St.-John’s-wort: 900 mg a day in capsules standardized to 0.3 percent hypericin, divided into three 300 mg doses, or 1 to 3 teaspoons of a tincture, in divided doses.
Antispasmodic herbs: For teas, tinctures, and capsules, start with doses recommended on the package, but up to triple the dose is generally safe, if needed.
California poppy: 1 to 3 cups of tea a day or 1/8 to 1 teaspoon of tincture one to three times a day.
Capsaicin cream: Apply to the most painful areas once or twice daily. Wash your hands after using it to avoid getting it in your eyes.
Lois Johnson, M.D., has a busy primary-care holistic practice in Sebastopol, California, where she integrates the best of Western medicine with herbalism, nutrition, and lifestyle counseling. She graduated from the University of Nevada Medical School in 1984 and is board certified in internal medicine.
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