by Jeanne Rose. . .
with Acupuncture additions from Judy Komatsu
INTRODUCTION: First identified in the early 1980's chronic fatigue
syndrome (CFS) is variously called the yuppie flu, Epstein-Barr,
stress, burnout. It is now recognized as a legitimate auto-immune
disorder, and is now considered one of the most common chronic
diseases affecting Americans. According
to recent research published in the Archives
of Internal Medicine, there are 422 cases per every 100,000
Americans, with an overall incidence of about 800,000 in the
alone. Typically, it affects people between ages 25-50, mostly
women. [Humph! I wonder why?] The
incidence in woman is reported as 522 per 100,000 verses 291 per
100,000 in men. The
disease ranges in severity from mild to wheelchair or bed bound.
There 3 outcomes in CFS:
recovery/improvement, relapsing/remitting, or progressive
debility leading to permanent incapacity.
Only about 4 percent of patients completely recover, and
about 39 percent show some degree of improvement
is characterized by almost unbearable fatigue or exhaustion, which
is generally associated with sore throat, tender lymph nodes, muscle
and/or joint pain, vertigo, sleep disorders, low-grade fever,
disequilibrium, and other symptoms.
There is no known diagnostic marker so physicians use two
criteria to diagnose CFS: 1.)
6 months of continuous, profound fatigue, that decreases the
patient's activity by half and does not respond to rest.
This fatigue is associated with impaired concentration,
flu-like symptoms, headaches, sleep disorders, nausea, paresthesas,
dyspnea, and other symptoms. 2.)
No other chronic illness, either physical or emotional.
the etiology is still unknown, research points to abnormalities in
the central nervous system and immune system.
Research has shown impaired function of the natural killer
cells and increased numbers of CD8+T cells, indicating a hyperactive
immune system. This is
known to cause central nervous system dysfunction through cytokine
over-production, leading to cognitive dysfunction, hormonal
abnormalities, fatigue and other symptoms.
Many of the abnormalities indicate the body is fighting a
virus, although none has been identified.
However, a recent finding pointed to an abnormality in the
2-5A RNase-L antiviral pathway which is know to be activated in a
viral infection. The
abnormality involved an enzyme required for the destruction of
has been a stigma associated with the condition from its earliest
reported cases. Many questioned whether it was an actual condition,
or an “all in your head” condition.
Many have attributed the fatigue with chronic depression,
however the incidence of clinical depression associated with Chronic
Fatigue Syndrome is about the same as any other chronic disease
Fibromyalgia is another condition, which primarily affects
women in their late 30's to 40's.
It is characterized by chronic fatigue; sleep disorders, and
muscle pain. It is
considered an auto-immune disorder in which the connective tissue
covering the muscles is affected.
HYDROSOLS: Any of the
hydrosols, taken internally, can be effective.
Particularly, look for Rosemary or Melissa hydrosol.
You can also take both of them alternatively.
Take Rosemary hydrosol in the a.m. for energy and reduction
of symptoms and Melissa in the afternoon for sleep and as an
antiviral. These can be
obtained from several sources including Jeanne Rose at
www.jeannerose.com on the products page.
ESSENTIAL OILS: Ravensara
aromatica has been shown to be useful for Fibromyalgia. It is
recommended that 3 drops in a capsule mixed with Borage seed oil,
three times a day is the recommended dosage taken internally.
Calophyllum inophyllum can be mixed with Ravensara aromatica and Petitgrain as a good external application.
For low blood pressure,
inhale and get a massage with Pine (P. sylvestris), Black Spruce and
Savory. Apply Seaweed
abs. externally to the thyroid area daily to balance or tonify that
If you are always cold and
chilled use essential oils of Black Pepper, Ginger in your massage
blends, for aching muscles use Black Pepper for chilling,
, Sage, Basil and Juniper berries for aching.
EXTERNAL MASSAGE: Fibromyalgia may respond to gentle exercise,
particularly walking and massage.
Acupuncture or acupressure stimulation of tender points and
trigger points can also be helpful. Use Ravensara
aromatica with the carrier
oil Calophyllum as a massage formulation.
Gentle exercise that includes physical exercise such as walking,
plus massage, stress reduction activities and relaxation skills are
Inhalation of any of the Firs, Pines, or Spruces is useful
especially when mixed with Rosemary pyramidalis.
HERBAL AND AROMATHERAPY BATHS: Use your hydrosols in baths, use
Rosemary, use herbs in decoction then added to the bath.
Any of the materials mentioned so far, either in herb form or
hydrosol form will be helpful. Use
baths for physical and mental health, use showers to clean.
Rosemary, conifer branches, herbs such as Marjoram and Oregano,
Roses, and other sorts of Mediterranean plants are useful in herbal
ACUPUNCTURE: stimulation of tender points and muscle trigger points.
