Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder that is characterized by excessive sleepiness during daytime. The drowsiness can come on every 3-4 hours, forcing you to take short naps. You may sleep longer if you are able to lie down. It is usually accompanied by temporary reduction in muscle tone (cataplexy), brought on typically by strong emotions.
Cataplexy lasts only about 30 seconds. If it is severe, you could fall. Speech may be impaired. Before awakening from the sleep, you may have hallucinations. Night-time sleep may be disturbed. Contrary to popular belief, narcolepsy is not related to laziness, seizures, depression, night-time sleeplessness, or fainting.
Since it runs in families, it has a genetic basis. Other causes postulated for narcolepsy include autoimmunity (the immune system attacking your own proteins), and deficiency of a neurotransmitter called hypocretin. Although there is no known cure for narcolepsy, its symptoms can be managed with these herbal remedies.
Herbal Remedies For Narcolepsy
St. John’s Wort
St. John’s wort can help in alleviating the symptoms of narcolepsy because it relieves anxiety and improves the alertness. The extract is prepared from the leaves and flowers of Hypericum perforatum. The main active chemicals responsible for the effects of St. John’s wort are hypericin and hyperforin.
The other active ingredients that may have a role to play are tannins and flavonoids. Its dose is 300 mg thrice daily. It can also be taken as tea. Some of its side effects are fatigue, irritability, dizziness, tingling, headache, and skin rash.
Ginkgo biloba helps in narcolepsy because it has antioxidant effects and improves the circulation to brain. The extract is derived from the leaves of Ginkgo biloba. The active ingredients responsible for the effects of Ginkgo are terpenoids (such as ginkgolides) and flavonoids.
It is available as tablets, capsules, dried leaves for tea, and liquid extracts. Its dose is 120-240 mg daily in divided doses. You could also consume it as tea. The side effects it can cause are headache, dizziness, stomach upset, constipation, and allergic reactions.
Yohimbe extract is prepared from the bark of Pausinystalia yohimbe. The extract contains the active ingredient yohimbine. It relieves anxiety and improves mental alertness by blocking the enzyme monoamine oxidase. Its dose is around 30-50 mg daily.
Use caution because higher doses can cause serious complications, including death. Some likely side effects with use of yohimbe are increased heart rate, seizures, heart attack, dizziness, headache, allergic reaction, and vomiting.
Country mallow helps people suffering from narcolepsy by its stimulant effects that allow them to stay awake. The seeds and root of Sida cordifolia are used medicinally. The active ingredient responsible for the effects of country mallow is the amphetamine-like stimulant ephedrine.
Consult the product label to know the appropriate dose. Watch out for side effects like increased blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, seizures, loss of consciousness, and strokes.
Gotu kola extract helps in narcolepsy because it strengthens the blood vessels and improves the blood flow to brain. It also has antioxidant effects, which protect the cells of the nervous system.
It is derived from the aerial parts of Centella asiatica. Its dose is 60-180 mg daily. It is generally safe to use, though some side effects are stomach upset, itching, and liver damage. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are better off avoiding it.
Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.