Herbal Pain Medications
Natural Ways to Relieve Pain
Everyone suffers from aches and pains at some point, and they can be caused by a variety of things. However, while there are prescription and over-the-counter medications available for them, more people are moving away from these potentially harmful treatments. These substances carry the potential for unpleasant and sometimes life-threatening side effects. In the case of prescription drugs, dependency is also a risk. Before you head to your local pharmacy to pick up a bottle of ibuprofen or that codeine prescription, consider trying some of these herbal pain medications first.
Used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine for over 4,000 years, cayenne pepper is one of the most effective natural pain remedies available. Capsaicin, the chemical in peppers that make them hot, works both topically and internally to fight inflammation and block pain receptors. Because capsaicin improves blood circulation, it's also helpful for easing sore, stiff muscles.
Another herb that's long been popular in Ayurveda is turmeric. In fact, this bright yellow spice may already be familiar to you, as it's responsible for the color of mustard and many other foods. Like cayenne, turmeric stops inflammation, assists healthy blood flow and prevents clotting. This makes it a fantastic for use with broken bones, sprains and vascular injuries.
Bromelain is an enzyme naturally found in pineapple, and it's effectiveness is bar-none. Bromelain has been shown to be more helpful at relieving aches and pains than NSAID drugs, but without all the nasty side effects. However, there is a catch. In order to be truly effective, bromelain must be taken on an empty stomach.
Vitamin C, the mother of all antioxidants, is found in a wide array of foods and herbs. Because it's so good at reducing inflammation, it's excellent at treating all types of pain. Furthermore, vitamin C is necessary for collagen production, which is what makes up your body's joints and connective tissues. Taking vitamin C helps the body repair these tissues faster and makes them stronger, which helps ease and prevent the pain of joint and tendon injuries.
Cloves contain an oil known as eugenol, and it's long been a primary medicine for treating tooth pain. Eugenol works to block pain signals to nerves, and is also an antiseptic that helps prevent infections. However, it's not just good for toothaches. Using it in a diluted form as massage oil can also relieve muscle soreness
Feverfew, which is in the daisy family, has traditionally been used to reduce fevers and treat headaches. The next time you have a head cold try brewing a cup and see how much better you feel.
If you've ever battled backyard weeds, then you're probably already familiar with wild lettuce. The plant looks a lot like an overgrown dandelion, growing between three and five feet tall, and has similar flowers. Another name for wild lettuce is opium lettuce, so named because of its opium-like ability to kill pain.
This splendid, sweet-smelling flower is an ages-old remedy for painful inflammation of the skin. It is used to treat sun burns, bug bites, abrasions, burns and even varicose veins.