Saturday, December 12, 2015

Herbal Medicine and Fibromyalgia

Today's guest post comes from Patricia Bratianu. Patrica is a nurse and a registered herbalist with the American Herbalists Guild. She has a Ph.D. in natural health and is passionate about helping people find health care options that work for them. For another one of Patricia's articles, please visit:

The Best Herbs for Anxiety and Stress Relief

As if the everyday stresses of living with a chronic health condition like fibromyalgia aren’t enough, chronic pain depletes your body of endorphins, the natural compounds that relieve stress, pain, and depression. Stress and anxiety have a direct impact on pain levels, and so the cycle goes around and around.

Fibromyalgia, anxiety and stress may go hand-in-hand, but you can fight back with herbs — the safe, reliable, natural option for relief of stress and anxiety.

Why Use Herbs?

Herbal medicine has been used to treat stress and anxiety for thousands of years, and modern research confirms that herbal medicine is a safe and effective alternative to pharmaceutical drugs.

Pharmaceuticals often cause multiple undesirable side effects, including drowsiness. Most herbal remedies for anxiety and stress are gentle and free of side effects — but that doesn’t mean they’re weak.

Herbs work with your body’s natural soothing actions. Some herbal remedies for stress relief work quickly, however, most must be consumed regularly for at least a month to get the maximum benefit.

Unlike pharmaceuticals, herbs contain vitamins, minerals and natural compounds that nourish your nervous system. They provide benefits for your entire body. Most of the calming herbs reduce discomfort and ease abdominal distress.

Safety First

While most herbal remedies are much safer than pharmaceutical medications, it is best to check with a qualified health care provider who has extensive herbal knowledge before using herbs to treat stress or anxiety.

Some herbs should not be used simultaneously with certain medications, and herbs, like all other substances, may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.

Make Tea, Not War

When using herbs to relieve anxiety and stress, I recommend consuming them as teas — usually three or four cups each day.

One of the reasons that I suggest tea is so that you will take a break. Use the time it takes to drink your tea to put your feet up and mentally disengage from the day’s events. It’s a great time to meditate, take a few deep breaths, gaze outdoors, or remind yourself of an uplifting quote.

If you do not have time to brew up a fresh cup of tea several times per day, make up a day’s supply in the morning and keep in an insulated thermal container.

Other Options

Brewing tea from fresh or dried herbs is not the only way to get your herbal fix.

When herbs are extracted in alcohol to make tinctures and elixirs, a high percentage of the plants’ healing compounds are extracted. They are readily absorbed when the medicine is consumed.

Glycerin is used to make glycerites, which contain no alcohol. Glycerites are sweet and extract a fair amount of a herb’s healing compounds.

I prefer not to use herbal pills or capsules unless they are made with freeze-dried or concentrated extracts, as their goodness is not as readily absorbed as that from tinctures.

For instant stress relief, you can try taking an herbal bath by brewing a quart of herb tea and adding it to a bath, or suspending a cloth bag filled with fresh or dried herbs in the bath water.

Taking a hot herbal bath can rapidly relieve pain as it soothes your mind, body and spirit. I like to add a cup or two of Epsom salts to herbal baths. Epsom salts contain large amounts of magnesium, which is a naturally relaxing element that supports detoxification and helps relax tight or sore muscles.

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm, also known as Melissa, is one of my favorite herbs. It is in the mint family and likes moist soil and a moderate amount of sun. Lemon balm is a pretty plant that has fragrant green leaves. You can easily grow it in your garden or in a pot.

I prefer to use lemon balm as a tea, but it can be prepared into a wide array of herbal medicines. The sweet glycerite is a wonderful remedy to take during acute stress. Simply place a few drops of it under your tongue.

Lemon balm has been proven effective as a remedy for depression. It soothes nervous stomachs and relieves stress.


I grow several types of passionflower in my garden. The old-fashioned purple variety is the best one for healing purposes, but all will work. Passionflower, also known as maypop, is an easy-to-grow vine that flourishes in warm locales.

