HERB - documenting herbs for treating epilepsy?

umwhit46@cc.UManitoba.CA umwhit46 at cc.UManitoba.CA
Thu Apr 30 22:14:19 PDT 1998

>The Culpeper's Color Herbal as sold by the SCA Stockclerk indeed has an
>index by disease state. Epilepsy is listed under 'falling-sickness' and
>lists betony (wood), bryony, cinquefoil, cowslip, dittany(white),
>fennel(sow or hogs), garlic, heart's ease, hellebore(black), hyssop,
>juniper tree, lavender, lily of the valley, lime tree, masterwort,
>mistletoe, mustard(black), paeony, pellitory of Spain, plantain,
>poplar(black), rosemary, sage(common garden), thorn-apple, and violet. I
>did not check this extensive list with the text to pull primary plants. My
>modern natural med reference does not cover seizure disorders at all. 
>Another source is  Hippocrates' "The Sacred Disease" as it deals with
>epilepsy. It is available on the web at
>http://classics.mit.edu/Hippocrates/sacred.html. I did a quick scan of it
>and it talks a lot about the signs and pathophysiology (from a humoral
>standpoint, of course), but I did not see any mention of treatment, but I
>did not read it in depth. 
>Sorry for not answering earlier, but I finished up classes this week, and
>everybody had papers and presentations due. Needless to say, it has been
>quite hectic. Now all I have to do is finish a thesis. 
>In Service to Physick and Chirurgy,
>Friar Galen of Ockham
>chirurgeon at altavista.net
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Not being a chemist or a pharmacist, and so having no idea if there is any correlation, I wonder if any of the 
herbal remedies listed over time for "falling sickness" are chemically related to phenytoin, carbamazepine or 
any of the other myriad modern treatments for epilepsy.  I am always intrigued by tracing the "lineage" of 
modern treatments -- for example, ancient physicians were giving patients foxglove preparations for heart 
disease long before modern medicine pasted the label "digitalis" on a bottle.  

Does anybody know of a reliable source, or sources, for this kind of research?


Sian verch Gruffydd
Chirurgeon and perpetual student
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