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Herbal Treatments

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,715
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:22 AM in Alternative Treatments
More and more we have been seeing posts discussing treatments using various herbal medicines.
I strongly believe in the use of non-conventional medications.
However, even some of the natural/organic plants/roots/spices/etc can be harmful to some people. There is not a lot of information regarding many of them. Since ao many are note FDA approved, you might not even know the proper dosage.
Finding someone who is very knowledgeable regarding these topics ( and many times it can be your own primary care physician)

So many people who are suffering with chronic pain do look for other alternatives besides narcotic medications.
That is why I believe this deserves its sown topic
Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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Comments

  • I saw this article in the newspaper today, and I thought some of you may be intersted. While I've never tried it, I am interested in learning about it. Remember--YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CHECK WITH YOUR PHYSICIAN BEFORE TRYING ANYTHING NEW. As far as I know, there isn't anything that really works on nerve pain. Has anyone ever heard of this stuff? --Mazy
    ==========================================
    Q: Turmeric is excellent for nerve damage. I had a pinched nerve in my neck. I went to the emergency room, but the doctors told me they have no painkiller for nerves. Instead, they gave me a high-powered pain pill.

    Those pain pills almost killed me: I had a reaction to them that set the nerve on fire. The pain was so great, I cried all the time. I couldn't sleep for more than a few minutes here and there for 14 days. Once I stopped the pain pills, the pain eased up somewhat.

    I called the health-food store and asked if there was anything to help the pain in my neck. Turmeric was recommended, so I got a bottle, and with the very first pill I could feel the pain going away.

    The turmeric I take is in a combination formula. I use Solaray Turmeric Special Formula. It combines turmeric with bromelain and boswellia, and I have gotten good relief from it for five years.

    A: Bromelain, boswellia and turmeric are all traditional Indian ayurvedic botanical medicines with strong anti-inflammatory activity. Bromelain is an enzyme derived from pineapple. Boswellia comes from a tree resin similar to frankincense. Turmeric is the yellow spice in curry powder and yellow mustard.

    We have heard from other readers that this combination is especially helpful for nerve pain. Their stories and more information about the herbs can be found online at www.peoplespharmacy.com.

  • :) Mazy, i take a capsule of turmeric twice daily with my other vitamins. =)) i can't tell you for sure if it works because i use it in combination with other vitamins and supplements. :? it is for nerve pain. good luck. try it. check with your pharmacist and then go for it! Jenny
  • sorry to correct you @ jenny. turmeric can not be found in the vegetables you mentioned above because it is a root itself grown in the soil. you can get it as a dry powder or as the root from indian grocery stores. the link below gives some information abt turmeric.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turmeric
  • I used to go to a chinese acccupunture treatment center. I would have accupuncture and they would talk about the chi and how emotions effect the body.
    They would look at my tongue and say the tip is too red and I have stored alot of anger. :P :P }:) Then they would place needles to balance the chi. 8}
    The next step was herbs that they mixed up and that I had to boil and make a cold tea for x number of days. I can still smell some of that..yuck..and tasted just as yucky.. :sick: jade
  • hi,
    i was told that boswellia is good for pain and inflammation. does anyone use this?
  • Be VERY careful about mixing supplements w/ pain meds. Many herbal supplements have not been researched enough for health professionals to know whether or not they will interact with the liver enzymes that process your medications.

    Most doctors are not well informed about drug interactions and usually know even less about how herbs (which can be very potent - many of our medicines come from herbs, including pain meds). Watch out for supplements that have bioprene (black pepper) in them - bioprene can interact potently with pain meds.

    The higher your dose and/or the more supplements you take, the greater the likelihood of an interaction. You might or might not notice an interaction. If the herbs cause an increase in your dose b/c of an interaction, you might think the increased pain relief is due to the herb. But it might be from the increase in medication you are getting from an interaction between the herbs and your meds instead.

    You don't want to find out that a herb has increased your dose when you get a UA! One way to test for a significant interaction is to take a week off (to make sure the herb has cleared out completely. If you experience withdrawal symptoms, your meds and the herbs were interacting! That will only catch interactions big enough to trigger withdrawal though.

    If you are going to mix meds and herbs, try to take the supplement at a different time than you take your med - this may help to avoid some interactions. It's impossible w/ Fentanyl, but may help w/ other pain meds.

    Be particularly careful w/ methadone since you aren't likely to notice an interaction immediately [b/c of methadone's long half-life]. A significant increase in any pain med is risky, but methadone is particularly dangerous. I would not risk mixing any herbs w/ methadone.

    I have not found that doctors or pharmacists have much information on interactions. A naturopathic doctor may know, but he/she is limited to the research/information that is available, and there is limited information b/c there isn't much funding to test supplements. Pharmaceutical companies are only interested in what they can patent and sell, and have little interest in herbs they can't extract something from to make a drug.

    Since the supplement industry is NOT regulated (or only very loosely (some supplements are banned, but not many), look for brands that have GMP certification (good manufacturing process, submit their products for voluntary testing at ConsumerLabs or to independent testing (very hard to find). There have been multiple cases of contamination w/ lead, adulteration w/ prescription drugs, and companies that claim they have included more of the active ingredient than they have actually included. Some brands are consistently solid, but a subscription to ConsumerLabs (which tests supplements randomly) shows that many companies have had the problems mentioned above (contaminatinon, adulteration, including less of the active ingredient than claimed).

    A good source of information (but it has ltd information on potential interactions - there simply isn't a lot of information at this pt) is the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database - unfortunately, it requires a subscription, as does Consumer Labs, which tests new supplements each month. The first gives detailed information about different supplements and allows you to check for interactions (though, again, it's ltd. to the information that's available), allows you to search by condition, and provides a detailed monograph on each supplement. Consumerlabs provides some information on the supplement, but focuses primarily on testing products for contamination, etc.

    Natural does not mean safe.....
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