Mine covers an old wooden swing in the corner of my yard, so I get a double benefit when using passionflower to relieve stress — I sit in the swing while enjoying a cup of passionflower tea and let my worries fade away.

Passionflower is not flavorful, so it’s best to blend it with other, tastier herbs. Try mixing it with chamomile or lemon balm, or add a couple of rose petals, a small pinch of lavender and a bit of stevia for a stress relieving treat.

Passionflower can help you to sleep better, yet does not leave you feeling groggy the next day. It relieves pain from muscle aches and headaches and settles butterflies in the stomach.


Lavender is an excellent herb to use for the treatment of pain, stress, and headaches. It has proven, time-tested relaxant properties. Try making a soothing compress and placing it on your forehead or the back of your neck next time you feel stressed.

You can make a sleep pillow out of lavender and other relaxing herbs. Simply sew two small rectangles of cloth into a pillowcase shape. Place a handful of dried herbs in the bag and then sew up the fourth side of the bag. Don’t overfill the bag — it should lie flat. Place the bag inside a full-size pillowcase and concentrate on the relaxing herbal fragrance when you put your head on your pillow at night.

Other Herbs to Try

Lemon balm, passionflower, and lavender are just a few of the many relaxing herbs you can use to relieve stress and promote overall comfort. Some other favorites include:

* Chamomile
* Nutmeg
* Linden
* Red clover
* Valerian
* Hops
* Kava
* Skullcap
* Vervain

Do some experimenting and see which individual herbs or blends are most effective for you. I find that red clover is very effective for me.

If anxiety interferes with your ability to sleep, try some valerian, hops or kava. Skullcap and vervain are useful for relieving stress headaches.

Learn as much as you can about the herbs you’re interested in using and speak with a qualified practitioner for expert advice. Be patient. Herbs will help to relieve stress and anxiety; however you must use them regularly for them to work their best.

I hope you have enjoyed today's guest post from Patricia Bratianu who a writer at NewLifeOutlook|Fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia Community 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Places That Will Not Sell GMO Salmon

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Forever Tied from Santa's Naughty List

Looking for a Free Read this Holiday?

FREE FROM  THIS PAGETO FIRST 100 READERS WHO LEAVE EMAIL !Go Go Go*Facebook  not  responsible  for  this  giveaway
Posted by Full Moon Series on Sunday, November 22, 2015 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Fibromyalgia: A Guide to Prepare, Be Heard and Get Results Book Review

Fibromyalgia: A Guide to Prepare, Be Heard and Get ResultsFibromyalgia: A Guide to Prepare, Be Heard and Get Results by Robert J. Langone
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was given a copy in exchange for an honest review. This is a very informative and fascinating book! The research is very extensive. This book is a good read for Fibro sufferers, but because there is a lot of information, I do suggest reading it on days when you have less Fibro Fog. I was in a flare for quite some time and there were foggy days that prevented me from reading. Other than that-- it was great!

View all my reviews

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Santa's Naughty List: 25 Tales of Paranormal Bad Boys Christmas Book Release

25 Amazing Authors, 25 Paranormal Tales! Santa's Naughty List: 25 Tales of Paranormal Bad Boys Christmas is Available for pre-sale now. Release Date is November 22, 2015. Proceeds from this 99 cents boxed set will go to St. Jude's Children's Hospital for the holiday season.

Teaser from Forever Tied by yours truly, Amanda KimberleyLB!

Stay fabulous!


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

New Coding for Fibromyalgia

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Nima- A Portable Gluten Tester

There will be a new product out this fall that I think will help many fibro sufferers who are trying to avoid wheat/gluten due to food sensitivities.

Nima is a company who is passionate about people enjoying food and that is why they are in the process of developing a purse-sized machine that can detect gluten in a food of 20 parts per million or more. This device should be out this fall!

Development of similar devices for peanut and milk sensitivities/allergies are also in development.

Below is their website for more information. You can also sign up for their newsletter for information on pricing and release date information.

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,


Thursday, August 27, 2015

What Chronic Pain is Doing to America

I came across an article very earlier this morning from the Huffington Post stating that 25 million people suffer from some type of chronic pain in the United States. These types include, but are not limited to, lower back pain, fibromyalgia, and even cancers. To this blogger, these numbers of sufferers have become alarmingly high and very little has been done to cure many of these diseases and conditions. Offering only pain medications to this growing number of people is not a solution.

