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Ask the Herbalist - Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue

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From Carlos:
John Heinermann in Nature's Super 7 Medicines (Prentice Hall,1997) states the both protein and carbohydrates adversely affect the bioavailability of Siberian Ginseng, as does many other herbs, including chili or cayenne pepper (pp173, 174).
I assume this means Siberian ginseng should be taken between meals, on an empty stomach. Is this so?
I have fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, together with a condition which compromises my walking (the effort required is similar to walking through deep soft sand) for which I have recently started taking gelsemium and have gained some relief. I take Siberian Ginseng with Ginkgo, olive leaf extract and a multi vitamin immediately on rising and find my stamina has improved as long as I donít allow myself to get too fatigued and note that Heinermann states Siberian Ginseng enhances the uptake of many other herbals and drugs. In my case I have been able to do a longer period of heavy gardening than previous, up to three hours when previously the heavy tasks were becoming untenable (I am 76). As I live in a severe fire risk area of Western Australia this is a great relief.
Having gained so much to complain about not being able to have a cup of coffee on rising appears petulant. I had found the coffee did help with the lethargy caused by my health problems and while its use is criticized by many feel it is a genuine  herbal when used in my instance. What is your advice in my instance?  Thank you for your assistance.

ANSWER: From reading what you wrote I believe those were his intentions.  Please remember that any herbal in extract works better and faster. On the coffee issue, based on the information you give me, I would not ban you from having a cup.

From Loryhl:
Regarding Wheatgrass.   Is there any problem for a person in good health to take Wheatgrass?  Some think it might act as a tonic or Vitamin Supplements and throw off the balance of a healthy person who doesn't need the Supplement?  And what would be the ideal dosage?  Should I take breaks or is it ok to take daily for long periods of time?  It "cured" my migraine headaches.  But if I quit taking it for 2-3 days, the headaches come back in force.  Thank you for any information. Also, what would you recommend for my sister who has fibromyalgia, what is the best way to relieve her pain?

ANSWER:  Thank you kindly for the inquiry.  I feel as the scripture says, "wheat is the staff of life of man". Especially the ancient grains, not the hybrid grains, of today that are making so many people ill, with allergy to wheat.
     If you are sprouting the wheat, make sure it is not a hybrid, use Kamut, Spelt, etc.   Some people react adversely to the wheatgrass. Either it detoxes them too fast or it upsets their system in some way. Listen closely to your body, and you will know if you are in touch with how good it is or isn't for you.
     In today's world, with the amount of toxins we ingest and breathe in, if your body likes it, use it!  I suggest using it 6 days a week, take a rest day off. Every 2-3 months, take a week or two off, or less if you feel you  need less. This way your body will be able to tell you if something is amiss, or just absorb nutrients on another level.
     I personally feel, it is a wonderful tool of health for the body. I do not recommend using wheatgrass, and then eating a diet daily, that is laden with toxic foods, sugar white flour heavy meats etc. This would likely cause greater feeling of ill health and unease, due to toxins.
      For Fibromylagia, I suggest you read the download, and add to this our blend, called Free Flowin, it is wonderful for chronic inflammation, and pain.  I suggest she find a well recommended acupuncturist in the area, and see them, regularly for a couple of months, then occasionally as she needs to. This will bring relief and a new sense of well being to her, along with the diet and herbs. Essential fatty acids are very good, and should be in the diet, nuts, seeds, fish if not vegetarian.
      Anything that slows her body down, and makes her feel lagging, in any way is suspect for her to eat. For a time, her diet may be very limited until she finds what agrees with her. Inflammation causing foods, or stress are the enemy.
     Use diet, cleansing, acupuncture, massage , reflexology, and hot/cold water baths and saunas also. Skin bruising is excellent in restoring a sense of well being and healthy circualtion, and movement of stagnant CHil or vital force.
      I hope you find this helpful.

For the past three years or so I have been suffering from chronic fatigue, and I am only twenty-one years old. Ever since I was a child I expressed feelings of constantly being tired. I've had a very pale complexion and dark circles around my eyes for the majority of my life. Six years ago my dark eye circles began to get worse, they are constantly dark and have a sunken look.  My eyelids are droopy, and there is an evident loss of collagen. One dermatologist told me that I have hyperpigmentation, another told me that he only saw dilated blood vessels. If I look closely at my eyes I see big green and red veins, but they are covered by the extra pigment or darkness. Many sources say that the eye darkness is due to kidney problems. Is it? My doctor told me that I have a mild case of anemia, six years ago one doctor told me that I might have a liver problem, because they found blood in my urine.  I have a very mild case of psoriasis, that has recently been getting worse. My liver was tested around a year ago and the test came back negative. I drink a great deal of water, but my urine is constantly acidic, and sometimes odorous. As a child I had tuberculosis, but I received treatment for it and have not had it since. I am also suffering from depression. Two years ago I used to take Paxil, but I did not feel that it was working for me so I stopped taking it. I am still depressed. I am also over weight, around 30 pounds. Lately, I've been running, but I guess I over did it and now my right knee hurts too much to go up and down stairs, and certainly to run. I suffer from body dysmorphic disorder due to my severe under eye circles/ dilated blood vessels and weight. I dropped out of college around two years ago and I have basically been wasting my life. I don't go outside I just stay home and watch TV. This is due to my lack of energy, and severe depression/body dysmorphic disorder. I also suffer from some kind of sinus problem, because I can't breathe well through my nose. What is wrong with me? I am also very constipated. Do I have leaky gut syndrome or auto -intoxication? Please help me find herbs that will help with: 1)my severely dark eye circles/ dilated blood vessels  w/ the loss of collagen  2) my very pale complexion (everyone in my family has an olive skin tone)  3) my severe lack of energy  4) my depression  5) my knee pain 6) my dark and acidic urine 7) my constipation 8) my mild case of psoriasis 9) my being overweight 10) my sinus issues.  Thank you very much for your time.

ANSWER: With all the issues you've brought up, my recommendation is that you go to see a medical professional and have a full blood chemistry done as well as a urinalysis. That will give you a better idea of the condition of your system.  My first thought is to improve your diet. With all these symptoms, I'm sure you aren't eating a healthy diet. Stay away from processed foods, exercise every day, even if it's only walking down the block and back. Get professional medical advise. There's way too much going on here to pinpoint what the problem is.


I have fibromyalgia and am interested in finding out if there is any
herbal treatment that can help with this disease.  As of now dr's just want to give me more pills and yet I am not feeling any better.  I would appreciate any information you may be able to supply me with.

ANSWER: FM is a very complicated issue, I would really like to help but without a lot more information this is all I can offer. I have used the following herbal approach for FM in the past which a friend of mine says has helped him greatly.  If you decide to try it give it a minimum 4-6 weeks to see an effect.  If it works for you, I would stay on it for a minimum of 6 months.

1 part Fresh or Freshly Dry Tincture of Saint Johnswort, Latin Named: Hypericum perforatum
1 part Fresh or Dry Black Cohosh Tincture, Latin Named: Cimicifuga racemosa
1 part Kava Kava tincture, Latin Named: Piper methysticum
1 part Ashwagandha, Latin Named: Withania somnifera

The second part of the equation is to remove as much stress as possible from your daily life, or find an effective means to deal with it; for many this means unplugging themselves from today fast paced and high stress lifestyle.