Fibromyalgia is a common syndrome of chronic widespread soft-tissue pain accompanied by weakness, severe fatigue and sleep disturbances. It is non-inflammatory in nature. Symptoms can range from mild to severe. For some, just going to the street to get the mail from their mailbox or walking from one room to anther can be difficult. Other people live normal lives with occasional flareups of fibromyalgia symptoms.
Some symptoms of Fibromyalgia:
Dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation)
Migraines and headaches
Fibromyalgia fog also called fibro fog, brain fog (confusion, memory lapse, word mix-ups and concentration difficulties)
Twitchy muscles at night (nocturnal myoclonus)
I’ve compiled different types of herbs to assist the different parts of the body Fibromyalgia affects.
Sedative Herbs for Fibromyalgia
This syndrome can be seen as a chronic sleep disorder. Relaxing nervines relax the nervous system. They promote sleep can be used to achieve deep and restful sleep throughout the night. Not all sedative herbs work the same way for everyone. There are some relaxing herbs that are more potent and have a sedative effect. The constitution of the person and the energetics of the herbs need to be taken into consideration.
Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) with sleep difficulties and increasing anxiety frequently associated with fibromyalgia the calming herb chamomile has been found to promote better sleep, reduce anxiety and even boost the immune system. The dried flowers of chamomile contain terpenoids and flavonoids which contribute to its curative and preventive medicinal properties. It is very mild and is safe even for children. Chamomile is most commonly taken as a tea, either in a tea ball with loose herb or in tea bags. Pour boiling water in a mug and add the herb, covering the mug with a plate to trap the oils in the tea. Cover for 5 minutes before drinking.
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is most well-known for its sedating and relaxing properties. It has long been used for people with anxiety, nervousness, restlessness and insomnia. Valerian is very sedating promoting falling asleep fast and it can improve the quality of sleep. This herb is taken as a fresh root tincture stating with just a few drops at a time.
Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum) also known as Tulsi helps the body adapt to stress, it can also promote energy and endurance. This herb is a nervine and an adaptogen. It does this is by increasing the body’s ability to efficiently use oxygen. Tulsi can help calm the mind and recover from our hustle and bustle days. It has also been shown to positively effect people who are diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. Tulsi is high in eugenol, a constituent which is helpful to decrease pain making it useful for musculoskeletal pain. This herb can be taken as a tea or tincture. Holy basil tincture start with 40–60 drops of a 1:2 tincture, 2–3 times a day. For a tea pour boiling water in a mug and add 1 tsp. of herb, covering the mug with a plate to trap the oils in the tea. Cover for 5–10 minutes before drinking.
Adaptogen Herbs for Fibromyalgia
Adaptogens support the body’s resiliency to stress. One way to think about adaptogens is deep nourishment and support for the nervous system.
Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) can provide a significant boost to cognitive function and helps to regain mental clarity and focus. The root is used instead of the aerial parts. Rhodiola helps to relieve stress, anxiety, fatigue, alleviate depression symptoms, boost memory and stimulate activity of the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. This herb helps you to adapt to stress and also improves cognitive abilities. Rhodiola Rosea provides a natural energy boost, it enhances energy and boosts productivity by increasing the capacity of red blood cells to carry oxygen. It has been used a treatment for depression because of its effectiveness and because unlike many conventional antidepressants it has no serious side effects.
Rhodiola root is taken as a tincture or a decoction daily.Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) promotes sleep at night and energy throughout the daytime which iscrucial for people with Fibro. It is gently sedating and supports healthy sleep cycles. Ashwagandha isn’t overly stimulating, it’s something that is taken over time to restore nervous system health and restore healthy sleep cycles. This herb excels at decreasing anxiety and soothing the nervous system. Consider it for people with anxiety as well as people with debilitating exhaustion who don’t need stimulants but instead need deep sleep.
Reishi mushrooms (Ganoderma lucidum) are amazing fungi as it contains over two hundred unique and active ingredients that aren’t obtainable from any known plant source. For fibromyalgia suffers Reishi is best taken as an extract because it can be difficult to digest in its woody form. It is a power house antioxidant with antimicrobial action that can take on bacteria, viruses, stimulating the immune system and calming the autonomic nervous system.
Reishi mushrooms are particularly effective for fibromyalgia due to the fact that it helps reduce spasticity in muscles and it helps the liver detoxify waste.Anodyne Herbs for Fibromyalgia
Anodyne herbs help reduce the pain and discomfort that someone is experiencing. Herbs in this category range from completely safe to being low-dose botanicals that should never be used beyond one or two drops. Herbs may also have a special affinity for different types of pain as some herbs are better suited to nervous system pain while others to muscle pain.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)contains a compound called thujone which is known to be a powerful relaxant and anti-anxiety remedy. It also helps by removing uric acid from the joints and muscles making it highly beneficial for those who suffer with arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. Yarrow can be taken as a tea or a tincture.
Cottonwood (Populus spp.) also known as Balm of Gilead is used as a salve or infused oil to relieve sore muscles, strained muscles, joint pain and bruises. Cottonwood both modulates inflammation and directly relieves pain.
St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) has the ability to restore nervous system function to a healthy state. It is also a mild sedative, analgesic and anti-inflammatory that make it a fantastic fighter of nerve pain, muscle pain and inflammation and helps bring relaxing sleep. This can be taken as a tincture or as a salve.
Carminative Herbs for Fibromyalgia
Carminative herbs promote digestion and can be an important part of healing a leaky gut, which is often a factor.
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) can provide relief for pain and inflammation of bones, muscles and joints. It is rich in antioxidants, including the flavonoids quercetin and rutin. These help to reduce inflammation in the body and protect cells from oxidative stress damage. Fennel can be added to foods or taken a tea.
Cardamom (Elettaria cardamommum) is good for muscle and joint pain and improving blood circulation. This herb can be used in food dishes and as a tea.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger root is warming and improves poor circulation.
Ginger can be taken as a tea add 1 tsp of freshly grated ginger into one cup of boiling water. Let steep covered for 10 minutes. A ginger compress can be applied to pain points. Cooking with ginger is another way to get gingers benefits.
Immunomodulating Herbs for Fibromyalgia
Immunomodulating herbs build and strengthen the immune system. They are frequently used for people with immune system concerns such as autoimmunity, frequent colds and flus and seasonal allergies.
Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) the root helps to build and restore general health to the body, often used for people who are completely run down. Astragalus also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
This herb can also be cooked in foods such as soups, rice, quinoa. Just make sure to take out the root before eating as the root is fibrous. Can also be taken as a tincture 40–80 drops3x a day.
Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis) has potent anti-inflammatory properties. It has been shown to treat fatigue, exhaustion and provides energy and increased stamina. It has also been found to help relieve anxiety, treat insomnia, (a biggie for fibromyalgia patients), increase energy, and enhance the immune system. The powder form can be used in soups, teas, tonics and stews.
Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) are very beneficial in reducing inflammatory conditions. Shitake’s effect on the immune system is its ability to respond to the needs of the individual, stimulating the immune system when needed but also preventing excessive immune activity when necessary. Shiitakes can be used in soups, stews and sauteed.