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Old 01-23-2015, 02:17 PM   #1
MutzMum
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Default Pain Tincture

Newbie or not, Mutzie's decided to take the plunge.

I'll try to summarize my story. I've had chronic pain for years of many varieties. For the past decade, it's been serious back issues. One neck surgery b/c a disk was (oops!) crushing the ol' spinal cord. Low back disk implosions. You get the idea.

A good friend started learning about tinctures via a certified herbalist who owns a store in Charlottesville, VA. She brought me a tincture about 18 months ago labeled 'Calming - skullcap, motherwort, holy basil'.

My (silent) reaction: wtf do I need to be calm over???? Seriously, I'm calm! Dammit!

Yeah.

A few weeks later, something happened that caused me to feel threatened 'where I live', literally and figuratively. I completely overreacted. I mean ballistic. Felt like ricochet rabbit was bouncing around the cranium. I passed by the bottle of 'Calming' on the counter and thought oh, what the hell, took a tsp.

By accident, about 45 minutes later, I realized suddenly everything seemed much more cope-able. Huh. Whadya know.

Probably a fluke, sez I. Being the jaded and cynical, post-12-years-of-Catholic-school-survivor that I am, I think this way.

Next time I got very upset, I took another dose. Again, accidentally realized about 30 - 45 minutes later that the world seemed much more do-able. Like I had some influence over my world.

So. I started to pay attention to this friend. And I started looking up stuff, because I just love to understand all things biological/medicinal/pharmacological/alternative. The kind of stuff that sticks in my brain, naturally, without work.

[Aside: this would be opposed to how other things don't stick in my brain at all, most notably history. When I still lived in NJ, until 2002, while I knew that the Civil War had two honchos named Lee and Grant on each side, I could never remember who was on which side. After moving here, and the banks being closed for Lee's birthday, aha! I finally remember. I also had no idea it was seriously referred to as the War of Northern Aggression. I almost laughed b/c I thought someone was joking as he made the reference in my kitchen that first year. I really had no idea. I am much more savvy now.]

When I began looking things up, I found an 'about' page (tell me if I'm allowed to post that link, I am being cautious) which listed several different types of mixtures of herbs to cope with different problems. I don't know why exactly, but the one using St Johns Wort, Black Cohosh, and Wild Yam stuck out to me.

While being jaded and cynical generally, I have learned to listen to my gut on some things. This was one of the things.

I then researched everything I could find out about these three herbs. There was nothing I could find that sounded like they'd be wrong for me. So I asked my friend to make a tincture with them. I got the herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs, a source I find reliable.

Still jaded and cynical, I started taking a dropperful at night. Mostly to humor my friend. Again, 'accidentally', it occurred to me at some point that I was able to go longer between doses of pain meds.

And that I was getting up easier. Not physically, mentally. When I woke, I didn't immediately think 'oh, how long can I stay in bed to avoid the day?'. Instead, I awoke with 'what do I need to do today? in what order? what can I accomplish?'.

This also came after several months of a pretty serious depression, after a visit to my family of origin last June. I was in pretty bad shape. These are not nice people. I was finally resigning myself to the idea that there was just nothing I could do to change them or their circumstances. So, that was hard.

So to find that I was able to go longer between doses of pain meds, AND to find myself getting up easier and facing the day more easily, well, okay, I'm sold on the whole herbal tincture thing. With care and caution and research, of course.

And that is sort of how I wound up here - it was the same friend who gave me a bottle of elderberry syrup that I used a few weeks ago when starting to feel sick.

From there I looked up other things, for my lungs - asthma makes my lungs my weak spot, I feel tight there first when coming down with something. Found a shockingly useful 'tea' of turmeric, thyme, cloves, fresh lemon juice, green tea. Wasn't sure exactly what I was hoping for except to miraculously not get bronchitis (which worked), but was shocked to realize within about a half hour of slurping my first bits of that glug (bleech, except with enough honey or agave almost anything is gluggable), my chest didn't feel tight anymore.

That has NEVER happened before. Whenever my chest starts to feel tight, it is always downhill from there. Usually a few weeks of inhalers, hacking, post nasal drip, general bleech.

This time, post-turmeric-glug, no tightness. At all. Huh. Again, I figured it was a fluke.

So later before bed when the tightness came back, I had more of the turmeric glug. Again, tightness gone. This time it didn't come back. Not even the next morning. By that time I got it: keep up on this glug and your lungs will be okay! So I continued drinking it daily for the next week.

