Is taking a pill your first thought when you feel a headache, toothache, back pain, neck pain, joint pain, muscle pain, nerve pain or even for a brutal hangover? It's most peoples first reaction - it's what we are typically taught at a young age through western medicine. Have a pain symptom? Take an ibuprofen, tylonel, NSAIDS, or another type pain pill....
Well, a new warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about the risk of serious side effects from non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may have you thinking about finding safer, more natural pain relievers. The FDA warned that "everyone may be at risk" from using NSAIDs – and ordered drug makers to increase warning labels about fatal heart attack or stroke risk.
The warning applies to Advil, Tylenol, Motrin and other popular pain relievers sold over-the-counter, as well as all prescriptions drugs containing ibuprofen and acetaminophen. It's important to recognize that many cold and flu products, such as NyQuil and DayQuil, also contain NSAIDs.
The FDA said studies illustrate the risk of serious side effects occuring within the first few weeks of using NSAIDs and could increase the longer people use the medicine.
There a variety of natural painkillers that are as effective as modern day pills - and substantially healthier for you!
See below for our top 8 natural pain-relievers that are healthy for you!
1. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt has been around a long time and is the go-to for athletes to combat sore muscles. Even though salt is in its name, Epsom salt is much different than table salt, it is an actual mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. Studies show that, “Magnesium plays a number of roles in the body including regulating the activity of over 325 enzymes, reducing inflammation, helping muscle and nerve function and helping to prevent artery hardening. Sulfates help improve the absorption of nutrients, flush toxins and help ease migraine headaches.”
Epsom salt taken removes toxins from the body that can cause irritation, inflammation, and body pain. Epsom salt helps relax muscles and relieve pain in the shoulders, neck, back and skull. As an example, the magnesium may help release a headache or migraine through relaxing the muscles around the skull. Research also shows that magnesium is beneficial for inflammation in internal organs. It also provides relief for nerve pain, arthritis pain, Lyme disease pain, chronic pain, and cancer-related pain.
2. Full Spectrum Cannabidiol Oil (CBD)
CBD relieves pain, inflammation and overall discomfort. Studies have proven effectiveness for cancer, neuropathic and fibromylagia, arthritis and Lyme disease pain. A study from the European Journal of Pain revealed through an animal study that applying CBD on the skin could help reduce pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study illustrated the mechanism by which CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, two of the most challenging types of chronic pain to relieve.
Whats full spectrum? Full spectrum means that an oil or product contains all the cannabinoids that are naturally occurring in the cannabis plant, allowing for maximum restorative potential. High-quality full spectrum CBD products are typically high in CBD, with tiny trace amounts of cannabinoids, and very low THC content.
3. Jojoba Oil
Jojoba oil is the liquid produced in the seed of the Simmondsia chinensis plant, a shrub, which is native to southern Arizona, southern California, and northwestern Mexico. The oil makes up approximately 50% of the jojoba seed by weight.
A study by the Habashy in the Pharmacological Research journal shows that jojoba oil applied on skin exerts anti-inflammatory activity similar to an anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to relieve pain and swelling. See below picture for anti-inflammatory effects results.
4. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint is an herb in the mint family. It’s a hybrid mint that’s a cross of spearmint and watermint. It can be found naturally in North America and Europe. Peppermint essential oil can be extracted from the leaves of the peppermint plant and is used for a variety of different purposes. Records of the use of mint plants for medicinal purposes go all the way back to the times of Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome.
Peppermint oil is great to keep on hand, especially if you have frequent headaches. The use of this oil has also been known to effectively lessen migraine symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to noise and sensitivity to light.
Because peppermint oil has analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties, it not only can relieve pain and inflammation but can also calm the spasms that cause muscle cramps.
It's important to note that peppermint oil is intense and more concentrated than most essential oils. The topical application of peppermint oil is generally safe, although it is necessary to dilute with a carrier oil like jojoba oil.
5. Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus is a fast-growing evergreen tree native to Australia. As an ingredient in many products, it helps relieving muscle and joint pain.
Research shows that eucalyptus oil eases joint pain. In fact, many popular over-the- counter creams and ointments used to soothe pain from conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis contain this essential oil! Eucalyptus oil helps to reduce pain and inflammation associated with many conditions.
Eucalyptus extract may act as a pain reliever, and research indicates that the oil may have analgesic properties. A American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation study showed that applied Eucalyptus oil on the anterior forearm skin of 10 people. The study concluded that “Eucalyptamint, produced significant physiologic responses that may be beneficial for pain relief and/or useful to athletes as a passive form of warm-up.”
6. Rosemary Oil
Rosemary is one of the most popular herbs used in cooking globally. The name rosemary is derived from the Latin words “Ros” meaning dew or mist, and “marinus” meaning sea. It is a part of mint family, along with lavender, basil, and oregano.
If you suffer from with severe joint pains and sprain, rosemary oil's anti-inflammatory and anti-analgesic properties should be a common go-to pain reliever. Rosemary oil further stimulates blood circulation, which helps ease pain can and aids in coagulation of wounds that can accelerate the healing process.
Some researchers state that the rosemary plant, Rosmarinus officinalis L., may help treat headache, muscle and bone pain, and seizures. Rosemary may also reduce inflammation, relax smooth muscles, and boost memory!
7. Lavender Oil
The genus Lavandula is native to the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea and southern Europe through northern and eastern Africa and Middle Eastern countries to southwest Asia and southeast India. It includes more than 30 species, dozens of subspecies, and hundreds of hybrids and selected cultivars.
Lavender oil relieves pain from headaches, sprains, and sores. In a 2015 study, researchers found that lavender essential oil can be an effective analgesic and anti-inflammatory. When diluted lavender essential oil was applied topically during one test, it provided pain relief comparable to that of the pain prescription medication tramadol.
8. Cinnamon Oil
Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several tree species from the genus Cinnamomum. Cinnamon is used mainly as an aromatic condiment and flavoring additive in a wide variety of dishes.
Cinnamon is one of the most beneficial spices on earth. Cinnamon was recently found to be nearly as effective as the NSAID ibuprofen in relieving pain from menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea). A double-blind clinical trial by the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, analyzed the effects of cinnamon, ibuprofen and a placebo in 114 Iranian female college students. The women were split into groups of three; and given either 420 mg of Cinnamon Zeylanicum, 400 mg of ibuprofen or a starch placebo during the first 72 hours of their menstrual cycle. Eight hours after treatment, researchers found that pain severity in the cinnamon group was significantly lower than the ibuprofen and placebo group.