For many of us, pain is a regular fact of life. Whether it’s in the form of a headache, muscle ache or joint inflammation, an ache never leaves our side for too long a time. Most of us deal with pain by taking over-the-counter painkillers such as aspirin. While over-the-counter medicines are effective in treating pain, they can also be associated with a number of side effects, especially if used regularly or on a long-term basis. However, there are a number of natural pain killers that are drug-free and can also help relieve aches.
Here are some of the most effective natural remedies for pain:
The herb Boswellia, also known as frankincense, eases both chronic and minor pains. Boswellic acids, the active constituents in boswellia, are responsible for bringing relief from the ache. This particular herb is available in the form of supplements as well as topically-applied creams.
Bromelain is the term used in reference of a group of protein-digesting enzymes. It is found naturally in the stems of pineapples and serves as an anti-inflammatory agent. Available in the form of cream, it can be topically applied to treat strains, sprains and muscle injuries. It has also been associated with relieving pain and headaches associated with sinusitis.
Devil’s Claw, scientifically known as Harpagophytum procumbens, is also a herb that is believed to help reduce muscle spasms and muscle tenderness. Native to South Africa, Devil’s Claw contains chemicals called iridoid glycosides and has been found to be effective in lower back pain as well.
Feverfew, an herb, has been in use as a remedy for inflammation and period pains since the time of the ancient Greeks. Studies have indicated that the herb reduces the frequency, severity and duration of migraine headaches, if consumed over a long period of time.
MSM (methyl-sulphonyl-methane) is the term used in reference to the naturally-occurring sulphur compound, like that found in sulphurous springs. The compound has been known to benefit aching joints. It is available in the form of a dietary supplement as well as creams, for topical application.
Consumption of magnesium-rich foods has been believed to provide relief to those suffering from migraine headaches. Available in whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and green leafy vegetables, the mineral is said to reduce both the intensity and the duration of attacks. It can also help ease lower back pain and muscle cramps.
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the omega-3 fatty acids present in fish oil, have been known to inhibit the production of inflammatory chemicals in the body. In other words, the oil can help bring relief from numerous pains.
Olive oil has been found to contain a natural chemical which acts like the anti-inflammatory pain killer ibuprofen. Regular olive oil consumption may provide some of the long-lasting benefits of ibuprofen.
According to researchers at Michigan State University, eating about 20 tart cherries may relieve pain better than aspirin and may also exhibit antioxidant properties comparable to supplements like vitamin E. That number of cherries are said to contain 12-25 milligrams of the active ingredients, called anthocyanins.