- Devil’s Claw
- White Willow Bark
- Cat’s Claw
- Valerian Root
- Essential Oils
- TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)
- PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy)
- Hot & Cold Compresses
- Stroke And Heart Attack Risk Go Up When Taking NSAIDS
- Your Gut Lining Is Damaged By NSAIDS
- Your Gut Microbiome Is Negatively Affected By NSAIDS
Our modern society has grown so used to choosing over-the-counter drugs for virtually every ailment imaginable. No matter how small, even a minor headache gets treated with Tylenol or Ibuprofen most of the time.
So many of us have all but forgotten (or maybe never even known) that there are other, more natural ways to relieve pain. Natural alternatives that have very few, if any, side effects whatsoever. Most of them come with no risk at all and work often work just as well.
You don’t need a prescription to try these 18 herbal pain relief alternatives.
In Part 1, we discuss 11 herbal pain relief options. Part 2 lists 4 non-herbal but still natural ways to relieve pain. And Part 3 discusses why you should consider choosing natural pain relief methods over pain medications.
Herbal Medicine To Relieve Pain (18 Proven Alternatives To Pills) – Part 1
All of these can be taken in different ways, including topically or in supplement form.
Bromelain is an enzyme that reduces inflammation and promotes the healing of connective tissue. It’s primarily extracted from the stems of pineapples. The reason it has the effect that it does on inflammation is because it decreases the hormone prostaglandins in the body. This is the hormone behind inflammation.
What type of people benefit the most from bromelain? People with musculoskeletal tension and arthritis. Also, people with inflammation related to trauma are known to see really good results from taking this enzyme.
2. Devil’s Claw
This is an herb that soothes pain. Specifically, pain associated with neck and back issues, tendonitis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
It’s mostly found in South Africa. There’s a lot of studies that back up the effectiveness of devil’s claw. Some proponents of this herbal medicine to relieve pain report that it’s allowed them to not need traditional meds at all.
3. White Willow Bark
This bark from white willow trees does a great job relieving pain because it contains lots of salicin. Salicin is a compound found almost primarily in white willow bark. History shows us that it’s been utilized for centuries as a pain reliever.
When salicin reaches the stomach, it turns into what’s referred to as salicylic acid. It calms fevers, reduces inflammation, and of course relieves pain. Did you know that salicylic acid is the primary component of Aspirin?
Indian frankincense is another name for this plant. The resin of this plant has shown to be a great pain and inflammation reliever.
Another plant, cat’s claw is found mostly in South America, predominantly in the Amazon rainforest. It’s full of anti-inflammatory agents.
It’s a thick, woody vine with lots of little horn-like protrusions on the surface.
With this one in particular, you need to make sure you’re taking the proper and precise dosage. Consider speaking with someone with knowledge in the field of natural medicine before taking it. Don’t create your own idea of how much you should take. There can be unwanted side effects otherwise.
Magnesium is a chemical element that is extremely helpful. It relieves fibromyalgia, muscle spasms, and migraines.
Though certainly anyone can benefit from taking this herbal medicine to relieve pain, people who are experiencing health issues resulting from heavy drinking can really benefit. That’s because alcohol lowers the magnesium levels in your body. Also, pumpkin and sunflower seeds contain high amounts of it.
7. Valerian Root
Valerian root has a nickname: nature’s tranquilizer. The reason for this nickname is because it reduces nerve sensitivity. Valerian root is popular among people who suffer from anxiety, stress, irritability, tension, body aches, and insomnia.
A lot of people take this as a tea.
This is the active component in all kinds of chili peppers. Though it acts as an irritant, it’s also a topical remedy. When your body feels pain, there’s a chemical called substance P that’s involved in the brain signals that tell you’re body “ouch, that hurts”. Capsaicin stops that chemical.
This is why this herbal medicine to relieve pain works so well for joints, muscles, and nerves that hurt. Applying it in a cream or gel for is very common.
Turmeric is a spice derived from a flowering plant in the ginger family. Many believe turmeric to be the most beneficial supplement of all.
It addition to decreasing inflammation, studies show that turmeric does other things like prevent blood clotting, improve circulation, decreases cancer risk, and lowering the number of many negative enzymes in the body.
Along with turmeric, many people call ginger the best herbal medicine to relieve pain there is. It’s proven in many cases to be more effective than many over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen, Advil, and Tylenol when it comes to pain relief.
Ginger doesn’t just block inflammatory compounds from forming. It also uses its antioxidant effects to provide even more benefits. It breaks down fluid that forms in joints, for example, which decreases inflammation very well.
