7 Natural Remedies for Fibromyalgia Pain
When you live with fibromyalgia, you face daily challenges that many others don’t. Chronic muscle pain, nonstop fatigue, unrefreshing sleep, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, and depression are all issues that can divide your life into ‘good days’ and ‘bad days.’
Fibromyalgia affects approximately one in 50 people – mostly women. There is currently no cure and no one knows what causes it- yet. Therefore, finding the best fibromyalgia pain relief is an ongoing process.
In this blog, we’ll examine seven herbs that can provide relief for your symptoms, along with three natural treatments that can make a big difference in how you feel.
1. St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
While no studies have been done on the effect of St. John’s wort on fibromyalgia symptoms, it is often used to treat depression, which is commonly associated with fibromyalgia.
As a herbal therapy, it’s usually well-tolerated, although some people may experience an upset stomach or a skin rash.
According to this medically-reviewed article published on WebMD, an analysis of studies examining the effect of St. John’s wort on depression found that the herb was as safe and effective as selective SSRI antidepressants like Zoloft and Prozac. However, if you are currently taking antidepressants, speak to your healthcare practitioner, as mixing St. John’s wort with some medications may cause illness.
2. Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)
Echinacea is often used to shorten the duration of the common cold and flu, and to reduce symptoms such as a sore throat, cough, and fever.
Herbalists also recommend echinacea to help the body fight infection.
Echinacea contains antioxidants such as flavonoids, cichoric acid, and rosmarinic acid, which may protect your body from the pain and stiffness associated with fibromyalgia. It can also activate chemicals in the body that reduce inflammation while strengthening your immune system.
Dried and ground turmeric roots have been used as a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory for centuries, particularly in India. More recently, turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin, has been called the ‘herbal ibuprofen.’
One study found that curcumin was highly effective at reducing pain and swelling in arthritic joints. When taken as directed, it can deliver a similar benefit to those living with fibromyalgia, so if you already enjoy turmeric in your meals, here’s a good reason to keep indulging!
4. Arnica (Arnica)
Arnica has been used for treating bruises, inflammations, and muscle pain since medieval times.
Today, many different topical remedies include it as a natural treatment for muscle pain, as these treatments tend to be well-tolerated and have few side effects.
Rubbing an arnica-based salve on sore joints and muscles can provide a measure of relief from the pain and stiffness associated with fibromyalgia and even improve joint function. Now available in the Apothecary!
Research has suggested that certain arnica gels work as well as ibuprofen in reducing hand pain associated with osteoarthritis.
5. Lavender (Lavandula)
Lavender oil and flowers are both used to create natural remedies for insomnia, stress, and anxiety. Since fibromyalgia patients often suffer from all three, taking lavender as a tea, tincture, or topical treatment can make it easier to sleep at night. One study concluded that lavender essential oil improved the sleep quality of patients in intensive care units (ICUs) who had trouble sleeping.
When applied as an oil, lavender has an added benefit of helping to reduce pain and improve blood circulation, rubbing a massage oil over sore joints and muscles may give you the pain relief you need.
6. Black Cohosh (Actaea racemosa)
Black cohosh, which was first used by Native Americans for medicinal purposes, became a popular treatment for women’s health issues in the mid-1950s.
Today, black cohosh is often used to ease the symptoms of menopause, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), acne, and osteoporosis.
Black cohosh root contains several chemicals that work to reduce pain in the body, making it a viable treatment for fibromyalgia symptoms. These chemicals can also have a similar effect to serotonin, which boosts the mood and can help reduce feelings of depression.
7. Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)
Milk thistle is a flowering plant that is frequently used to treat various health conditions, mainly liver problems like cirrhosis, hepatitis, and jaundice.
In addition, it may lower cholesterol levels and help people manage type 2 diabetes.
Many people have found that milk thistle is highly effective in the treatment of painful conditions like fibromyalgia. In addition, it helps strengthen the digestive tract and aids in the healing of irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, and Crohn’s disease.
Additional Natural Therapies
The soothing and healing effects of the above herbs can be sustained and even improved with natural therapies that also target the stiffness and soreness caused by fibromyalgia. They include but are not limited to exercise massage and acupuncture.
