This is what works for me and my lifestyle.
MS is tough to deal with and feeling better can be elusive for many people. It’s a tough diagnosis but I have been able to live well with it – I used to not be able to walk. I hope that sharing my personal Multiple Sclerosis management protocol is helpful for you.
If you or someone you know has an autoimmune condition please read and share. I believe that much of what I do for MS transfers over to other autoimmune conditions.
Note: For those looking for all of the herbs I use daily, everything is in my Warrior Bundle, plus my Anxiety & Stress Tincture, and my Cordyceps Tincture. My daily vitamin supplements, herbs for illness prevention, diet, and lifestyle tips are below.
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How I Manage Multiple Sclerosis
The first step toward MS health is to lower inflammation and elevated blood sugar levels. Diet is key. I took an IGG test to see how I needed to alter my diet for optimum health (this can be done online or via a naturopath). I eat a gluten-free, low sugar diet with very few to no processed foods. For me, an anti-inflammatory diet alternated with a paleo-ketogenic diet paired with intermittent fasting is ideal. The Wahls Protocol is an excellent dietary plan to follow. I drink Organic Bone Broth daily, which has been shown to be great for leaky gut, and I incorporate freshly ground flax and chia seeds into my diet. I also eat many wild foods. You can learn about wild foods in my book, The Forager’s Guide to Wild Foods: Edible Plants, Lichens, Mushrooms, and Seaweeds.
There are natural remedies for autoimmune diseases that help balance an overstimulated immune system. Chronic inflammation is correlated with the onset of many autoimmune disorders. Adaptogenic, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory herbs are thus especially good for autoimmune issues. Many medicinal mushrooms have immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties. I take dual-extracted Lion’s Mane, Reishi, Turkey Tail, and Cordyceps Mushroom tinctures daily. These mushrooms have the added benefit of being antiviral, protecting you from illness.
Note that you need a dual-extracted tincture to access all of the medicinal compounds; a tea is not enough. Suggested dosage: 2 dropperfuls of each individual tincture once daily. I take all four of these mushroom tinctures together every morning.
Below are the herbs & supplements I take daily for Multiple Sclerosis management:
All herbs are available in my Apothecary, additional links can be found at the end of this post.
- Lion’s Mane Mushroom Tincture – Lion’s mane mushroom is neuroprotective and is known to help nervous system degeneration, decrease gut inflammation, boost brain function, lessen stress, anxiety, depression, & insomnia, and may increase bone density. It helps repair damaged nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain. Studies demonstrate great potential for myelination and regeneration of nerves. Research shows lion’s mane mushroom stimulates Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), which is crucial for the repair of the protective, fatty coating surrounding nerve fibers known as the myelin sheath. NGF proteins also help to maintain the neurons responsible for attention, learning, and memory. It has even been shown to help reduce symptoms and brain cell degeneration in MS. Lion’s Mane boosts neuronal function, and significantly improves cognitive performance. Lion’s mane also speeds nervous system recovery; it is indicated for strokes due to the compound hericenone B, which shows a strong anti-platelet activity, reduces nerve pain, and might be a novel compound for antithrombotic therapy. Studies have shown that lion’s mane has a unique ability to stimulate the growth of brain cells. The dominant components of lion’s mane are hericenones and erinacines, which possess significant nerve repair ability. It is also an anti-oxidant and an anti-inflammatory, and has shown to have a positive effect on gut inflammation.
- Reishi Mushroom Tincture – Reishi mushroom is a formidable adaptogenic neuroprotective anti-inflammatory that helps modulate the immune system. Reishi suppresses certain inflammatory compounds and inhibits histamine release. Since autoimmune disorders are inflammatory in nature, reishi is an excellent choice for slowing or reversing disease progression. It has immune-modulating and immune-potentiating capabilities that target inflammatory cytokines . It has neuroprotective qualities and is effective in calming the inflammation and immune response involved with Leaky Gut, which is often associated with autoimmune issues . It also helps to strengthen the body against the negative effects of stress—like inflammation, hormonal imbalances, high cortisol, fatigue, depleted energy levels, brain fog, and low energy. Research also suggests that it could serve as a regenerative therapeutic agent for the treatment of cognitive decline associated with neurodegenerative diseases. It also suppresses certain inflammatory compounds and inhibits histamine release.
- Turkey Tail Mushroom Tincture – Turkey tail is high in anti-inflammatory compounds, turkey tail mushroom assists in reducing internal inflammation and is an excellent medicinal remedy for a range of chronic diseases. Turkey tail is an immune modulator, making it an effective medicinal herb for autoimmune conditions. It is also a prebiotic and controls both Candida and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and is a remarkable remedy for helping heal leaky gut, as turkey tail has prebiotics. It is very well known for its use in cancer and blood sugar control.
