This plant-based painkiller has been used in alternative medicine for centuries. Willow bark is known to ease inflammation, the culprit behind most kinds of aches. The white willow bark contains salicin, a chemical that is similar to the main ingredient you’ll find in aspirin (Bayer).
Traditionally, people chewed on the bark itself to ease fever and pain. Now you can get it as a dried herb for tea, or in capsule form. Willow bark is usually used to relieve low back pain, headaches, osteoarthritis, and many other kinds of pain.
Be warned however that albeit natural, it comes with some risk of side effects. It may cause your kidneys to slow down, upset your stomach, and prolong bleeding time – just like aspirin. This is why willow bark should only be used by adults.
Avoid willow bark if you have sensitivity to aspirin or if you’re currently taking any anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, as well as if you are receiving anticoagulant treatments.
This natural painkiller contains the curcumin, an antioxidant that protects the body from free radicals that can damage tissue and cells, causing pain. It is being used to treat many conditions such as stomach upset, ulcers, psoriasis, indigestion, and sometimes even cancer. Some osteoarthritic patients also use turmeric to ease their inflammation.
This plant-based painkiller contains eugenol, a natural painkiller that can also be found in many over the counter pain rubs.
Cloves are known to help treat colds and ease nausea. They may also help relieve headaches, toothaches and arthritic inflammation, as well as used as a topical pain reliever.
Cloves come in many forms nowadays: capsule, powder, and oil. Rub a small amount of clove oil on your gums for temporary pain relief for toothaches.
Avoid cloves if you have a bleeding disorder or are receiving blood-thinning medications as they may increase risk for abnormal bleeding.
A Chinese medical practice that goes back many millennia, acupuncture balances the body’s energy pathways or “qi” (pronounced CHEE), thus relieving pain.
You know the drill; acupuncturists literally puncture your skin with tiny, thin needles into strategic locations according to your pain source. Depending on your qi, the needles may also be inserted a small distance from the painful body part.
Acupuncture is also believed to relieve pain by signalling your body to release serotonin, a body chemical that eases pain.
It has been found in a study done in 2012 that this ancient Chinese practice helped relieve pain from migraines and osteoarthritis.
Ice and Heat
Most of us have already been using this natural pain remedy, but still quite unsure when to use heat versus ice.
Immediately after experiencing a strained tendon, muscles, or ligament, apply an ice pack to reduce inflammation and swelling. Once the swelling has subsided, apply a heat pad to reduce stiffness.
Headaches can also be naturally managed by putting a cold pack on the head. If you’re arthritic, applying moist heat on the affected joint works better than ice.
These natural painkillers, while generally safe, may only apply to specific causes of pain and should not substitute a doctor’s visit. Pain is your body telling you there’s something wrong. Check in with your doctor to diagnose your pain and discuss these natural options for managing it.
This article was adapted from the original article by Healthline.
Would you consider trying out any of these natural pain remedies? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below!