Most people manage pain by popping pain killers, yet they don’t understand the detrimental impact it has on other organs within the body. There’s no point in solving one problem, only to create ten more.
Recent studies have proven that drugs like Acetaminophen (Tylenol/Paracetamol), are extremely hepato-toxic, meaning that it destroys your liver. Ibuprofen basically obliterates your digestive tract and causes internal hemorrhaging. Morphine can constipate you for weeks and oxycontin causes seizures, infertility, impotence and can actually cause stomach pain.
Stay away from the pharmaceutical pain killers unless you are absolutely desperate. Instead, solve your problem by consuming things that are all-around beneficial to your health.
Both a potent anti-inflammatory and pain killer, Turmeric has proven to be highly effective in treating many types of pain including muscle pain, headaches (1), and injury-related pain as well as chronic diseases like Fibromyalgia (2), Rheumatoid Arthritis (3), and Osteoarthritis (3). Turmeric can be added to your diet or taken in a dose of no more than half a teaspoon at a time.
A lot of people are taking very high doses of turmeric and are unaware (due to lack of proper research) that this is quite dangerous. In the west, Turmeric is a new thing. In the east, it’s quite old. Turmeric has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic Medicine and Ayurvedic doctors are well aware of the effects of overusing turmeric and believe me, you do not want to experience it. Use it safely. There are literally tons of research on Turmeric and its active ingredient “curcumin” proving its efficacy in reducing pain and inflammation.
2. White Willow Bark
A pain killer that is considered to be the best alternative to Aspirin, this herb has been clinically tested for treating various kinds of pain including headaches/migraines (4), lower back pain (5), and Osteoarthritis (6). This herb may also assist in Fibromyalgia (based on my experience). The key ingredient in White Willow Bark is “Salicin” which functions a lot like Aspirin. Just like Aspirin, White Willow Bark must be used with caution as it slows down blood clotting.
3. Essential Oils
Clove oil is well known for its ability to treat toothaches (7), however, it can be used for pain elsewhere as well. Eucalyptus oil inhalation can reduce pain sensitivity and has proven to do so in patients who underwent total knee replacement (8). Rosemary oil can also reduce pain when treating opioid addiction withdrawal (9). Lavender oil is effective in the acute management of migraine headaches (10). Keep in mind that essential oils must always be used with a carrier oil such as coconut or almond oil.
When it comes to abdominal pain and menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea), ginger may be your best solution (11). Ginger is not only a powerful anti-inflammatory and pain reliever but also a carminative-meaning it promotes the expulsion of gas/air within the digestive tract. This can relieve pressure in the abdominal organs including the uterus. Ginger is also exceptional for treating muscle pain, especially after exercise (12). Clinical trials have also demonstrated ginger’s potential for treating migraines (13, 14).
Other Natural Pain killers
– Cats Claw – Rheumatoid Arthritis (15)
– Ashwagandha – Knee Pain (16)
– Feverfew – Headaches & Migraines (17)
– Butterbur – Headaches & Migraines (18)
– Stinging Nettle – Osteoarthritis (19) & Musculoskeletal Pain (20)
– Chamomile – Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (21), Mastalgia (22), Migraine (23)
Therapies and Exercise
One of the most effective methods of treating muscular pain without drugs is to properly stretch those muscles and improve circulation in the area. Every Yoga posture has therapeutic benefits. I have used Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) to treat a wide variety of illnesses in my patients. Menstrual pain, for example, can be eased with postures like Cobra Pose, Cat Pose, Fish Pose (24). Yogic breathing exercises like Alternative Nostril Breathing has been used to effectively and quickly treat headaches. In Fibromyalgia, classical yoga has proven to be highly effective (28).
According to Dr. Weil, “Massage therapy has been shown to boost levels of endorphins and serotonin—the body’s natural painkillers and mood regulators—and to reduce stress hormone levels.” In clinical studies, massage therapy has been effective in treating endometriosis (25), neck pain (26) and lower back pain (27). Massage has been used in Ayurveda for treating pain and has had magnificent results. However, Ayurvedic massage involves the use of certain oils, some of which have been infused with medicinal plants. The most common Ayurvedic oils used for treating pain are known as “Bala Tailam” & “Ashwagandha-Bala Tailam“. Unfortunately, these oils might be difficult to get, but, you may use plain Sesame Seed Oil (Preferably Black Sesame seed oil). This oil alone can aid in reducing pain and improving circulation.
Many Chiropractors, massage therapists, and Alternative medical practitioners swear by it. Acupressure is extremely effective in treating a wide range of musculoskeletal disorders such as lower back pain (29) as well as problems related to specific organs such as dysmenorrhea (30). Don’t forget, it’s extremely relaxing and a powerful tool for relieving stress and tension.
Other activities and treatments that can aid in relieving pain include:
– Acupuncture, etc.
(Always use medicinal herbs under the supervision of a doctor)
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by Dr. Nishal R.