Category: Back Pain

Alternative Treatment of Friedreich’s ataxia


Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) is a rare genetic, neurodegenerative movement disorder. The disorder is characterized by impaired muscle coordination (ataxia) because of nervous system damage which affects the spinal cord. The disorder typically hampers muscle movement in the limbs (arms and legs); thereby posing difficulties with walking, and also causing various other problems. The disorder, which begins in childhood, requires timely management because it is a progressive condition that becomes worse over time. Planet Ayurveda offers some excellent Herbal Products for Natural Management of Friedreich’s ataxia.

Friedreich’s ataxia: Overview

Friedreich’s ataxia – also called spinocerebellar degeneration – is a progressive disorder of the nerves and muscles. The disorder was first described in the 1860s by German doctor Nikolaus Friedreich.

Friedreich’s ataxia is a rare and inherited condition that damages certain parts of the brain and the spinal cord, because of which the nerves which are responsible for controlling the movement of the limbs get adversely affected. The damage to the nervous system in patients suffering from the disorder impairs muscle coordination because of a buildup of iron.

The age of the onset of Friedreich’s ataxia is usually between 5 and 15 years. The disorder can affect boys as well as girls.

As Friedreich’s ataxia progresses with time, the patients usually require a wheelchair after 15-20 years of the onset of the disorder. In severe cases, the patients can eventually become incapacitated, as they lose complete control over limb movements. Overall, the disorder not only causes progressive impairment of muscle coordination, but can also cause several complications involving the heart, vision, hearing, spine, and feet.

Friedreich’s ataxia

Causes of Friedreich’s ataxia

The key cause behind Friedreich’s ataxia is mutations in the copies of the FXN gene which the patients of the disorder inherit from their parents. The FXN is the genetic code for a protein known as ‘frataxin’ which ensures proper functioning of mitochondria (the energy-producing parts of the nerve and heart cells).

The mutations in the FXN gene adversely affect the production of ‘frataxin’ protein in Friedreich’s ataxia patients, thereby triggering a gradual degeneration of the nerve fibers in the spinal cord and peripheral nerves. The FXN-gene mutations, therefore, damage the nervous system, the spinal cord, and the nerves that control the limb movements.

Symptoms of Friedreich’s ataxia

Friedreich’s ataxia makes it difficult for the patients to coordinate the movements of their arms and legs. In particular, some of the symptoms of the disorder are:

  • Walking difficulties
  • Muscle weakness
  • Slurred speech (Dysarthria)
  • Loss of hearing
  • Involuntary movement of the eyes
  • Lack of reflexes in the legs
  • Clubfoot or other foot deformities
  • Spine curved to one side (Scoliosis)
  • Chest pain
  • Heart palpitations
  • Shortness of breath.

Treatment of Friedreich’s Ataxia

There is no specific Treatment for Friedreich’s ataxia. The management of the disorder is largely focused on treating the symptoms with the help of medications, physical therapy, and the use of walking aids, prostheses, and wheelchair. In some patients, the treatment may also involve a surgical procedure or non-surgical interventions for curing the curvature of the spine and foot deformities.

Friedreich’s ataxia can also be managed naturally with the help of herbal formulations prepared in accordance with the guidelines given in ancient Ayurvedic texts for treating the neurodegenerative movement disorder. Planet Ayurveda offers the following herbal products for natural management of Friedreich’s ataxia:

1. Brahmi Capsules

The standardized extract of ‘Brahmi’ herb (Bacopa Monneiri) is used for the preparation of these capsules. The herb has immense therapeutic value and is an excellent health tonic, aphrodisiac and memory enhancer.

The use of these capsules is beneficial in managing Friedreich’s ataxia because the Brahmi herb has the ability to strengthen the nervous system, promote mental health, improve memory and concentration, re-build brain tissues, remove free radicals from the body, regulate blood pressure, and relieve inflammatory disorders.

Dosage:1 capsule, twice daily after meals with plain water.

2. Gotukola Capsules

The preparation of these capsules involves the use of pure and standardized extracts of ‘Gotukola’ herb (Centella asiatica). The herb is known for its immense medicinal value and its ability to promote overall health and well-being.

The symptoms of Friedreich’s ataxia can be managed with these capsules because Gotukola herb can maintain brain health, enhance memory, support healthy blood circulation in the body, maintain a healthy metabolic rate, and balance the Pitta dosha.

Dosage: 1 capsule, twice daily after meals with plain water

Herbal remedies for Friedreich’s ataxia

Alternative Medicine for Friedreich’s ataxia

3. Ashwagandha Capsules

For preparing these capsules, a standardized extract of ‘Ashwagandha’ herb (Withania somnifera) is used. The potent herb is widely known for its anti-inflammatory properties and immense medicinal significance.

