Pain pills have become a mainstay in our medicine cabinets, from the seemingly harmless Advil to the more powerful anti-inflammatory medications like Celebrex. Statistics show that Americans consume 80% of the world’s pain medications.
The major problem with painkillers is that many of them have serious short and long term side effects. Oftentimes, people who take pills for chronic ailments tend to get addicted to them.
This is why many people these days are turning to alternative remedies for pain relief and management.
Herbal remedies are a safe and effective alternative to traditional pain medications. They relieve pain, reduce inflammation, improve circulation, address the underlying causes of pain related disorders, and improve overall health.
Given below is a list of herbs for pain that are known for their pain-relieving properties.
White Willow Bark
The bark of the willow tree is known for its amazing pain-relieving properties. It contains a compound called salicin, which is very similar to aspirin. It is commonly used to treat headache, cramps, muscle pain, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.
It contains a class of compounds called iridoid glycosides, which are known for their powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It is very effective in reducing inflammation, swelling, and pain. It is also known to increase mobility in people with osteoarthritis and joint pain. It is used in the treatment of muscle pain, tendonitis, arthritis, gout, and migraine.
It is an active compound present in turmeric. It is a highly potent anti-inflammatory agent. It reduces inflammation by inhibiting the production of cytokines, a class of pro-inflammatory proteins. It is particularly effective in reducing arthritis pain. Experts say that it is as effective as NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) in terms of treating the pain associated with autoimmune disorders. They also say that people who take turmeric regularly find it easier to get off NSAIDS completely.
It is native to India and has been used by ayurvedic practitioners for ages to treat a wide range of chronic inflammatory disorders. It contains boswellic acid, which is anti-inflammatory in nature. A study shows that boswellia can reduce pain index by up to 90% and increase joint function considerably.
St. John’s Wort
It is used to treat nerve pain and fibromyalgia. It also improves wound healing and reduces scar formation.
It is a natural muscle relaxant. It is used to treat muscle and joint pain. It is also a mild sedative. It relieves stress, relaxes your body, and induces sleep.
It is an extremely powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Studies show that it is more effective than NSAIDS in treating pain and inflammation. NSAIDS only inhibit the formation of inflammatory compounds. Ginger, on the other hand, not only prevents the formation of inflammatory compounds, but also breaks down the acidity and inflammation already existing in the synovial fluid. So, it is extremely effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
It is one of the most commonly used herbs for pain relief and management. It contains an analgesic compound named helenin, which relieves pain and inflammation.
It is the key ingredient in hot peppers. It is used to treat all sorts of pain including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, diabetic neuropathy, back pain, and shingles. When applied to the skin, it first stimulates the pain signals in the body and then inhibits them. So, the pain may increase after the first use, but you will find a considerable reduction in pain once you start using it regularly.
The herbs and spices mentioned above are available in the form of topical creams and stand-alone or multi ingredient supplements. Depending on your condition, you can use them regularly or on an as-and-when-needed basis. It is, however, important to consult your physician before you start using any of these herbs, especially if you have any pre-existing health problems or if you are already on prescription medications.
Other than the aforementioned herbs, you can also add fennel seeds, cloves, licorice, oregano, and green tea to your diet. You can also take fish oil, vitamin D, and magnesium supplements to relieve pain and inflammation.
Once you make the switch from standard pain medications to these herbal remedies, you will not only notice a significant reduction in pain and an increase in mobility, but also a remarkable improvement in your overall health.