A Holistic Look at Possible Causes of a Neurological Tremor

I was on a forum today and saw someone ask for a friend about herbs for a hand tremor that the doctor’s couldn’t find a cause for. I responded in part:

There are many possible reasons for a tremor. It’s important to see a neurologist to rule out anything degenerative. Once they’ve ruled out anything degenerative most neurologists won’t be a huge help otherwise (at least holistically).

Holistically speaking, there could be any number of reasons why someone has a tremor. The common suggestion is to use an anti-anxiety approach, but that might only be helpful if the tremor has an anxiety component…or Vata imbalance in Ayurveda.

If someone has nerve degeneration or nerve aggravation, they may not need anti-anxiety herbs or sedatives. It may be due to inflammation – excess Pitta in Ayurveda – in which case, an anti-inflammatory approach might work better.

Though, more often than not, in cases like these, there are multiple things going on energetically. I.e., excess Vata pushing too much Pitta in Ayurveda.

The other issue is whether the tremor is because there is an issue with the peripheral nerve or due to excess brain activity. So in the case of the former, you’d probably want to use herbs that are anti-inflammatory as well as nurturing to tissue (like gotu kola aka “brahmi”)…if it’s a brain problem, then an herb like calamus (used for epilepsy) or bacopa (the other “brahmi”) might be better.

This is why it is usually best to seek help from a highly experienced practitioner than try to troubleshoot it over the Internet…especially with neurological stuff.

You are certainly welcome to consult with me on the issue, as I have a lot of personal experience with neurology. However, I would always recommend first (if possible) to consult with a neurologist (and possibly get a second opinion. Tests you might need could include an EMG/nerve conduction test or an MRI of the brain. These would be to rule out anything degenerative and/or serious like a brain tumor.

If you want to go for the herbal big guns, I recommend my teacher KP Khalsa, who has successfully worked on neurological issues such as MS for decades.