The effects of herbal medicine on epilepsy

Oncotarget. 2017 Jul 18;8(29):48385-48397. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.16801.


Traditional herbal medicine plays a significant role in the treatment of epilepsy. Though herbal medicine is widely used in antiepileptic treatment, there is a lack of robust evidence for efficacy and toxicity of most herbs. Besides, the herbal medicine should be subject to evidence-based scrutiny. In this context, we present a review to introduce the effects of herbal medicine on epilepsy. However, hundreds of herbal medicines have been investigated in the available studies. Some commonly used herbal medicines for epilepsy have been listed in our study. The overwhelming majority of these data are based on animal experiments. The lack of clinical data places constraints on the clinical recommendation of herbal medicine. Our study may conduct further studies and provide some insight on the development of anti-epileptic drugs.

Keywords: GABA; anticonvulsants; epilepsy; herbal medicine; neuron.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticonvulsants / pharmacology
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy*
  • Epilepsy / epidemiology
  • Epilepsy / metabolism
  • Global Health
  • Herbal Medicine* / methods
  • Humans
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism


  • Anticonvulsants
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid