Anti-Spasmodic

What is an Anti-Spasmodic?

The anti-spasmodics prevent or ease spasms or cramps in the muscles of the body. They will reduce tension in the body, and, as many of the anti-spasmodics are also nervines, they will sometimes ease psychological tension as well. Many of the herbal remedies that are described as nervines, sedatives or hypnotics also act as anti-spasmodics. The term is synonymous with spasmolytic.

How Anti-Spasmodic Work

There are general anti-spasmodics that reduce muscle spasming through out the body, and there are those that specifically work on certain organs or systems. The anti-spasmodics relax the autonomic nervous systems and necessarily the central nervous system. This allows a physical relaxation of muscles without a sedation effect upon consciousness. When this action is needed in the gut, the carminative herbs will often do exceedingly well. The relaxing expectorants have a localized anti-spasmodic effect in the respiratory system, but this might have a broader effect upon the body.



Anti-Spasmodics for Different Parts of the Body

Circulatory system: European Mistletoe, Motherwort, Crampbark, Black Cohosh, Balm, Lavender, Ladies Slipper and Valerian are important here.


Respiratory system: A range of anti-spasmodics are useful for the Respiratory system and include Wild Lettuce, Wild Cherry, Lobelia, Grindelia, Pill Bearing Spurge, Elecampane, Thyme, Aniseed, Angelica root, Oregano, and Garlic.


Digestive system: All the carminative herbs tend to act this way in the gut, and hepaticas can have such an action in gallbladder problems. Specific herbs to consider are Chamomile, Crampbark, Valerian, Hops, Peppermint, Sage, Thyme, Dill, Fennel, Barberry & Wild Yam.


Urinary system: Here we can think of Crampbark, Black Haw, Sea Holly, and Wild Carrot.


Reproductive system: Here Crampbark and Black Haw come into their own. The nervine anti-spasmodics such as Pasque Flower, Valerian, Ladies Slipper and Skullcap are helpful.


Muscles and skeleton: The main muscle relaxant remedies include Crampbark, Black Haw, Valerian and Skullcap. Externally Lobelia can be most helpful.


Nervous system: Consult the section on nervines for more information.


Skin: Anti-Spasmodics are not directly relevant here.




Anti-Spasmodics of All Types






















































































































































Angelica

Angelica archangelica

Lavender

Lavandula officinalis

Aniseed

Pimpinella anisum

Linden

Tilia spp.

Balm

Melissa officinalis

Liquorice

Glycyrrhiza glabra

Black Cohosh

Cimicifuga racemosa

Lobelia

Lobelia inflata
Black Haw

Viburnum prunifolium

Motherwort

Leonurus cardiaca

Bugleweed

Lycopus europaeus

Mullein

Verbascum thapsis

Californian Poppy

Eschscholzia californica

Parsley

Petroselinum sativum

Caraway

Carum carvi

Pasque Flower

Anenome pulsatilla

Cardamom

Elattaria cardamomum

Passion Flower

Passiflora incarnata

Catmint

Nepeta cateria

Pennyroyal

Mentha pulegium

Celery Seed Apium graveolens


Peppermint

Mentha piperita

Chamomile

Matricaria recutita

Red Clover

Trifolium pratense

Coltsfoot

Tussilago farfara

Red Sage

Salvia officinalis var. rubia

Cramp Bark

Viburnum opulus

Rosemary

Rosemarinus officinalis

Damiana

Turnera diffusa

Skullcap

Scutellaria laterifolia

Dill

Anethum graveolens


Skunk Cabbage

Symplocarpus foetidus

Elder

Sambucus nigra

St.John’s Wort

Hypericum perforatum

Fennel

Foeniculum vulgare

Sundew

Drosera rotundifolia

Fenugreek

Trigonella foenumgraecum

Thyme

Thymus vulgaris

Feverfew

Tanacetum chrysanthemun

Valerian

Valeriana officinalis

Ginger

Zingiber officinale

Vervain

Verbena officinalis

Ground Ivy

Nepeta hederacea

Wild Carrot

Daucus carrota

Hops

Humulus lupulus

Wild Cherry

Prunus serotina

Hyssop

Hyssopus officinalis

Wild Lettuce

Lactuca virosa

Jamaican Dogwood

Piscidia erythrina


Wild Yam

Dioscorea villosa





Anti-Spasmodics & Their Secondary Actions

Alterative: Black Cohosh, Pasque Flower, Red Clover

Analgesic: Black Cohosh, Californian Poppy, Jamaican Dogwood, Passion Flower, Peppermint, St. John’s Wort, Valerian, Wild Lettuce, Wild Yam

Anti-Catarrhal: Betony, Catmint, Chamomile, Coltsfoot, Elder, Fenugreek, Ginger, Hyssop, Lavender, Linden, Mullein, Peppermint, Red Sage, Thyme

Anti-inflammatory: Angelica, Balm, Celery Seed, Chamomile, Coltsfoot, Elder, Hyssop, Lavender, Linden, Liquorice, Peppermint, Red Sage, Roman Chamomile, St. John’s Wort, Wild Yam

Anti-Microbial: Aniseed, Caraway, Chamomile, Hops, Lavender, Pasque Flower, Peppermint, Rosemary, St. John’s Wort, Sundew, Thyme

Astringents: Black Haw, Bugleweed, Cramp Bark, Ground Ivy, Hops, Linden, Red Sage, Rosemary, St. John’s Wort, Wild Cherry

Bitter: Chamomile, Hops, Mugwort

Carminative: Angelica, Aniseed, Balm, Caraway, Cardamom, Catnip, Chamomile, Dill, Fennel, Fenugreek, Ginger, Hops, Hyssop, Lavender, Motherwort, Mugwort, Parsley, Pennyroyal, Peppermint, Red Sage, Roman Chamomile, Rosemary, Thyme, Valerian, Vervain, Wild Carrot

Demulcent: Coltsfoot, Fenugreek, Liquorice, Mullein, Sundew

Diaphoretic: Angelica, Black Cohosh, Catnip, Elder, Ginger, Hyssop, Linden, Peppermint, Rosemary, Skunk Cabbage, Vervain

Diuretic: Angelica, Bugleweed, Catnip, Coltsfoot, Damiana, Elder, Linden, Parsley, Wild Carrot

Emmenagogue: Black Cohosh, Black Horehound, Caraway, Motherwort, Mugwort, Pennyroyal

Expectorant: Angelica, Aniseed, Bugleweed, Caraway, Catnip, Coltsfoot, Fennel, Fenugreek, Liquorice, Mullein, Parsley, Skunk Cabbage, Sundew, Thyme, Wild Carrot

Hepatic: Vervain

Hypnotic: Californian Poppy, Chamomile, Hops, Jamaican Dogwood, Linden, Pasque Flower, Passion Flower, Valerian, Wild Lettuce

Hypotensive: Linden, Motherwort, Passion Flower, Scullcap, Valerian

Nervine Relaxant: Balm, Black Cohosh, Black Haw, Bugleweed, Californian Poppy, Catnip, Chamomile, Cramp Bark, Hops, Hyssop, Jamaican Dogwood, Lavender, Linden, Lobelia, Motherwort, Pasque Flower, Passion Flower, Peppermint, Prunus serotina, Scullcap, St. John’s Wort, Valerian, Wild Lettuce

Tonic: Coltsfoot, Damiana, Fenugreek, Mugwort, Scullcap, St. John’s Wort, Vervain

Vulnerary: Catnip, Chamomile, Elder, Fenugreek, Mullein, St. John’s Wort

David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH Written by David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH

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