I also used another recipe of crushed garlic, fresh lemon juice, ground ginger, pinch of cayenne, boiled water, and honey. That cleared out the sinuses, and probably helped kill whatever germs were still lurking about. I had a day of sneezing, but that stopped, too. Made some crushed fennel seed tea which remarkably seemed to ease the non-stop sneezes after each 'dose'.

Also used lysine caps, since I get cold sores on my nose after massive sneezing, plus probiotic caps (IBS-D tendencies), and of course the elderberry syrup a few times a day.

Which brings me back to how I got here - some of you know this already. I found a website with incredibly fab info and instructions on elderberry syrup making (among other goodies).

I became fascinated with the blog writer. I wanted more. I googled. She'd gotten really sick after a rattlesnake bite. I became more intense on my search for her! I found a link to this forum. I found her. Ah, thank you, interwebs, I can sleep at night. And now! Now! That rockstar is my kinda friend, at least I think so. I'm still rather in awe (in my head whenever I read her post I do a little Wayne's World "I'm not worthy-I'm not worthy-I'm not worthy" bit, uh-huh, that's me alright).

So there you have my story. Except I'm not trying to say that the pain tincture cured all my ills. I still have pain. I still take meds. But there are - shockingly - days when I have gone without needing the meds.

I also am not suggesting that the tincture was solely responsible for my change of mental attitude. I've fought depression for years, have been on a non-SSRI since about '96. It works for me. But as with any chronic illness, there are flare-ups, such as the post-family-fiasco one last summer. I found an incredible therapist, am very fortunate to finally have one I connected with immediately. I have an incredible social network of supportive, caring, awesome humans who I'm privileged to call 'friends'.

But my experience tells me that the pain tincture was also a key part of getting my shit back together. Am I allowed to say that here?

Thanks for listening. Glad to be part of your world these days.
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Old 01-23-2015, 04:12 PM   #2
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Posting of links is generally OK, with some exceptions. A link that is purely informative, with no or very little commercial sales, OK. Your "about" page would probably be fine.

NO links to Associated Press articles. They have been known to get sticky about copyright, with some instances of people who linked to their articles being charged $2.50 per word. In a long article, that adds up to significant $$$$ FAST. And that wasn't for copying and pasting the whole article, just a link to one.

No links in the upstairs forums to commercial sites that benefit you monetarily. There is a Barter, Buy, and Shopping forum downstairs here for that.

In your post here, mentioning that you've gotten good products from Mountain Rose Herbs, a link would be OK, because it's forum-specific. Alternative Medicine is the right place for it, as would be the Barter & Buy forum mentioned above. Posting that link all over every forum on the site would get you banned for being a spammer.

If you aren't sure about something, PM some moderator (me, blue gecko, CanadaSue, Catbird, Exodia, flourbug, kaneohegirl, Mousehound, or Potemkin) and ask.
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Old 01-23-2015, 07:59 PM   #3
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This is where I found the info which helped me:

Excerpt from Traversing the Wild Terrain of Menopause; Herbal Allies for Midlife Women and Men by Gail Faith Edwards Copyright 2003 Gail Faith Edwards

http://www.blessedmaineherbs.com/chpare.html
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MutzMum View Post
This is where I found the info which helped me:

Excerpt from Traversing the Wild Terrain of Menopause; Herbal Allies for Midlife Women and Men by Gail Faith Edwards Copyright 2003 Gail Faith Edwards

http://www.blessedmaineherbs.com/chpare.html
LOL, the first thing I thought about was marijuana.

Midlife for would have put the women or men in high school in the mid 1970's.

Dazed and Confused in 10 minutes.

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Old 01-24-2015, 06:24 AM   #5
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Thank you Mutzie (you earned this name in the Introduction thread a few floors up, lol)!

Also, many thanks for your review of the combination of Skullcap, Holy Basil and Motherwort. I've never used all three herbs together in a tincture, but I can hardly wait to try it. It seems like a great blend. The other tincture (St. John's Wort, Black Cohosh, and Wild Yam you took sounds great, too.)

Here's why I think so:

Skullcap is amazing stuff. I'm a big fan of its anodyne, antispasmodic, and sedative properties. It behaves nicely in your head, especially when you need to be functioning at top level. It doesn't leave you feeling drugged (which is also true of all of the herbs in this post). There are two kinds of Skullcap: American and Chinese. Both are wonderful, but have distinct properties. For this blend I will use the American Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora).

Motherwort is great for easing nervous anxiety and it's a decent antispasmodic which is helpful for backaches. (Traditionally, it has been used during and after childbirth to help deal with pain and stress.) I recently learned that an alcoholic extract of motherwort is said to possess superior action to valerian root, which is an impressive claim to soothing impossibly jangled nerves. (I will definitely be tincturing it! )

I like the Holy Basil for its anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and its adaptogenic properties (which helps the body function better during stress).

