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Causes and Symptoms: Falling sickness, or epilepsy, is a nervous disorder in which there is a sudden loss of consciousness and convulsions. The attack comes on suddenly, but there are certain premonitory symptoms. A person subject to attacks of epilepsy starts having some preliminary troubles which precede the attack. A sufferer may start experiencing a strong smell, there may be tremors or contractions in a part of his body or he may see some extraordinary vision. These symptoms give the patient time to lie down before the fit and avoid injury.

A sudden cry, produced by the involuntary convulsions of the muscles of the larynx and the expulsion of air through the narrowed glottis, precedes the attack. The patient falls suddenly and may, in some cases, sustain serious injury. The muscles contract, the head is turned to one side and breathing may stop totally. The pulse is rapid and the pupils dilated. This condition may last for a minute after which there are violent convulsions: eyes roll wildly, the teeth are gnashed together and the tongue may be severely bitten. The breathing may be noisy and foam, flecked with blood, may issue from both sides of the mouth. After a few seconds to a few minutes the convulsions subside and the muscles relax, there is also a partial return to consciousness. Then there is a drowsiness and stupor which may last for a few hours. The patient then recovers either completely or is left with a feeling of exhaustion and depression.

Sometimes, fits may occur during the night and in that case the patient may take longer to recognize the malady. Fits are also seen to occur without any convulsions: there is total lack of consciousness and the patient wake sup in the morning with a peculiar sense of loss. If the disease becomes severe-a condition known as furor epileptious-the attack may be followed by violet acts on the part of the patient. What is worse is that on coming to sense the sufferer has no memory of the acts he has indulges in.

Epilepsy is the result of a sudden discharge of electrical energy by the brain which is devoid of any purposive action and such discharges take place in an unusual manner from time to time. The disease may appear at any stage of life, but, usually, the fits start before adult life, usually during infancy or at puberty. Sudden fright, prolonged worry, overwork and alcoholism can bring on the attacks in persons predisposed to it.

It is not an easy malady to cure. The patient must be kept under a close watch because he may fall while he is walking across a busy road or fall into a well or a fire, if he is sitting nearby. When the fit comes, the patient should be laid to rest in a bad in a clean, airy place. His neck and chest should be freed of all restrictive clothing. A handkerchief rolled into a ball should be thrust between his teeth so that when the convulsions come, he does not bite off hi tongue.

Remedies: The main objective of the treatment of this condition is to strengthen the heart and the nervous system. The Brahmi Booti is a wonderful drug to do this. One teaspoonful of juice of this plant should be sweetened with Honey and given to the patient thrice daily. Another wonderful remedy for this condition is the Vacha. A teaspoonful of the powder of the root of this plant should be given thrice daily. One of the celebrated home remedies for epilepsy is the Urine of the She Ass; 50 ml. of the urine should be taken twice daily.

An epileptic fit should be dealt with by the administration of the following remedies:

The fruit of Katai Khurd ground in water should be used as a nose drop to bring the patient round. Gujai (peripatus) dried, wrapped in a cloth and set on fire should be used to induce the smoke into the nostrils of the epilepsy patient. This objective can also be achieved by grinding the shell of the Soap nut in water and dropping it into the nostrils of the victim. Alternatively, the capsule of Bindal should be ground fine, sifted and blown into the patient's nose. When the sufferer has regained consciousness, the drops should be repeated till his head clears.

Regimen: The patient must take easily digested foods, fruits and vegetables (mostly green). He must avoid constipation and indigestion as they are likely to aggravate his condition. Sesame Oil must be used for massaging his head and the soles of his feet.


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