Natural Treatments, Symptoms, And Causes + Diet Tips

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Bell’s Palsy: Natural Treatments, Symptoms, And Causes + Diet Tips Are you unable to move or express any kind of emotion on one side of your face? In other words, did you ever experience paralysis on one side of your face? Then, you are probably suffering from a condition called Bell’s palsy. To know more about this condition that can leave your facial muscles paralyzed as well as the natural ways to treat it, keep reading.

Table Of Contents

What Is Bell’s Palsy?

Bell’s palsy is a medical condition that causes short-term weakness or paralysis of the muscles in the face. It usually occurs when the nerves that control your facial muscles become inflamed or compressed. This condition can cause one side of your face to droop or become stiff.

Bell’s palsy results in the following symptoms.

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Signs And Symptoms Of Bell’s Palsy

In very rare cases, Bell’s palsy can affect both the sides of your face. The affected individual may develop signs and symptoms like:

  • Difficulty in eating and drinking
  • Inability to make facial expressions
  • Facial muscle weakness
  • Muscle twitches
  • Dry eye
  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Sensitivity to sound
  • Irritation in the eyes

Let us now look at the causes and risk factors associated with this troubling medical condition.

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Causes And Risk Factors For Bell’s Palsy

Bell’s palsy is caused due to the swelling or compression of the seventh cranial nerve in the brain. Although the exact cause of this occurrence is unknown, many researchers believe that it may be triggered by a viral infection.

The viruses and bacteria associated with the development of Bell’s palsy are:

  • Herpes simplex virus, which is known to cause cold sores and genital herpes
  • HIV, which is known to damage the immune system
  • Sarcoidosis, which causes organ inflammation
  • Herpes zoster virus, known to cause chickenpox and shingles
  • Epstein-Barr virus, which causes mononucleosis
  • Lyme disease, a bacterial infection caused by infectious ticks

A few factors are also known to increase your risk of developing Bell’s palsy. They include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Medical conditions like diabetes
  • A family history of Bell’s palsy
  • Lung infections

If this condition is making you feel helpless, don’t worry. Given below is a list of simple yet effective home remedies that can help relieve the symptoms of Bell’s palsy and speed up your recovery.

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How To Cure Bell’s Palsy Naturally

  1. Coconut Oil
  2. Heat Or Ice Pack
  3. Massage
  4. Vitamin B12
  5. Black Seed Oil
  6. Castor Oil
  7. Green Tea
  8. Garlic And Olive Oil
  9. Ginger

Home Remedies To Treat Bell’s Palsy

1. Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil

You Will Need

1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Take a tablespoon of virgin coconut oil and heat it slightly.
  2. Gently massage it onto your face, concentrating on the affected side.
  3. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes before washing it off.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 2 to 3 times daily.

Why This Works

Coconut oil contains beneficial medium-chain fatty acids that have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties (1). They help in reducing the inflammation of the cranial nerve that causes Bell’s palsy.

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2. Heat Or Ice Pack

Heat Or Ice Pack

You Will Need

A hot or cold pack

What You Have To Do
  1. Take a hot or cold pack and place it on the affected side of your face.
  2. Leave it on for 5 minutes and then remove.
  3. Repeat thrice.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 2 to 3 times daily.

Why This Works

While an ice pack reduces the inflammation surrounding the inflamed facial nerve, a hot pack enhances blood flow in the area and reduces swelling (2), (3).

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3. Massage

Massage

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil (optional)
  • 6 drops of lavender or chamomile essential oil (optional)
What You Have To Do
  1. To a teaspoon of coconut oil, add six drops of lavender or chamomile essential oil.
  2. Gently massage this mixture on the affected side of your face for a few minutes.
  3. Leave it on for 20 minutes and then rinse it off.
How Often You Should Do This

You must massage your face twice daily.

Why This Works

Massage therapy is excellent for those suffering from Bell’s palsy. This is because it offers immediate relief from stress, which is one of the major risk factors for this medical condition (4), (5). Also, using anti-inflammatory and stress-relieving essential oils for massage produces amazing results (6), (7).

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4. Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12

You Will Need

100 mcg vitamin B12

What You Have To Do
  1. Consume foods rich in vitamin B12 like meat, poultry, and soy.
  2. You can also opt for supplements after consulting your doctor.
  3. In some cases, vitamin B12 injections were found to be effective in treating Bell’s palsy.
How Often You Should Do This

Consume small quantities of vitamin B12 daily.

Why This Works

Methylcobalamin is an active compound in vitamin B12 that improves the symptoms of Bell’s palsy. Regular treatment with the compound was found to improve the functioning of the facial nerves according to a study published in 1995 (8).