St. John's Wort is famous for easing nerve pain. If I had half a brain, I would have thought to include this herb in my regimen when I was recovering from the effects of the rattlesnake bite. The nerves in my leg were in trouble and the compression caused by the the prolonged swelling didn't help matters any. This herb may have helped a lot with the severe nerve pain.

Black Cohosh is nice stuff, too. It's good for helping to ease muscular tension.

I may add Passion Flower herb to this blend for its analgesic, antidepressant and mild sedative properties. It is specifically good for nerve pain such as neuralgia, shingles and the nerve pain that is associated with some types of back problems.

I may also add a bit of Ginger root for its muscle relaxant, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. As the "stimulant" part of the formula, it will help increase the potency of the other herbs, a bonus!

(I'm not sure yet what proportions of these herbs will be, but Holy Basil will be in the smallest amount, then Ginger will be the next smallest amount.)

I'll use this blend for those stressful times that interfere with sleep, and also for backaches. I have a feeling this may turn out to be one of my favorite herbal remedies for taking the edge off of pain.

Thanks Mutzie!!

Note: Children, pregnant women,or those taking blood thinners or antipsychotic medication should not use this blend. There are also other medications that don't play well with some of these herbs. Research and due diligence is required.

And now for the dry stuff: I am not making any health, medicinal or disease related claims in this post. This post is for educational purposes only, and are in no way intended to substitute for the advice of a health care professional, who should be consulted in all medical matters.


Edited to add:

I realize there are herbs that are good "pain killers", such as Willow bark, etc. that probably deserve a spot in a blend like this. But I like this combination because it addresses the pain from a different angle. I could be wrong, but I believe that pain (especially chronic) causes so much heavy stress on the adrenals, muscles and the nervous system that the pain medicine can't "get through" (for lack of a better phrase) well enough to do its intended job. When the muscles and the nervous system are calmed down, the better the effects of the pain medicine. Maybe that is why Mutzie can get by without as much pain meds?

This speculation makes sense to me, but what do I know? I am just an old woman grubbing in the dirt for root medicines and herbs, lol.


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Old 01-24-2015, 12:49 PM   #6
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At the home and garden show they had a few prime sellers of tinctures, but I'm sorry I didn't know about some of these items so bought nothing. I do have essential oils tucked away somewhere. A herbal store was going out of business and they gave me a lot of sample bottles free (Can't be sold). Just things like orange, lemon, peppermint, rose etc, but I like to smell things I find pleasant . Even at the show I rubbed some lemon oils into my palms.

I grew up with healers used as much as doctors. My parents grew up with no doctors at all. Healthy as a human can be. Vital, vigorous and full of life

I have had chronic pain for years which I do my best to ignore. Spine issues from bad falls on ice. All I can do is heat, massage, body work by physical therapists, acupuncture and an assortment of herbs and anti inflamatories which I use now and then. Celebrex worked until they found it caused heart issues, so I ditched that fast.

Trying out a new combo I found at Costco yesterday. Will see how it works.

I really appreciate this thread.
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Old 01-24-2015, 09:45 PM   #7
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I had willow bark added to the first batch of pain tincture she made for me, but my gut told me it wasn't the key piece. I hate saying stuff like this b/c it sounds crazy. But I've also learned that frequently the brain reaches conclusions based on experience and observations that the mind isn't fast enough to process as individual thoughts.

I love learning about each of the herbs' individual qualities. So thank you.

I need to figure out something to help me get better sleep. My normal sleep 'cocktail' has been melatonin tablets, valerian root capsules (standardized), passionflower capsules, plus the pain and calming tinctures. But lately it's not enough. I think it's having no more estrogen left. As of last February. That's for a different thread, though! But I used to be such a good sleeper! I would actually fall asleep midway through a sentence! I miss being a good sleeper.

Sometimes it's that I can't fall asleep. Usually it's that I fall into a light, annoying sleep that I wake up from multiple times. The full moon has been hitting me hard, those nights are awful. Recently I've started waking up early too.

I use a sleep brain wave app that is designed to get you into the right sleep waves. Delta or whatever. It has lovely ambient sounds, too, a train, campfire, thunderstorm, grandfather clock.

All these things had been helping, but over the past several months I'm having more and more trouble sleeping. It's crazy making.

I don't ingest a lot of caffeine. I've been trying warm milk and magnesium, bananas with honey. At zero-dark-thirty this morning when I was trying to fall back to sleep, I finally looked up other sleep aids and read about tart cherry juice. Haven't gotten to the store to look for that yet.

