Herbs For Menopause and Muscle Twitch
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Shauna
Posted on: February 28, 2004

I am writing to you on behalf of my parents. My mother has been on estrogen pills for quite some time and has been off of them for about 3 months. But she is having problems with hot flashes and irratibility with headaches, and her joints seem stiff or painful after going off of this medication. She is wondering what would be a beneficial herb for her to help with these side effects of going off the pills.

Also, my father has had problems with what they call cluster headaches, and since having an episode of them about 8 years ago he has had what they call a twitch, which is uncontrollable in left side of the neck and towards the back and shoulder. It has become very sore and seems to be weakening his muscle tissue. Can you advise what would help this condition or at least ease the pain or twiching?

Could you please advise what your opinion is?   When replacing hormone replacement drugs with herbs, I usually recommend that the drug be slowly decreased while a herbal formula is gradually increased. I have not found that one formula is suitable for all menopausal women. Herbal recommendations vary widely by individual. It would be best if your mother visited a natural health practitioner experienced with hormonal cases. You can see general information for help with menopause on our web page at www.richters.com. Choose "Q&A" from the main menu, then enter "menopaus" for the search. You can see information for replacement of estrogen by entering "estrogen" for the search. And you can search for "hot flashes".

Cluster headaches are related to the blood vessels of the head. Migraines are another type of vascular headaches. It would be helpful for your father to visit a natural practitioner to determine the factors related to his twitch. He may now need support to balance or stimulate the blood circulation to his head, muscle relaxants, nutrients to strengthen the muscles, nervous system support, antispasmodics, anti-inflammatories, support for his heart and/or herbs to apply directly to the area affected. Depending on the factors involved, some of the herbs that may be recommended are: motherwort (Leonuris cardiaca) is an antispasmodic that opens up the blood vessels; ginkgo increases insufficient blood flow to the head; hawthorn berry strengthens the heart, is relaxing to the nervous system and antispasmodic; skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) and vervain (Verbena officinalis) provide support to the nerves and are relaxing. There are many herbal anti-inflammatories: you can use a mixture of meadowsweet, willow bark and wintergreen for an aspirin-like action, licorice or ginseng for a steroid-like action or Devil’s claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) specifically as a muscle anti-inflammatory.

Herbs that heal and strengthen damaged muscle are: Comfrey: This can be used fresh by crushing the leaves and applying to the area, or by boiling three tablespoons of the dried root in two cups of water for 10 minutes, soaking a clean cotton cloth in the liquid and applying to the affected area. In both cases, leave the pack on until dry, changing 3 to 4 times daily.

Bone Flesh and Cartilage (also called BFC): This is an old remedy that works well for healing damaged muscles. You may have to ask your health food store to order it. It is available as both pills and a cream or ointment

Tincture of Arnica Montana rubbed well into the area heals any bruising, and relieves aches and nerve pain.

St. John’s wort oil strengthens and heals nerve tissue.

For more information on muscle relaxants and strengtheners, including dietary suggestions, please our website at www.richters.com, choose "Q&A" from the main menu and enter "muscle" for the search.

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