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What Are the Different Types of Herbs for Fibromyalgia?

By Meshell Powell
Updated May 17, 2024
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The use of herbs for fibromyalgia is a popular yet controversial practice. Not all members of the medical community agree on the safety or effectiveness of this form of treatment, so patient education is important. Some of the most commonly used herbs for fibromyalgia include ginseng, chamomile, and cayenne pepper. Additional herbs that may be helpful in the treatment of fibromyalgia include licorice, St. John's wort, and turmeric. There are potential side effects associated with the use of herbal remedies, and there is no universal regulatory agency in place to make sure these herbs meet any safety requirements, so caution should be used when using any herbal remedy. Any specific questions or concerns about the use of herbs for fibromyalgia should be discussed with a trusted doctor or other medical professional.

Ginseng and chamomile are among the most popularly used herbs for fibromyalgia. It is widely believed that ginseng works to relieve stress and increase energy levels. Headaches, insomnia, and elevated blood pressure are possible side effects of ginseng. Chamomile may help to boost the immune system and is frequently used to calm the nerves and induce a restful sleep. Negative side effects of chamomile are rare, although some people may develop a potentially serious allergic reaction.

Cayenne pepper and licorice may be useful herbs for fibromyalgia. The active ingredient in cayenne pepper is used in many commercial formulations designed to treat muscle pain, although cayenne pepper may also be effective when taken orally. Topical preparations may cause a temporary burning sensation at the application site. Licorice may help to ease pain for some people, although those with bleeding disorders may not be able to take this herb.

St. John's wort is one of the most frequently used herbs for fibromyalgia. Mild to moderate depression is common among those with fibromyalgia, and St. John's wort is thought to be especially helpful in relieving this symptom. Symptoms such as nerve pain or anxiety may also be eased by the use of this herb. Upset stomach, headache, or dry mouth may occur when taking St. John's wort.

Turmeric may be used as a treatment option for those with fibromyalgia. This remedy is thought to be effective in treating inflammation and and muscle pain. Powdered turmeric can be mixed in a glass of water or mixed with food. Oral supplements are available at many pharmacies for those who have trouble adding enough of this herb to the diet. Side effects may include constipation, dehydration, or liver damage when used in large quantities.

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