> The Beesley Buzz: Do herbal remedies really work?

Do herbal remedies really work?

Aarrrgh! I found myself yelling in the night as I awoke again with crippling pain in my left hip. It was frozen with pain and stiffness and I was unable to move it. The weight of the quilt on it was making the pain worse. I woke Richard and asked him to lift the quilt gently. Arrrghhh! I yell again 'don't wobble the bed!'. Any movement caused more excruciating pain.

I'd forgotten how bad it got. This horrible thing called Arthritis. I'd assumed my hip just had the leftover consequences of being damaged from the JIA I had when I was 10 and that's why it had such limited movement but I wasn't used to these levels of pain in my hip for the past 30 years ago.

Back pain I know all about as, with my hip out of alignment over the years, my back has got progressively worse.

It was my back pain at the start of last year that triggered me to ask my rheumatologist about going onto methotrexate in the hope it may work the way it has been helping Miss T. One discussion led to another with long waits for consultant appointments in between and then in November it became clear that the only hope of resolving or improving my back pain was to have a total hip replacement of the left hip.

That surgery has been scheduled for this coming week.

In turn this meant coming off all my herbal remedies that I had been taking. I'd taken myself off my prescribed medication, Arcoxia, as I found that it was pushing my blood pressure sky high. So instead I was taking GOPO rosehip supplement which I'd continued taking since doing a trial back in June 2014.

I added curcumin extract and boswelia extract to my herbal meds intake when I came off the Arcoxia last year. I was also using magnesium oil intermittently applied directly to my back and magnesium citrate orally in the evenings. I'd have Vitamin D spray of 3000 IU. I even had some bespoke tea and herbal medicine made up by a herbalist to help. Occasional krill oil and omega oils also added to the list.

In my early years of having JIA I'd tried so many alternative remedies - basically anything and everything that anyone suggested, my parents would be keen to try to see if it helped. I wore a copper bangle for years. "Drink cider vinegar and honey" someone said. So I did. "Rub stinging nettles over the affected joint" was someone else's suggestion. So yep that happened too.

I've seen chiropractors, osteopaths and massage therapists. Each time with a hope that "this time it really will help". But none of it did.

So in all honesty, whilst I sensed that all my herbal remedies were helping a bit in improving my pain and symptoms, I hadn't realised just HOW MUCH they were helping.

It is only since stopping them that I realise how much pain I am in now without their help.

Initially the thought of such major surgery was a worry. Was it really necessary, I wondered. But last night after so many nights of pain becoming progressively worse again, the surgery can't come around quick enough. How many more nights can I bear. Of screaming out in pain each time I wake through the night and find myself unable to move. Once moving through the worst of the pain into a new position and then feeling pain throbbing all down my leg - right down to my ankle I could feel it, and all around my back of course as a hip that is unable to move ends up moving using the back in a way that it shouldn't be moved.

There were always going to be mixed feelings when the time for the hip replacement came but now I feel ready for it. 


  1. So herbal remedies really do help then? I've tried a few myself, a friend helped me in choosing. I wish you all the very best for your operation and your recovery. Thinking of you xx

    1. Yes I hadn't realised just how bad my hip had got without the herbal meds - they were working wonders without me even realising just how brilliant they were. I dread going to bed each evening now without the meds as that is when the worst pain strikes - through the night as my hip 'fixes' stiffly into a certain position. I'm on countdown to the new hip and looking forward to it! xxx

  2. Thinking of you. And don't do what my boss did. He had hip replacement in Oct 2016 and went through all the recuperation phase. Then fell down the stairs last Feb and broke it

    1. oh no that's awful. that is a big fear of mine so i am trying to be super careful. x


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