The use of these capsules is beneficial in managing Friedreich’s ataxia because Ashwagandha herb can enhance mental health, improve brain function, support nerve functions, enhance heart health, reduce metabolic imbalances, strengthen the muscles, manage inflammation, rejuvenate the body, and balance the Vata and Pitta doshas.

Dosage: 1 capsule, twice daily after meals with plain water

4. Boswellia Curcumin

These capsules are prepared from a combination of two potent anti-inflammatory herbal ingredients — Shallaki (Boswellia serrata) and Curcumin (Curcuma longa). The Shallaki herb is known for its ability to fight inflammation, while Curcumin is considered an excellent antioxidant.

The use of these capsules is beneficial for patients suffering from Friedreich’s ataxia because the two herbal components can promote neuro-protective activity, relieve pain and inflammation, support healthy joint function, reduce joint stiffness, and swelling, increase mobility, support immune health, and maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.

Dosage: 1 capsule, twice daily after meals with plain water

5. Shilajit Capsules

The standardized extract of ‘Shilajit’ herb (Asphaltum) is used for the preparation of these capsules. Shilajit herb has a lot of medicinal value and is considered an excellent adaptogen, restorative, rejuvenative and ‘Rasayana.’

People affected by Friedreich’s ataxia can benefit from the use of these capsules because Shilajit has the ability to maintain a healthy mind and a healthy body, rejuvenate brain cells, relieve mental and physical stress, enhance memory and concentration, improve the body metabolism, eliminate toxins from the body, strengthen the muscles, and purify the blood.

Dosage: 1 capsule, twice daily after meals with plain water

6. Yograj Guggul

These tablets are prepared from a combination of some extremely beneficial herbs, including Shuddh Guggulu (Commiphora mukul), Chitraka (Plumbago zeylanica), Pippali (Piper longum), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Mustaka (Citrus rotundus), Jeeraka (Cuminum cyminum), Devdaru (Cedrus deodara), Ela (Eletteria cardamomum), Ardraka (Zingiber officinale), Yavani (Trachyspermum ammi), Karavi (Piper chaba), Ajamoda (Trachyspermum roxburghianum), Kushta (Saussurea lappa), Rasna (Pluchea lanceolata), Dhanyaka (Coriander), Gokshura (Tribulus terrestris), and Patra (Cinnamomum zeylanicum).

The use of these tablets can benefit patients affected by Friedreich’s ataxia because the herbal ingredients have the combined ability to manage nervous disorders, strengthen the neuromuscular system, maintain a healthy metabolism, support healthy muscles, treat bone and joint disorders, and balance the Vata dosha.

Dosage: 2 tablets, twice daily after meals with plain water


Planet Ayurveda Herbal Products for Natural Management of Friedreich’s ataxia are prepared from 100% pure and standardized herbs. The products are completely safe to use because they do not contain any chemicals, starch, yeast, artificial colors, preservatives, additives, fillers, or binders. However, it is recommended that patients suffering from Friedreich’s ataxia should use herbal products in consultation with an expert Ayurveda practitioner.

Top 7 Home Remedies for Fibromyalgia-Fatigue

Fibromyalgia is a condition characterised by widespread musculoskeletal pain which is accompanied by fatigue, memory, sleep and mood issues. It is a chronic condition where is non-inflammatory tenderness in muscles, ligaments and joints. Fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way by which brain processes pain signals. Fibromyalgia patients have been found to have lower levels of a brain neurotransmitter known as—serotonin which leads to lowered pain thresholds and increased sensitivity to pain. Serotonin also promotes calm and stable mental state.

Women are much more likely to develop fibromyalgia. Many people suffering from fibromyalgia also suffer from tension, headaches, temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ), anxiety, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, etc. There is no cure of fibromyalgia in modern medicine but a variety of medicines are available to control its symptoms. Exercise and stress-reduction measures may also help.

Home Remedies for Fibromyalgia

What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?

  1. Widespread pain—There is a constant dull ache that has lasted for at least 3 months. The pain occurs on both sides of the body and also above and below the waist.
  2. Cognitive difficulties—A symptom commonly known as—fibro fog impairs the ability to focus and concentrate on mental tasks.
  3. Fatigue—Patients suffering from fibromyalgia often awaken tired and the sleep is often disrupted by pain and many patients also develop sleep disorders like—restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea.
  4. Many patients who have fibromyalgia also experience depression, headaches or cramping pain in the lower abdomen.
  5. Stiffness
  6. Burning sensation
  7. Pain is usually severe on waking up in the morning and gradually decreases with passing of the day.

What are the causes of Fibromyalgia?

