Although chamomile is one of the oldest forms of medicinal herbs used by health providers, it’s still widely used today for a plethora of conditions. It’s still being used because it’s hugely effective. Researchers have discovered that up to one million cups of herbal chamomile tea are consumed across the globe each day.When the dried flowers of the chamomile are properly blended, there has been evidence to prove that it can aid in reducing inflammation and muscle spasms. Not only that, but people also use the tea for insomnia, ulcers, gastrointestinal disorders, and a vast number of other health ailments.
If you would rather use the fresh flowers, use three to four tablespoons along with eight ounces of boiling water and one small sprig of mint if desired for extra flavor. Let it steep for at least five minutes before straining and drinking.
Devil’s Claw, or Harpagophytum procumbens, is a herb that is only found in the wild Kalahari desert of South Africa. Devil’s Claw is often used for rheumatic pain, backache, as well as muscle and joint pain. The botanical name Harpagophytum means ‘hook plant’ in Greek and it gets its name from its hook-like appearance.
One study looking at the effectiveness of Devil’s Claw on mild to moderate rheumatic disorders found that although Devil’s Claw had no effect on the blood count results of the actual conditions, it had a significant effect on pain reduction with more than 60% of patients seeing a positive impact.3 What’s more, the study also suggests that the use of Devil’s Claw long-term is not only safe but also may show improvements in those with chronic lower back pain.
Believe it or not, a lot of your favorite spicy foods can actually help with your muscle tightness. A compound contained within cayenne pepper, called “Capsaicin,’ is a well-studied muscle relaxant and can help lessen muscle pain and stiffness. Direct application of cayenne pepper cream to the affected area is the most effective method; however, ingesting it with your food or in tablet form can also be effective.
Another sweet and natural way to relax your muscles is by eating blueberries. A recent study suggests that having a blueberry smoothie before and after exercise can help accelerate recovery from muscle damage. Blueberries have antioxidant powers and have been shown to decrease oxidative stress and inflammation.
Anti-spasmodic herbs relieve contractions and spasms in both smooth and involuntary muscles throughout the human body, according to naturopathic doctor and master herbalist John R. Christopher. Cramp bark is considered one of the most effective herbal anti-spasmodics and is used as a remedy for nervous disorders and spasms. Herbalist Jim MacDonald touts cramp bark as one of the most effective herbal anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic agents due to its wide range of applications throughout the body.
Herbal Tea Preparation and Other Natural Therapies
If you’d like to make a tea with multiple herbs, it’s as simple as mixing the dried herbs together and then steeping 1 tablespoon per cup of water for 10 to 15 minutes. Drink 1 to 4 cups a day for acute pain or spasms. Along with herbs, adjunct therapies like yoga, stretching, walking and massage can all support healthy spinal movement and relaxation. Take a hot bath with Epsom salts to naturally relieve tension and minimize spasms. You can add anti-spasmodic herbs into the bath in a muslin bag for an external tea application, as well.
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