If you have a toothache, backache, or any other type of pain, your first impulse may be to reach for a pill. Many people rely on medications, but they come with the risk of side effects, drug interactions, and habitual use or addiction.
You may find the relief you need from a variety of natural painkillers instead.
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, Reiki, and other practices. When it comes to pain relief, you may be surprised by what might help you feel better.
- Birch leaf
The leaves from the Birch tree act much like cortisone, a prescription drug used to treat endocrine disorders, arthritis, lupus, skin disease, autoimmune disorders, and more. A main chemical compound found in Birch leaves is methyl salicylate, similar to salicylic acid used in aspirin. It is anti-spasmodic, analgesic, astringent, antifungal, diuretic, detoxifying, reduces oxidative damage to skin (stopping wrinkles), and enhances circulation. It also promotes enzymatic secretions in the body. It is truly one of the first powerful pain-relievers ever used.
Due to the presence of compounds called anthocyanins—the same phytonutrients that give cherries their rich ruby hue – you can count on cherries to tamp down pain. Muraleedharan Nair, PhD, says, “They block inflammation and they inhibit pain enzymes, just like aspirin, naproxen, and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories.” Cherries are said to have the highest anti-inflammatory content of any food, making them great for remedying issues such as arthritis.
- Devil’s claw
This ominous sounding herb is actually great for treating numerous health conditions, among them are liver problems and heart burn. It also has anti-inflammatory effects and can reduce pain from arthritis, headaches, and low back discomfort. The University of Maryland Medical Center has published several studies that had great success treating osteoarthritis using devil’s claw.
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, upset stomach, psoriasis, and even cancer. Some people with osteoarthritis also turn to turmeric as a natural pain reliever because it helps relieve inflammation.
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.
One study suggested that cloves could be used to treat fungal infections, but further research is needed.
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.
Other sources included: http://besthealthyguide.com/7-herbs-replace-painkillers-without-side-effects/