Vitamins, Herbs, Oils, and Supplements


This page compiles a list of common vitamins, herbs, oils, and supplements we use (or are considering) as holistic healing techniques in addition to western medicinal treatments and rehabilitation. These recommendations are not meant to be used in place of recommendations from a medical professional. I strongly encourage you to do your own research before beginning a holistic treatment program.

Our Holistic Healing Techniques

When I speak to other AFM parents about alternative medicines or healing techniques, my first question is why they have chosen those specific remedies for their child. It is important to understand exactly what you are trying to treat and how certain vitamins, herbs, oils, and supplements apply.

For kids with AFM, it is important to understand nerve growth factor (NGF), a small group of protein-like molecules called neurotrophins that are responsible for the development of new neurons, and for the health and maintenance of mature ones. NGF also helps to repair myelin sheath, the coating around axons.

In animal studies of human demyelinating diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, increased NGF delayed onset, lowered inflammation, and lessened tissue injury.

Demyelinating diseases often cause damage to myelin sheath, blocking or delaying messages sent from the brain to parts of the body. The goal of increased NGF is to help repair those damaged pathways by generating or repairing myelin, thus improving functional mobility of the child.

While this may sound like a simple fix, repairing myelin sheath is no easy task. It requires a combination of western therapies, rehabilitation services, and homeopathic measures.

Supplements High in NGF

➡️ Lion’s Mane (Hercium erinaceus)

Lion’s mane is an edible mushroom that has been shown to boost NGF. Also known as hou tou gu or yamabushitake, lion’s mane mushrooms are large white, shaggy mushrooms that resemble a lion’s mane as they grow. Research has found that extract from lion’s mane mushrooms may help speed recovery of nervous system injuries by stimulating the growth and repair of nerve cells. When given to rats with nervous system injuries, the extract reduced recovery time by 23-41%.

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➡️ Vitamin D3

The role of Vitamin D in healthy brain activity is a vital one. Vitamin D activates and deactivates enzymes in the brain that are involved in neurotransmitter synthesis and nerve growth. In recent studies, Vitamin D has exhibited an association with the regulation of nerve growth factor synthesis, meaning it plays a vital role in the growth and survival of neurons.

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Essential Oils for Healing

➡️ Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum)

Extracted by the steam distillation of the daisy flower, Helichrysum essential oil actually boasts many full-body benefits including anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It has also been shown to aid in the regeneration of tissue due to nerve damage.

Helichrysum essential oil can be used topically with a carrier oil or diffused.

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