Natural remedies for stroke recovery offer a gentle way to heal the body and boost your results from therapy. Best of all, many of them can be used from the comfort of home.
Alternative treatments often appeal to stroke patients that prefer to avoid the unwanted side effects of medication. While modern medicine can play an important role in recovery, the following solutions can help boost your recovery from stroke naturally.
Top Natural Remedies for Stroke Recovery
First up, we’ll discuss natural remedies that involve healthy foods and supplements. After that, you’ll discover home remedies for motor recovery, too.
As always, be sure to consult with your doctor before making any dietary changes or taking new supplements. Your doctor knows your unique risk factors, and they will know if something is safe for you to try.
Here are the top natural remedies for stroke recovery that involve healthy foods and supplements:
Brain-Boosting Natural Foods
There’s a special protein that may help stroke recovery called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF. This protein helps with neuroplasticity by supporting the growth of new neurons and synapses in the brain.
Here are some of the healthiest foods that promote BDNF production and may improve stroke recovery:
- Blueberries. Antioxidant-rich blueberries were shown to help regulate BDNF in an Alzheimer disease mouse model. Although the study does not focus on stroke, the brain-boosting benefits may assist in stroke recovery as well.
- Red wine. One study found significant increases in BDNF concentration in rats treated with resveratrol, which is found in red wine. If your doctor doesn’t approve of regular wine consumption, try eating red grapes.
- Salmon. It’s a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help normalize BDNF levels and protect against reduced neuroplasticity.
Since neuroplasticity is the key to recovery from stroke, it could be worth the effort to consume BDNF-boosting foods. Best of all, these best natural remedies for stroke can be found right in your kitchen.
Vitamins and supplements are usually the first thing that come to mind when searching for home remedies after stroke.
Here are some of the best evidence-based vitamin recommendations for stroke recovery:
- Vitamin D. Supplementing with vitamin D has demonstrated “a significant improvement in stroke outcomes after 3 months.”
- Probiotics. Boosting gut health with a regular probiotic supplement may boost brain health via the gut-brain axis.
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin). Niacin helps boost “good” cholesterol levels, which are statistically low in stroke survivors.
It’s important to exercise caution and check with your doctor before taking new supplements as they can interfere with medication or aggravate preexisting medical conditions.
Chinese Herbal Remedies
Another natural remedy for stroke recovery involves Chinese herbs. While Chinese herbs cannot reverse the effects of stroke alone, they can help improve your overall health and energy levels, which may accelerate recovery.
Here are some noteworthy herbal supplements that may benefit stroke recovery:
- Panax ginseng. This popular Chinese herb has been shown to improve cognitive performance.
- Buchang Naoxinton. This natural blood thinner has been shown to improve outcomes in ischemic stroke patients. It should be avoided by patients with a history of hemorrhagic stroke, and anyone with a history of Hemophilia or other blood disorders.
- Dan Shen. Cardiovascular disease is a risk factor for stroke, and Dan Shen may help reduce the disease. One study concluded that “the results strongly support the notion that [dan shen] has beneficial therapeutic properties and has a potential of being an effective alternative remedy for the management of [cardiovascular diseases].”
Important note: Natural blood thinners like buchang naoxinton should not be taken by patients with a history of high blood pressure or hemorrhagic stroke, as it can cause a stroke. Use caution when consuming new supplements and always check with your doctor first.
Best Home Remedies for Mobility After Stroke
Next, we will discuss natural remedies for motor impairments after stroke.
To improve movement after stroke, your doctor may prescribe certain medication to manage spasticity, or tightness in the muscles. While medication can be helpful, they can cause unwanted side effects like mental fogginess and fatigue.
Fortunately, there are natural ways to improve movement after stroke right from home. Here are some of the best home remedies for motor improvement after stroke:
Alternative Treatments for Motor Recovery
If you want to improve movement after stroke, these methods have been shown to help:
- Mirror therapy. This helps improve hand movement in patients with severe spasticity or paralysis.
- Mental practice. Studies have shown that visualizing yourself moving (i.e. “mental practice”) helps spark neuroplasticity just the same as real movement.
- Acupuncture. Studies have shown that acupuncture helps improve mobility after stroke, especially if electrical stimulation is applied (electro-acupuncture). If your acupuncturist makes house calls, it could be one of the best home remedies for stroke recovery.
These at-home methods for stroke recovery are considered natural because stroke recovery, by its very nature, draws upon natural biological processes to recover.
The main biological process is called neuroplasticity: the mechanism that allows the brain to rewire itself and recover from the damage after stroke. While these methods help, neuroplasticity is maximized when they are paired with rehabilitation exercise.
At-Home Rehabilitation Exercise
Rehabilitation exercise is arguably one of the best home remedies for stroke recovery. Therapists encourage patients to exercise on their own at home to keep neuroplasticity and recovery going.
Here are some best at-home exercise methods for stroke patients:
- Passive range-of-motion exercises. Stroke patients with paralysis might be able to slowly improve mobility with consistent rehab exercise involving having a caregiver move the affected body parts (or using your unaffected arm). These exercises are also beneficial for patients with severe spasticity.
- Active, full-body exercises. Stroke rehab exercises for the whole body are a great next step on the road to recovery, once some movement has been regained.
- Home therapy devices. Some patients feel more motivated to stick to a daily at-home exercise regimen when they get high-tech equipment involved like Flint Rehab’s FitMi home therapy.
The wide range of difficulty helps make these exercises accessible to patients of all ability levels. The more you improve, the more you an challenge yourself with advanced exercises.
Home therapy devices like FitMi are helpful because they can accommodate all levels of mobility, even paralysis. Patients that use FitMi regularly often see results within weeks or even days. Read FitMi’s reviews to see for yourself.
And there you have it. You just learned the best home remedies for stroke recovery. Take action with the steps that resonate the most with you.
Whether that’s emailing your doctor about a new supplement or trying a new home therapy device. There are many options to explore. Best of luck on the road to recovery.