Top 8 Herbal Pain Relievers

You’ve most likely experienced serious pain at some point in your life. Chronic pain in particular, can be debilitating and cause sleepless nights. In the United States alone, 50 to 80 million adults are affected by pain that lasts at least 6 months.

Whether chronic or acute, mild or severe, pain can be a symptom of something more serious. Repeatedly ignoring pain can lead to more serious health issues affecting your immunity, liver and kidney function.

If you choose the more common painkillers, however, such as Ibuprofen  which can cause more pain both in your budget and in other areas of your body. Continued dependence on medications is expensive and puts you more at risk for side effects from gastrointestinal discomfort to severe liver damage and failure.

You will be relieved to know there are many herbs considered beneficial for natural pain relief. Nature has provided ways to combat pain, reduce inflammation or stimulate the brain’s healing mechanism. While these herbs may not be as fast acting as your typical painkiller, they do their jobs safer and with longer lasting results. There are many, but we chose the top most commonly used herbs which are also readily available.

Ginger

Talk about finding a pain relieving herb right in your kitchen! An anti-inflammatory herb used by the Chinese since ancient times, ginger targets pain caused by arthritis, headaches, menstrual cramps and muscle soreness. The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger were widely recognized in a study in 2005 that demonstrated its effectiveness over other anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin.

Apply thin slices of fresh ginger directly to the affected area or boil the root and sip it as a tea. Grate an inch long piece of ginger root into a warm bath to help cleanse the upper respiratory system.

Oregano

If you are in pain, oregano is definitely one of the best herbs to take into your food. This powerful herb is known for its anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. In fact, it contains 32 anti-inflammatory compounds.  Oregano is also a good source of a variety of health nutrients which include iron, copper, potassium, calcium, niacin, manganese, zinc and Vitamins E, C and A.

Since the start of the 5th century, oregano has been widely used by the Mediterranean culture in treating diarrhea, stomach pain and other health conditions. It is believed that this herb is capable of alleviating the pain suffered by people with sciatica, joint pain, muscle spasms, backache and other chronic pain illnesses.

White Willow

Available in extracts or as tea, white willow contains the substance – acetylsalicylic acid – used to make aspirin. The Chinese have used it since 500 B.C., and it is one of the first all-natural homemade pain remedies. Use it to alleviate back, osteo-arthritic and nerve pain. It actually mimics the healing powers of aspirin in a gradual manner, without the common side effects of aspirin.

Turmeric

Another easily accessible herb, as it’s the same spice found in curry. Turmeric, with its active compound, curcumin, is potent due to its ability to improve blood circulation and reduce clotting. Its most common use is for a sprain, a bruise, inflamed joints, or even suffering from skin and digestive issues.

Valerian

Because of its ability to calm the nervous system, this herbal root promotes sleep and is also a natural pain reliever. Aside from remedying insomnia, tension and anxiety, it can reduce nerve sensitivity to drive down pain. Valerian can be taken as tea or as a supplement.

Fennel

This powerful herb is known to contain 27 antispasmodic and 16 analgesic chemicals. Researchers discovered that this herb is capable of treating a wide range of illness because of its antispasmodic properties. These conditions include gout, colic, gas, spasms and cramps.

For women with menstrual cramps, fennel’s spasmodic properties help in relaxing the muscles of the body, especially those found in the uterus.

When used as a compress, fennel makes an excellent treatment for inflammation of the eyelids, and conjunctivitis. When used as oil, it helps in easing rheumatic and muscular pains.

Clove

This herb makes a very popular home treatment for toothaches. In fact, many over-the counter (OTC) pain relievers and mouthwash today feature clove as one of its ingredients. Clove is known for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It offers a great deal of relief to people who suffer from painful gums and teeth. It is also rich in eugenol compound,  known to be effective in reducing inflammation, pain and killing bacteria. According to some, chewing a clove leaf helps in reducing inflammation, combating bacterial infection as well as numbing pain.

Licorice

This herb is probably one of the most popular natural treatments for pain. Licorice helps in preventing the side effects of cortisol, such as anxiety and fatigue. It also helps in treating inflammation and pain caused by stomach ulcer, gastritis, eczema, bronchitis, arthritis, sore throat and heartburn. By reducing the inflammation associated with stomach ulcer, it stimulates the production of mucin, which protects the mucous membranes of the digestive tract against the painful side effects of stomach acid.

Licorice is an excellent herb however, it is not recommended for people diagnosed with hypertension.

*Thanks to the following references:

prevention.com/mind-body/natural-remedies/pain-remedies

doctoroz.com/blog/herbs-natural-pain-relief

altmedicine.about.com/od/healthconditionsdisease

 

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