Developing a Pain Relief Tea

According to the powers that be, opioid pain medication shouldn’t be prescribed for cases like mine. They, of course, don’t talk to the patients, they only make up these ‘guidelines’ (read: rules) and expect that everyone will fit into those tiny little boxes.  So, my pain doctors have reduced my opioid pain medication and will not prescribe more (suggested that if I want more I should doctor shop for a clinic that still prescribes opiate pain meds).

Unfortunately, I don’t fit into those boxes. Its important with people who have multiple conditions, to not rock the boat so to speak. I have Meniere’s disease (incurable), migraine with aura (incurable), chronic pain (not cured so far), hypothyroidism (on medication), and polycystic kidney disease (incurable). All these conditions – especially Meniere’s disease, I have to be careful to not take or eat anything that triggers a flare. The medications specifically for nerve pain that I tried last year put me into a tailspin and confined me to bed for a very long time. Yet these are the medication that have been ordered for me – or I will not be treated.

I didn’t choose to be a statistic. No one does. But I also didn’t choose to have a government agency (state or federal it doesn’t matter) tell my pain doctor how to treat me.  I’m tired of being likened to a criminal just because I’m a chronic pain patient. So, I am experimenting with different tea blends to bring about pain relief. So far, my results have been moderately successful. Now, if I had been searching for a nice ‘go to sleep’ tea, I’d have found that several times over!

I’m trying:

Chamomile – in all the blends I’m using dried organic chamomile. Not only is it wonderfully relaxing, but it is also a great anti-inflammatory.

Wild Lettuce – organic wild lettuce has natural opiate “like” properties, without containing opiates. Which I really like because my ultimate goal was to be off pain medication anyway. However, it does have sedative properties that make it not really ideal for daytime use. But it puts me into a good restful sleep.

California Poppy – organic California poppy, the California State Flower, is a cousin to the opiate containing poppy but does not contain opiates. California poppy is analgesic, antispasmodic and can provide relief of nerve pain – which is what I have. So far, other than making me very sleepy, it does help with moderate pain relief.

Rose Hips – Surprisingly, rose hips – which I already loved due to their blast of vitamin C and immunity boosting powers – also helps relieve pain. I have been happily adding them to each version of the teas I make.

Valerian – although Michael hates the smell and generally walks right back out the door as soon as he smells it, Valerian is good for pain and is better known for its sedative properties. Although it doesn’t taste that good to me so I’ll probably add it to capsules instead of tea.

Lavender – Another surprise, lavender is a really good pain reliever because of its calming effects on the nervous system. (and it tastes good).

Rosemary – Which is a good anti-inflammatory.

I’m busy developing teas using these herbs and many more at this time to find an effective blend to relieve pain. But ultimately, I want this to be as convenient to me as taking the prescriptions are, so I also want to create capsules.  I’m also very aware that this might be an ongoing odyssey to find the right fit. Bodies change and needs change, maybe I’ll have to have a daytime version and a nighttime version – that seems realistic.

Today’s not a good day pain wise. I woke up with some pain, then got up and took a shower and by the time I was out the pain was excruciating – and because showers always destroy my equilibrium so it’s generally baths for me – I’m also dizzy. But in the morning, when I need to get upstairs to work, feed the puppies and take them out, there’s not enough time for a bath.

The Mankoski Pain Scale

I found a pain scale that really is the best one I’ve seen, and believe me, I’ve seen tons of them over the last few years.
Today, I’m in bed, trying to work through the pain.
Today, I’m a 7.]]>

Opioid Crisis Hits Home

The medications I was on made it imperative that I not be left alone. But this is what I’ll be forced to go back to now that the government has stepped in and told my doctor how to treat me. It’s not fair, and I’m really angry about it. But, there is only one thing I can do, and that is to stop taking the medications. I shouldn’t be forced to, but I’m very tired of being pigeon-holed into the drug addict category and having to justify why I should be on them. [caption id="attachment_55229" align="alignright" width="300"] Researching Tea[/caption]   I’m an herbalist!  I can and WILL find an alternative that is better for me and has no harsh side effects. I’ve already started researching and experimenting.

And please, before you start talking to me about using marijuana, just don’t. I don’t want to be rude, but, I’m not about to start using something the federal government considers illegal. I’m not about to lose my 2nd Amendment Rights just for using an illegal substance. It’s a whole argument I’m not going into here, just understand that it’s my choice and this is how I feel.  I am currently looking at the CBD oils and salves though.
The first round of testing is underway and showing promising results! Already, after a cup of tea, my pain level is drastically reduced. So, I’m really hoping I’ll be able to find effective pain relief and kiss prescription pain meds goodbye. [caption id="attachment_55228" align="alignleft" width="300"] Tea Trials[/caption]]]>

