Herbal Remedies for Tourette Syndrome

Flower of Passiflora in the garden.
A close-up of a passionflower. (Image: Georgina198/iStock/Getty Images)

Tourette syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by numerous motor ticks lasting longer than one year. According to the National Tourette Syndrome Association, involuntary frequent, rapid and repetitive ticks of the muscles located in the arms, legs, face or trunk are usually the first symptoms to develop. In addition to physical tics, there are also verbal tics associated with this condition. Involuntary shouting, barking, clearing of the throat and grunting may occur. Herbs that have calming and relaxing properties may reduce the frequency of tics associated with Tourette syndrome. Speak with your doctor before using herbs to treat Tourette syndrome.

Causes

Doctors and scientists are not exactly sure what causes Tourette syndrome; however, it is likely to be the result of environmental and genetic factors, according to MayoClinic.com. If Tourette syndrome is the result of genetic disorders, scientists are still trying to determine what genes cause Tourette to develop. In addition, the site states that certain neurotransmitters in the brain such as dopamine and serotonin may also play a role.

Lady's Slipper

Lady’s slipper is a perennial plant native to North America that can be found blooming from May to July. Lady’s slipper contains antispasmodic, diaphoretic and nervine properties. The root contains volatile oils, volatile acids, gallic acids and inorganic salts. When used medicinally, lady’s slipper is used to treat tremors, neuralgia, convulsions and muscle spasms. According to the Medicinal Herb Info website, 5 tbsp. of ground rootstock may be boiled for one hour and taken in doses of 1 tbsp. per hour as needed to calm and relax muscles.

Passionflower

Passionflower is a climbing vine that can have stems up to 30 feet in length. The purple, blue and pink flowers can be found blooming in the months of May, June and July. When used as an alternative treatment, passionflower helps treat conditions related to the nervous system such as insomnia, muscle cramps, seizures, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy. The antispasmodic and sedative properties in passionflower may help reduce the severity and frequency of tics associated with Tourette syndrome. According to Medicinal Herb Info, up to 60 drops of passionflower tincture may be taken.

Warnings

Some herbs may have adverse reactions if used in conjunction with certain over-the-counter medications and prescription medications. Women who may be pregnant, thinking of becoming pregnant or nursing should not use herbs unless otherwise directed by their doctor.

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