Any suggestions are welcome. I do so love this place.
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Old 01-24-2015, 10:31 PM   #8
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Mutzie, do other people in the house complain that you snore? That you snore REALLY LOUD? You may want to have a sleep study done, in that case. You may be suffering from sleep apnea. I know that when I try to sleep without my CPAP machine, I do just that doze-and-wake cycle.
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Old 01-24-2015, 10:40 PM   #9
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I snore at times but for me one of those breath right strips does wonders. Only one problem with it, the strips seem to have made my nose wider in a spot. Anyone else have the same or am I just weird?
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Old 01-24-2015, 10:41 PM   #10
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I had a sleep apnea study done. Nothing. But thanks for trying....
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Old 01-24-2015, 10:49 PM   #11
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And can I just tell you I love that cat in the box avatar. Despite my name, my first pet ever was a cat - when I was 27. I believe I've made up for lost time....
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Old 01-25-2015, 11:26 AM   #12
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I used to have frequent heart palpitations that my Dr. gave me beta blockers for. I had a severe reaction to the beta blockers and refused any further medications. I made a simple tincture of Motherwort that was growing in my back yard and it worked better than any drug. It worked within a couple minutes and made my heart feel calm and relaxed. I don't have the problem now so I don't use the tincture anymore, but it did give me a kind of all over "lift," it is a hard feeling to explain.
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Old 01-25-2015, 11:48 AM   #13
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Well between the new item from Schiff which is Cartilage, Boron and Hyluronic Acid and my air activated heating pads my back seems to have improved somewhat.

I dread bending over, but when I was collecting sea gull feathers the first year I found that helped too, so I'll be bending over a lot for exercise to improve my back, now that the back pain is less intense. I even use a heat pad on the outer part of the knee that collapses on me. The pain may be sciatic from the back, but the pad and a brace, be-active help. It presses on an acupuncture point. Lucky clothes cover all these bits.

All those little elastic aids are helpful. I know I got rid of my plantar fascittis with innersoles and proper foot wear., plus all kinds of internet suggestions,

You don't always need meds..I try to do without whenever possible.

For sleep, I drink juice and wine, and if I can't go back to sleep on awakening, Melatonin or valerian.
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:08 AM   #14
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I guess most people do well with Melatonin and Valerian, but I can't take either one. Valerian actually keeps me from going into a deep sleep and Melatonin makes me depressed. I did some research and found that in some people Valerian acts in the opposite way. So if you are taking Valerian and not sleeping try something else such as hops or passion flower. A couple of calcium pills and a magnesium work well for me.
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:15 AM   #15
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Hmn, I think I'll take my calcium, magnesium and zinc before bedtime.

My problem is vivid dreams. Too vivid. Last nite an infestation of mice. (no mice here, plenty in Jersey, especially in winter). Before bed, (my tv is on the fritz), I read a book about a hissy fit a woman has when she finds her future husband having fun in the country club boardroom with her maid of honor at their rehearsal dinner. Naturally I had to dream her hissy fit, and it was a lulu.

They say if you dream a lot you don't have alzheimers. That is a fear just about every older person I know has. The ones here eat sugar, sugar, sugar treats all day.

All we can do is try to keep mentally active and as fit as possible.

If herbs help, well, I'm all for it.
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:29 AM   #16
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As you age, your taste buds lose their 'sharpness'. If you liked the taste of sweet for example, you need more sugary foods to attain that sweet taste. The same can apply to salty, spicy; all different tastes.

Many seniors aren't necessarily being careless or thoughtless, they're simply unaware of these changes. It can make planning a sensible, balanced diet for individuals & those living in residences difficult. Add to that medically required dietary restrictions & getting seniors to eat properly or even enough can be tough.
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:36 AM   #17
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My appetite isn't all that big. I eat less, but I need less.

But sugar and cake and sweets was never a weakness so I'm shocked at how they stuff them in, and the biggest sweet eaters aren't necessarily fat.

I was more a sour, and spicey food lover.

I also won't eat anything that tastes the slightest bit off.
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:39 AM   #18
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Oh yeah, the SWEET.

We've been pretty good on a low carb diet, and virtually no prepared or "bad for you" foods enter this house. I make everything from scratch and Jason loves FLAVOR so I have developed a pretty heavy hand with spices.

Yesterday we went off all of it BIG TIME. Dunkin Donuts for breakfast. Chili dogs for lunch. A huge cherry vanilla Dr Pepper and waffle cone in the afternoon. Take out teriyaki chicken for dinner. A handful of white chocolate truffles before bed.

