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Herbs for cramps.

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That's menstrual cramps, not muscle cramps.

There's a few choices for killer cramps:

  • Peony root (Paeonia sp.). Dig up a simple-flowering, preferably red, peony in fall, tincture some of the oblong bulblike roots you find, and put the rest back to flower for you next year. 10-15 drops as needed help some (but not all) ladies with really bad cramps. (fresh root tincture, 1:2 95 %).
  • Cotton root (Gossypium sp.). Dig up root, tincture all of it (not just the rootbark - that's a waste of good herb). 10-15 drops as needed help some, but not all, ladies with really bad cramps. (fresh root tincture, 1:2 95 %)
  • Angelica root. I've given recently dried Angelica archangelica root to ladies with endometriosis. You don't mess around with making tea of these slices, you chew on one. The cramp is gone like [snap] that. Endometriosis cramps are the worst there are. It's not "oww, this hurts", it's "... and then they said I went all white, and next thing I know I wake up here with you asking me if I'm OK." Angelica stops the cramp before you faint from the pain.
  • Calamus (Acorus calamus), a "super angelica". Chew on a bit of root when that cramp hits.

Note, angelica root tastes vile. None of my ladies ever wanted more than the 1-ounce (30 ml) glass jar of root slices they got on their first visit. A little goes a long way, and you really don't take it unless you need it.

Not that peony root, or, for that matter, cotton root, taste any better. And calamus root is usually much too strong to be what you'd call tasty.

Other things for cramps: discontinue coffee and other stimulants. Help the liver. Stop smoking...

If you can get both black haw (Viburnum prunifolium) and cramp bark (Viburnum opulus) you could make Hayden's Viburnum Compound. Michael Moore has a recipe in his Formula booklet (.txt / .pdf):

  Black Haw (Viburnum prunifolium) 1.5 ounces
  Cramp Bark (Viburnum opulus)     1.0 ounce
  Trillium (dried)                 1.0 ounce
     (OR Cotton Root Bark)        (1.0 ounce)
  Dioscorea (Wild Yam)              .5 ounce
  Skullcap (recently dried)         .25 ounce
  Cloves                           1.0 ounce
  Cinnamon Bark                     .75 ounce
  Orange Peel                       .5 ounce

Go for the full recipe on his site.

Michael calls it the queen of cramp remedies; it's pretty much cramp herbs + digestive aromatics.