Herbal Treatment Used to Treat Muscle pain in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The aim of this project was to investigate treatment used by herbalists for muscle pain and associated symptoms in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and the rationale given for the choice. Questionnaires were sent out to 45 members of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists in Scotland and Wales. Of the 45 questionnaires sent 21 were returned.
The most favoured herbs in order of preference to treat muscle pain and symptoms were Cimicifuga racemosa, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Gelsemium sempervirens, Urtica dioica and Viburnum opulus. Herbs were prescribed in the tincture, fluid extract and dried forms. The results also provided a broader range of remedies taking the various symptoms of the condition into account, these included, circulatory, immune stimulating, detoxification and elimination, anti-inflammatory, hormonal and nutritional herbs. Not all the respondents considered the energetics of the patient or herb, of those who did the main areas included; hot, cold, dry, damp, low energy, low mood, high achiever and nervous exhaustion. The main aspects of strategy to be considered in treatment included; an internal remedy, an external remedy, diet, improving circulation, supporting body systems and reducing inflammation. The main aspects of lifestyle to be considered in treatment included gentle but paced exercise, massage, diet, rest and relaxation. The research highlighted that treatment comes down to a patient-centred approach, that all things are considered, not only pain relief for aching muscles but also why pain is there, how the rest of the body's systems and functions affect it and how diet, exercise and lifestyle can improve it. A wide variety of herbs were listed, showing the herbalist's individual and flexible approach to the condition.