It was all sooooo gooooood! We ate so much we felt sick. Last night we laid in bed nursing our big bellies like two old men with gout. Jason gained 2 and a half pounds when he weighed himself this morning. I'm not so brave.

Today, back on the wagon. lol Honestly, I didn't have breakfast and don't feel like lunch either. Maybe some peppermint tea. I need to work all this sugar through my system.
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Old 01-26-2015, 02:45 PM   #19
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Well, the cruise DIDN'T make me gain any weight, even though I stuffed myself 3 times a day. (You Brits quit giggling!) 237lbs at the weigh-in for oncology 5 weeks ago; this morning 231lbs.
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Old 01-26-2015, 07:04 PM   #20
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I have a set point, no matter how little I eat. I only eat when I feel like it, and it has to be what tastes good, otherwise why bother?

Healthy stuff at any rate.
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Old 01-28-2015, 10:55 AM   #21
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Hagar's wife here...

He has been diagnosed with Lyme disease and Sjogren's Syndrome. Nasty stuff. Lots of meds, even a PICC line for antibiotic infusion. The PICC line was installed in a rough manner and after 3 weeks caused a blood clot, so out it came. One doc to the next, lots of pain and neuropathy issues. We are at wits end trying to reduce the pain he has been having. Right now he is on Keflex for a sinus infection. Coughing at night is causing bad sleep and everything that goes with that.

Cajun Sunshine, we are certainly glad that you have re-surfaced, Hagar always loved reading your blog.

Anyone got any tips for Lyme?? The CDC thinks one 30 day regimen wipes it out...nada. It just gives it purpose. Thanks.
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Old 01-28-2015, 11:08 AM   #22
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A young girl I knew in Connecticut had it. Antibiotic therapy for a long time. She had joint issues for years.

I know I had it bad, numerous time. Ticks galore here, step out the door and a tick jumped on you as the deer slept right next to my doors. Memory issues and I used one new broad spectrum thing, which I can't recall and it seemed to kill it off.

The Magnesium, Calcium supplement seems to get me off to a long restful sleep.
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Old 01-28-2015, 10:16 PM   #23
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Good luck with finding a cure for Hagar, I've heard it can be a buggar to get rid of.
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Old 01-28-2015, 10:31 PM   #24
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Hagar, the Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation puts out a useful magazine with news about research, and articles about living with symptoms of Sjogrens. It's called, appropriately enough, Moisture Seekers. You will read helpful hints in there that you will never hear from your doctor. It's expensive but I get them in my dentists waiting room.

One thing with Sjogrens is getting good dental care. The dryness can lead to a lot of cavities but there is much that can be done to avoid that: using a prescription high fluoride toothpaste, chewing xylitol gum after every meal, special mouth rinses that help teeth to remineralize, increased frequency of dental cleanings. It pays to stay on top of that issue.

Stephen Buhner was mentioned in an earlier thread as a good herbalist. I know he does have a book out on treating Lyme and its frequent co-infections.
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Old 01-29-2015, 05:40 AM   #25
CajunSunshine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hagar View Post
Hagar's wife here...

He has been diagnosed with Lyme disease and Sjogren's Syndrome. Nasty stuff. Lots of meds, even a PICC line for antibiotic infusion. The PICC line was installed in a rough manner and after 3 weeks caused a blood clot, so out it came. One doc to the next, lots of pain and neuropathy issues. We are at wits end trying to reduce the pain he has been having. Right now he is on Keflex for a sinus infection. Coughing at night is causing bad sleep and everything that goes with that.

Cajun Sunshine, we are certainly glad that you have re-surfaced, Hagar always loved reading your blog.

Anyone got any tips for Lyme?? The CDC thinks one 30 day regimen wipes it out...nada. It just gives it purpose. Thanks.
I am so sorry to hear of the Lyme and Sjogren nightmares! One or the other is bad enough, but BOTH??? There may be a small light at the end of the tunnel I can share with you. I'll start a new thread and link it to here.

The CDC? Bah! (insert twitchy-eye smilie here) I believe with all my heart that they are kinky bedfellows with the medical insurance industry...follow the money trail, and all that crap. OK, I better stop...this is a public forum, and...and...nebbermind.

Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Hagar for your words of encouragement!

I'm off to get another thread going for us Lymies...

Here 'tis: http://thisbluemarble.com/showthread.php?t=61327

Best wishes to you!

.
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Last edited by CajunSunshine; 01-29-2015 at 02:52 PM. Reason: added link
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