Bell’s palsy is basically a condition wherein there is an impermanent deterioration of the facial nerve. Also known as idiopathic palsy, the symptoms of Bell’s palsy may comprise facial weakness or paralysis, lack of sensation and occasionally, even dehydrated mouth or eyes. In addition, people enduring Bell’s palsy may also experience severe facial pain.
On average, this condition affects approximately 40,000 Americans every year and is most widespread among people who are in the age group of 20 and 35 years. Although the reason behind this condition is yet to be ascertained, the commencement of Bell’s palsy is usually related to a viral infection, especially main contagion accompanied by herpes simplex type 1, Lyme disease or autoimmune disease.
Bell’s palsy occurs all of a sudden; at times the condition is preceded many hours earlier by pain at the back of the ear on the side which is affected. More than 85 per cent people who suffer from Bell’s palsy recuperate in a year’s time or even before and in less than 20 per cent the condition recurs.
The impact of Bell’s palsy on one expression is basically one of the main distressing aspects of this condition. Patients suffering mild cases of Bell’s palsy are also not able to lift their eyebrows correspondingly and it is also likely that they might find it extremely difficult to smile or demonstrate their teeth. In other instances of this condition, Bell’s palsy results in autonomic synkinesis, commonly known as ‘crocodile tears’ – a condition wherein the patient weep impulsively without having any emotional motivation.
Apart from Bell’s palsy, several other health conditions, a number of them quite acute, may also result in facial paralysis. Owing to this reason, it is necessary to stay away from self-diagnosis of this medical condition. Since there are no precise tests to diagnose this problem, physicians usually diagnose Bell’s palsy by doing away with the additional possible reasons for the symptoms, for instance, middle ear and parotid infections, cancer, mumps, stroke and Lyme disease.
When the physician has diagnosed Bell’s palsy, it may be cured by using a variety of medical treatments. Simultaneous use of herbs may enhance the efficiency of such remedies as well as provide relief from certain symptoms associated with this condition.
Supplements and herbs
As mentioned above, herbs can augment the effectiveness of the treatments of Bell’s palsy with other medication. The specific herbs that may be used to facilitate the treatment of this condition are discussed in brief below.
Cloves essential oil – Taking five to ten drops of clove essential oil in one-fourth cup of water thrice every day will speed up the recovery from Bell’s palsy. Precisely speaking, clove essential oil augments the efficiency of treatment of this condition with acyclovir (Zovirax).
Kudzu tablets – It is advisable that you take kudzu tablets in dosage of 10 mg thrice every day. Kudzu tablets help the facial muscle tension to relax, in addition to unwinding the muscles of the neck, which are basically not affected by this condition.
Licorice. Glycyrrhizin tablets – Licorice tablet should be taken in dosage of 200 mg to 800 mg every day conditional on the acuteness of the symptoms. It is advisable that you use this tablet for a period of six weeks and subsequently take a break of two weeks. Here is a word of caution – never replace deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL). In addition, intake plenty of foods that have high potassium content, for instance bananas or citrus juices. Alternately, you may also take a potassium supplementation every day while you are taking this herb.
Aromatherapy is an effective way of treating Bell’s palsy. For instance, when your physician has diagnosed that you are suffering from Bell’s palsy, you may possibly wish to try some massage blends with essential oils with a view to assist in accelerating the recovery from this condition. However, it is advisable that whenever you endure facial paralysis do not take it for granted that you have developed Bell’s palsy.
Instead, it is essential to visit a physician for proper diagnosis of the condition prior to beginning any type of self-treatment. When you visit your physician, tell him or her if you would like to try some kind of corresponding health solutions prior to your physician prescribing any steroid – in severe instances, physicians generally prescribe prednisone.
Nevertheless, massage the part of the face as well as the neck using essential oils that have been blended with your preferred carrier oil. When you employ essential oils possessing nerve rejuvenating attributes, it will facilitate the healing procedure. Helichrysum is said to be the most effective essential oil to facilitate regeneration of the nerve, while a number of other essential oils may also prove to be helpful.
Several essential oils, such as lavender, juniper berry, rosemary, peppermint, sweet marjoram and eucalyptus may also prove to be effective in easing the distress caused by Bell’s palsy. In addition, using essential oils of German chamomile as well as Roman chamomile are also effective in providing relief from the inflammation caused by Bell’s palsy and it is possible that you would also like to include these essential oils in your massage blend.