- Cordyceps Mushroom Tincture – Cordyceps has been shown to have neuroprotective effects and to reduce neuronal cell death. It has immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties, helps to combat fatigue, improves cognitive health, and has anti-aging and antioxidant properties. Cordyceps is also anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, and antiprotozoal. It improves memory, learning, and reduces oxidative damage to cells. It also helps to combat fatigue and boost energy. Beyond my stand alone Cordyceps Tincture, it is also found in my Mushroom FOURtress Bundle and Brain Bundle.
- I take these Vitamin D drops every morning as low Vitamin D is associated with MS. Vitamin D helps to regulate inflammatory markers and immune cells, so it is important to make sure you have sufficient levels. Research shows that Vitamin D helps regulate the release of nerve growth factor (NGF), an essential molecule for the neuronal survival of hippocampal neurons as well as cortical neurons.
- I take Omega 3s as Omega 3 fatty acids work to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. Studies show it helps reduce bowel inflammation, helps with myelin repair, decreases disease activity, reduces pain, and lowers the use of anti-inflammatory drugs.
- I take a Multivitamin + Ca/Mg blend in the morning when I take my Vit D in the morning as K2 helps with calcium absorption.
- I take Tru Niagen (nicotinamide riboside) daily (300mg)
- I take a good daily Probiotic
- I take this Vitamin B12 daily. Levels of B12 tend to be low in MS patients. It’s a cofactor in myelin formation and plays a role in regulating the immune system.
- Coenzyme Q10 – Studies suggest that coenzyme Q10 might be useful in treating neurodegenerative diseases. CoQ10 helps to suppress inflammation, improves fatigue and depression, and has beneficial effects on inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress in autoimmune patients. I take 400 mg/day.
- I keep inflammation down with my Four Mushroom Tinctures and this absorbable form of Turmeric with Curcumin, Black Pepper, and Ginger.
Preventing illness that can lead to a flare-up:
For preventing general illness (which causes the dreaded immune response that can cause MS to flare up) I rely on my trinity of Elderberry Tincture, Usnea Spray, and All-Purpose (First Aid) Salve, available individually or together in my Travel Pack – also a part of my Warrior Bundle.
- Elderberry Dual-extracted Tincture and Ursolic Acid – Beyond shortening the duration of colds and the flu, elderberry is helpful for inflammation, chronic fatigue, allergies, nerve pain, heart pain, headaches, dental pain, sciatica, and more. Elderberry contains the antioxidant flavonols quercetin, kaempferol, and isorhamnetin. The berries are rich in anthocyanins, which provide strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. A systematic review of data found that elderberry is a safe option for treating viral respiratory illness, and that there is no evidence the medicinal herb over-stimulates the immune system or creates a cytokine storm.The alcoholic extraction of elderberry contains the triterpenoid ursolic acid (UA), which has been shown to halt damage and spurs neuronal repair in multiple sclerosis, prevent and repair neurons in animal models of MS, reduce further damage to neurons, help rebuild the protective sheaths covering neurons, shows significant potential as an oral anti-inflammatory for MS, and has significant potential as a neural repair agent for MS . Ursolic acid is also found in apple peels, aronia berries, many kitchen herbs (oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, basil, tulsi), cranberries, bilberries, and hawthorn.
- Usnea Dual Extracted Tincture – I pair Usnea with Elderberry to stay healthy during the cold and flu season, and when I’m traveling or around crowds. Usnea has powerful antibiotic, antifungal, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties. It can be used as an anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, for MRSA, respiratory issues, staph infection, strep throat, toenail fungus (topical spray), urinary disorders, and more. I use 1-3 sprays in my throat per day for prevention and more if ill. I also coat the inside of my nose with my All-Purpose Salve for illness prevention.
- Eastern Blend Tincture – This is a blend of Chinese skullcap, Japanese honeysuckle, Japanese knotweed, and cordyceps. These research-backed herbs address a wide-range of health concerns, including: Lyme disease, viral and bacterial infections, diabetes, cancer, anxiety, insomnia, and cardiovascular issues. This blend has powerful anti-inflammatory action and helps to boost/modulate the immune system. I use it for viral prevention when traveling or in a crowd for the following reasons:
- The baicalin and wogonin content in Chinese skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) is anti-inflammatory, and has been shown to exhibit strong antiviral activity for severe respiratory illness, the common cold, and influenza. It protects against oxidative stress and has both neuroprotective and cognitive enhancement effects due to its baicalin content. Japanese honeysuckle is antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, modulates the immune system and significantly increases killer (NK) cells. Japanese knotweed is antiviral, antibacterial, & antifungal. It contains high concentrations of trans-resveratrol, has strong antioxidant activity, inhibits viral replication, and reduces neuroinflammation in neurodegenerative diseases.
