Chronic pain


also, now that i’ve read back through this whole thread (i had only found it b/c i was doing a search for devil’s club), i have a few things to toss in. when i lived in upper michigan, i was acquainted with a woman who had ms. she was in her early 30s, and had successfully gotten off modern medications, but still had a number of tough symptoms. i ended up providing her with some tinctures, and they turned out to be helpful for her. her main complaints were lack of sleep & poor sleep quality, and terrible muscle/joint aches/soreness. after using my tinctures, she was able to get a reasonable amount of high quality sleep, and was able to move much more comfortably throughout the day.

for sleep issues & muscle/joint soreness, i often make a tincture blend. if you have access to any of these herbs, try them individually & see what works for you, and combine if needed. with these in tincture form i would personally start with one dropperful/day (in morning for muscle/joints, at night for sleeplessness) as a dosage & see if that was effective - if not, you can increase to 4 droppersful at most (not that more would be harmful, just unlikely to change in effect past that point, and thus wasteful of the medicine).

some herbs will help quiet the brain, others help calm emotions, and still others help physically guide the body toward sleep. all that said, here are my ‘sleepytime’ herbs:

for mental agitation/brain racing/restlessness/anxiety:
-lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
-blue or white vervain (Verbena hastata or urticifolia) - also a mild muscle relaxant/anti-cramp
for emotional stress/strain, restless heart, worries:
-rose (Rosa spp)
-violet (Viola odorata)
-motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca)
-st john’s wort (Hypericum perforatum)
for really, specifically nudging the body toward sleep
-valerian root (Valeriana officinalis) *note: doesn’t work for some people, and may only work for a few weeks at a time - so use only when Really needed, and if effectiveness wanes, switch to something else for a while.
-hops (Humulus lupulus) as with valerian, use carefully until you can tell how it affects you personally. some folks can safely use it during the day to help them calm down. others can only use before bed. (edit: i forgot hops!! adding it now)
for a narcotic-like effect of helping your ‘self’ step aside from pain/anxiety that prevents sleep (but without actual narcotics or addiction risk)
-ghost pipe (Monotropa uniflora)

for muscle/joint issues, this page from an herbalist friend of mine can be incredibly helpful in understanding what goes on in our bodies that needs to be addressed to alleviate symptoms (and when possible, root causes). that said, here are the herbs i’ve personally worked with for muscle/joint pain:

for help reducing inflammation:
-chickweed (Stellaria media)
-wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)
-devil’s club (Oplopanax horridus)
for help lubricating joints:
-horsetail (Equisetum spp)
for help calming muscle spasms/cramps:
-crampbark (a.k.a. highbush cranberry) (Viburnum trilobum, or opulis, or edule)
-blue or white vervain (Verbena hastata & urticifolia)
-lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
for direct pain relief:
-yarrow (also anti-inflammatory) (Achillea millefolium)
-devil’s club (Oplopanax horridus)
-st john’s wort (Hypericum perforatum)
-wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)
-ghost pipe (Monotropa uniflora)
to help bones (especially spine) come back into their proper alignment:
-mullein root (Verbascum thapsus)
to help repair tendon & ligament damage:
-solomon seal & solomon’s plume (a.k.a. false solomon seal) (Polygonatum multiflorum & biflorum, Maianthemum racemosum)

Valerian: Be careful how long you use valerian root for. as mentioned above, it can lose effectiveness over time, and may need to be used cyclically. some people simply don’t get a response from it.
Ghost Pipe: be careful when using ghost pipe, as you may find it nudges you toward a bit of a meditative state, and so it may not be appropriate for use when you’re heading to your job or needing to do heavy-focus, very complex, or high-stress tasks. some people don’t notice any change of ‘mood’ while others do, so please get acquainted with the herb first & don’t use without care.
Wintergreen: avoid high doses of wintergreen, as it does contain salicylates (aspirin) and can be dangerous in large amounts. tinctures are not the same as essential oils (which of wintergreen can be very dangerous if used internally), but please still exercise caution and find the smallest effective dosage for your body.


@joan thank you SO much for all of this, i’m grateful and will spend time with it soon!


FB recently posted an article on my feed that listed results from a recent study of CBD and MS. Apparently there was enough pain relief using (non THC) CBD’s to report it’s medicinal value for the condition. Also a similar separate article reported osteoporosis or bone density improvements with the use of CBD.