Pain is the unpleasant sensation associated with physical injuries and several medical conditions. A number of chemicals or neurotransmitters are responsible for carrying the pain signals to the brain.
However, our body also produces several other chemicals that can act like natural painkillers. Serotonin, norepinephrine, endorphins, and enkephalins are some chemicals and neurotransmitters synthesized by our body that can work like analgesics or painkillers. Certain herbs can also help reduce pain and inflammation.
Herbs for Pain Relief
Aspirin is one of the most common painkillers that work by reducing the level of pain-producing chemicals found in our body. The same effect can be produced by some herbs that can reduce pain and inflammation without producing the usual side effects associated with the long-term use of painkillers.
It has antibacterial and antifungal properties, for which this herb is used for alleviating a number of ailments, including fever, bronchitis, headaches, and nasal congestion. Spearmint oil has strong anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties, and so, it can be used for relieving pain.
It is more commonly used to relieve headaches, as well as muscle and joint pain. Apart from providing relief in pain, this oil can alleviate several other health problems, like respiratory problems, fever, diabetes, and dental problems.
Peppermint is another herb that belongs to the mint family. It is quite popular as a flavoring agent in confectionery, ice creams, and toothpastes. Peppermint is one of the oldest herbs to be used for medicinal purposes.
Like spearmint oil, peppermint oil has antispasmodic and analgesic properties. It can be used to relieve abdominal cramps, headaches, and menstrual cramps. Apart from these, it can be used for conditions like indigestion, vomiting, nausea, and nasal congestion.
The meadowsweet plant is quite popular among herbalists as a natural painkiller that can work just like aspirin. It can reduce pain but without irritating the stomach lining, unlike aspirin.
Studies have revealed that meadowsweet can protect the stomach from ulcers and irritation, and therefore, it is sometimes recommended for stomach ulcers as well. But before taking any kind of herbal medicine, it is better to talk to a health care professional.
Ginger is a common herb that can be used to ease both pain and inflammation. Ginger oil can provide substantial relief in arthritis, and improve the circulation of blood to the inflamed areas.
Several studies have revealed its effectiveness in relieving the pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. It can also alleviate the pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis, without causing any serious side effects.
Wintergreen oil is a natural analgesic that is commonly used for joint and muscle pain. It has been approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) as an over-the-counter analgesic that can be used for external application. Like ginger, wintergreen oil has shown efficacy in relieving arthritis pain due to its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
The oil extracted from these herbs can help reduce muscle and joint pain, stomach cramps, headaches, and even painful arthritis. Their external use is quite safe and is not associated with any major side effects.
But, excessive consumption of certain herbs may cause some side effects, especially in the long run. So, it is not advisable to ingest them for medicinal purposes without consulting a herbalist or health care professional.
Apart from these natural oils, you can also apply cold and hot packs on the affected area to get relief from mild to moderate pain. The application of heat stimulates blood circulation and increases the flow of oxygen to the affected area. On other hand, ice can help reduce inflammation and pain, as it works like a local anesthetic.
Disclaimer: This write-up is for informative purposes only, and should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice.