wort has also been used as an anti-depressant, and studies have shown that it may compliment some sufferers of depression and is an alternative to using prescribed drugs.

This is not a guide or how-to article for using herbal treatments. The exact amounts needed to help fight MS would need to be designed and discussed with your health manager. This article is only a fraction of the information available on herbs and MS. Hopefully; there will be follow-up articles as more results are known from clinical testing.

Gilbert Lowe has been dealing with multiple sclerosis for more than 14 years. You can see how he manages Multiple Sclerosis at www.gilbertlowe.info