PART 3. THE REMEDIES
A comfortable mattress, plenty of exercise, and the right kind of office chair can go a long way toward preventing backaches. In the event of the occasional backache, you’ll find that these simple herbal remedies bring comfort. If your back pain was caused by an injury, is chronic, or is severe, see your doctor.
Black Cohosh–Valerian Infusion
YIELD: 1 CUP
STORAGE: NOT RECOMMENDED
TIME: 10 MINUTES
Nothing brings on muscle relaxation and tension relief in muscles quite like the blend of black cohosh and valerian. Take a warm bath or shower to enhance relaxation.
1 tablespoon dried black cohosh root, chopped
1 teaspoon dried valerian
1¼ cups water
1.In a small saucepan, add the black cohosh and valerian to the water. Bring to a boil.
2.Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the herbs for 10 minutes.
3.Remove from the heat.
4.Strain into a mug, using the back of a spoon to press the liquid from the herbs before discarding them.
5.Drink when you feel a tension backache coming on.
This treatment is likely to make you feel sleepy. Do not use it before driving or doing other tasks that require high levels of concentration.
Ginger–Cayenne Back Balm with Peppermint and Eucalyptus
YIELD: 8 OUNCES
STORAGE: GLASS JAR OR TIN
TIME: 48 HOURS FOR BREWING
Ginger and cayenne bring the heat as peppermint and eucalyptus deliver a relaxing, cooling, refreshing effect deep into sore back muscles. Do not allow this remedy to come into contact with your eyes.
7 ounces organic olive oil
¼ cup cayenne pepper
¼ cup ground ginger
1 ounce beeswax, grated
20 drops peppermint essential oil
10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
1.In a jar, add the olive oil, cayenne pepper, and ginger.
2.Cap tightly and put in a warm place for 48 hours. Invert the jar every 8 hours or so to mix the contents together.
3.When the mixture is finished brewing, strain the olive oil into a double boiler. Use the back of a spoon to press the oil from the ground herbs before discarding them.
4.Add the beeswax to the double boiler and stir over low heat. Remove from the heat as soon as the beeswax is completely melted.
5.Cool for 2 minutes.
6.Add the peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils, and pour the balm into a jar or tin.
7.Cool completely before capping tightly.
8.Apply a thin layer to painful back muscles and massage well as often as needed. Store in a cool, dry place between uses.