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5. Black Seed Oil

Black Seed Oil

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of black seed oil
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix a teaspoon of black seed oil with a teaspoon of honey.
  2. Consume this mixture daily.
  3. You can also massage some black seed oil onto your face.
How Often You Should Do This

Consume black seed oil twice daily.

Why This Works

Black seed (Nigella sativa) oil can help reduce the inflammation in your cranial nerve responsible for causing Bell’s palsy (9).

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6. Castor Oil Pack

Castor Oil Pack

You Will Need
  • 2 teaspoons of castor oil
  • A clean washcloth
What You Have To Do
  1. Heat two teaspoons of castor oil and gently massage it on your face.
  2. Soak a clean washcloth in some hot water.
  3. Wring the cloth to get rid of excess water and place it on your face.
  4. Once the cloth turns cold, soak it in some hot water and repeat the procedure.
  5. Do this thrice.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this twice daily for relief.

Why This Works

Castor oil contains ricinoleic acid, which has anti-inflammatory properties and can be helpful in reducing the inflammation of your facial nerves and speeding up your recovery from Bell’s palsy (10).

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7. Green Tea

Green Tea

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of green tea leaves
  • 1 cup of water
  • Honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a teaspoon of green tea leaves to a cup of water.
  2. Bring it to a boil in a saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Strain and wait for the tea to cool down a bit.
  4. Add a little honey to the tea and consume it.
How Often You Should Do This

You must drink green tea 2 to 3 times daily.

Why This Works

Green tea is an extremely rich source of polyphenols. These compounds exhibit powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can help in reducing inflammation that causes Bell’s Palsy (11).

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8. Garlic And Olive Oil

Garlic And Olive Oil

You Will Need
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Crush three garlic cloves.
  2. Add a teaspoon of olive oil to the minced garlic and consume in one go.
How Often You Should Do This

Consume this mixture twice daily.

Why This Works

Both garlic and olive oil have anti-inflammatory properties that help treat Bell’s palsy (12), (13). Regular consumption of the garlic-olive oil mixture can help in improving the function of your facial nerves by reducing inflammation.

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9. Ginger

Ginger

You Will Need
  • 1 to 2 inches of ginger
  • 1 cup of water
  • Honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Add ginger to a cup of water and bring it to a boil in a saucepan.
  2. Simmer for 5 minutes and strain.
  3. After the ginger tea cools down a little, add some honey to it.
  4. Drink it up.
How Often You Should Do This

You must consume ginger tea thrice daily.

Why This Works

Ginger contains a compound called gingerol that has anti-inflammatory properties, which help in treating the inflammatory symptoms associated with Bell’s palsy (14).

To assist these remedies in treating the symptoms of Bell’s palsy, you also need to follow a proper diet. Below, we have listed a few diet tips, which include foods you must eat and avoid. Scroll down to know more.

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Diet Tips

Best Foods To Treat Bell’s Palsy

Since Bell’s palsy is a result of inflamed nerves, you need to increase your intake of anti-inflammatory foods like:

  • Garlic
  • Turmeric
  • Chili peppers
  • Omega-3-rich foods

Foods To Avoid

You must avoid potential allergens like:

  • Dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Shellfish
  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Refined foods like pastries and bread
  • Sugary foods like doughnuts, candies, and soft drinks

You can follow the tips mentioned below to assist your recovery from Bell’s palsy and avoid its recurrence.

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Prevention Tips

  • Quit smoking.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol.
  • Try and remain stress-free.
  • Indulge in facial exercises that involve raising your eyebrows, puckering your lips, wrinkling up your nose, etc.
  • Practice yoga for relieving stress.
  • Lead a healthy lifestyle by eating right and exercising regularly.

Bell’s palsy is not just tiring, but it also makes you socially awkward. But by following the remedies and tips discussed here, you can combat this condition successfully.

Do you still have some unanswered questions? Post them in the comments section below.

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Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How long does Bell’s palsy last?

Even without treatment, about 80% of individuals affected by Bell’s palsy start recovering in three weeks. It rarely takes more than 6 months for complete recovery.

What is the best cure for Bell’s palsy?

Anti-inflammatory medications are the most sought-after cures for Bell’s palsy. If you are looking for a natural alternative, give any of the above remedies a try.

Is Bell’s palsy contagious?

Bell’s palsy is not contagious. However, the viral and bacterial infections that cause it are contagious.

Which doctor should I see for Bell’s palsy?

Since Bell’s palsy is a result of dysfunctional nerves, you should visit a neurologist to avail proper treatment.

Is Bell’s palsy a permanent condition?

Although Bell’s palsy is not actually a permanent health condition, in rare cases, it does not disappear completely.

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