Most of the time, when we have pain, we reach for non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs, but there are many side effects of these drugs. It is estimated that everyday, almost 30 million Americans take these drugs. The reasons for taking these drugs range from headaches, muscle cramps to chronic arthritis, etc. More often than not, inflammation is the cause of pain. Extended use of non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs can cause ulcers, strokes, heart attack, damage to the kidneys, or bleeding in the stomach, among many other complications. On the other hand, natural pain relievers effectively provide relief from pain. They are as follows:
Pain Relievers: Oral Use
Turmeric is known as the "spice of life". It contains a compound called curcumin. This compound blocks the proteins, which cause inflammation. It also enhances the body's ability to get rid of inflammation. It is found to relieve chronic pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids
These acids are known to be of great use for natural pain relief. Omega-3 essential fatty acids are broken down by the body into anti-inflammatory compounds. Hence, a number of people affected by chronic pain are recommended a daily dose of these acids. It is noted that if your diet does not have sufficient quantity of omega-3 fatty acids, the inflammation and pain will be more. Therefore, you can also intake these acids through the consumption of flaxseed, and fish like salmon and mackerel.
Ginger root contains enzymes, which curb the compounds that cause inflammation. However, the quantity of ginger will have to be at least 2 grams in your daily diet. You can divide this quantity in your meals.
This is a South African herbal remedy, which is beneficial in treating lower-back pain and arthritis. The root of this herb contains chemicals called iridoid glycosides that are responsible for the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. However, if you suffer from stomach ulcers, you will need to consult your health care professional before you choose this painkiller to alleviate your pain.
Very few people are aware of the fact that olive oil acts just like the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. You will however, have to use extra-virgin olive oil for the same. It cannot relieve you of headaches, but it is said to have long-lasting effects like ibuprofen.
New research has shown that the consumption of about 20 tart cherries helps a great deal in alleviating pain, especially in cases of gout and arthritis. These cherries are rich in Vitamin E and also have antioxidant properties.
Pain Relievers: Topical Use
Epsom salt has been used since the ancient times as bath salt. This salt is easily absorbed in to the skin. To get relief from pain, you will have to put some epsom salt in warm water and let this water run over the painful area. It is especially useful in alleviating pain caused due to fibromyalgia and osteoporosis.
It is known to have analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and calming properties. It is very commonly used in aromatherapy. You can use lavender oil to alleviate pain in the muscle, bone, and joint.
This herb is commonly used in topical pain relievers. It can be used orally too. Today, there are homeopathic Arnica tablets available everywhere in the market, thanks to its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is useful to treat minor injuries, bruising, and osteoarthritis.
The hot sensation in chili peppers is caused by the compound called capsaicin. It is used in topical treatment for musculoskeletal pain and neuropathic pain. It causes burning sensation on application; however, the pain and burning sensation go away after some time.
Mother nature has given us so many natural resources for pain relief, and we should utilize them to our benefits. It is, however, recommended that you consult your health care professional before you try any one of these. There are chances of you being allergic to some of the compounds in them. At the same time, you will also have to ensure that they do not interact with any of the medications you are already taking.
Disclaimer: This HolisticZine article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.