11. Essential Oils
Many of the herbs we’ve mentioned here can be taken in essential oil form. But there so many other essential oils that provide pain relief in so many areas. Sage, lavender, and chamomile, for instance, calms down the mind and relaxes muscles.
You can even use the essential oil form of these herbs as an aromatherapy to relieve stress. Relieving stress is a great way to get pain relief.
Herbal Medicine To Relieve Pain (18 Proven Alternatives To Pills) – Part 2
Here are 4 other pain relief methods that aren’t herbal but are still wonderful, natural ways that don’t involve pain meds. Sometimes people refer to these types of methods as biohacks.
12. TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)
Mild electrical currents are sent through your soft tissue and your muscle to relieve inflammation and pain. How does TENS it work? The currents stimulate endorphins that relieve pain. They also stimulate repair compounds.
13. PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy)
Similar in some ways to TENS, PEMF uses electromagnetic pulses. They’re sent through your tissue, the effects of which stimulate healing compounds. Specifically ones that repair and reduce inflammation.
This method is popular among people looking for relief from torn cartilage, fractures, and other similar conditions. It’s often suggested by surgeons as a post-op way to alleviate pain.
Athletes even use it because it helps them recover from workouts faster.
14. Hot & Cold Compresses
Don’t forget about simple hot and cold compresses. It’s so simple but works so well. Inflammation is decreased as a result of the hot-to-cold-to-hot temperature changes. It keeps the swelling and inflammation down as it decreases blood flow to injuries.
This could be described as a cold compress on a much higher level. You get into a cryotherapy chamber and are exposed to sudden cold temperatures. Cold-shock proteins are released as a result of the intense cold exposure.
It speeds up the body’s healing process, helping you recover faster and getting rid of inflammation. There are so many confirmed, far-reaching benefits of cryotherapy.
Herbal Medicine To Relieve Pain (18 Proven Alternatives To Pills) – Part 3
So, why should you even consider the options we’ve been discussing? Why not just take the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen? Here are three reasons why.
By the way, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is shortened to NSAIDs.
16. Stroke And Heart Attack Risk Go Up When Taking NSAIDS
Not only that, but they do damage to your heart. Some people react more severely than others, but it’s significant enough that the FDA has issued two warnings about it. One in 2005 and another, stronger one in 2015.
Some of these studies even suggest that the more you take them, the more at risk you become. You would assume that the legality of these over-the-counter drugs would be altered somewhat. Especially since the FDA strengthened their warning 10 years after issuing the first one. But they didn’t.
We highly suggest that you not take NSAIDS to relieve pain. They aren’t natural and they cause too many negative side effects.
17. Your Gut Lining Is Damaged By NSAIDS
It’s likely that many of you reading this have experienced gut discomfort after taking aspirin or ibuprofen. But perhaps you thought it was just the medicine working.
No. It’s not just the medicine working. It is the medicine doing damage to your gut. Though they reduce inflammation, they simultaneously eat away at your gut lining.
If you have a bottle of some of these pills, go grab it and look at the label. Somewhere, it will say something about how the product may cause bleeding, ulcers, and even holes in the intestine and stomach. Seriously, it’s on the bottle.
People who make a habit of taking these pills a lot are at high risk of damaging the inside of their body.
These meds are created to block a compound called prostaglandins which makes inflammation happen. But this compound isn’t all bad. In fact, it does something good. It protects your stomach lining.
When NSAIDS block all of these prostaglandins, your stomach becomes at risk of breaking down over time. Intestines have been known to become permeable which contaminates your blood. This is not good and can lead to things like leaky gut syndrome as well as many autoimmune problems.
Some people say they heard that these side effects only happen to people who are constantly taking NSAIDs on a daily basis. This is not true. On the contrary. There are more examples of people’s health getting better after abstaining from NSAIDs.
There may be a time and a place for NSAIDs, say, directly after surgery. But even then, it proposes serious risks. It’s just that for every day aches and pains, they are too strong.
18. Your Gut Microbiome Is Negatively Affected By NSAIDS
Studies show that people who use NSAIDS on a regular basis experience serious changes in gut bacteria. Two of the biggest culprits here are Celebrex (a drug for arthritis) and Ibuprofen.
These negative changes in your gut bacteria are know to cause urinary tract infections, respiratory infections, skin infections, and eye infections. Among other side effects.
Ingesting something that simultaneously hurts your gut microbiome and your gut lining is obviously not good for you.
Herbal Medicine To Relieve Pain (18 Proven Alternatives To Pills) – Conclusion
There is so much information online and so much available literature on herbal medicine to relieve pain. If you have more questions, contact us and we’d be happy to talk to you.
Try some of these methods if you haven’t already and experience for yourself how much better you feel. Put yourself on the road to natural healing!