A stroke is an emergency condition when a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain gets blocked or ruptures. As blood does not reach the brain, some parts of the brain may get affected. It can result in brain damage and sometimes even long-lasting disability.

A stroke can cause impairment of cognitive, speech, movement, and coordination skills. People often experience speaking difficulty, inability to move their limbs, pain, thinking, memory, and sleep issues. Management of stroke requires timely action, hospitalization, and emergency treatment. People who have experienced a stroke once are at greater risk of further stroke episodes.

One in four survivors of a stroke can experience another stroke in five years. Appropriate treatment and therapies during stroke recovery can help regain the impaired skills. The timelines for stroke recovery may vary from person to person, depending on the severity of the condition.

Speech, thinking, and movement-related problems often improve within initial weeks or months. For some people, improvement continues over a long period. It is necessary to treat the underlying conditions that cause or increase the risk of a stroke and its complications. Healthy diet and lifestyle changes are also essential.

Role of homeopathy in stroke recovery

The long-term effects of stroke depend on the part of the brain affected. The severity and extent may vary. Stroke recovery aims at rehabilitation and regaining impaired skills. Post-stroke complications such as neuromuscular problems and emotional symptoms can pose a challenge. Homeopathic medicines treat the person considering individualization with thorough case-taking and evaluation.

They can help reduce the symptoms, and improve impaired skills and neuromuscular complications. Constitutional remedies can help improve physical and cognitive skills and relieve neuropsychiatric symptoms observed during stroke recovery.

Six homeopathic medicines for stroke recovery

Arnica montana

Common name: Leopard’s bane

Arnica helps the healing process during the post-trauma phase, right after a stroke, and during stroke recovery. It is known to have anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce pain and swelling. It is considered a muscular tonic and can help improve blood circulation. It is indicated for relieving fatigue and soreness after injury or exertion. Other symptoms include oversensitivity, unbearable pain, inability to walk due to pain, fear of being touched, and sleeplessness.

Belladonna

Common name: Deadly nightshade

Belladonna is indicated in vascular problems with congestion, throbbing pain, oversensitivity, and excitement. Other symptoms include headache, jerky movements of facial muscles, spasms in limbs, restlessness, difficulty falling asleep, anxiety, and changeable thoughts. It can help relieve the complaints that get worse by touch, movement, and noise. It helps improve swallowing difficulty, spasms in throat muscles, weakness while walking, and unsteady gait.

Causticum

Common name: Hahnemann’s tinctura acris sine kali

Causticum is useful in reducing tearing pain in the muscles and bones of the face and limbs. It can help improve the inability to open the jaw, swallowing, and speech difficulty due to paralysis of the tongue, vocal cords, or facial muscles. Other symptoms include trouble arising from excessive emotional sensitivity, exposure to cold wind, neck pain, numbness in hands or feet, unsteady gait, back stiffness, walking difficulty, and urinary incontinence. It is helpful to relieve restlessness at night, anxiety or fear of being alone, and depression about the suffering.

Gelsemium sempervirens

Common name: Yellow jasmine

Gelsemium is indicated in paralysis, muscular coordination problems, mental dullness, and anticipation anxiety during stroke recovery. It can be helpful in muscular weakness and paralysis of different muscles. Other symptoms include headache, vision problems, dizziness, difficulty swallowing with pain, muscle cramps, weakness in the limbs with trembling,  excessive thinking, and fatigue after slight exertion or mental work.

Hypericum perforatum

Common name: St. John’s-wort

Hypericum is considered neuroprotective and helpful in injuries involving nerve damage. Other symptoms include nerve pain, tingling, numbness, drowsiness, fear of falling, anxiety, difficulty in writing or learning new things, and memory issues. It helps relieve sadness, lack of interest, reduced concentration, appetite changes, and sleep irregularities after the traumatic incident.

Nux vomica

Common name: Poison nut

Nux vomica is indicated in nervousness, irritability, oversensitivity to light, sound, smell, and inability to undertake mental and physical exertion. It is helpful in paralysis of hands and legs, numbness, loss of power in the limbs, and inability to move. Other symptoms include restlessness, insomnia with waking early in the morning, inability to sleep, headache and dizziness, fainting, paralysis of muscles around the eyes, twitching and pain in the eyes, neck, and back pain, and difficulty sitting and moving.

Causative factors for stroke

Stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is blocked (ischemic stroke) or the blood vessel to the brain ruptures (hemorrhagic stroke). Although stroke can occur in anyone, certain conditions increase the risk of stroke. During the stroke recovery phase, it is necessary to manage the risk factors to prevent further attacks.