Many of these sufferers are not only dealing with constant pain but are also more susceptible to depression. Depression in and of itself is a horrible condition that causes its own aches and pains, difficulty with sleep, feelings of hopelessness, and difficulty with concentration. However, certain chronic conditions like fibromyalgia will give you a double dose of the same types of symptoms.

What is not helping these sufferers is that society is taking a blind eye to the issue by making it more and more difficult for an invisibly ill person to function normally. Many sufferers have been forced to quit long time careers because they were told (or felt) they couldn't hack the rat race any longer. I find this sad because there are 25 million talented people out there suffering because there still continues to be people that think a disabled person cannot perform any important tasks quickly. I completely disagree with this line of thinking. Since when does everything have to done in a matter of minutes?

I went to college to become a journalist, and I believe that all writers should write to the best of their ability. To me, that means that a writer should be doing fact checking. Now in today's content producing society, many do not share in my belief. These people would rather produce a retraction article (if they ever even bother) than to take the time to produce something of quality.

And it does not stop with just a writer. Editors today are told NOT to pursue fact checking either unless they have first-hand knowledge of the information being erroneous. I've seen this in a number of job position descriptions and if you don't believe me-- fact-check it for yourself. You will probably wind up feeling just as disgusted as I am.

Today, I thought I'd apply for a content position for a site that supposedly had a great reputation for having top-notch writers. I started the application and found it to be typical since it asked common grammar questions, but then it asked for me to write an essay on a specific topic in under 10 minutes.

I have been writing for over three decades and have a wealth of experience under my belt, but even I cannot write a well-written and correctly factual essay or article in under 10 minutes. That's crazy for even a reputable place to think that anyone could do so!

Why? Because these are not the days of the Britannica Encyclopedia! There actually are shady people catering their words into articles that are nothing more than an advertisement for their favorite political leader or product. And guess what? That means the article is bias! Who on Earth would want to hire a writer that is bias? This was just unheard of a couple of decades ago!

And even though I'm being specific to the writing industry, please don't be nieve in thinking that this sort of thing doesn't happen in other professions because it does. Every day employees are faced with rushing a job in order to please a completely unethical boss. We wouldn't have so many lawsuits today if bosses allowed employees to work thoroughly and efficiently. The times of rushing just need to stop! And not just for the sake of actual pride in a job well done, but also for the fact that 25 million people are counting on being able to contribute to society!

The US is already faced with an epidemic of people filing for disability income. In 2011 alone, the government passed out 250 billion dollars in claims to 23 million Americans according to CNN Money. I think businesses need to now, more than ever, step up to the plate and allow flexible work schedules, as well as off-site/ remote working conditions, for disabled Americans so we can all make a solid and HEALTHY step towards the future of America.

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Fibro and Family Stress

Most of you know that I have been taking care of my grandparents and mom because of their illnesses and elderly needs. What you may not know is that my grandmother has passed. She was 94.

This post will not be like my regular posts because I'm still dealing with a lot of stress so I will be streaming my emotions in this piece.

It has taken me some time to write about this because I've been an emotional mess, and unfortunately due to my OCD, I like to keep my mess nice and tidy-- especially when it comes to death.

Death has always been a taboo subject with me. I had a friend in high school die while I was entering my Senior Year. And during that year I also had a Great Grandma and Grandma die, too. I became very humbled at that point in my life because I took the sympathy that people could offer me. Granted it wasn't much because the grown ups in my life thought I shouldn't be hurt or upset since I was young-- OR-- they thought I should be strong for someone else because I was mature for my age. Needless to say that part of my life was a mess.

Moving on a few years later, I lost one of the few people that understood me, my Uncle. It's been 20 years since his death and people can say that the pain lessens over time, but I know for a fact that it really doesn't. All that happens is that you find some normal times where you talk to that person you miss so much. But the pain-- it's always there-- and full on when you least expect it.

