Last week, I met up with the ME Society to talk about the holistic management of ME - Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

This is now recognised by the Department of Health as a medical condition.

ME or CFS can be extremely debilitating and about 20 per cent of people who suffer from the condition are housebound or need to use a wheelchair.

As the name suggests, ME is an inflammation of the brain and nerve tissue and muscles caused after a viral infection like Cytomegalovirus (CMV) or glandular fever virus.

The adrenal glands are exhausted, unable to provide the energy to cope, and the immunity to infection is reduced.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome may follow viral infection or may be caused by prolonged, stressful living and working conditions, environmental pollution and poor nutrition, constant emotional trauma, recurrent tonsillitis or pneumonia.

The condition first came to light in the UK in 1955 when 300 members of staff at the London Royal Free Hospital developed many of the symptoms of ME.

Dr Melvin Ramsey, who worked at the hospital at the time, wrote in his book Postviral Fatigue Syndrome: The Saga Of Royal Free Disease: "The main symptom of ME is a severe fatigue and malaise following exercise, with weakness and pain in the muscles after use and frequently muscle twitching."

I believe I suffered from ME in 1989 and 1998, due to the long hours and the intensity of my demanding job as a doctor.

However, my holistic upbringing and ayurvedic treatment came to my rescue.

Here is the programme that revived me and continues to maintain my positive health:

1. A good, wholesome, vegetarian diet with fresh vegetables, fruits and juices, herb teas and warming, digestive herbs. Milk is an excellent rejuvenator for brain and body unless you have milk intolerance.

2. Graded activity balanced with rest as per the need of the individual - particularly important in recovery. Try to avoid complete bed rest unless absolutely necessary.

3. Daily gentle massage with warming oils - essential to relieve aching. Mahanarayan oil (Rheuma Ease oil) with oil of wintergreen is a well-proven anti-rheumatism oil.

4. Chyavanprash (Energy Plus), the complete restorative made from Indian gooseberry pulp and 50 rejuvenating herbs and spices in honey, ghee (clarified butter ) and raw cane sugar. Research has proven it increases the T-Lymphocyte cells and the blood cells which fight infection and are the protecting system in our body. It also contains vidanda and curcumin which cleanse the body of candida and parasite.

5. Ashwagandha arishtha, herbal wine made from withania somnifera - a proven natural stress adaptogen, revitaliser and anti-depressant which is believed to strengthen the brain cells and the energy system in the cells.

6. Ginger and black pepper - natural pain killers which give instant lift.

Dr Milind Jani works as a conventional and holistic GP and Dr Asmita Jani as Ayurvedic Consultant from 3 Eaton Gardens, Hove. Call them on: 01273 777448 or e-mail: