Your first impulse to pain is a cringe and then maybe a pill. We tend to rely on painkillers to relieve us from that throbbing ache. Most painkillers especially when abused have side effects. This can range from kidney damage to drug interactions and even addiction. Instead of using painkillers always, you can try other natural alternatives.
Many herbs and spices can treat inflammation and other related conditions. These plant-based options fall under a category of treatment known as alternative medicine, which also includes acupuncture, yoga etc. When it comes to pain relief, you may be surprised by what might help you feel better.
Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow color and unique flavor. It contains the compound curcumin, an antioxidant that helps protect the body from free radical molecules that can damage cells and tissue. Turmeric can also be used for the treatment of many conditions, including; indigestion, ulcers, stomach upset cancer etc.
Whole cloves are often used to spice up meat and rice dishes. Ground cloves are used in pies and many other foods. As a medicine, cloves can be found in capsule or powder form. Clove oil is also available. Like other herbal supplements, you can use cloves to treat a wide range of conditions. Cloves may help ease nausea and treat colds. They may also help relieve the pain associated with headaches, arthritic inflammation, and toothaches. Cloves can also be used as part of a topical pain reliever.
The active ingredient in cloves is eugenol, a natural pain reliever that’s also used in some OTC pain rubs. Rubbing a tiny amount of clove oil on your gums may temporarily ease toothache pain until you can get to a dentist. But too much-undiluted clove oil may actually hurt your gums, so discuss this approach with your dentist before trying it at home.
People with bleeding disorders or who are taking blood-thinning medication should be careful when consuming clove products. Clove oil can increase the risk of abnormal bleeding.
Acupuncture is an ancient medical practice that has stood the sands of time. It relieves pain by balancing the body’s natural energy pathways. The flow of energy is known as qi (pronounced CHEE).
For this practice, acupuncturists place tiny, thin needles into your skin. The location of the insertion is related to the source of the pain. Based on the qi, a needle may be inserted far from the part of the body experiencing pain. Acupuncture may relieve pain by causing the body to release serotonin, a “feel-good” chemical that eases the pain.
Heat or Ice
Heat and ice are one of the oldest home remedies that exist. You just have to apply heat or ice on the site of the pain. While this treatment may seem obvious, not everyone’s clear on exactly when to use ice versus heat. Applying an ice pack to reduce swelling and inflammation shortly after you experience a strained muscle, tendon, or ligament may bring relief. Interestingly, once the inflammation has disappeared, heat may help reduce the stiffness that comes with sprains and strains.
A cold pack used briefly on the head may also help take away the pain of a headache. If your painful problem is arthritis, moist heat applied to the affected joint will help more than ice. Moist heat packs can be warmed in the microwave and used many times, making them effective and easy to use. If you get injured, talk with your doctor or pharmacist about how to best use heat or ice to help ease the pain.