Maybe some people say that the pain lessens because they are used to crying. I can say I'm SO not used to that. I don't do that because I have kids and they shouldn't see me that way. They don't get to see me hurt because I'm Wonder Woman in their eyes. So I can't cry. My Father was a similar man, but was, and always will be, my Super Man.

The only times I ever saw my Father shed tears were for joyous occasions, and I tend to do the same-- unless a sappy Disney movie gets to me. ;) BOTH my Father and I share that trait to a degree-- never saw him cry at a movie-- probably wouldn't want to either since he's my Superman.

Tonight, though, I'm sad for a different reason. I'm crying, but no one is around so it's acceptable. I am mourning for the old times. The times when everything was great and joyous. The times where this room that I'm am typing away in was filled with laughter and food.

It's now a study. I made it that way to change things up. I NEED it that way right now because things are still too raw.

But getting back to what happened today-- I just removed what I hope is the last horrible reminder of Alzheimer's and old age in the house. I went to check on my youngest and wanted to shut her door so the cat and dog wouldn't go into her room.

She's not allergic, but my husband and I are, and we are trying to teach the animals not to be with us at night. ANYWAY as I was shutting the door, I noticed the latch Grandma put on it to keep the room shut off from Grandpa.

She stuck it there so Grandpa wouldn't go in there and hide the bank statements/banking accounts on her because she needed pay the bills. Grandpa was pretty far gone with Alzheimer's when she had to do it and I should have noticed it when we took my Uncle John's name off of the door a few days ago, but I didn't because I was blind to it then.

It's now off, along with Uncle John's name on the door, and I feel a little better. Not MUCH because I STILL feel like I'm in HER house and not mine, but hopefully all of that will change as time goes on.

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

FM Aware July Edition

They liked the article! They LIKED the article! YAY!!!! My article with the working title, "Top 10 Reasons Fibro Sufferers Should Have Sex", will appear in the July addition of FM AWARE. This magazine is put out by the National Fibromyalgia Association​.

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,


Friday, May 22, 2015

Need Some Time

I have had a death in the family and have chosen to take some time off from public social media posts. I just need a little time and will be back shortly.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Dust is Starting to Fly Again

Last year I came to the conclusion that this website needed a major change because it was getting rather large and too cumbersome for readers to navigate. I had decided to move things into categories so it is easier for you to look around at specific things.

When I started this last year I thought I could accomplish it by the end of last summer, but my author website crashed and I had spent all of my time revamping that one. This one kind of fell to the wayside because it was at least up and running.

Now that summer is fast approaching again, I HOPE to finish what I started and move postings to specific pages. I have done a little today thank goodness! So for those returning, all my postings from the past year are now organized into page categories that you will see up at the top. Each entry will have the corresponding date of when it was first posted on the website.

I will still continue to post the latest entries as I always have-- this is a blog after all LOL! BUT I will then copy the entry into the appropriate category so you can reference it at a later time. Hope this helps all of you to navigate the blog better!

Stay fabulous!


Monday, April 13, 2015

Happy, Calm, Focused

Fibro and Fabulous was given a brain supplement called HCF (Happy, Calm, and Focused) in exchange for an honest review a few weeks back.

The HCF bottle is a one month supply containing 90 pills. The supplement contains vitamins A, E, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, B5, Folic Acid, Biotin, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, Chromium, and Amino Acids, all of which are helpful for Fibro sufferers. The direction are quite similar to other mood supplements like Sam-e and suggest you take it 30 minutes before a meal for the best absorption. You can take all three pills at once or space them out.

I happen to like this product. It definitely does what it says and helps you to stay happy, calm, and focused. I noticed a change right away, but that may be because I was in a flare when I started the supplement. Lately, I have been suffering from anxiety and depression with this flare and I noticed an almost instant change in my mood that even lasted if I forgot to take them one day.

