ghee nerves

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS consists of the brain, spinal cord, and the optic nerves. Surrounding and protecting the nerve fibers of the CNS is a fatty tissue called myelin, which helps nerve fibers conduct electrical impulses.

In MS, myelin is lost in multiple areas, leaving scar tissue called sclerosis. These damaged areas are also known as plaques or lesions. Sometimes the nerve fiber itself is damaged or broken. Myelin not only protects nerve fibers, but makes their job possible. When myelin or the nerve fiber is destroyed or damaged, the ability of the nerves to conduct electrical impulses to and from the brain is disrupted, and this produces the various symptoms of MS.

Symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary from person to person and from time to time in the same person. For example, one person may experience abnormal fatigue, while another might have severe vision problems. A person with MS could have loss of balance and muscle coordination making walking difficult; another person with MS could have slurred speech, tremors, stiffness, and bladder problems. While some symptoms will come and go over the course of the disease, others may be more lasting. (1)

Ayurveda considers MS to be primarily due to vata imbalance. Vata’s qualities (cold, light, dry, and mobile) in excess will deplete the tissues of the body, including the nerves. 

In a patient predisposed to the condition, a vata-vitiating lifestyle including overwhelming stress, lack of routine, and a cold, light, dry, or irregular diet and eating habits with poor nutrition or digestion can contribute to this disease. 

A history of systemic dryness and cold may be present, including possible constipation, dry skin and mucous membranes, and weak circulation with cold extremities. There may also be a history of emotional stress or lack of emotional nourishment with worry, fear, overwhelm and disturbed sleep. 

Pitta may also play a role as excess heat, aggravated by an intense lifestyle of goal setting and achieving along with an overly spicy or pungent diet, could "burn out" the myelin sheath. In these cases heat may exacerbate the symptoms.

Tonification of the nerves is most important, both with herbs and a nourishing diet, as well as addressing any underlying psychological, emotional, or spiritual "malnourishment." Affirmation, visualization, meditation, counseling, aroma and color therapy, and yoga therapies, including breathing practices, may all be supportive. 

The digestion and elimination needs to be normalized and may be supported with a nutritive, vata-pacifying diet program including dairy products, whole grains, nuts and sesame seeds, and oils such as ghee (clarified butter). Ghee is especially beneficial for the nervous system and the myelin sheath. 

Establishing regular routines, meal times, and healthy eating habits are also important. Increasingly high doses of the herb ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is very helpful for both controlling symptoms and building the nervous system. Other helpful herbs for internal use include gotu kola, calamus, bala, guggul, and haritaki prepared in or taken with ghee.

Medicated oils can be used externally to help nourish the nerves and calm the mind, applied daily as a self-massage, or used in special Ayurvedic oil therapies such as shirodhara (a stream of warm oil poured continuously to the forehead), abhyanga (a two-person synchronized massage), and others. The oils can be medicated with herbs such as ashwagandha, guduchi, and bala, or the classical Ayurvedic formula mahanarayana taila.