- The only Western medicine I use to help manage Multiple Sclerosis is low-dose Naltrexone for fatigue. For me, it has had no negative side effects, and it helps.
- Leaky Gut – There is a direct link between increased intestinal permeability, inflammation, and multiple sclerosis. Since MS is characterized by inflammatory T-cells attacking the protective myelin coating of brain and spinal cord nerve cells, the cascade of intestinal inflammation is significant for those with MS. An anti-inflammatory diet helps with Leaky Gut, as will fermented foods, probiotics, and herbs such as the ones in my Balanced/Leaky Gut Herbal Blend Tincture.
If I feel like a flare is coming I double my dosage of my Mushroom FOURtress and add in my Anxiety & Stress Tincture. I also take my Anxiety & Stress Tincture up to 3x/day when I am feeling “off” (if you’re reading this I’m sure you get what I mean by that).
Other important things I incorporate into MS management:
- I give gratitude daily and I try to stay in the present moment the best I can. This is very important as the mind-body connection is HUGE.
- I spend time in nature daily – nature connection is extremely valuable for health.
- I spend time away from media and carry this personal anti-EMF device as well as have this one to protect me and my family at home. For all products they carry visit Blushield. For 10% off on any product use the coupon code doctornicole.
Please note that I am a Ph.D. not an M.D. For medical advice or if you have any questions, please contact a naturopathic doctor in your area.
Wishing the best for you in your journey toward wellness,
P.S. You asked and I answered! I now have most of the above tinctures (Travel Pack, Mushroom Trio & Balanced/Leaky Gut Tincture) packaged into one Warrior Bundle for your convenience.
You can read more about all of my herbal tinctures and healing salves, along with information about their uses here. Interested in making your own herbal remedies? My book, The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies: The Healing Power of Plant Medicine will help you on your herbal journey. Not only does The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies provide high-quality color photographs and descriptions for the identification, harvesting, and application of herbs, it also shows you how to prepare tinctures, decoctions, teas, salves, oil infusions, poultices, and balms right in your own home. To purchase in Europe please visit this link.
Nicole’s Apothecary Products in this Post
Please note that the contents of this website are for informational purposes only, do not constitute medical advice, and are not intended to be a substitute for diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. In the event of a medical emergency, call a doctor or 911 immediately. Reliance on any information provided by this website is solely at your own risk.
Medicinal Mushroom References
- Bhardwaj, N., Katyal, P., & Sharma, A. K. (2014). Suppression of inflammatory and allergic responses by pharmacologically potent fungus Ganoderma lucidum. Recent patents on inflammation & allergy drug discovery, 8(2), 104–117. https://doi.org/10.2174/1872213×08666140619110657 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24948193/
- Brandalise, Federico et al. “Dietary Supplementation of Hericium erinaceus Increases Mossy Fiber-CA3 Hippocampal Neurotransmission and Recognition Memory in Wild-Type Mice.” Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM vol. 2017 (2017): 3864340. doi:10.1155/2017/3864340. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5237458/)
- Deshmukh, Sunil & Sridhar, K. & MK, Gupta. (2021). Hericium erinaceus -A Rich Source of Diverse Bioactive Metabolites. Fungal Biotec. 1. 10-38. 10.5943/FunBiotec/1/2/2. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/355143838_Hericium_erinaceus_-A_Rich_Source_of_Diverse_Bioactive_Metabolites
- Guo, P., Kai, Q., Gao, J., Lian, Z. Q., Wu, C. M., Wu, C. A., & Zhu, H. B. (2010). Cordycepin prevents hyperlipidemia in hamsters fed a high-fat diet via activation of AMP-activated protein kinase. Journal of pharmacological sciences, 113(4), 395–403. https://doi.org/10.1254/jphs.10041fp https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20724804/
- Huang, Shichao et al. “Polysaccharides from Ganoderma lucidum Promote Cognitive Function and Neural Progenitor Proliferation in Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease.” Stem cell reports vol. 8,1 (2017): 84-94. doi:10.1016/j.stemcr.2016.12.007. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28076758/)
- Ji, D. B., Ye, J., Li, C. L., Wang, Y. H., Zhao, J., & Cai, S. Q. (2009). Antiaging effect of Cordyceps sinensis extract. Phytotherapy research : PTR, 23(1), 116–122. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.2576 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18803231/
- Kuo, Hsing-Chun et al. “Hericium erinaceus mycelium and its isolated erinacine A protection from MPTP-induced neurotoxicity through the ER stress, triggering an apoptosis cascade.” Journal of translational medicine vol. 14 78. 18 Mar. 2016.
