My son slipped and fell a few days ago and came down on his elbow. At first I thought we might get lucky and get out of the accident with just a sprain. After a nap, though, it was clear that wasn’t going to be the case. The swelling was just above his elbow in a place where there weren’t any joints or ligaments. A trip to the hospital, a few x-rays, and a couple hours later confirmed the broken bone.
There are a few issues with a broken bone like this. While we wait for an appointment with an orthopedic specialist my plan is to assist the bone in healing, support my son’s immune system, and manage pain.
n a strange coincidence, an adult friend of ours called the day after my son’s injury. She had fallen and broken her elbow in much the same way as my son. At the time, she didn’t have anything else at home to help with pain so she took their suggested medication. Using the tincture, my son’s biggest complaint is the itching. My friend’s pain is still unmanaged and she now feels sick from the medication.
Tips for Using Herbs for Pain Relief
The plants with pain relieving abilities are called anodynes. They can be a gentle solution to the problem at hand, avoiding the side effects of stronger medications. In our case, we start at the simple solutions and progress from there.
It’s important to keep pain monitored and keep ahead of it. Small doses frequently, even when there is not a large amount of pain, can save you. If you let the pain build while trying to be stoic, you may wind up needing to fill that prescription because the problem can get too big for simple methods to solve.
A Good Reason to Have a Natural Medicine Chest
At the hospital, the doctor suggested a prescription for pain relief – but I was hesitant. We opted to bring my son home and use our farm’s pain tincture. My son is 7, so he isn’t particularly stoic. I have been giving him small, frequent doses of the tincture and asked him to let us know if he is dealing with any pain. While I wish to keep him off the medication, we have told him that if at any point he thinks mommy’s medicine isn’t helping him enough to let us know he needs something stronger.
According to Dr. Joseph Maroon, a professor at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, CBD’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties can help with pain conditions that might otherwise be treated with OTC drugs. A 2018 review of studies on cannabis and neuropathic pain found that those taking cannabis medicines achieved 50% or greater pain relief compared with placebo. This tincture combines CBD with other powerful anti-inflammatory herbs to help relive persistent pain.
- Spice grinder
- 3 wide mouth canning jars with tight fitting lids
- Fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth
- Optional: coffee filter or paper funnel
- 1 or 2 ounce amber glass bottles
- 1/4 to 1/2 ounce CBD-rich flowers from (cannabis or hemp) raw or decarboxylated
- 1/4 ounce dried ginger
- 1/4 ounce turmeric powder
- 1/4 ounce dried boswellia
- 1/4 ounce dried white willow bark
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- Grind the herbs.
- Place all plant matter in a wide-mouth pint or quart jar.
- For the slow alcohol tincture method: Place jar in a dark, dry place and shake every 2-3 days, adding more alcohol as needed to cover the herbs over a 4 to 6 weeks period.
- For the fast alcohol tincture method: Heat a deep pot filled with water to 170°C. Place the cannabis/alcohol jar in the pot and allow to heat for 30 minutes to an hour, keeping the temperature stable. Remove from the pot and let cool for at least an hour.
- For the glycerine tincture method: Place a washcloth or folded towel in the bottom of a crockpot and fill halfway with warm water. Put sealed jar of glycerine and herbs in the crock pot, place the lid on top if it still fits (otherwise drape a kitchen towel over it) and set to warm for 24 hours. Shake occasionally to disperse ingredients. Use a pot-holder to take the jar from the crockpot and allow to cool for at least an hour (see finishing, below).
- To finish the tincture base: Place a fine sieve or several layers of cheesecloth secured with a rubber band over a clean bowl and strain out plant material. With clean hands twist the cheesecloth and squeeze remaining liquid from the herbs. If more clarity is needed, cover and allow to settle overnight and then strain again through a coffee filter.
- Use funnel to decant into small one-ounce or two-ounce bottles.
- Label, date and store in a cool, dark place.
For most herbal tinctures, adult dosages are typically 30-60 drops in water or tea, three times a day as needed. If you used whole plant cannabis flowers in the recipe (especially with THC in the mix), you’ll want to take things more slowly. Start with the lower dosage, see how you feel, and adjust accordingly.
Other home remedy recipes
- CBD Topical Base Oil
- Anti-Itch Cream
- Antibiotic Salve
- Inflammation & Pain Balm
- Sleep Aid Tincture
- Stress Relief Tincture
How to use
To use a tincture, fill a dropper or small syringe with the liquid and drip it into the mouth, just under the tongue. Hold the tincture in the mouth for a few seconds before swallowing.
Rinse the mouth thoroughly with water to get rid of the bitter taste. The precise dosage a person should take depends on their age, but it is best not to take more than 2 small full droppers. Do not give tinctures to children.
We list six of the most common tinctures, often available commercially, below.
Bees produce a substance called propolis. While no extensive research exists, some evidence suggests that propolis may help treat allergies and skin disorders.
For example, one 2017 review of studies looked at the potential health benefits of propolis, honey, and royal jelly.
The authors suggest that propolis may be useful for healing wounds and acne. It also has properties that may help reduce allergic skin reactions.
Additional evidence indicates that propolis may help maintain vaginal health by preventing yeast infections and treating bacterial vaginosis.
Elderberry contains an antioxidant called anthocyanin. Research suggests that anthocyanins can help reduce inflammation. An elderberry tincture may be able to replicate the effects.
Cannabis tincture could offer several health benefits.
In recent years, researchers have recognized the potential for cannabis to treat pain, seizures, and nausea.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesTrusted Source, the FDA have only approved three cannabis components for use in medicine: dronabinol, nabilone, and cannabidiol, which is commonly known as CBD.
However, the FDA also state that it is illegal for manufacturers to create cannabis supplements.
A person should check with their state and local laws before attempting to make their own cannabis tincture.
Turmeric contains curcumin, an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compound. Many people around the world use turmeric as a spice in foods.
Some people may use turmeric tinctures to help relieve inflammation. A 2017 systematic review indicated that curcumin has a positive impact on osteoarthritis knee pain, which is related to inflammation.
However, the study also showed that curcumin was less effective in relieving pain than ibuprofen.
Risks and side effects
Herbal tinctures, like herbal supplements, have several potential side effects. Many people presume that herbal, natural, and safe are synonymous. Just because a remedy is “herbal” or “natural” does not necessarily mean that it is safe or effective.
A 2014 articleTrusted Source looked at the possible safety implications of herbal supplements and tinctures. The author found that, despite popular misconceptions about herbal remedies, they can have several side effects.
Before making and using an herbal tincture, a person should consider:
- possible interactions with current medications
- safe ways to use the tincture, as some may be toxic
- potential allergic reactions
Before attempting to make an herbal tincture at home, note that some plants have toxic parts. Many people prefer to buy tinctures instead.
A person should be knowledgeable about the plant and understand the potential for toxicity and exposure to pesticides before trying to make a tincture.