Here at Five Microns, as we celebrate the arrival of 2022, we’re reaffirming our resolve to help those with essential tremor. Essential tremor is a movement disorder that affects roughly 10 million people throughout the United States. Many surgeries and prescription medications are available to treat those with essential tremor. However, many people seek essential tremor natural treatment options.
Essential Tremor Natural Treatment Benefits
As a person’s essential tremor symptoms worsen, physicians often prescribe beta-blocking medications (beta blockers). Beta blockers limit adrenaline’s effect on specific receptors. Different types of beta blocker medications are used to regulate arrhythmia, lower blood pressure, reduce heart attack risk, and manage essential tremor symptoms.
However, the side effects accompanying beta blocker medications can be a significant concern for patients. “Many patients prefer subtherapeutic levels of their drug because its side effects are so troublesome,” laments Peter Hedera, MD and Associate Professor of Neurology at Vanderbilt University.
In addition to taking less-than-recommended prescription dosages, those with essential tremor frequently explore natural remedies that have shown promising results.
On Reddit, there are numerous threads about clinical research into herbs and supplements, like valerian, skullcap, passionflower, and CBD. Those in search of alternative medicine are often thought to be distrustful of traditional medicine.
However, within each subreddit, numerous credible research sources are cited, such as Penn State and National Library of Medicine. It’s clear that the goal of participants in these threads is not to avoid credible, research-based medical treatments. Instead, patients are trying to avoid the side effects accompanying essential tremor medications.
Top Essential Tremor Natural Remedies
There are several natural remedies used to alleviate essential tremor symptoms, some of which date back to ancient times.
Skull Cap Herb
Skull cap is an anti-anxiety herb that calms and eases shakiness as experienced with essential tremor. This medicinal plant is used very often in Chinese and Native American healers to reduce inflammation, relieve spasms, ease headaches, and cool fevers. Because of its calming properties, skull cap is often used as an essential tremor natural treatment.
You can either take skull cap in pill form (1-2 grams) or drink 2-3 cups of brewed skull cap tea daily.
This herb has long been used by Native Americans and Europeans to alleviate anxiety and shakiness. Research indicates that passionflower can boost your brain’s level of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which puts you in a relaxed state. The effectiveness of passionflower as a natural treatment has not been evaluated in a clinical setting. But, many patients drink passionflower tea to help reduce their tremors.
When taking passionflower, take moderate or low doses, following your doctor’s recommendations. There are numerous side effects that can occur with overconsumption of passionflower herbal supplements. Possible side effects include dizziness, loss of coordination, liver problems, and irregular heartbeat. Get in touch with your physician if you notice any of these symptoms.
Omega Fatty Acids
Research into omega-3 fatty acids as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease showed that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids reduced risk for Parkinson’s disease. More research is needed to determine whether omega-3 fatty acids can alleviate essential tremors. However, there is much evidence to show their critical role in brain function.
Our bodies cannot produce omega-3 fatty acids. But, omega fatty acids can be found in foods like cold-water fish like salmon, nuts, seeds, and plant oils like flaxseed oil.
Mucuna Pruriens (also known as velvet bean or cowhage)
This herb is popular within the alternative medical system known as Ayurveda. It was used by Native Americans to treat male infertility issues, nervous disorders, and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions.
You can read more about research into mucuna pruriens here.
A deficiency of magnesium can cause muscle cramps, contribute to mental health disorders, and increase risk for osteoporosis by lowering calcium levels. An article published by Parkinson’s News Today referred to a study which showed how magnesium can ease Parkinson’s-related movement symptoms. While more research is needed to provide evidence of magnesium’s direct impact on essential tremor, there is much evidence to indicate magnesium’s critical role in healthy brain development and function.
Essential Tremor Holistic Lifestyle Changes
In addition to herbal and nutritional supplements, those with essential tremor can make several lifestyle adjustments to alleviate ET challenges and symptoms.
Avoid aspartame in food and drinks.
Aspartame is a commonly used artificial sweetener in sodas, some sugar-free foods, and gum. There has been much research done into aspartame’s effects on our bodies, including its role in episodic movement disorders. Other symptoms, like headaches, insomnia, and seizures have also been observed in those who consumed aspartame.
Practice yoga, meditation, and other relaxation techniques.
Relaxation techniques like massages can alleviate ET symptoms and anxiety. Yoga can also help those with ET relax and get better rest, as well as improve muscle control. Preliminary data from a 2013 research study suggested that yoga can improve motor function for those with Parkinson’s disease by increasing upper and lower-body flexibility. Yoga also improved mood and quality of sleep.
Another study, conducted in 2015, showed that patients with Parkinson’s disease who practiced yoga twice a week saw a reduction in tremors. Given the many health benefits of yoga, it’s worth considering this healthy practice as a natural remedy for your essential tremor.
Use adaptive devices made to alleviate ET symptoms.
There are many wearable devices available today that can help those with ET overcome the challenges caused by shakiness. We recently put together a complete list of adaptive devices for essential tremor, if you’re interested in learning more about your options. Of course, we’ve also built the Tremelo, which harnesses mechanical engineering principles to achieve 85% to 90% tremor reduction.
Learn to use voice-to-text features.
The shakiness caused by essential tremor makes texting and other keyboard-dependent very challenging for ET patients. Thankfully, the voice-to-text feature is on almost all modern smartphones. Using this feature, you can speak what you’d like to say into your smartphone’s microphone and your phone will transcribe your message.
You can also use gboard, a specialized keyboard from Google that lets people swipe across words, rather than typing them.
Looking for an essential tremor treatment without side effects? Try Tremelo!
Our driving mission at Five Microns is to help ET patients regain independence and control in their daily lives by reducing embarrassing tremors. Our Tremelo device has consistently reduced essential tremors by 85% to 90% in trials and is available for order online. Contact us today if you have any questions!