Fibromyalgia syndrome can be a very difficult illness to treat. With so many symptoms, ranging from chronic pain to fatigue, finding the right treatments can be time-consuming and frustrating. You may find yourself taking dozens of medicinal treatments, many of which come along with a host of undesirable side effects. If conventional medications aren’t working for your fibromyalgia, you may want to explore the world of herbal medication. Herbal medications can help to relieve many of the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
What are Herbal Remedies?
Herbal supplements are a non-conventional way of treating illnesses and symptoms of pain and discomfort. They are often used in alternative medicine. By using naturally sourced herbs, berries, and barks, people can reduce various symptoms and even cure some illnesses. Herbal remedies have long been used by different cultures. In fact, traditional medicine actually developed out of studies based on herbal treatments. Some societies still rely heavily on alternative herbal medicine to cure their pains.
Benefits of Herbal Medications
There are many benefits to using natural alternative medicines. Benefits of herbal supplements include:
- fewer side effects than some traditional medical treatments
- lower cost than some traditional medical treatments
- one herbal remedy can often treat a wide range of symptoms
- herbal remedies work naturally on the body, encouraging your body to heal itself
Using a Homeopath
If you are considering using natural herbal supplements to treat your fibromyalgia, it is a good idea to consult a homeopath. A homeopath is a licensed professional who has had years of experience in prescribing alternative and herbal medicine for different illnesses. Homeopaths have undergone specific training in the field of herbal supplementation, and are familiar with the appropriate uses for a wide variety of herbs, berries, and extracts.
Homeopaths are very similar to medical doctors. Just like your health care provider, your homeopath will become familiar with your medical history and the treatments that you are currently taking for your fibromyalgia. Your homeopath will be able to prescribe herbal remedies that won’t interact dangerously with your current fibromyalgia medications. They are also knowledgeable about the side effects of all herbal remedies. By using a professional homeopath to begin your herbal treatment, you can avoid experiencing the sometimes dangerous side effects of herbs and berries.
Tips on Using Herbal Remedies
It is important to use care when using herbal remedies to treat fibromyalgia and other illnesses. Just because herbal remedies come from natural sources, it does not mean that they won’t cause dangerous side effects. Herbal remedies can often be very potent, and should not be used lightly. Here are some tips on how to ensure the safe use of herbs, barks, and berries.
- Only choose remedies which closely match the symptoms you are experiencing.
- Use the lowest-potency extracts of herbs, barks, and berries. Higher-potencies do not ensure faster or more effective treatments. Instead, they could cause dangerous side effects.
- Take one dose only and wait for a response. Do not double up on doses, even if you feel that the first dose is not working. It often takes time for herbal remedies to manifest in the body.
- If, after a few days, you have not noticed any improvement, take another dose. Again, wait for a response. Only take an extra dose if necessary and always follow instructions on the bottle or box.
- Consult with your health care provider or a homeopath before you take any herbal remedy.
Herbal Remedies and Fibromyalgia
Herbal remedies are often used effectively in people suffering from fibromyalgia. Herbs can help to treat the wide range of symptoms produced by the syndrome, including:
- fatigue and sleep disorders
- widespread muscle pain
- immune deficiency
Because fibromyalgia can cause so many different symptoms, there are a wide variety of herbal remedies that you can use to treat them. The following are some of the most popular herbs used to treat the more common symptoms of fibromyalgia. Before using any of these herbal remedies, consult your health care professional or a homeopath.
Up to 50% of fibromyalgia patients suffer from depression. For some, medical drugs and treatments fail to alleviate this depression and restore mood or the medications produce some unwanted side effects. One herbal medication that has been used for years to treat depression is St. John’s Wort.
St. John’s Wort is an herb found worldwide. It helps to alleviate depression by inhibiting neurotransmitters, which influence mood. St. John’s Wort also helps to alleviate stress and anxiety. However, St. John’s Wort should never be taken with conventional antidepressants.
Muscle and Joint Pain
Widespread muscle and joint pain are the classic symptoms of fibromyalgia. Nearly 100% of sufferers experience these symptoms. Cayenne is often used to help reduce muscle pain and inflammation. Cayenne contains capsaicin, which inhibits neurotransmitters responsible for communicating pain signals. Cayenne is applied topically, to sore areas around the body.
Immune System Deficiency
It is thought that fibromyalgia may be the result of an immune system disorder. If you have fibromyalgia, your immune system may be compromised, preventing you from repairing much-needed muscles and tissues. Garlic, astragalus, and echinacea are often used to help boost circulation, allowing oxygen and nutrients to flow throughout the body. This helps to improve the immune system, and reduce a wide variety of symptoms.
Sleep disorders plague many men and women with fibromyalgia. Unable to get restful sleep, these sleep disorders can contribute to pain and fatigue. Skullcap and valerian root are both used to help restore sleep patterns while ginseng is used to help combat fatigue caused by sleep disorders. Ginseng helps by boosting your energy and getting you through the day.