Fibromyalgia patients might find exercising difficult at first, but building up gradually and persevering can be beneficial. Over time, your pain and discomfort may decrease as muscle strength increases.
Exercises like swimming, walking, and cycling, are likely to improve health and the quality of life for people with fibromyalgia. A physical therapist can help you put together a program that works for you.
Massage may provide chronic pain relief when received regularly. There are different types available to help you cope with fibromyalgia-related stiffness and discomfort:
- Swedish massages use long strokes to target and relax the muscle’s superficial layers.
- A deep tissue massage uses direct pressure and slow strokes to affect the deeper layers of your muscles and relieve chronic tension.
- Myofascial release involves stretching and manipulating the connective tissues, making them more flexible and allowing you to move more freely.
Your massage therapist will work with you to determine the type of massage that will reduce your pain and improve your comfort the most.
Acupuncture is part of traditional Chinese medicine, which treats a wide range of pain conditions. A core principle of traditional Chinese medicine is: “Where pain exists, Qi is blocked.” Qi (or Chi) is the name of the life force (energy) that permeates the human body. Practitioners believe that when your Qi is blocked, it can cause pain or illness
Acupuncture can relieve pain by facilitating a more efficient flow of Qi through the painful areas. During your treatment, which lasts anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes, the acupuncturist will insert several thin, sterilized needles in strategic locations to open up all of your Qi channels.
You may notice that your pain has improved following an acupuncture treatment session. It may have to do with the fact that acupuncture triggers endorphins, which are natural painkillers that can help decrease pain perception.
Managing uncomfortable fibromyalgia symptoms improves your quality of life. The remedies and treatments in this post can all play an important role in controlling pain and depression and improving mobility. A consultation with your healthcare practitioner can result in a holistic treatment plan that improves your outlook and your wellbeing.
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Maybe there is something useful here. Most are available at health stores.
Thank you ! My Doctor and I are always interested in finding ways to manage Fibromyalgia, as standard pain meds are of little or no use. My Doctor is always pleased with patients that take an interest in their own care. Sometimes there is no magic pill, but a variety of therapies used to make symptoms m ore bearable.
Thank you for sharing this with us.
Really appreciate it.
Wishing you the best of health!
I had the pain associated with fibromyalgia. I did a detox and my muscles were much less inflamed and have not gotten that much inflamed since. And I will continue to do periodic detox program.
I’ve tried about half of these herbs but never together. I am allergic to St John’s Wort but I do take zoloft. I truly plan on trying this together. I would like to know where I can purchase these herbs.
Thank you for your interest in our work.
You can find most of the herbs here:
You can also find some of the products already made in the new Apothecary:
Many blessings and good health!
Do not use St Johns Wort when on depression meds.
I really want a nice lavender lotion. Any tips or recipe?
I wonder if you suffer from fibro? If not, you should know that most who do cannot even think about massage! My daughter does, and just the thought of having a massage just makes her nearly go into a flare-up! Is it beneficial, yes, certainly, but NOT something most who have fibro can even consider. (she even has to give up her clothing once the “soft” has gone away from them as she can no longer have them against her skin!) She has tried some of these herbs, with some benefits. I gave her some lemon balm which she made into a tea, and that helped her quite a bit.
Carol, everyone with fibro is different. I’ve found that twice weekly swedish massages actually help, for me. I was diagnosed with fibro at 22, relatively young, and have been dealing with it for 15 years. Possibly in your daughter’s age range.
Has your daughter tried L-Lysine (daily, start with one and build up the dose, to cut viral load), or kelp (daily, start with one and build up, for fatigue)? Best of luck!
How does one sit down even with fibro then I wonder how one can tolerate that?
Can these herbs be used together in the form of tea or tincture that can be made?
I’ve had fibromyalgia for 7 years now, and I’ve yet to find something that gives me relief other than medications that take the edge of off slightly, or steroids. I feel like I’m loosing pieces of myself to this condition and it makes going through life so difficult.
I found taking a dessert spoon of liquid cod liver oil every morning has helped me a lot. I could not lift my arms up because of the pain. So I put myself on c. L o and been on it since I can lift my arms up no problem now. Calsules are not enough.
Magnesium Malate is specific for fibromyalgia