History of a previous stroke

A history of a previous mini-stroke or transient ischemic attack increases the risk of having a stroke.

High blood pressure

If the pressure in the blood vessels is very high, their risk of rupture increases. It can result in bleeding, leading to a stroke.

High cholesterol

With raised cholesterol levels, there are greater chances of deposition of excess cholesterol on the inner lining of the walls of arteries. It can cause narrowing of blood vessels and can result in vascular problems such as stroke.

Heart disease

In coronary artery disease, the plaque build-up in the arteries can obstruct blood flow due to the brain. Heart diseases such as arrhythmias can cause the breaking of blood clots, resulting in stroke.

Diabetes

High blood sugar affects the nutrients and oxygen supply to the brain, causing blockages.

Diet and lifestyle factors

Cigarette smoking, alcohol overuse, consuming a diet rich in saturated fats, physical inactivity, and obesity contribute to the risk factors of stroke.

Other factors

Advancing age, family history of stroke, certain genetic disorders such as sickle cell disease, and use of contraceptive pills in women.

Symptoms of stroke

After the initial acute phase, some symptoms may persist with varying intensity during stroke recovery.

Speech problems

The person may have slurred speech, difficulty speaking, or understanding what others are saying.

Numbness

Numbness in the face or arms, inability to smile or use facial muscles, ineffective jaw opening, difficulty raising arms, sometimes only one side of the body is affected.

Weakness

Weakness may be present on one or both sides or one half of the body. Paralysis or inability to move the limbs, and problems with bowel or bladder control may be present.

Gait problems

Trembling of limbs, poor coordination of hands or legs, difficulty in walking, and unstable gait.

Pain

Headache and pain in the face, neck, back, arms, or limbs can worsen with movement.

Vision difficulties

Trouble seeing is common with blurred or double vision in one or both eyes.

Confusion

Confusion, understanding, thinking, attention, judgment, and memory problems are commonly seen during stroke recovery.

Changes in sleep patterns

Extreme fatigue, and tired feeling, disturbed sleep, trouble falling asleep, or changing patterns may be present.

Emotional disturbances

Irritability, increased sensitivity of senses, anxiety, impulsivity, apathy, and depression may occur.

Treatment for stroke recovery

Treatment is given for the underlying conditions that can increase the risk of recurrence of a stroke. Some people may require close monitoring for a few days. Medicines to treat depression, and anxiety, may be advised. Treatment during stroke recovery mainly aims at regaining the lost skills. Rehabilitative therapies help improve speech, movement, strength, and quality of life.

Physical therapy

It uses exercises and physical training to improve movement and muscle coordination impaired due to stroke. It helps improve flexibility, prevents joint contractures, and improves muscle strength. Recommendations regarding the need for assistive devices and modifications to improve functionality or reduce the risk of falling when moving or walking are important.

Speech therapy

It helps improve the ability to produce and comprehend speech.

Occupational therapy

It uses exercises and activities that help regain the skills of daily activities such as dressing, grooming, writing, and reading.

Counseling

Counseling helps relieve anxiety, depression, mood issues, and other emotional symptoms arising due to the inability to function appropriately during stroke recovery.

Diet and lifestyle modifications for stroke recovery

  • Restrict processed foods, sugars, and saturated fats.
  • Reduce salt intake to maintain blood pressure.
  • Include whole grain foods, fiber-rich foods, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Cut down on smoking and alcohol.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Stay physically active as symptoms get better
  • Practice relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga.
  • Get support from family and friends.
  • Participate in leisure activities and gradually return to work.

Conclusion

Stroke recovery is a crucial period that needs proper treatment, care, and monitoring. While the aim is to regain the impaired skills, it is equally important to prevent further stroke recurrence. Post-stroke complications include neurological, musculoskeletal, and psychosocial issues.

Homeopathic medicines for stroke recovery can help in improving neuromuscular symptoms. They can help relieve pain, anxiety, and depression and reduce your post-stroke complications. For safe and effective homeopathic treatment it is better to seek advice from a qualified homeopathic doctor.

References

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  • Mikawlrawng K, Rani R, Kumar S, Bhardwaj AR, Prakash G. Anti-paralytic medicinal plants – Review. J Tradit Complement Med [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2024 Mar 21];8(1):4–10. Available from:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcme.2017.02.001
  • Klemow KM, Bartlow A, Crawford J, Kocher N, Shah J, Ritsick M. Medical Attributes of St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum). CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. [cited 2024 Mar 21]. Available from:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92750/