One method of diagnosis includes application of pressure to 18
points on your body. Tenderness
in 11 of the 18 points with no other explanation for the pain neck
and shoulder pain, and irritable bowel syndrome may indicate
DIET: Eliminate refined
sugar, junk food, alcohol, caffeine, and excessive animal products
and increase fiber intake. Identification
of any food allergies is also a good idea.
Sugar and caffeine provide a quick boost, but an energy crash
soon follows. Alcohol is
a central nervous system depressant.
Nutritional supplements including magnesium, vitamins B1, B3, B12, essential fatty acids and antioxidants can
help boost the immune system. The
antioxidant Co-enzyme Q10 is recommended at a dose of 90 - 120
mg/day for 6 weeks for Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, it may
benefit the immune system. NADH
(nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) or co-enzyme 1 is an antioxidant
that has been shown to help with CFS.
It generates ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is the fuel
for all cellular activity. The
recommended dose is 10 - 15 mg twice a day on an empty stomach.
Blood levels of magnesium have been found to be lower in
those with chronic fatigue. Supplementing
with 500 mg of magnesium glycinate is suggested (if taking
magnesium, you must take calcium as well.
Take twice as much calcium as you do magnesium.
Check with your doctor if you have any underlying heart or
kidney problems.). L-carnitine
may help with energy. It helps your body metabolize fats. Use
tryptophan to induce sleep and low-dose antidepressants for pain.
Cut out sugar, junk food, and excessive animal products and
increase fiber. Use an
elimination diet to identify food allergies.
[see above] Vitamins B1,
thiamine (50 mg of each) provide support to the adrenal system can
help the symptoms of both CFS and Fibromyalgia.
Antioxidants and vitamins [A (25,000 IU beta-carotene), C
(500 mg), E (400-800 IU of d-alpha-tocopherol) and selenium (100
mcg.)] are recommended for CFS.
If you have low blood
pressure, Licorice may help. Ginseng
can promote energy and concentration.
It has adaptogenic qualities, and helps the body deal with
stress. You can start
with 1000-200 mg/day. German
sources recommend 1 - 3 grams/day.
Do not use any Ginseng if you are pregnant.
Astralagus is an adrenal and immune booster.
It can stimulate antibodies and increase white blood cell
activity. Start with 100
mg three times a day. If
needed, take up to 100 mg/day.
EMOTIONS: Use inhaled essential oils for your stress or emotions.
Try Grapefruit, Clementine, Lavenders, Spearmint, Bergamot,
Spikenard. These can also be used in your massage formulas
alternating with the other oils mentioned. These essential
oils are available in a Stress Relief Kit – see Source
NETI POT: Finally, do
not forget daily nasal cleansing with the Neti pot using an aromatic
salt. Sea salt with Thyme and Tea tree e.o. added. A good formula is
2 ounces by quantity of sea salt.
Grind or with a mortar and pestle, mash 6 drops of essential
oil into 1 teaspoon of the salt. Then mix this with the balance of
the salt. Store in an
airtight glass jar. Use
4 t. salt to 8 oz warm water.
ALWAYS USE baths, essential oils, hydrosols, dietary supplements and
anything that you can possibly think of that will help with your
Magazines, books and only the best and most non-new age (not
woo-woo!) common sense information should be read.
EX: if something is beeping and it does not have an electric
cord attached, then you know that it works on batteries, therefore
disconnect by removing the batteries, do not bash it against the
Stress Relief Kits are available from
“Aromatherapy & Herbs Products”, 415/564-6785.
Essential Oils can be obtained from Prima Fleur and CH Imports.
All rights reserved 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006. No part of this article may
Adderly, B. "New
hope for chronic fatigue sufferers."
48-52, April 2000.
Cox, I.M. et al. "Red blood
cell magnesium and chronic fatigue syndrome."
Mar. 30, 1991
Forsyth, L., et al.
"Therapeutic effects of oral NADH on the symptoms of
patients with chronic fatigue syndrome."
Annals of Allergy,
Asthma & Immunology. 82: 185-191.
Fulcher, K.Y., White P.D. "Randomized controlled trial of
graded exercise in patients with the chronic fatigue
Medical Journal. 314: 1647-52, 1997.
McLaughlin, Jill, “Understanding Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.”
The John R. Lee, M.D.
Medical Letter. June
Rose, Jeanne. 375 Essential
Oils and Hydrosols. NAB/Frog,
, CA. 1999.
Rose, Jeanne. The
Aromatherapy Book, Applications & Inhalations. NAB/Frog,
be used without prior permission from Jeanne Rose.
© Authors Copyright Jeanne Rose,