7 Natural Remedies for Healing Pain
Natural remedies are nothing new.
Ancient healers have utilized natural remedies for thousands of years. They worked on a deep, holistic level to assess a patient's concerns to find a treatment for the root cause of their disease. Their remedies were made to restore the overall wellbeing of the body and mind.
Today, western medicine labels these remedies as "alternative." However, as mentioned, these "alternative" therapies have been conventionally used since ancient times. Today, approximately four billion people (or 80 percent of the population) use herbal remedies as their primary source of treatment.
Herbal remedies have even been adapted into modern pharmaceuticals. Over two thousand years ago, Hippocrates used the leaves of willows to treat his patients suffering from headaches and muscle pain. In the 1800s, scientists discovered salicylic acid in willow plants and used this active ingredient in aspirin.
Chronic pain affects an estimated 20 percent of American adults. This is commonly treated with opioids, which can have detrimental health consequences. An estimated 41 percent of patients using opioids to treat chronic pain develop a dependency or misuse them1. Moreover, over 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose2.
Opioids can be replaced by safe, herbal alternatives. Read on to learn natural remedies for pain.
1. Acupuncture and acupressure
The international non-profit organization Cochrane has conducted multiple meta-analyses showing that acupuncture is an effective way to cope with tension headaches and help prevent migraines more effectively than prescription medications.
A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that acupuncture could reduce pain by 50 percent for various conditions, including arthritis, musculoskeletal pain, and back and neck pain.
2. CBD oil
CBD oil is derived from the cannabis plant (the substance is non-euphoric as it does not contain THC). This oil can help with pain caused by arthritis by lowering inflammation. Animal studies reveal that CBD oil may inhibit the pain pathway signally.
More studies are needed to examine the natural benefits of CBD oil.
3. Herbal supplements
Herbal supplements have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).
Astragalus is a well-known anti-inflammatory with powerful pain-relieving effects. These results have been demonstrated in scientific studies on animals suffering from osteoarthritis.
Schisandra, another popular herb used in TCM, has been shown to soothe gut pain in animal studies.
According to the Journal of Medicinal Food, turmeric is an effective treatment for pain due to its ability to reduce inflammation.
Epsom salt is rich in magnesium and has a long history of use in TCM to effectively reduce bone and joint pain as well as muscle soreness.
4. Essential oils
Peppermint and frankincense oil can reduce inflammation. According to a study published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine,inhaling peppermint can relieve pain – especially headache pain. Another study in Nutrition Journal found that frankincense applied topically can help knee osteoarthritis.
In the Pain Research and Treatment journal, a meta-analysis of lavender oil aromatherapy showed that it can help relieve various types of pain due to its relaxing effect that counter body tension.
5. Tai Chi
In Tai Chi exercises, the slow motion and weight shifting movements can enhance musculoskeletal strength and joint stability. A review published in Scientific Reports found that in 18 randomized, controlled trials, tai chi provides effective pain relief for osteoarthritis, lower back pain, and osteoporosis.
A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine revealed that among 313 people with chronic low back pain, a weekly yoga class improved mobility more than standard medical care for that condition. Other studies verify that yoga can reduce pain and fatigue for people that have fibromyalgia, knee osteoarthritis, lower back pain, and neck pain.
According to a review of 38 studies published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, meditation not only reduces pain but can also improve depression and enhance the overall quality of life in those suffering from pain. Meditation, like many other natural remedies, has no adverse side effects.
Author: Jesamine Dyus
1 National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Opioid Overdose Crisis.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1 July 2021, www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis.
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