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Top 15 Herbs For Natural Pain Relief (We Can’t Get Enough Of #5)
There isn’t a person on this planet who hasn’t experienced some type of pain at some point in their lives. We are born in pain and will no doubt experience pain on some level throughout our lives.
Chronic pain, which is defined as pain lasting a minimum of six months, can be the most debilitating of all. It causes sleepless nights, moodiness, lack of energy, and puts a great deal of stress on the body. There are estimates that claim more than 80 million adults in America have chronic pain. This costs more than $100 billion in healthcare funds every year.
Even acute pain that is short term is still something no one wants to live with. Pain is usually a signal from your body that something is wrong. Ignoring pain can lead to deadly consequences affecting both mind and body.
Most people turn to over-the-counter pain killers, such as ibuprofen, but these often have their own undesirable consequences, such as a lowered immune system, stomach and kidney malfunction, as well as delivering your liver a difficult punch.
Why deal with the dangerous side effects of synthetic pain killers when there are plenty of herbs that will do the same job without the dangers of pain killers?
Please note that if you are in severe pain, this could indicate that you have a serious medical problem. Please do not self-medicate or self-diagnose: See your doctor for professional advice. If you are taking prescription medications, or if you are under a doctor’s care for any type of health condition, please consult with your physician before consuming any herbal remedies, as there can be serious drug interactions.
This is one of the most common pain relievers for minor pain such as excessive gas, bloating, headaches, muscle pain, skin irritations, toothaches, and joint pain. Peppermint (mentha piperita) is most often consumed as tea. You can also consume supplements after speaking with your doctor about the proper dosage.
Nothing like going right to the kitchen for some pain relief! Ginger is an anti-inflammatory herb that has been used for thousands of years. Ginger is great for headaches, sore muscles, arthritis, and cramps. One 2005 study found that ginger is even more effective than other anti-inflammatory compounds such as aspirin. Most people consume ginger as a tea, but you can also use it as a compress, or add some to a warm bath for instant relief. Be sure to breath in the healing steam when you are making tea!
You have probably seen creams and lotions in your local drug store that contain arnica. This is a terrific herb to rub into the muscles after a hard day of playing sports, or even after muscle injuries. Arnica is a well-known pain reliever popular among yoga instructors and athletes. This flowering herb comes to us from Europe and has powerful anti-inflammatory compounds.
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4. Devil’s Claw
You might wonder how this South African herb got its name — possibly because it has devilishly strong compounds when it comes to fighting pain. Perhaps best known for fighting knee or hip pain, this herb can reduce the pain form osteoarthritis by as much as 25 percent and that most patients regain mobility within just a few weeks, according to recent research. Devil’s claw was found in a 2007 study t have anti-inflammatory and analgesic compounds that was able to reduce the amount of pain medication consumed by subjects who were suffering from back and neck pain by 60 percent by the end of the eight week study period.
Is there anything that this popular spice cannot handle?! Turmeric, used for eons for everything from stopping heart disease to curing stomach ulcers is also a powerful pain reliever. The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, improves blood circulation and reduces blood clotting. That makes turmeric the perfect spice to use when you have inflamed joints, skin problems, digestive pain, sprains, bruises, and muscle pain. Add one tablespoon of turmeric powder to a glass of warm milk and drink once each day.
One of the oldest pain relievers around, wintergreen is commonly used in essential oil form. Wintergreen contains between 85 to 99 percent methyl salicylate, the exact same component found in aspirin. Add three or four drops of wintergreen essential oil to two tablespoon of carrier oil, such as jojoba, coconut, or olive oil and use this as a natural pain relieving rub for sore muscles, sprains, bruises, and even headaches.
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You might know this as a tea used to help you sleep, but the same compounds that make you sleepy will also give you natural pain relief due to their ability to calm the nervous system. Valerian can not only relive insomnia, feelings of anxiety, tension, but it also reduces nerve sensitivity. Valerian is most often consumed as a tea, but it can also be taken as a supplement.
8. Birch Leaf
Birch tree leaves (betula lenta) work in much the same way that cortisone does. This means that it can treat problems such as lupus, skin diseases, autoimmune disorders, endocrine problems, and many more. Birch leaves contain methyl salicylate, which is similar to the salicylic acid found in aspirin. Birch leaves contain anti-spasmodic, antifungal, analgesic, detoxifying, and astringent compounds. These leaves can limit the oxidative damage that causes skin wrinkles, and it improves circulation.
9. White Willow Bark
This must be the oldest pain remedy on the planet. White willow bark has been used since at least 500 B.C. in China, and it is well-known for helping stop back pain, nerve pain, and osteoarthritis pain. White willow bark is often taken as an extract or in a tea form. This is often called Mother Nature’s aspirin. It works the same way but has virtually no side effects.
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10. Burdock Root
Doctors will tell you that one of the best ways to stop pain is to consume more foods and supplements that have essential fatty acids. Burdock root is one of those! This herb has sterols, tannins, and essential fatty acids, which are all powerful anti-inflammatory compounds. Burdock has been used for more than 2,000 years for the treatment of arthritis, gout, rheumatism, and other conditions stimulated by inflammation. Burdock root is most often consumed as tea.
11. Licorice Root
Licorice root is perhaps one of the more popular herbal remedies for pain. Rich in glycyrrhizin, this compound is known to block inflammation, which can relieve pain. Licorice root also helps to prevent the side effects of the stress hormone cortisol, which are fatigue and anxiety. Licorice root acts as a natural corticosteroid in the body, which prevents inflammation. It also reduces free radicals that surround the inflamed area and prevents the production of enzymes that encourage further inflammation. Licorice is most often consumed as a tea, but it can also be consumed as a supplement after speaking to your doctor. Those with high blood pressure should avoid this herbal supplement.
Clove is perhaps best known for relieving the pain of toothaches and mouth pain, but it also has powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory compounds that can’t be beat. Rich in calcium, magnesium, manganese, as well as vitamins C and K, clove also has an ingredient called eugenol, which kills bacteria, relieves inflammation, and stops pain. You can chew cloves or drink several cups of clove tea to help numb pain and stop pain-causing inflammation.
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If you experience chronic pain, or pain on a regular basis, oregano is one of the herbs that you should be adding to your diet. This is a potent herb when it comes of fighting inflammation. Oregano also has anti-spasmodic and analgesic compounds. In fact, oregano has more than 30 anti-inflammatory compounds, which makes this a powerful pain-relieving agent. Oregano has been used by the Mediterranean people since the 5th century to fight stomach pain, diarrhea, and other health problems such as back pain, muscle spasms, joint pain, sciatica, and other types of chronic pain.
Ladies, if you regularly suffer from monthly menstrual cramps, this herb is the one for you! Fennel has more than 25 antispasmodic elements and 16 pain-killing compounds. Fennel is related to carrots and parsley and is often used in cooking. Fennel is also good for stopping the pain caused by gas, colic, gout, and stomach cramps. You can make a strong tea with fennel and use this in a compress or drink fennel tea several times a day for pain relief.
Although technically not an herb, the active ingredient found in hot chili peppers, capsaicin, desensitizes nerve receptors that cause the pain response in the body. Capsaicin can also decrease soreness for as many as three to five weeks before those nerve receptors, called C-fibers, regain feeling. One study showed that a single 60-minute application given to subjects suffering from neuropathic pain produced pain relief that lasted as many as 12 weeks! There are numerous creams and lotions available in almost all health food stores that contain capsaicin.
There are more herbs that can control pain, as well as numerous essential oils. Please consult your doctor before stopping any medication or before consuming any herbal products.