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Why use herbs to treat fibromyalgia? While professional medical care is still important, fibromyalgia herbal remedies are a safe, natural method of treatment. As the specific cause is unknown, and there is no cure for this disease, treating fibromyalgia is a matter of finding solutions to address the specific problems associated with the illness.
In conventional medicine, drugs are used to bring relief to conditions such as pain, stiffness, insomnia, migraines, depression, and anxiety. While effective at first, prescription medications do not increase wellness. They usually supply negative side effects, and only short-term relief. Natural, alternative therapies, such as herbal therapy, massage therapy, and acupuncture, work to return the body to a state of balance. They may not be instantly effective, yet over time, they can create a deeper form of healing and a greater relief.
Natural herbs for fibromyalgia provide the body with medicinal compounds, which can boost the immune system, purify aggravating toxins, ease stiffness and pain, and bring harmony to disturbed mental and emotional states. Results are much slower than with medication, yet as nature has created herbs to heal, not simply to hide symptoms, when used properly, and over time, they can provide great benefits to sufferers of a chronic condition such as fibromyalgia.
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Beneficial Herbal Teas
One of the best ways to take herbs is through herbal infusions. To make a tea, use two teaspoons of dried herbs, and infuse in one cup of boiled water for ten minutes. Herbs do not need to be taken separately, and in fact are usually more effective when combined.
- Echinacea should be taken to boost the immune system and fortify the body against bacterial and viral infections.
- Black cohosh and meadowsweet can be used to ease stiffness and joint pain.
- Burdock root, red clover, bogbean, and dandelion help to remove toxins from the body, thereby allowing for balance and health.
- Milk thistle can be taken to protect the liver.
- Chamomile will relieve muscle tension.
- Ginger and prickly ash will increase blood circulation.
- Skullcap, Jamaican dogwood, passion flower, and valerian can help relieve pain, depression, and anxiety. They will also promote restful sleep.
Herbal infusions work well when taken on a daily basis. Over time, they will bring the body to a healthy, harmonized state, thereby minimizing the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Regularly drinking these herbal teas for a period of three months should yield very positive results.
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External Herbal Remedies
External herbal remedies for fibromyalgia can work in the same way as internal remedies, as medicinal compounds will enter the body through the skin, but they also are useful for more immediate relief. For a relaxing bath to reduce emotional disturbances and insomnia, use one ounce each of dried chamomile and lavender. Wrap the herbs in cheesecloth, and add to bath while bathing.
To increase circulation and promote the removal of toxins through sweating, substitute peppermint and rosemary for the chamomile and lavender. Another option is to use four ounces of ginger powder. Add to running bath water so the herb will dissolve well.
Cayenne powder is a useful topical remedy. This herb contains capsicum, which may block the release of brain chemicals which cause pain sensations. A poultice can be made by mixing enough hot water with the powder to make a paste. Apply a small amount of oil to the skin, and then apply the poultice. Leave on for ten to twenty minutes, and wash off. For a cooling, warming herbal poultice, mix one part cayenne powder with three parts of wintergreen oil. This will greatly increase blood circulation, and bring soothing relief to pain.
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Sample Daily Treatment with Herbs
For effective healing and relief, natural herbs for fibromyalgia must be taken over a period of time. This is an example of one day of herbal treatment. It can be modified with different herbs, and of course, altered to suite an individual's particular needs.
- In the morning, one cup of echinacea and red clover tea, to enhance the immune system, relax tension, and remove toxins.
- Mid-morning, drink one or two cups of dandelion and meadowsweet tea, which will provide more cleansing as these herbs are excellent diuretics. Dandelion is also an excellent source of nutrition. Meadowsweet helps to manage inflammation and protect the liver.
- Throughout the day drink chamomile tea to relieve minor pain and anxiety, and ginger tea to maintain good circulation, and continue removing toxins through the skin.
- In the evening, if insomnia is a problem, take a chamomile and lavender bath. Then drink an herbal infusion of Jamaican dogwood, passion flower, and valerian.
All of these herbs are beneficial. As plants are nature's drugs, they should be used with care. Be sure to consult a medical professional, or herbalist about taking herbs.
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Hoffmann, David. "The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal: A Safe and Practical Guide to Making and Using Herbal Remedies." (Element Books, 1996).
Balch, Phyllis, CNC. "Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 4th Edition." (The Penguin Group, 2006).
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photo by Limbo Poet (CC/flickr) <http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/747296097/>
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