We haven’t taken any OTC pain meds in my house in about four years. We don’t even own any ibuprofen, Tylenol, or other such things, for adults or children.
While we’ve found remedies for nearly everything, there is occasionally a situation where someone is experiencing “general pain” and none of the remedies I have seem quite right. Sure, I know — arnica works for headaches and muscle aches, clove is good for teething/oral pain, and so on. (If you didn’t know that — pay attention!) Sometimes, though, it would be nice just to have a generic “pain” formula for non-specific pain. Especially if you know that only a visit to a chiropractor is going to solve it but they’re closed for the night. You have to sleep somehow.
Finally I remembered that pain = inflammation. Something goes wrong, and the body creates inflammation, which is the body’s attempt to heal, and this creates pain for us. If I could find herbs that would address inflammation, then they could reduce pain, at least enough to think straight to find a more appropriate remedy, if needed.
This is what I came up with. Devil’s claw is a powerful anti-inflammatory, but it’s so safe that no one’s ever overdosed on it. Ginger is in the same category. Skullcap helps relaxation and promotes rest/sleep.
It’s tinctured with alcohol this time because it’s meant to be taken very infrequently and to be used only a few drops at a time. Alcohol best extracts the plant’s medicinal compounds, which is why I chose it. It would be possible to use glycerin or vinegar, but less effective for this purpose than alcohol.
100 proof alcohol is necessary because the ratio must be 1/2 water and 1/2 alcohol. 100 proof is exactly 50% alcohol and 50% water. Some professional tincture makers buy alcohol like Everclear, which is 99 or 100% alcohol so they can perfectly control both the ratio and the type of water used. I am not a professional and did not want to mess with that, so I bought a basic 100 proof vodka instead. (Side note: why does no one card me? Yes, I’m 27 and it’s perfectly legal for me to buy alcohol, but I can’t imagine I always look old enough! Yet no one ever asks….)
- 1 c. 100-proof vodka
- 4 tbsp. devil’s claw
- 3 – 4 small slices ginger
- 2 tbsp. skullcap
Add your devil’s claw to a small mason jar.
Add the ginger slices.
Add the skullcap.
Now, add the vodka.
Put a lid on it, then shake, and let it sit for 6 weeks in a dark/cool place. Then, you’ll decant/strain the mixture.
Store in a glass jar away from heat and light. Dark brown glass would be better; I don’t have any at this time so I’m using clear. I store mine in a cupboard up above my stove where the kids can’t reach. Label it so you know what it is…especially if you have as many tinctures around as I do.
To use, simply take 2 – 3 drops under the tongue, or add them to a small amount of water. It’s strong. Then go rest.
**Note: I am NOT a professional herbalist or other medical professional. This is a formula I created to use with my own family so I am sharing what works for us. Consult a health professional before use or if you have any questions.**
How do you relieve general pain?
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