Additional things you may do
In addition to using conventional medicines, trying herbs and supplements and using aromatherapy, there are a number of other things that you may do to heal Bell’s palsy. First and foremost, once you have been diagnosed of developing this condition, start the treatment as early as possible. In fact, it is best to begin treatment with prescription drugs within the first 72 hours of the emergence of the symptoms of the condition. Always bear in mind, the longer you delay starting the treatment, using the herbs that complement the treatment to the prescription drugs will prove to be more useful.
At the same time, it is vital to perform appropriate eye care. In all probability, your physician will also prescribe eye drops for you to be used during the day time, ointments for use before retiring to bed at night and also suggest you to use a moisture chamber similar to a goggle to wear during the night. Be careful never to graze the cornea either by patching or patting the eye itself. In fact, it is quite easy to keep your eye moist when you put a small portion of plastic bind over your eye and apply the wrap to the face using a hairnet tape.
There are a number of doctors who generally prescribe a blend of an antiviral medicine, usually acyclovir (Zovirax), along with a steroid hormone, particularly prednisone (Deltasone), to treat Bell’s palsy.
It may be noted that the steroid hormone prednisone may cause possible side effects, which may include hypertension (high blood pressure), which may actually result in the deterioration of the condition. In case there is a doubt regarding the effectiveness of prednisone in your case, and it has not been prescribed by your physician, you may try taking licorice for a period of a month. In effect, licorice encloses glycyrrhizin, which harmonizes acyclovir in the similar manner as prednisone, but has lesser number of side effects.
At the same time, keep an eye on your blood pressure no less than once every week while taking prednisone or licorice. It is important to keep your physician informed provided you have two or additional successive readings above 140/ 90.
In case the patient is suffering from high blood pressure (hypertension) from before, it will only protract Bell’s palsy and also augment the risk of its recurrence. Hence, it is important to check and carefully monitor your blood pressure on a regular basis. In case your blood pressure readings are above 140/ 90 on two or more cases, you should start a program of regulating your blood pressure.
In some cases, people suffering from Bell’s palsy undergo electrical stimulation healing, which may actually be provided in the form of a potential therapy. However, it is unfortunate that this type of therapy does not appear to cure this condition. In fact, there are a number of warnings that employing the electrical stimulation treatment may damage the nerve further as well as holdup the healing process.
There are many reasons which are yet to be completely comprehended; it has been found that Bell’s palsy is exceedingly widespread in Kumming, a Chinese city. As a result of this people practicing acupuncture in Kumming have successfully developed highly effectual methods of treating Bell’s palsy.
In effect, these methodologies of treatment include the modus operandi of ‘pause and regress’, wherein needles are popped in, withdrawn and subsequently put back on the acupuncture points over the different areas of the face that are supplied by the facial nerve. Generally, acupuncture treatment is begun on the part of the face which is not concerned by Bell’s palsy. In effect, it normally takes about two weeks’ time to witness the improvements in the symptoms provided you take the treatment every day.
In addition, people suffering from Bell’s palsy may also find relief from the symptoms by applying heat to the face. Employing a heating pad put on a low setting or using heated gel packs also helps to provide relief from the distension at the distressed nerve and may also assist in easing pain. Moreover, applying moist heat, for instance, a warm, damp washcloth may also help in treating Bell’s palsy.
A number of patients enduring Bell’s palsy often experience pain at the back of the ear and using heat therapy may prove to be beneficial in ending the uneasiness caused by Bell’s palsy. Blood circulation to the muscles distressed owing to Bell’s palsy may also be improve by massaging the affected area following the heat treatment.
People enduring Bell’s palsy may also apply physical therapy on the facial muscles, as it may facilitate in stimulating the nerves affected by this condition and also assist in sustaining or improving the muscle tone. Besides, augmenting blood circulation, massaging the muscles of the face may also assist in unwinding the facial muscles that have been contracted owing to Bell’s palsy. In addition, your therapist may as well recommend exercises for the facial muscles for the patients to practice at their home with a view to sustain the tone of the facial muscles.
Other beneficial herbs