Pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. Whether acute or chronic, many of us treat pain daily. Fortunately, pharmaceutical drugs do not have to be your only option for pain relief.
There are many natural ways to control pain, such as exercising and eating well. You can also take advantage of a variety of natural pain remedies, most of which have been used for thousands of years. The natural remedies given below are backed by science as safe and effective remedies for pain.
Before starting a new natural remedy, always talk to a trained doctor or herbalist to make sure it is right for you, especially if you take pharmaceutical medications.
You may have used bay leaves for cooking, but they are also known for their ability to fight pain. Bay leaves contain natural compounds, such as eugenol and myrcene, which are shown to effectively reduce pain. An Iranian study even found that bay essential oil was as effective as morphine for pain control.
Bay leaves are an excellent tea that can help relieve pain. Laurel essential oil can be used topically for pain, as applied to the forehead for headache. You can also prepare a poultice to apply to a painful area. Inhaling bay leaf oil or putting it in a diffuser can also help.
Related: 9 uses for bay laurel
Resin taken from the bark of the Boswellia serrata It has been shown that the tree has strong anti-inflammatory and analgesic compounds. A 2015 scientific review found that boswellia extracts helped reduce pain in people with osteoarthritis. Boswellia can also reduce cartilage loss, as well as relieve joint and muscle pain, bursitis and tendonitis.
Boswellia is sold as a supplement or mixed in formulations with other herbs. Boswellia can also be found in a cream or ointment for external application.
Capsaicin is the compound of hot peppers that makes them spicy. Although you may not feel like it when you eat spicy foods, capsaicin can block messages of nerve pain when you put them on your skin. This is the reason why creams and patches for capsaicin skin are the most common use of capsaicin. Research has shown that they can be effective for back pain, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and muscle pain. And it has been proven that putting a little capsaicin cream in the nostrils helps relieve headache and migraine.
Although, perhaps not surprisingly, capsaicin creams can cause redness, burning or swelling in some people. If you try a capsaicin cream, start with a very small amount at the beginning to see how your body reacts.
This tasty spice you may know about gingerbread or pumpkin pie also has a lot of medicinal uses, such as fighting pain. The main active ingredient in cloves is eugenol. A British study found that a paste based on eugenol was more effective than chlorhexidine, a standard antiseptic gel, in reducing pain, inflammation and infection after tooth extraction. It also shows that nails help relieve headaches and arthritic.
You can buy topical creams that contain clove oil, as well as products for the care of the teeth. Cloves are also available in supplements, tinctures and teas.
Cannabidiol, generally called CBD, is a derivative of the cannabis plant. It is completely non-psychoactive, which means that it will not make you stop. The CBD has been receiving a lot of attention lately for a variety of health benefits, including pain control. Remedy Review recently conducted two different surveys of CBD users, one for adults over 54 and one for adult women of any age. In both groups, they found that the main reason why people try CBD is to relieve pain. And overall, 55 percent of respondents felt that the CBD was effective in controlling pain.
Remedy Review also found that tinctures are the most common way that people consume CBD. You can also get CBD capsules, smokable pens and sprays, as well as various edible products that contain CBD.
One of the traditional uses of ginger is to fight pain. The gingerols found in ginger are powerful anti-inflammatory compounds, which, according to research, are the key to reducing pain. In one study, the researchers gave patients with arthritis 5 grams of fresh ginger, or 1 teaspoon of dried ginger, in divided doses throughout the day for three months. With this small amount of ginger daily, most participants had significant improvements in pain, swelling and morning stiffness.
You can easily include fresh or dried ginger in your diet by adding it to stir-fries, curries and other main dishes. Tea or ginger juice is another excellent way to get a daily dose of ginger. In addition, a ginger poultice can be applied to a sore area to relieve it.
Related: How to grow your own ginger
Scientists believe that most of the health benefits of turmeric come from its high curcumin content. One of the proven abilities of curcumin is to help fight pain, such as muscle pain and post-surgical pain. In a study conducted in India, it was shown that curcumin is more effective in relieving the pain of rheumatoid arthritis than standard pharmacological treatment.
You can buy prepared supplements of turmeric and curcumin. Fresh or dried turmeric is also easy to incorporate into many different dishes and include it in your daily diet. Curcumin in turmeric can be hard to digest, but research has shown that curcumin is much more easily absorbed when eaten with black pepper and fat. Therefore, add a splash of pepper and a little olive oil, coconut or other healthy oil in your meals to get the best anti-pain action of your turmeric.
White willow bark, taken from the Salix alba Tree, has been used to relieve headaches, back pain and other general body pains for more than two thousand years in their native China and Europe. The active ingredient in white willow bark is salicin, the botanical compound from which aspirin is derived. Salicin is a powerful anti-inflammatory that has been shown to help relieve pain, especially arthritis and lower back pain.
White willow bark is available in a variety of supplements, powders or liquid extracts. White willow bark is also sometimes included in topical creams and ointments that relieve pain. In addition, you can buy the raw form of white willow bark chips or powder to prepare your own teas or tinctures.
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