Chronic Pain

Best Herbs for Chronic Pain

Ginger

Studies show that chronic pain is a destructive force in the human body. The longer the pain persists, the worse it gets. Without proper treatment, your chronic pain will continue to have devastating effects on your body, and the symptoms will not subsist on their own. While the causes of chronic pain can vary from back problems to fibromyalgia or poor diet to lack or exercise, the means for treating pain can be as widely varying.

Some chronic pain sufferers find a change in diet to be most effective, while others prefer a change in their exercise regimen. Often medical intervention is another tempting means of abating the intensity of pain, but this can also lead to further health complications, a medicine dependency or even severe financial implications. More and more, however, people are seeking a natural alternative to dealing with their pain. Luckily, Mother Nature has some of the best remedies for chronic pain and there are some easily accessible herbs which can make your day to day life a lot more bearable.

Liquorice

Not just a sweet treat, liquorice also has many health benefits seeing as it contains corticosteroids, which your body produces naturally. Corticosteroids work to reduce inflammation by decreasing the presence of free radicals at the site of inflammation. It also assists your body in releasing cortisol, which supports your immune system and eases the type of pain associated with arthritis. Try it in the form of a supplement or the more commonly available tea. Liquorice supplements, however, should be avoided by those who suffer from blood pressure problems.

Devil’s Claw

A herb grown in South Africa, Devil’s Claw is known to relax muscles and reduce tension. The active ingredients in Devil’s Claw are harpagide and harpagoside which are considered to be analgesic and have anti-inflammatory properties, and are therefore recommended for anyone suffering from rheumatic conditions. Available at most health shops in the form of a tincture and a tea.

Ginger

Very easy to add to your cooking, the ginger root contains many of the same properties of non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, which is very helpful for the pain associated with arthritis. Also commonly used in a tea form.

White Willow Bark

Once used by Native Americans to treat swelling, pain and fever, white willow bark is known to be a precursor to modern day aspirin. As a natural pain reliever, white willow is particularly good for treating pain in the lower back region, and its efficacy was even touted by Hippocrates back in the 5th century.

Burdock Root

If you’re suffering from joint pains, one of the first steps to alleviating your pains should be to increase your intake of fatty acids. Burdock is often used in Asian cuisine and is well-known for its fatty oils which are good for reducing inflammation in the joints, and some even suggest that the root can actually help to heal previously sustained joint damage.

Flaxseed

Many vegans and vegetarians use flaxseed oil as an alternative means to increase their Omega-3 intake. Flaxseed works to boost your immune system, but while animal fats can exacerbate inflammation in the joints, flaxseed can be a very simple and healthy means for arthritis sufferers to obtain their Omega-3 which will reduce many of the rudimentary causes of pain. Flaxseed is easy to take as a gel capsule or you can even add a tablespoon of the oil to your diet. Be cautious though, because the oil can aggravate the condition of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

Turmeric

A fantastic addition to any chef’s spice rack, turmeric contains curcumin and curcuminoids which are known to reduce inflammation and treat pain. The other health benefits extend to patients with cataracts or even Alzheimer’s. While simply cooking with turmeric will have some health benefits, it is best to actually take a supplement to make sure you are fully benefiting for its pain-reducing properties. The herb can also be applied topically to help reduce small aches and pains.

Bromelain

Extracted from pineapple stems, this enzyme reduces levels of prostaglandins – a common cause of inflammation. Bromelain is very effective for treating arthritic pains as well as any pains from a musculoskeletal condition, and can help heal damaged connective tissue.

Eucommia

Used by traditional Chinese medical practitioners to treat back and knee pain, this herb also strengthens tendons, bones and ligaments. Eucommia contains a compound that encourages the regeneration of collagen, making it an incredibly potent pain fighting herb. It can, however, usually only be administered by a licensed practitioner, meaning that it is slightly harder to get a hold of and can also be slightly pricey. Again, this is one herb which can have negative effects on those with high blood pressure, so it’s best to consult with your house doctor before trying it. Nevertheless, the results have been said to be quite beneficial to anyone who suffers from a chronic pain condition.

Cayenne and Chile Peppers

A relatively common spice, cayenne pepper is used in a variety of cuisines. Cayenne, however, can also be used to great effect for those suffering from osteoporosis as well as for treating more general pain conditions like cluster headaches or migraines as it clears the sinuses. Chile peppers are also an extremely useful source of pain treatment as they contain capsaicin, which actually hinders the body’s ability to perceive pain. Furthermore, capsaicin also boosts endorphin production and works as a general analgesic. This makes it perfect for targeting nerve pain.

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