Herbs and Muscles
Natural Herbal Remedy
Weak or Wasted Muscles
Specific herbs in advanced botanic medicine can improve the distressing symptoms of muscle weakness and wasting.
Also used by body builders.
Any of the muscles that are under our voluntary control (skeletal muscles) can cramp. Cramps of the extremities, especially the legs and feet, and most particularly the calf, are very common. Involuntary muscles of the various organs (uterus, blood vessel wall, intestinal tract, bile and urine passages, bronchial tree, etc.) are also subject to cramps. This is usually due to poor nutritional support.
Poor circulation to the legs, which results in inadequate oxygen to the muscle tissue, can cause severe pain in the muscle (sometimes known as claudication pain). This commonly occurs in the calf muscles. While the pain feels virtually identical to that of a severely cramped muscle, the pain does not seem to be a result of the actual muscle cramping. This pain may be due to accumulation of lactic acid and other chemicals in the muscle tissues. Most cramps can be stopped if the muscle can be stretched and supported nutritionally.
Gently massaging the muscle will often help it to relax, as will applying warmth from a heating pad or hot soak. If the cramp is associated with fluid loss, as is often the case with vigorous physical activity, fluid and electrolyte (especially sodium and potassium) replacement is essential.
MuscleMore Herbal Health Tonic contains specific herbs to support the circulation, nutritional supply and nervous action so as to strengthen and build and restore normal functioning muscles in the body and especially where there has been injury. It can improve muscular action in vigorous physical activity. It has been used to help rebuild wasting muscles after injury or during and after broken bone treatment. It has also helped in sports to help support and build muscle for more efficiency and strength; it has been found to help tighten and define muscle when combined with muscle building diet and regular training.
The remarkable synergistic action of this multiherbal health tonic may be specifically identified as follows: to strengthen the muscles (Thistle, Oats, Frankincense, Blue Cohosh, Kola, Licorice), testosteronal stimulant to muscle (Muira Puama, Yo bark), glandular agent (e.g. growth hormone) (American Mandrake, Yo bark), muscular growth (Frankincense, Licorice, Comfrey), to reduce muscle tire/aches (Thistle, Olive ,Cramp bark), to support and help prevent muscular debility (Oats, Blue Cohosh, Thorn Apple, Licorice, Olive, Aniseed, Cramp bark), muscle stimulant (Thuja), vasodilator (opens blood vessels) to muscles (Ginkgo, Witch Hazel, Muira Puama, Olive, Yo bark), specifically increases oxygen to muscle (Thorn Apple), nerve support and stimulant (Oats, Kola, St John’s Wort), joint protection (Celery, Thistle), blood stimulant (increasing blood supply to muscle) (Cayenne, Frankincense, Muira Puama, Aniseed, Thuja), nutrient support to improve work-load on muscle (Bladderwrack, Alfalfa), reduces thyroid stress involvement (Bladderwrack), improves the immediate supply of vitamin E (a potent antioxidant that assists the destroying of free radicals that damage and age cells and skin; also helps keep blood vessels open to muscle to prevent damage) in readily absorbable organic form (Garlic, Celery, Oats, Alfalfa ), antimicrobial (Garlic, Celery), antirheumatic stiffness (Celery), coenzyme Q10 (Oats, Ginkgo), antioxidant (Ginkgo, Olive), anti-inflammatory (Licorice, Witch Hazel, St John’s Wort), adrenal agent (Licorice), liver agent (Blue Flag, American Mandrake, Thistle, Thuja), immune system (Garlic, Olive, Thuja), lowers/regulates blood pressure (Ginkgo, Olive), regulates blood sugar (Licorice, Olive), all organ support (American Mandrake), general healer for stress to muscle tissue (Comfrey).
Our herbal tonic medicines are carefully prepared on a personal and individual basis for your healing by medical herbalist Alan Hopking MA MNIMH FINEH.
Only whole herbs are used in our herbal medicines. Nothing else is added. If you have symptoms which you consider might be helped with herbal medicine please contact herbal practitioner Alan Hopking for a friendly confidential professional consultation. See terms and fees.
Once you have received your herbal prescription you can contact Alan Hopking at any time for more free advice (preferably by email). When you have completed your bottle of herbal medicine and if you want a repeat prescription you are requested to phone or email so that your progress can be assessed and adjustments made if necessary so that there is no break in your treatment. To order or re-order, click here.
