What Is Cramp Bark?
Cramp bark is a type of bark used for its healing powers. It is considered to be one of the most effective natural remedies for various ailments such as arthritis, back pain, headaches, menstrual problems and many others. Cramp bark contains high amounts of vitamin C which helps reduce inflammation and swelling in your body. It also contains potassium, magnesium and other minerals that are beneficial to human health.
How To Harvest Cramp Bark?
There are several ways to collect cramp bark. You can buy it from herbalists or online shops. There are also some methods that you can try yourself. Some of these methods include:
1) Take a piece of fresh cramp bark and cut into small pieces with scissors or knife.
Then put them in a bowl of water until they turn completely brown (about 10 minutes).
2) Place a handful of cramp bark in a glass jar filled with boiling water.
Let it steep for about 15 minutes. Remove the cramp bark from the water and squeeze out all the juice using a spoon.
Keep this liquid in another container for later use.
3) Use a funnel to pour hot water over fresh cramp bark pieces until they turn completely black (about 5 minutes).
Drain off any excess water and keep this mixture aside for later use.
4) Take the blackened cramp bark and slowly pour in some vinegar until it stops fizzing (about 5 minutes).
Wait until the mixture stops fizzing before removing it from the jar. The result is a black mixture that can be used to make cramp bark vinegar.
5) Place fresh cramp bark on a cookie sheet and place it in an oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Leave it in the oven for about 2 hours or until completely dry. Once it has dried out completely, remove it from the oven and let it cool down.
Store in an airtight container for later use.
What Is Cramp Bark Used For?
There are a lot of health problems that can be treated with cramp bark. It is an effective way to deal with numerous conditions such as:
Arthritis: Arthritis is a common condition which involves pain and inflammation in your joints. It causes damage to your cartilage and skeletal system.
There are many home remedies that you can use to deal with this condition such as drinking plenty of fluids, staying away from cigarettes and eating healthy foods. However, there are also some alternative remedies that you can try such as taking cramp bark tincture or capsules every day.
Headaches: You can get rid of your headaches by regularly consuming cramp bark tea. All you need to do is add two teaspoons of cramp bark tea to a cup of boiling water.
Stir well and allow the tea to steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain it and drink. You can drink this tea as often as you like.
Fever: If you are dealing with a fever, you can try drinking some cramp bark tea. This tea works as an effective home remedy for fevers since it helps bring down your temperature considerably.
All you need to do is add two teaspoons of cramp bark to a cup of boiling water. Stir well and allow it to steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain and drink.
Sprains: If you have sprained your ankle or hurt your knee, you can try applying some cramp bark ointment on the affected area. All you need to do is rub some ointment on the areas that are in pain 2 to 3 times daily.
Within a few days, you should see an improvement in your condition.
Potential Side Effects
Despite the many benefits that cramp bark has to offer, there are some side effects that you may experience when using it. These side effects are generally mild and tend to disappear within a couple of days, but you should still keep track of them so you can inform your doctor.
Some of the most common side effects include:
If you suffer from allergies, you may experience an allergic reaction when using cramp bark. Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction include:
Swelling of the face, tongue and other areas of the body.
If you experience any of these serious side effects or any other unusual symptoms when using cramp bark, stop using it immediately and contact your doctor.
Cramp Bark & Pregnancy
Pregnant women should not use cramp bark since there is not enough information about its safety during pregnancy. There are some concerns that it may cause contractions of the uterus, which could end up causing a miscarriage.
If you are pregnant, you should avoid this product altogether.
Cramp Bark & Drug Interactions
If you are using any other medication or you have a medical condition, you should talk to your doctor before using cramp bark since there is a chance that it could cause adverse reactions when taken with other medications.
Cramp Bark Tea vs. Cramp Bark Tincture vs.
Cramp Bark Capsules
There are several different forms of cramp bark available, and they each come in their own unique forms. Cramp bark tea, cramp bark tincture and cramp bark capsules are all common forms of this herbal supplement.
Which one is right for you?
It really just depends on your personal preference and how you would like to consume it.
Cramp bark tea is, as the name suggests, available in the form of tea. All you need to do is add a teaspoon of cramp bark tea to a cup of hot water.
Allow it to steep for 5 to 10 minutes and then strain. Drinking this tea should help soothe your digestive system, relieve your headache and tame your racing thoughts. It should come in a container that contains approximately 20 servings.
Cramp bark tincture is a liquid that is added to a small amount of water, juice or alcohol (if you are over 21). Each bottle of cramp bark tincture contains approximately 20 servings.
Add 10 to 15 drops of the tincture to your chosen liquid and then consume. This type of cramp bark offers all the same benefits as the tea, but it also works quickly since it is absorbed into your body via the soft tissues in your mouth.
Cramp bark capsules are the perfect choice if you don’t want to taste the cramp bark tea. Simply take one capsule 30 minutes before you want to feel the benefits of cramp bark.
Each bottle contains 100 capsules, so you have enough for a month’s supply.
No matter which form of cramp bark you decide to use, you should always speak to your doctor before taking it. This will allow you to find out if cramp bark is right for you and help you determine the correct dosage.
Cramp bark is a great herbal remedy that can help relieve your painful cramps, myrtles, and your other symptoms associated with your monthly cycle. It is effective, and it is safe to use.
However, you should always speak to your doctor before taking any herbal remedies since they can sometimes interfere with other medications or cause adverse reactions. Also, it may not be suitable for all women.
Sources & references used in this article:
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The effects of commercial preparations of herbal supplements commonly used by women on the biotransformation of fluorogenic substrates by human cytochromes … by SHY Ho, M Singh, AC Holloway… – Phytotherapy …, 2011 – Wiley Online Library
Herbal medicine in pregnancy and childbirth by RE Westfall – Advances in therapy, 2001 – Springer
Combining herbs in a formula for irritable bowel syndrome by K Abascal, E Yarnell – Alternative & Complementary Therapies, 2005 – liebertpub.com
Ethnoveterinary medicines used for horses in Trinidad and in British Columbia, Canada by C Lans, N Turner, G Brauer, G Lourenco… – Journal of Ethnobiology …, 2006 – Springer
PMS Treatment Through the Use of CAM. by BA Kloss, LA Marcom, AM Odom… – … Journal of Childbirth …, 2012 – search.ebscohost.com
Herbal medicine for dysmenorrhea by E Yarnell – Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 2015 – liebertpub.com
Medical compound for dyspepsia by US Patent 375,173, 1887 – Google Patents
Anti-inflammatory and phytochemical properties of twelve medicinal plants used for treating gastro-intestinal ailments in South Africa by OA Fawole, AR Ndhlala, SO Amoo, JF Finnie… – Journal of …, 2009 – Elsevier