Saturday, June 23, 2012

Chronic pain

Most types of pain--muscle spasms, headaches, backaches--are easily handled. Taking a muscle relaxant will take care of most muscle spasms (which includes the majority of backaches). These types of pain relief I'll address another time.

But some people live with chronic pain, to the point that they have difficulty sleeping and rely on either massive doses of pain killers or chemical sleep aids. Or both.

I try not to take anything chemical, or anything that is considered pharmaceutical. I have people in my family who have serious reactions to certain chemicals, and we have a family history of addiction, so I stay away from anything that might lead in that direction.

Pain is a difficult problem with herbal medicines. If it can't be resolved by a simple anti-spasmodic or anti-inflamatory, there just aren't many choices. Most of the choices for true pain relief are dangerous and addictive.

Sometimes the choice is between pain and sleep. Below is a simple sleep aid, but valerian is an addictive anti-depressant. It should not be taken regularly, or for more than a week at a time. It should also not be taken with other anti-depressants.

1 T valerian leaf
1 T catnip
1 T lemon balm

I choose not to use the valerian root. The leaf has the same effect, it's just not as strong and I still have the plant after. Catnip and lemon balm are both relaxation aids.

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