Taking the Natural Approach With Herbal Therapies for Lupus


Herbal Red Flags For Lupus

Two of the most well known herbal interactions for lupus involve Echinacea and St. John’s Wart.

People with an autoimmune disease should not use Echinacea, an immune stimulant known for stopping an oncoming cold in its tracks. According to the Lupus Foundation of America, there is evidence that it can cause lupus nephritis flares, low white blood cell counts, liver inflammation, and can interfere with immunosuppressant drugs.

St John’s Wart is a natural mood regulator, often used to treat depression. Unfortunately, it is also known for drug interactions and may cause increased sun sensitivity, which is already a problematic lupus symptom.

There could be other herbs that should not be paired with your medications or could induce symptoms. Do the research, consult professionals, and get informed!

A Note on Medical Marijuana

There are some countries that allow marijuana to be used medically to treat nausea, pain, and other symptoms. Made from the dried leaves and buds of the Cannabis sativa plant, it is available as oil or a pill, but can also be smoked, inhaled, or eaten.

Laws vary regarding this controversial herb known primarily for its recreational use. The Lupus Foundation of America “supports further research on the use of medical marijuana for treating and alleviating the symptoms of lupus.”

The LFA also “strongly recommends that those with lupus engage their doctors in a frank conversations about medical marijuana before considering its use for lupus.”

Taking Baby Steps

The amount of information on herbs and how to safely integrate them into your health plan can be intimidating. Take your time and make sure you find the alternative health practitioner that is right for you.

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If you are looking for a way to take a baby step into the world of herbs, remember that the main component of herbal medicine is readily available in your grocery store. Sometimes the symptom support you need is in your cupboard!

Here are three examples of anti-inflammatory herb power that you can find at your corner store:

Cayenne Pepper

This spicy herb contains a compound called capsaicin, which is effective in treating pain caused by inflammation. Add some healing heat to your eggs, marinades, and dips!

Turmeric

This dark orange herb is an anti-inflammatory superstar and a great go-to when suffering from joint pain. Mix half a teaspoon in warm milk for a soothing, restorative drink.

Ginger

This root hinders the production of toxic free radicals and pro-inflammatory compounds. It can also be used as a remedy for nausea caused by lupus headaches or medication side effects.

Steep freshly cut ginger in hot water to make a healing tea or add it to your stir-fries and soup.

Finding Balance

Many people with lupus have found a safe and healthy balance that consists of taking prescribed medicines while also taking herbs to help minimize symptoms. Taking the time to do research and consulting with knowledgeable herbal practitioners as well as your physician is the key to finding what will work best for you.

Resources

National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health (Traditional Chinese Medicine)

National Centre for Homeopathy (What is Homeopathy?)

National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health (Ayurvedic Medicine)

Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors: About Naturopathic Medicine

University of Maryland Medical Centre: Herbal Medicine

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