Curcumin / Tumeric for Seizure Control
According to The National Institute of Heath, Epilepsy as well as chronic use of most antiepileptic drugs predisposes patients to cognitive impairment.
This is a concern I had ever since my mom, who already has dementia, was put of Keppra, the antepileptic drug, to control seizures. Immediately her cognitive abilities were diminished, and have stayed that way since she started the drug 6 months ago. I have been quite concerned that this could be permanent, especially the longer she stays on the Keppra.
I already have her on supplements such as taurine and tyrosine, which are both supposed to be helpful in controlling seizure activity. In researching curcumin as a way to help reduce inflammation, leaky gut symptoms, and auto-immune conditions (Hashimotos thyroid disease and psoriases), I’ve learned that curcumin also has ant-seizure properties.
A study published on The National Institute of Health website reports:
Curcumin has been reported to possess antioxidant, anticonvulsant as well as neuroprotective potential. Hence, this study was conducted to evaluate the effect of curcumin against seizures, cognitive impairment and oxidative stress in pentylenetetrazole-induced kindling in rats.
Curcumin showed dose-dependent anti-seizure effect. Curcumin (300 mg/kg) significantly increased the latency to myoclonic jerks, clonic seizures as well as generalized tonic-clonic seizures, improved the seizure score and decreased the number of myoclonic jerks. PTZ kindling induced a significant oxidative stress and cognitive impairment which was reversed by pretreatment with curcumin in a dose-dependent manner.
These results thus suggest the potential of curcumin as an adjuvant in epilepsy both to prevent seizures as well as to protect against seizure induced memory impairment.
As reported in Medical Daily, researchers at one of India’s premier health institutes, The All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi found something similar. They conducted tests on rats in New Delhi and found that turmeric may cure cognitive functions after treatment for epilepsy. Oxidative stress is caused when free radicals affect cellular functioning. Laboratory rats suffering from oxidative stress and cognitive impairment were selected and administered curcumin. It was found that when turmeric was administered with phenytoin there was significant reduction in oxidative stress and cognitive impairment – tumeric significantly prevented cognitive impairment and oxidative stress.Turmeric was also shown to be effective in boosting memory and reducing stress in the study conducted at the Department of Pharmacology.
Studies have found that cognitive impairment could be treated with turmeric.
South Asian alternative medical practitioners use turmeric to treat epilepsy. Curcumin is the main turmeric ingredient that is said to possess anticonvulsant properties. The one drawback is that it takes time to get absorbed and gets rapidly metabolized. Hence, large quantities must be consumed to have any therapeutic effect.
Turmeric combined with Nigella sativa oil has been studied for its anticonvulsant and antioxidant benefits. Epilepsy was induced in an animal model using pilocarpine (a drug used for various conditions like dry mouth or glaucoma). This was left for 22 days so that chronic epilepsy could develop. The animals were given Nigella sativa oil, valporate (seizure drug) or curcumin for 21 days. Treatment with all three demonstrated a reduction in most symptoms of epilepsy and also restored brain activity to normal. This shows that turmeric and Nigella sativa oil are both able to reduce excitability, oxidative stress and seizures caused by epilepsy. They also did not cause any side effects like most antiepileptic drugs.
Turmeric is often combined with bromelain to increase the absorption levels and improve anti-inflammatory effects of this spice. The suggested dosage of standardized curcumin powder extract is 400-600mg three times a day. Dried, powdered root the dose is 1-3g daily.
Turmeric used in food is safe for anyone to consume. If you are undergoing surgery, make sure you avoid using turmeric supplements 2 weeks prior to surgery for it could slow blood clotting. Turmeric can interact with medications taken to reduce stomach acid, diabetes or anti-coagulant medications.
Dietary turmeric can help with brain related disorders. You can take 1/4 -1/2 tsp of Golden Paste daily and gradually increase the dose to 1-2 tsp 2-3 times a day.
However, I have seen warnings that tumeric can cleanse the blood of antiepeleptic medications, so be sure to make sure there are no interactions between tumeric and the medication you are on to control seizures.