Morning Random Thoughts

I love the smell of lavender![/caption] I was out early this morning plucking broad-leaf plantain and lavender (as well as trimming chives and pulling yarrow out from where it doesn’t belong!) and as I was immersed in nature I had so many random thoughts running rampant through my head. What is it about early mornings that bring on a peaceful calm and formerly hurtful thoughts don’t have the power to cause you pain at that moment. I cherish those times! AND, bonus! I’m not dizzy this morning! So here’s some of those random thoughts: Random Thought #1: I woke up thinking about plantain and lavender and decided to start an herbal oil infusion for a healing salve and using fresh herbs when you have them is best. While I was picking I thought back to recent comments by people that have hurt. On Mother’s day my daughter posted a blog about how Mother’s Day is for children and how she hated the day growing up. She talked about how she could never be sure I’d received the gifts or cards she sent – I never got a gift, but I di [caption id="attachment_55140" align="alignright" width="150"]Plantain and yarrow Plantain and Yarrow in the washing up phase[/caption] d get a sum total of three cards. She talked about how she was stuck in the middle and she’s right, she was, and again she’s right by saying that’s no place for a child to be. I sure wish she would remember who placed her in the middle – it wasn’t me.  So while she was denied a relationship with me, I was also denied a relationship with her. So… it was a lose – lose situation for her, her brother, and for me. Like I said, I was hurt she would write those things, until I realized while I was out picking herbs this morning that she has every right to feel this way. And, that she’s not ready to accept the truth. That’s ok. I love her, and even if she never accepts the truth, I’ll still love her. You see… no one can take that away from me. So, as soon as I thought that, my resentment and hurt just melted away and it was such a lifting experience! So, Happy Mother’s Day my darling Daughter… Random Thought #2: I’m so glad I decided to start Hilltop House Bed & Breakfast! I can’t tell you how fun its been to meet people and serve people. This morning while I was picking herbs I kept thinking about how to make the experience better for guests, how to improve upon the rooms. What is the image I want to portray with what I’m doing? And, what improvements I’ll make first when our Home Improvement Savings Account has enough to begin. You see, that’s where all the room rental funds are going. Straight into an account so we can make improvements to the house without financing them (I really like the idea of not financing our renovations!!). One of the first things I think I want to do is to replace the flooring from the living room, straight through to the kitchen. Make it all one kind, and no transitions. I would love a hardwood floor throughout. I think that would be stunning. So I’m busy looking at pictures, and every time I go to the hardware store I’m looking at flooring – when I’m not looking at plants or tools LOL! Having the time of my life and grateful to Michael that he doesn’t mind me doing this. He never minds whatever I want to try as long as it makes me happy – which I can tell you NEVER happened before I met him. Truly blessed that God arranged it so we would meet. Random Thought #3: I developed an allergy to the adhesive on the TENS pads I was using and I’m back on paid medication until that clears up. Meanwhile I’m seeking out hypoallergenic pads (the snap kind) so if you know of any – please let me know! I really miss my TENS! I started out with the Icy Hot Smart Relief unit that we got at Walmart and loved it so much that Michael brought a Magic Pulse Ultra Massage TENS unit home from a trip he was on. I’m so impressed with the effectiveness of it. We went on a quick vacation to upstate New York and I used my TENS while fishing, hiking, jolting around in the truck on four wheel drive roads, and running up and down stairs that are so tall and steep you could almost get a nosebleed. And not once did I take a pain pill!  That was HUGE, and completely life altering. I can now foresee a life ahead of me. That having chronic pain is not going to be a prison anymore. For the first time in over three years, I was almost pain free.  Last year on this same vacation I could hardly function without pain medication – just trying to go on short hikes was excruciating – NOT ANY MORE!! Random Thought #4: Why is it that every time you want to post about how fabulous the weather is, it changes to rainy just at that time?  LOL Oh well, it this keeps up we won’t have to water the garden today. Have a great day everyone! ~Kathy]]>

Herbal Cough Medicine

At long last, I’m putting my recipe up on the blog.

First, I took the basic procedure from Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health, I used ingredients that were beneficial for sore throat and/or to help with the flavor.

15 whole rose hips

1 Tablespoon Orange Peel

1 Tablespoon each: Yarrow, Valerian, Chamomile and blueberries and elderberries

2 Teaspoons Fennel Seed

1 3 inch cinnamon stick

Put all the ingredients in 1.5 quarts of water over low heat. Simmer the liquid down to about a pint, it will be a very concentrated tea.

Strain the herbs from the liquid and return the liquid to the pot. Add 1 cup of honey to each pint of liquid (or other sweetener such as maple syrup, karo syrup, or brown sugar). Warm the honey and liquid together enough to mix well. I used 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract and 3/4 cup light corn syrup because I think a full cup is too much (for me). Remove from heat, bottle and label. Store in the refrigerator and shake well before use. It will store for months in the refrigerator. For my purposes I used my homemade peach liqueur, it added a pain suppressant quality to the syrup since I was coughing so terribly much when I had the flu.

Rosemary talks in her procedure about how some people cook the honey and tea together for 20 to 30 minutes to have it thicken further but she didn’t agree since it tends to degrade the health benefits of the honey. I opted for her method and was quite pleased with the results. NOTE: when using the light corn syrup I did cook it an additional 20 minutes and it was perfect.

The dosage I used was 1 to 2 teaspoons every hour or when a sever bout of coughing started. I wouldn’t recommend my version for children, since it contains the liqueur, but it tasted good. 🙂

Just one more thing for your arsenal to combat symptoms of colds and flu.

Take care and be healthy!

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