Which ointment should I use?

Belladonna is best for sleep issues, muscle pain, muscle spasms, carpal tunnel, and tendon and joint pain. Datura is best for osteo and rheumatic arthritis and relieving the pain of bone injuries under the skin as well as sleep issues. High doses can help with anxiety. Henbane is best for massage, muscle pain, sore joints, mild arthritis, as an aphrodisiac and helping with general anxiety and depression. Mandrake is best for acute pain like burns, bee stings, pulled muscles, sprained wrists, and migraines – it is also great for massage, as an aphrodisiac, and as a mood lifter. The Solanaceae ointment which uses all of them is a multi-purpose medicine which our customers find a bit stronger than the single ointments, but is most comparable to a blend of the effects of our belladonna and datura ointments.

What is the shelf life?

2-5 years if stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat. Keep away from the bathroom, window sills, the kitchen stove, and hot cars.

My ointment melted! What do I do?

If your ointment melts from heat, treat it like a lip balm left in a car or that went through a dryer and make sure leave it in a dark, non-humid place at room temperature for a few hours until it returns to a semi-solid state. Depending on the severity of the heat or how many times it has already melted, it may not re-solidify when at a normal temperature again, but don’t worry, the medicinal properties are not compromised as they can handle high heat. 

How much should I use and how often?

Everyone is different, so start with a small dose and use more as needed. Some people just need a small rub, and others use up to 1/2 to 1 tsp of ointment. It can take up to two hours for the full effects to work and ointments can be re-applied every 6-8 hours.

Like any medicine, frequent use will lead to tolerance. If using our ointments on a regular basis to treat chronic issues, tolerance breaks are recommended. Try a one week break after 3-4 weeks of use. If you are using a medicinal nightshade ointment you can use an Artemisia or Nymphaea ointment during the tolderance break and vice versa.

Are they okay for long-term use?

There have been no medical studies done on long-term topical use of artemisias and nightshades. If you are on any medication or are using the ointment to help with a chronic medical condition, be sure to inform your doctor.

Can I use them if I am pregnant/breastfeeding?

No! These herbs are not safe to use when pregnant or breastfeeding.

How do I ensure the safety of children and pets?

Wash hands after use and cover the application area with clothing if you have pets who lick you or small children who will touch you. Store ointments in a medicine cabinet or other location safe and away from curious children and pets.

What are the possible side effects?

Always perform a test patch before regular use. Negative side effects can include dizziness, drowsiness, blurry vision (belladonna), dry mouth, nausea, mental confusion, and intoxication. If you feel drowsy or intoxicated, do not use when driving or doing complex tasks or lessen your dose. At worst, you may feel like you had a glass or two of wine. If you feel nauseated, feverish and are experiencing heart palpitations — contact your doctor or go to the ER as you may be especially sensitive, allergic, or have a heart issue. The negative effects will fade in several hours. In the meantime wash off any remaining ointment with cool water and soap, drink lots of water, and eat some fibre rich food to ground yourself.

Are they safe if I’m on anti-depressants?

Yes, but they will not be as effective if you are taking SSRIs and you may need to use a larger dose than the average person – always do a test patch first. The ointments will not work for anxiety and depression if you are already using prescription meds to treat them. If your meds aren’t fully working for you, please consult your health care practitioner.

What if they don’t work for me?

It is rare, but you may be on prescription meds that reduce or block the ointments’ effects, you may need a stronger dose, you didn’t wait the full two hours for effects to set in, you applied it before bed and slept through the effects, or they are simply not the plant medicine for you and we recommend trying alternatives for treating pain and insomnia. If you are in serious chronic pain or have mental health issues and our ointments do not work for you after trying larger doses and emailing us for help, we recommend asking your family doctor about cannabis and CBD alternatives.

Who shouldn’t use Bane Folk’s ointments?

People under 19 and over 80 years old. Women who are pregnant and/or breastfeeding. People with heart, kidney, or liver health problems. People with glaucoma. People who experiencing allergic reactions to the ointments. People who are already using prescription medications that contain atropine, hyoscyamine, or scopolamine –do not use 2 weeks before or after surgery as you may be given atropine.

Do you have non-toxic alternatives I can use instead?
 
Salves and oils made from poplar buds aka balm of gilead are easy to find online and at natural health stores – they are safe for use on children and pets and relieve even severe pain and inflammation. Our seasonal Motherwort and Blue Vervain tinctures relieve the symptoms of anxiety and frayed nerves. We do not have alternative sleep aids to nightshade ointments at this time, but recommend any non-toxic medicinal herb with sedative properties such as catnip, chamomile, lemon balm, hops, or lavender. Stronger, but relatively safe alternatives include California poppy, valerian, and wild lettuce.