- Lai, P. L., Naidu, M., Sabaratnam, V., Wong, K. H., David, R. P., Kuppusamy, U. R., Abdullah, N., & Malek, S. N. (2013). Neurotrophic properties of the Lion’s mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia. International journal of medicinal mushrooms, 15(6), 539–554. https://doi.org/10.1615/intjmedmushr.v15.i6.30 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24266378/
- Li, X. T., Li, H. C., Li, C. B., Dou, D. Q., & Gao, M. B. (2010). Protective effects on mitochondria and anti-aging activity of polysaccharides from cultivated fruiting bodies of Cordyceps militaris. The American journal of Chinese medicine, 38(6), 1093–1106. https://doi.org/10.1142/S0192415X10008494, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21061463/
- Mori, K., Obara, Y., Moriya, T., Inatomi, S., & Nakahata, N. (2011). Effects of Hericium erinaceus on amyloid β(25-35) peptide-induced learning and memory deficits in mice. Biomedical research (Tokyo, Japan), 32(1), 67–72. https://doi.org/10.2220/biomedres.32.67 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21383512/
- Mori, Koichiro et al. “Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial.” Phytotherapy research : PTR vol. 23,3 (2009): 367-72. doi:10.1002/ptr.2634. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18844328/
- Mori, Koichiro et al. “Inhibitory effect of hericenone B from Hericium erinaceus on collagen-induced platelet aggregation.” Phytomedicine : international journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology vol. 17,14 (2010): 1082-5. doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2010.05.004. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20637576/
- Nouri, Mehrnaz et al. “Intestinal barrier dysfunction develops at the onset of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, and can be induced by adoptive transfer of auto-reactive T cells.” PloS one vol. 9,9 e106335. 3 Sep. 2014, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0106335. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25184418/
- Zampieron, Eugene & Kamhi, Ellen. (2012). Natural Support for Autoimmune and Inflammatory Disease. Journal of Restorative Medicine. 1. 38-47. 10.14200/jrm.2012.1.1003.https://journal.restorativemedicine.org/index.php/journal/article/view/9/15
Elderberry, Ursolic Acid, and Eastern Blend References:
- He, J., & Giusti, M. M. (2010). Anthocyanins: natural colorants with health-promoting properties. Annual review of food science and technology, 1, 163–187. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.food.080708.100754 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22129334/
- Gleńsk, M., Gliński, J. A., Włodarczyk, M., & Stefanowicz, P. (2014). Determination of ursolic and oleanolic acid in Sambuci fructus. Chemistry & biodiversity, 11(12), 1939–1944. https://doi.org/10.1002/cbdv.201400118 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25491337/
- Kronbichler, A., Effenberger, M., Eisenhut, M., Lee, K. H., & Shin, J. I. (2020). Seven recommendations to rescue the patients and reduce the mortality from COVID-19 infection: An immunological point of view. Autoimmunity reviews, 19(7), 102570. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.autrev.2020.102570 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7252097/
- Tiralongo, E., Wee, S. S., & Lea, R. A. (2016). Elderberry Supplementation Reduces Cold Duration and Symptoms in Air-Travellers: A Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Nutrients, 8(4), 182. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8040182 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4848651/
- Wieland, L. S., Piechotta, V., Feinberg, T., Ludeman, E., Hutton, B., Kanji, S., Seely, D., & Garritty, C. (2021). Elderberry for prevention and treatment of viral respiratory illnesses: a systematic review. BMC complementary medicine and therapies, 21(1), 112. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-021-03283-5 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8026097/
- Zakay-Rones, Z., Thom, E., Wollan, T., & Wadstein, J. (2004). Randomized study of the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry extract in the treatment of influenza A and B virus infections. The Journal of international medical research, 32(2), 132–140. https://doi.org/10.1177/147323000403200205 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15080016/
- Zhang, Y., Li, X., Ciric, B., Curtis, M. T., Chen, W. J., Rostami, A., & Zhang, G. X. (2020). A dual effect of ursolic acid to the treatment of multiple sclerosis through both immunomodulation and direct remyelination. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 117(16), 9082–9093. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2000208117 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32253301/