Natural Pain Killers
Put those pills down! When you get a headache or other pain, reach for a pleasant snack or drink instead. Natural pain killers are effective and safe.
We all have pain now and then, from an aching back or head to a sprained ankle or overworked shoulders, pain is a part of life. When it interrupts your work or other responsibilities or makes it hard to sleep, don't reach for the pain relief pills. Commercial versions of pain killing compounds often have long lasting side effects and they can be expensive, too.
Instead, take a trip to the grocery store and find relief naturally and pleasantly.
Almonds: These popular nuts contain salicin, an ingredient in aspirin which relieves pain. Anywhere from five to twelve almonds are recommended for pain relief, including headache, arthritis and sprains - indeed, almonds are included in some pain relief formulas. Raw is best, but any form of almond will work as long as it's real almond. (They've also been shown to help regulate blood pressure and to help lower cholesterol levels.) Other nuts that may help, especially for arthritis, include peanuts and hazel nuts, due to high levels of boron. Listen to your body, though, because sometimes introducing or increasing the intake of certain foods can cause problems, too.
Willow bark: Native Americans used the bark of white willow to ease toothaches, headaches and other aches and pains and you can, too. White willow bark has acetylsalicylic acid in its natural form and works quickly when ingested in a tea. You can buy shredded white willow bark bulk in health stores and make your tea from it. Pour a cup of boiling water over a generous teaspoon of bark and let it steep 5 to 10 minutes. Strain and add sweetener if you like it that way. Drink a cup every two to three hours when needed.
Cold or heat: If you've ever had a sprained muscle, you probably know how a change in temperature can help. Heat will relax muscle spasms and tension and thus, relieve pain. Cold helps tissues contract to rid themselves of fluid which manifests itself as swelling. When swelling goes down, tension and pressure on the surrounding area goes away and relieves pain. Some kinds of pain like a sprained tendon react well to alternating hot and cold compresses, but use whichever sounds better. Your body knows what it needs.
Turmeric: Turmeric is the spice that give curry it yellow color. Turmeric contains compounds called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin, which is the main active ingredient found in turmeric. Turmeric (curcumin) is a great painkiller due to its powerful anti-inflammatory effects and it is also a strong antioxidant.
Turmeric is a natural analgesic activity, which can reduce or get of pain and swelling for a number of medical conditions including arthritis. Many people that use turmeric state that they feel much better and can move without pain.
You can put turmeric in foods, but not much of the curcumin is absorbed, so taking a turmeric supplement is the best way to get enough turmeric. Having black pepper with turmeric enhances the absorption the absorption of turmeric and many times pepper or BioPerine will be found in turmeric supplements. Gaia is one of the best brands for a turmeric supplement.
Other natural remedies include herbs and spices that work the same way as NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen. While these drugs are readily available in most places, the use of herbs and spices provides a natural, effective and safe way to address pain.
It's thought by some that an herb has a fuller approach to pain because it has a full complement of nutrients, enzymes, vitamins and minerals to help the body heal. Some of these include rosemary, ginger and green tea. One will work better on a specific pain than others, so you may have to experiment.
A caution is in order. If you have kidney malfunction or dysfunction or are on dialysis, NSAIDs are poison to your system and you should avoid these products. Products with naturally occurring non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are generally thought to be safer, but you should limit their use.
The next time you wake up with a pain or you injure yourself, don't reach for the pills. Just go to the kitchen and have a pleasant snack or drink.