Narcolepsy (part 11)

… continued from previous ten articles on narcolepsy, where in the recent one the cost of two pharmacological treatments; Modafinil and Sodium Oxybate were mentioned.

However, I will briefly go back to non-pharmacological treatments and mention some herbal treatments I came across during my research on any herbal treatments available for narcolepsy.

In this week’s article, I will discuss the herbal treatments used to treat symptoms of  narcolepsy in a case study.

Herbal treatment for narcolepsy:

I read about a case where a fireman was exposed to toxic fumes and developed narcolepsy symptoms and was further found to indeed have narcolepsy. The patient’s diet was changed to help cure the symptoms associated with narcolepsy such as cataplexy.

Male, aged 56. His problem began six years prior to first appointment when, in his job as a firefighter, he was accidentally exposed to a cocktail of toxic fumes. He passed out at the time and suffered some temporary amnesia.

Since that time he suffered from progressively worsening narcolepsy and this had severely affected his cognitive functioning to a point that his job was threatened. He was chronically irritable and had episodes of depression. He had very low energy and stamina, poor memory and concentration, and experienced a lot of ‘brain fog.’ He could fall asleep at any time: in the middle of a conversation, at the dinner table and once while walking the dog, only waking up as he hit the sidewalk. He had been prescribed Ritalin 20 mg daily but did not feel it was helping…


He was asked to reduce all the processed and refined foods and the dairy products and to increase the fruits and vegetables in his diet. He was also asked to drink lots of water and no coffee or soft drinks.
I advised him to take the following supplements:
Calcium citrate 1000 mg
Magnesium citrate 1000 mg
Coenzyme Q10 90 mg…
Therapeutic rationale: The patient agreed to focus the treatment on the narcolepsy and not to try to treat all his many and various ailments at once. The aim here was to improve circulation to the head, hence the Gingko, Rosmarinus and Vinca, improve overall energy availability, hence the Panax, Turnera and Ephedra, and aid in the removal of toxic wastes, hence the Taraxacum.”
The diet change as mentioned in the earlier articles on non-pharmacological treatments was advised as well as drinks with caffeine were advised to avoid too. Therefore, this shows that with patience diet, lifestyle changes and some herbal medication, narcolepsy can be treated or at least managed. This is another, cheaper option and in the long run. With herbal treatments there is no manufacturing cost at a massive scale since this condition only affects a small population.

To be continued…

(1). Tierra, M. (2016). Narcolepsy. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Apr. 2016].

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