I have a client who's been experiencing some pretty intense pain in her shoulder from a long history of falls and injuries to the shoulder, and it flares up with the seasonal weather changes. When she told me what was going on, I first tried our standard pain formula at the clinic that has seemed to work for most everybody who tries it. ( Though I can't say I have tried it becuase, well, i Haven't needed to.) It's made up of a kind of shotgun formula for all sorts of pain. Includes blood/stagnation moving herbs like corydalis yanhusuo, and plain old pain herbs like jamaican dogwood, lactuca, california poppy, and antispasmodics and relaxants like lobelia, scullcap, pedicularis, wild yam.
Now it isn't the formula I would normally come up with, but since it is the standard at the clinic, and fairy strong , I thought I'd give it a try. Unfortunately, it did nothing for my clients pain. She took 2 oz in about 5 days, and said it really made no difference.
When she called my gut instinct was to use turmeric powder to both calm inflammation in the joint and warm up the body and the area which was being aggravated by cold and damp weather. That seemed to help some, but not entirely.
I wished I had made some goldenrod oil last summer when I was in that field of goldenrod in oregon. I had pondered the idea , but never got around to actually making the oil . Kiva and Ananda both use it extensively for any sort of tight muscular traumatic pain, and i thought it might help. But alas, I have no goldenrod oil...so I turned to my trusty friend, the cottonwood.
I like to use linaments that are a combination of both tincture and oil, mixed and applied topically. The tinctures are really drawn into the skin, much faster than oils, and I feel pull the oils healing properties deeper into the tissues. one of the best linaments I ever used was a combo like this of fresh st johns wort tincture and st johns wort oil when I slammed shin in a van door at Sage Mountain. Rosemary Gladstar sweetly smeared this all over my shin which was quickly turning a strange shade of purple in places. It took the pain out right away, and that shin didn't even bruise. Pretty impressive, but I'm talking about cottonwood....and other things.
It's kind of a shotgun topical formula to address pain with nerve damage, inflammation, tension, spasm or cold/stagnant blood. I mixed equal parts cottonwood oil and cottonwood tincture, st johns wort oil and tincture, ginger oil and tincture, and lobelia oil and tincture, a touch of clove and ginger e.o. also went into the mix.
This is excellent for sore muscles, menstrual cramps, nerve pain (sciatica), bruises, or cold, aching arthritic joints or old injuries affected by cold damp weather or barometric pressure. Shake up your bottle, rub some in your hands and massage into the skin of the area affected gently, more briskly for sore muscles if you have a good masseuse working on you.