If you live with pain, adding herbs to your treatment regimen may help ease your discomfort, especially when combined with regular exercise, diet, and relaxation techniques.
Inflammation is the root of many pain-causing conditions, such as arthritis, back pain, and tendonitis. Long-term inflammation puts you at risk for chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
What is inflammation?
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to infection, injury or disease. Your immune system sends chemicals in your blood to your injured or infected area. These chemicals create “good” inflammation to protect your body from foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses.
However, sometimes, the body sends these chemicals when you don’t have a problem. Other times, the inflammatory process lasts longer than it needs to be. This “bad” type of inflammation, called chronic inflammation, is associated with long-term pain or health problems.
This article looks at six herbs that are commonly used for natural pain relief. It explains the scientific research associated with specific health claims, as well as warnings about when herbal remedies should be avoided.
white willow bark
contains an aspirin-like compound called salicin, white willow bark has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for inflammation and pain. Research suggests that taking willow bark may be as effective as taking regular anti-inflammatory medications in relieving knee pain and musculoskeletal pain.
In addition to salicin, willow bark also contains a Polyphenols and flavonoids. These plant compounds are an important part of a healthy diet because they support essential bodily functions. They have also been shown to significantly reduce inflammation.
Researchers believe that the combination of materials in willow bark can effectively treat headaches, relieve muscle pain and calm inflammation. It doesn’t seem to help with fever, though.
White willow bark also relieves acute back pain, joint pain, and osteoarthritis. However, like aspirin, bark may cause stomach upset, affect kidney function, prolong bleeding time, and increase bleeding risk. In addition, children should not use.
Natural Ways to Relieve Osteoarthritis Pain
mastic Resin from the bark of Boswellia. Bosella oil is used in the manufacture of food, cosmetics, soaps and beverages. However, when medication is used for pain relief, it is usually taken by mouth as a pill.
Practitioners of Ayurveda from India have long used Bosella for joint and muscle pain relief. Modern scientists find reason to believe in this practice. Research shows that frankincense can reduce pain and improve mobility in people with osteoarthritis.
Additionally, a cream made from frankincense oil has been shown to help relieve painful skin lesions from radiation therapy for cancer.
Traditionally used for rheumatoid arthritis, South African herb magic claw also relieves pain from osteoarthritis, tendonitis, and back and neck problems, according to proponents.
Research shows that devil’s claw contains powerful analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. It has been shown to improve symptoms of arthritis and pain. People report that taking it improves their quality of life and ability to live with certain conditions.
Bromelain reduces the levels of hormones in the body that control inflammation.These hormones, called prostaglandintriggering inflammation and continuing.
Studies have shown that bromine may benefit people with arthritis and conditions related to musculoskeletal tension, such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome. The temporomandibular joint can cause pain around the jaw and surrounding areas, including the ears and eyes.
Bromelain may also help those with inflammation from accidents or physical trauma. It promotes the healing of muscles and connective tissue.
Bromelain is extracted from the stems of pineapples. While the flesh of pineapples does contain small amounts of bromelain, this is not enough for medicinal purposes. Usually, it is given to patients with inflammation or infection in pill or tablet form.
Another popular Ayurvedic spice, turmeric contains an antioxidant compound called Curcumin.
Curcumin has been shown to reduce pain by acting on the nervous system. Animal-based studies also show some preliminary evidence that the spice can control inflammatory proteins called cytokines. When cytokines are out of control, a condition called cytokine storm syndrome can occur. This is associated with severe disease and inflammation.
Turmeric properties may also help reduce pain associated with two common conditions:
- Autoimmune diseases: These diseases occur when the immune system attacks healthy body tissues or organs like viruses, bacteria, and foreign substances.Examples include Type 1 disease and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditisthe most common cause of hypothyroidism.
- Tendonitis: A condition in which the tendons that connect muscles and bones become inflamed, causing pain and difficulty moving.
Turmeric Pain Relief
While drinking ginger tea can help relieve congestion caused by a cold, supplementing with ginger may help relieve pain. Research has shown that ginger can relieve arthritis pain by reducing prostaglandin levels.
A 2015 study even showed that ginger can reduce pain and inflammation as effectively as NSAIDs such as aspirin, but further research is needed.
White willow bark, turmeric, and ginger contain natural blood-thinning compounds, so people taking many common medications and supplements, as well as those about to undergo surgery, should be careful and discuss these supplements with their doctor.
The researchers took a closer look at certain herbal remedies that traditional healers often tout as pain relievers.
In research, some of these have shown the potential to really help relieve arthritis pain and other conditions caused by inflammation. White willow bark, frankincense, devil’s claw, bromelain, turmeric and ginger have all shown potential to help relieve pain.
However, some are not suitable for children. In some cases, these herbal remedies may interact with other medications you take, so be sure to discuss these remedies with your doctor.