Painkillers are one of the biggest and most expensive over-the-counter commodities. You need them for everything, from your little brother’s earache to your grandmother’s rheumatoid arthritis.
And while these medications are effective, they can leave your pockets feeling a little emptier and your health feeling a little strung out. What I mean by this, is that conventional painkillers can be destructive to other parts of the body while healing or soothing the ill part.
So what’s the solution to this? Dr. James A. Duke, author of the Green Pharmacy Guide to Healing Foods says that we can almost always find a plant that has the same healing effects as a pharmaceutical without any of the risk.
Take a look at these ten all-natural pain-relieving substances.
1. Birch Leaf: The leaves from the Birch tree act much like a prescription drug called cortisone. Cortisone is used to treat endocrine disorders, arthritis, lupus, skin disease, autoimmune disorders, and more.
One of the main compounds found in Birch leaves is methyl salicylate, similar to salicylic acid used in aspirin. It is anti-spasmodic, analgesic, astringent, antifungal, diuretic, detoxifier, and it reduces damage to skin as well as enhances circulation. It is truly one of the first powerful pain relievers ever used.
2. Cherries: The presence of compounds called anthocyanins (same nutrients that give cherries their rich red color) gives cherries their pain fighting power.
Doctors say that cherries block inflammation and they inhibit pain enzymes, just like aspirin, naproxen, and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories. Cherries are said to have the highest anti-inflammatory content of any food.
3. Cranberry Juice: Ulcers usually result from a pathogen called H. pylori which attacks the lining of the stomach and small intestines, but cranberry juice can kill it and reduce pain.
Instead of turning to antibiotics, destroy the bacteria causing your ulcers and UTI’s with cranberries.
4. Turmeric: Turmeric contains the compound curcumin, which is an antioxidant that helps protect the body against cell and tissue damage.
Turmeric is used as a treatment for many painful conditions including indigestion, upset stomach, psoriasis, and even cancer. Individuals with osteoarthritis use turmeric as a natural pain reliever because of its many anti-inflammatory properties.
5. Devil’s Claw: This herb treats numerous health conditions such as liver problems and heartburn. It also has anti-inflammatory effects and can reduce pain from arthritis, headaches, and lower back discomfort.
6. Peppermint: Peppermint is much more than tasty leaf that makes good teas, mints, and gums. Peppermint is actually an effective all natural treatment for toothaches, discomfort from bloating and gas, joint conditions, skin irritations, headaches and muscle pain.
7. Wintergreen Essential Oil: Also among natural pain relievers, Wintergreen Essential Oil contains 85-99% of methyl salicylate, the same component in aspirin.
8. White Willow Bark: Willow bark has been used for centuries to ease inflammation. The active ingredient in white willow is salicin, which the body converts into salicylic acid.
What’s more, white willow bark doesn’t upset the stomach or cause internal bleeding like many store-bought drugs. You can use willow bark for relief from menstrual cramps, muscle pains, arthritis.
It can also be used as a post-surgery pain reliever because it promotes blood flow and reduces swelling.
9. Capsaicin: Found in hot chili peppers, capsaicin is an exquisite natural pain reliever. Capsaicin has an active pain-reducing ingredient which temporarily desensitizes nerve receptors (called C-fibers) which cause the pain response. Capsaicin also eliminates soreness. Patients who have used capsaicin decreased their migraine and cluster headaches by applying the herb to their nasal passages.
10. Aquamin: This powerful pain reducer is derived from seaweed. Studies show that individuals who use Aquamin reduced their arthritis by over 20% in just one month. Aquamin not only reduces inflammation but also builds stronger bones because of its magnesium and calcium contents.
Stock up your medicine cabinet with these all natural alternatives the next time you’re feeling achy, or have a headache. Your body will thank you.
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