HERBACTIVE Centre of Herbal Medicine, England, UK. Freephone 0800 0834436
General advice to consumers on the use of herbal remedies from the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
From the website of the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (www.mhra.gov.uk) Department of Health, UK
• Remember that herbal remedies are medicines. As with any other medicine they are likely to have an effect on the body and should be used with care. • Herbal remedies may sometimes interact with other medicines. This makes it particularly important to tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking a herbal remedy with other medicines such as prescribed medicines (those provided through your doctor or dentist). • Treat with caution any suggestion that a herbal remedy is '100% safe' or is 'safe because it is natural'. Many plants, trees, fungi and algae can be poisonous to humans. It is worth remembering that many pharmaceuticals have been developed or derived from these sources because of the powerful compounds they contain. Any medicine, including herbal remedies, which have an effect on the body should be used with care. • Treat with caution any herbalist or other person who supplies herbal remedies if they are unwilling or unable to provide written information, in English, listing the ingredients of the herbal remedy they are providing. • If you are due to have a surgical operation you should always remember to tell your doctor about any herbal remedy that you are taking. • Anyone who has previously experienced any liver complaint, or any other serious health complaint is advised not to take any herbal remedy without speaking to their doctor first.
Few conventional medicines have been established as safe to take during pregnancy and it is generally recognised that no medicine should be taken unless the benefit to the mother outweighs any possible risk to the foetus. This rule should also be applied to herbal medicinal products. However, herbal products are often promoted to the public as being “natural” and completely “safe” alternatives to conventional medicines. Some herbal ingredients that specifically should be avoided or used with caution during pregnancy. As with conventional medicines, no herbal products should be taken during pregnancy unless the benefit outweighs the potential risk.
Many herbs are traditionally reputed to be abortifacient and for some this reputation can be attributed to their volatile oil component.(6) A number of volatile oils are irritant to the genito-urinary tract if ingested and may induce uterine contractions. Herbs that contain irritant volatile oils include ground ivy, juniper, parsley, pennyroyal, sage, tansy and yarrow. Some of these oils contain the terpenoid constituent, thujone, which is known to be abortifacient. Pennyroyal oil also contains the hepatotoxic terpenoid constituent, pulegone. A case of liver failure in a woman who ingested pennyroyal oil as an abortifacient has been documented.
A stimulant or spasmolytic action on uterine muscle has been documented for some herbal ingredients including blue cohosh, burdock, fenugreek, golden seal, hawthorn, jamaica dogwood, motherwort, nettle, raspberry, and vervain. Herbal Teas Increased awareness of the harmful effects associated with excessive tea and coffee consumption has prompted many individuals to switch to herbal teas. Whilst some herbal teas may offer pleasant alternatives to tea and coffee, some contain pharmacologically active herbal ingredients, which may have unpredictable effects depending on the quantity of tea consumed and strength of the brew. Some herbal teas contain laxative herbal ingredients such as senna, frangula, and cascara. In general stimulant laxative preparations are not recommended during pregnancy and the use of unstandardised laxative preparations is particularly unsuitable. A case of hepatotoxicity in a newborn baby has been documented in which the mother consumed a herbal tea during pregnancy as an expectorant. Following analysis the herbal tea was reported to contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids which are known to be hepatotoxic.
A drug substance taken by a breast-feeding mother presents a hazard if it is transferred to the breast milk in pharmacologically or toxicologically significant amounts. Limited information is available regarding the safety of conventional medicines taken during breast-feeding. Much less information exists for herbal ingredients, and generally the use of herbal remedies is not recommended during lactation.
Herbal remedies have traditionally been used to treat both adults and children. Herbal remedies may offer a milder alternative to some conventional medicines, although the suitability of a herbal remedy needs to be considered with respect to quality, safety and efficacy. Herbal remedies should be used with caution in children and medical advice should be sought if in doubt. Chamomile is a popular remedy used to treat teething pains in babies. However, chamomile is known to contain allergenic sesquiterpene lactones and should therefore be used with caution. The administration of herbal teas to children needs to be considered carefully and professional advice may be needed.
The need for patients to discontinue herbal medicinal products prior to surgery has recently been proposed. The authors considered eight commonly used herbal medicinal products (echinacea, ephedra, garlic, ginkgo, ginseng, kava, St John’s Wort, valerian). On the evidence available they concluded that the potential existed for direct pharmacological effects, pharmacodynamic interactions and pharmacokinetic interactions. The need for physicians to have a clear understanding of the herbal medicinal products being used by patients and to take a detailed history was highlighted. The American Society of Anaesthesiologists (ASA) has advised patients to tell their doctor if they are taking herbal products before surgery and has reported that a number of anaesthesiologists have reported significant changes in heart rate or blood pressure in some patients who have been taking herbal medicinal products including St John’s Wort, ginkgo and ginseng. MCA is currently investigating a serious adverse reaction associated with the use of ginkgo prior to surgery. In this case, the patient who was undergoing hip replacement experienced uncontrolled bleeding thought to be related to the use of ginkgo.
From the website of the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (www.mhra.gov.uk) Department of Health, UK
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