Backache,headache, sore knees, whatever ails you, pain is a game-changer and we are impatient to be rid of it once it parks itself on our doorstep.
Before reaching for a toxic (and possibly addicting) pain killer, remember that the plant kingdom can have a strong and effective analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Researchers are looking seriously at natural pain relief and discovering that Mother Nature once again has our backs…and heads…and joints…and tummies…and…
Joint and Muscle Aches
Frankincense, (yup, the one from the Nativity story) has been shown to relieve muscle and joint pain as effectively as any NSAID you might pick up at the drug store. So before you grab that Tylenol, try a tea made from this ancient tree or massage the essential oil into the sore spot and enjoy the relief.
Capsicum, better known as cayenne and chili peppers, has been the focus of many studies due to its multitude of pain-blocking benefits. So spice up your cooking and enjoy the pain-relieving benefits deliciously.
Most annoying, throbbing headaches steal our joy and slow our roll. Valerian root, often called nature’s tranquilizer, is useful in treating mild headaches by relaxing the muscles in our necks and shoulders.
White willow bark is often compared to aspirin (since aspirin is the synthetic version of this plant-based pain reliever), for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory benefits. It has a mild blood-thinning effect and so is effective at reducing the throbbing, pulsating pain that is the signature of a headache.
You also might consider reaching for the lavender oil when your head pains you. Research shows that inhaling the oil can relieve early symptoms of migraine.
Turmeric has been used for thousands of years to relieve pain anywhere in the body, but particularly in the joints. It seems the curcumin lowers the levels of two enzymes in the body that cause inflammation and joint pain.
Cat’s claw has been shown to be quite effective at relieving the aches and stiffness associated with arthritis by reducing the production of substances that inflame tissue surrounding an injured or damaged joint.
And then there’s food…pure, plant-passionate, healing foods like apricots, sweet potatoes and butternut squash. It seems the beta-carotene slows the inflammation process…deliciously, I might add!
So turn to Mother Nature for little aches and pains before turning your back on her many gifts for chemical relief.