Carpal Tunnel, Herbal Remedies for this issue.
By Demetria Clark
Carpal tunnel, what a pain. Just to share I, myself developed carpal tunnel when I was pregnant in 1996. I was a college student writing massive papers on a creaky old chair hunched over. Since then it has been an issue off and on. One treatment I do in the spring really seems to work the best. I got the idea after reading an article on bee sting therapy. I am not a fan of bees dying to alleviate my pain, so I thought what plant can offer similar benefits. So in 1998 I began stinging myself with stinging nettle. Now I have to do this 1-2 times a year for a year of relief. I have suggested this too many clients and in articles and many others have found long term relief. I am not suggesting this be done in pregnancy, because it may cause irritation issues and I am not sure it would be safe in pregnancy, or if someone has allergies or asthma, or have strong histamine reactions.
In addition to that I also find a diet rich in Basil, Onions, Avocados and Pecans really helpful.
Bring your hands into a prayer position, and bring them tight into your body, then bring them out and back in. You can do this a few times a day, and even pointing the position down will further increase the stretch.
Wrist Rotations: With your palms face down and your hands out, rotate your wrists five times in each direction.
Thumb Stretches: Hold your left hand out, and clasp your left thumb with the right hand. Pull the thumb out and back until you feel a gentle stretch. Hold each stretch for 5-10 seconds, then repeat on the other hand.
Five-Finger Stretch: Spread your fingers of both hands as far apart as you can and hold for five to ten seconds. Repeat three to five times.
Ball Squeeze: Squeeze a small rubber ball or stress ball 5-10 times. Afterward, stretch the fingers. Repeat with the other hand.
You may find that your breast size is increasing. Make sure that if you wear a bra that you are wearing a properly supportive bra. If the bra is too small you may find that this can affect your posture and compression on nerves can occur.
Herbal Remedies for Carpal Tunnel
St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum): St. John’s wort infused oil. You can apply this to you wrists and arms as needed.
Apply compresses of St. John’s wort tea. You can even just make a cup of St. John’s wort tea and wet a washcloth and apply the cloth to your wrist. This works best when the tea is cold. If the compress is hot the heat will can worsen a carpal tunnel problem because it causes the tissues in the narrow passageway to swell.
Arnica (Arnica montana): This can be found in a cream or a gel, or you can make an herbal infused oil. This can be applied topically to the wrist forearm and other sore areas in the arms and shoulders.
Cayenne Pepper: You can find a cayenne pepper ointment at most drug stores, Asian markets and pharmacy sections at box stores and grocery stores, it can be applied to the wrist area.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa): Infused turmeric oil, apply the infused oil to the affected wrist, or you can make compresses with a strong turmeric tea. Apply the compress when the tea is cold.
Green Tea: Drinking green tea has been found to be useful in lessening carpal tunnel pain. This is for real green tea, not green tea beverages. Make the tea using the infusion instructions.
Nettles (Urtica dioica): Nettle tea is a gentle diuretic and nutritionally supportive herb. The gentle action can assist with relieving swelling tissue from pressing on the nerve.
Lemon Water: Lemon water is also a mild diuretic, sipping on this all day can alleviate excess fluid buildup, potentially relieving pressure on the wrist.
Pineapple (Ananas comosus): Pineapple contains a protein-dissolving (proteolytic) enzyme, bromelain. Bromelain is often suggested for carpal tunnel syndrome because it has an inflammatory effect. It is known to reduce swelling, inflammation and pain. You can eat pineapple or you can get a suggested dosage from your care provider for a Bromelain supplement.
Marshmallow Root (Althaea officinalis) soothes and softens tissues and promotes healing.
Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) – is beneficial after pregnancy if the condition persists, it is often helpful when one needs relief of muscle spasms and pain.
Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) – can be beneficial after pregnancy, this is because some indications exist that it may have anti-platelet properties that could prolong bleeding time.
Excerpted from Aromatherapy and Herbal Remedies for Pregnancy, Birth and Breastfeeding.