  1. Infections—Some illnesses trigger or aggravate fibromyalgia.
  2. Physical or Emotional Trauma—Post-traumatic stress disorder can be correlated with fibromyalgia.
  3. Heredity—Fibromyalgia tends to run in families.


  • The diagnostic evaluation of fibromyalgia can take time, but this should not be the barrier in primary care practices. It is diagnosed on the basis of characteristic symptoms. Patient history, physical examination and ruling out co-morbid disorders are the cornerstones of fibromyalgia recognition. No radiological testing is required however some tests like—ESR, C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, a complete blood cell count, rheumatoid factor (RF) factor is recommended.

Fibromyalgia according to Ayurveda

  1. The Charak Samhita Sutrasthana Chapter 13 elaborates on the pre-eminence and primacy of the Vata dosha in the body. Acording to Master Charak, Vata is the physical energy of the body penetrating as a life force everywhere in the physiology. Fibromyalgia is classified as Mamsa Dhatugat (diseases affecting muscles and tendons) and Mamsavrut Vata (diseases due to excess of Vata dosha in muscles and tendons). It involves dysfunction in Vata Vaha Srota, Mamsa Vaha Srota and Mamsa Dhatvagni. It falls into a sub-type of disease known in Ayurveda as “Vatavyadhi”—the diseases caused primarily due to the vitiation of Vata dosha—the physiological energy responsible for the stability and activity of the nervous system.
  2. It is described in ancient texts as manifesting with a variety of possible and changing symptoms and signs including pain, stiffness, fatigue, gradual loss of movement, mental disturbance etc.  Dietary and lifestyle modifications are suggested in Ayurveda to correct the Vata imbalance. In Ayurveda, accumulation of toxins is believed to be the root cause of various auto-immune disorders like—rheumatoid arthritis, cervical spondylosis and fibromyalgia.
  3. The build-up of toxins can lead a person to feel fatigue all the time. When toxic accumulation takes its toll on the nerve tissue, it results into the symptoms of tenderness, sensitivity and pain. Therefore, cleaning of toxins becomes necessary. Primarily, samprapti (pathogenesis) originates in the gastro-intestinal tract, then branches out through the madhyama rogamarga, the middle channels of the pathogenic process of disease with special inclination for shleshma sthana especially mamsa dhatu (muscle tissue) and their corresponding channels.

Ayurveda uses a range of natural anti-arthritic herbs to treat this condition. Various herbs are

  • Shallaki (Boswellia serrata)—This herb is commonly known as “Salai Guggal”. It is a resin obtained from the tree and is purified and used to treat pain and inflammation. It has the potential to relieve pain naturally without having any side effects and is a popular natural anti-inflammatory herb used by Ayurvedic physicians across the world.
  • Nirgundi (Vitex negundo)—It is considered as the most potent anti-arthritic herb effective in controlling pain and inflammation in arthritic conditions.
  • Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)-–  This herb is commonly known by the name Indian ginseng by the western countries. This herb has anti-inflammatory and anti-stress properties.
  • Guggul (Commiphora mukul)—This herb has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. This herb helps particularly in osteo-arthritis.
  • Giloy (Tinospora cordifolia)—This herb is one of the leading immunomodulators. This herb is known by the name “Amrita” meaning elixir for long life.
  • Ginger (Zingiber officinale)—It is a very common anti-inflammatory herb that reduces inflammation and also a good analgesic.

Top 7 Home Remedies for Fibromyalgia:

  1. Grind 8-10 papaya seeds and mix it in a glass of water and boil it. Drink this water twice or thrice a day for a month.
  2. Drink freshly prepared cranberry juice or radish juice daily.
  3. Drinking freshly prepared juice of beetroot, carrot can help in fighting this condition, apart from improving overall health.
  4. Make Meditation as a part of your lifestyle.
  5. Regular Sleeping Habits—This is important for reducing pain
  6. Make a habit of morning walk every day.
  7. Epsom salt—Epsom salt is magnesium sulphate. Epsom salt bath helps the body to absorb magnesium as fibromyalgia is associated with magnesium deficiency.

Diet—Things to be Taken

  • The best suited diet for fibromyalgia are vegetable juices, cow’s ghee, spices such as—ginger, coriander, asafoetida, turmeric, fennel, etc. It is a condition mainly associated with magnesium deficiency, so it is good to consume green leafy vegetables, soybeans, cashews, almonds. Taking omega-3 fatty acids help in creating a hormone prostaglandin that helps in reducing inflammation.
  • It is essential to drink plenty of water to flush out toxins from the body.

Things to be Avoided

  • Avoid eating spicy food, caffeine, refined sugar, yogurt.

Note : It should be noted that herbs give results but it will take some time for herbs to manifest in the body.