Painkillers aren’t everyone’s go-to when it comes to pain; whether it be localized short-term pain or chronic pain from conditions like arthritis.
Too many painkillers can wreak havoc on the liver and other internal systems, and prescription painkillers can even lead to abuse and addiction. Luckily, Mother Nature provides, and there are more natural ways of managing pain that don’t involve opioids or synthetic medication.
We’ll cover five natural pain remedies in the following article. Bear in mind this is not medical advice, but rather information on natural compounds and substances that seem to have pain-relieving properties. Always consult your doctor before making any major changes to your medications.
1. CBD Oil
If you’ve ever wanted to buy CBD oil, there’s never been a better time to do so. The industry is flourishing, and for a good reason: CBD is effective, safe, and natural. Not to mention, it’s been legalized (along with industrial hemp) at the federal level in recent years, so there are no legal ramifications for giving it a try!
CBD is one of 113 Cannabinoids found in the Cannabis plant. Yes, that’s the same plant that THC comes from, but no, the two are not the same.
CBD is sourced from industrial hemp, which is only allowed to contain less than 0.3% THC on a dry-weight basis. CBD won’t get you high, won’t cause euphoria, and won’t make you see things.
CBD and other cannabinoids interact with cannabinoid receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for maintaining homeostasis, or the “Goldilocks Zone” for the body’s internal system. And, you guess it; pain is among the processes this system is in control of.
CBD binds to specific receptors in the nervous system and actually reduces the boy’s natural immune response to certain stimuli like inflammation (which can cause severe pain).
This natural compound has almost no side effects, and the ones you may experience are mild at worst. Oil can be taken orally, via edibles, or rubbed on the skin with topicals.
Turmeric is said to have anti-inflammatory and pain management properties. It’s that yellowish powder you’ll find in curry and other recipes. It’s got a bit of a tang to it, but it’s thought to be very good for the body’s natural systems. In addition, turmeric is also an anti-oxidant, which means it’s great for the immune system and is supposed to help with recovery times from minor injuries and help fight free radicals in the body.
Bear in mind that too much turmeric can cause some discomfort on the other end of the digestive process, but overall, this unique spice is useful for pain, digestive issues, ulcers, and others. If you’re experiencing chronic pain, making curry chicken or other turmeric-rich dishes may help reduce your pain and keep inflammation to a minimum.
3. Good Sleep Habits
This tip may surprise you, but healthy sleeping habits are attributed to all kinds of improvements in the body; from improved mental health to reduced pain to a more physically healthy body overall.
Surprisingly, Americans don’t seem to value sleep all that much, and over 45% of Americans get poor or inadequate sleep every night. This might help explain our addiction to coffee and caffeinated beverages!
Getting more sleep helps your immune system (among other bodily systems) function at a higher capacity. When you get enough sleep, you’ve got the energy to take on the day, and your cells are able to regenerate and give your body a rest.
This can help with pain management, reducing your overall pain and keeping things in relative order.
Sleep isn’t difficult to figure out. The average adult needs around 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, but it has to be uninterrupted. The more you toss and turn or wake during the night, the less effective your sleep is.
Start by choosing a sleep routine that you can stick to. Go to bed at the same time every night, and wake up at the same time every morning. Once you’ve mastered this, your body will fall into a natural rhythm, and you’ll experience much higher-quality rest.
4. White Willow Bark
Willow bark is an effective pain remedy, as it was once used to make aspirin. It has been used in China, and in the USA by native tribes to help manage pain and even reduce fevers. The salicylic acid in White Willow bark is what makes it so effective at reducing pain and lower the body’s internal temperature. Referred to as “herbal aspirin” in some cases, the first aspirin pills were derived from plants rich in salicylic acid.
This natural remedy is non-addictive, readily available, and for all intents and purposes, doesn’t come with any major side-effects. That being said, you should always use caution when introducing a new substance into your health regimen, and consult your doctor for best practices.
5. Hot/Cold Therapy
We’ve all seen or even used those hot/cold packs for muscle aches. The heat from the hot pack increases the blood flow to the muscles and tissues and helps them relax, and the cold pack slows the flow of blood, which helps reduce inflammation and pain. This works especially well for stiff joints, back pain, or localized pain from strain or sprains.
You don’t have to buy a fancy hot/cold pack at the store, either. Soaking in a hot saline bath can have a similar effect, and using ice on a sprain can help reduce pain and swelling. We’ve all been to the school nurse after getting knocked over on the playground, and what was her remedy of choice? A good old-fashioned ice pack!
Pain management doesn’t have to involve costly and potentially dangerous or addictive drugs. These five natural remedies are safe to use and are said to be quite effective in reducing inflammation and managing pain. Be sure to consult with your doctor before making any major changes to your medication, and take it slowly when you’re introducing new substances to your body.