I also personally tried taking all three at once in the beginning, then spaced them out, then tried taking all three at different times of the day to see if the results would change and to my surprise, I found that it did. Taking them in the afternoon allowed me to have more restorative sleep in the evening, but further testing on my part is needed because I only tried this a couple of times through out the month. I'd like to see if that assumption continually holds true. Taking them in the morning helped me to keep alert and awake in the afternoon, something I continue to struggle with and spreading the pills out by taking them right before breakfast, lunch, and dinner seemed to work nicely too. Spreading out the dosage kept me more even tempered throughout the day.

This supplement is hypoallergenic, has no preservatives, chemicals, coatings, calories, sweeteners, enhancers, fragrance, dairy, gluten, nuts, or wheat. I did not experience any side effects while taking this supplement. They do, however, caution pregnant and nursing mothers, as well as, people taking MAO to consult a physician before taking the product.  

I really like how effective this product is and the fact that it works naturally. You don't have a jolt of energy or a jolt of happiness followed by a crash. You simply feel calmly stable throughout the day. For more information on HCF, visit their website at:

Stay fabulous,


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Thoughts on Housework and Fibromyalgia

I've given housework a lot of thought over the years. When I was in my twenties, I used to feel guilty in the wee hours of the morning about not getting the entire house clean daily. It would keep me up until I'd finally break down at 4 AM and I'd start to dust and vacuum. Seriously-- no joke! 

In my thirties I thought I got things down to a science. I was home all day and I'd clean like a mad woman until my husband came home. Of course, I'd still feel guilty that not everything got done and I vowed to get up at 5 AM every morning to at least start a load of laundry and clean the dishes from all the midnight snacking. I reserved my urge to vacuum until 9 AM because at that time we were in an condo-like apartment complex and I didn't want to wake the family below me. I learned from the days of the high rise apartment in my twenties. ;) 

Today though in my forties, and now having a decade of fibro experiences, I think MUCH differently. A clean house is a group effort-- period. If you are the only one in the group that puts in the effort on a daily basis, the house won't ever be to your standards. 

I have finally come to terms with the fact that my house will never, not ever, be as clean as I'd like. Kids will be kids and husbands will be husbands. Having said that, that DOES NOT mean that I don't strive for a clean house. Quite the contrary! 

I have a schedule for every day of the week and I stick to certain rooms and certain activities each day. For instance, if I'm supposed to vacuum-- that is what I do. I DO NOT bother putting my children's toys away in that room. 

I grab a bag or a bucket and put all of the crap I find on the floor in that bag/bucket and give it to the kids to deal with. I have also been known to do the same to my husband too. ;) 

Now, I can't speak for all of you, but I think part of my problem was I used to do it all because it was expected that I did. Maybe that expectation isn't reaching consciousness with the people I live with-- BUT that doesn't mean it isn't there when half the room is filled with toys, shoes, and snack clutter that was obviously not all of my doing. 

Yes, I used to be on top of all of those things! I did the housework of five people before I got sick-- probably just like all of you-- but really should I have had to do that? The answer is a resounding no! My kids and husband are older and they are wiser too. ;)  That means they can all pitch in every now and again so I can do what I should have done in the first place, the work of one. And I can now FINALLY say, I'm content with that!

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Review of Suffered Long Enough

Suffered Long Enough: A physician's journey of overcoming Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, & LymeSuffered Long Enough: A physician's journey of overcoming Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, & Lyme by William Rawls

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was given a copy of this book via the author in exchange for an honest review.

This book is absolutely fascinating! I have learned many new aspects about fibromyalgia that I did not know before hand, one being Lyme. I had wondered about it, especially living in Connecticut, and this book has filled in a lot of the gaps that I had come across with reading clinical trials about Lyme.

I've read many, many books, journals, and news articles about fibromyalgia, but I must say that this book is one of the best ones I've come across in a long while. The language is clear and easy to read. There are medical terms, but they are explained in simple language which makes it easy on even the fibro-fogged reader.

I highly recommend this book to anyone suffering from this disease.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Exciting News! Featured Book #ForeverBound!

Exciting News! The manuscript #FOREVERBOUND, which is the prequel to #ForeverFriends, is featured in Book Country's Waiting to Be Discovered section! I feel truly honored that the Penguin group chose me!

Only the first four chapters are up but you can go to the link here:

Stay tuned for future updates!

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