When the pain becomes too much to handle, we will do anything to make it go away. In such a situation, it is very easy to reach for over-the-counter meds like acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Moreover, if the pain is too severe or chronic, we usually get some prescription meds to help us deal with it. But while those are effective painkillers, they can cause many side effects and addiction after long-term use.
So, is there another solution? What natural remedies work best for pain control? This article will talk about 12 natural ways you can relieve your pain and explain why they are so effective.
Let’s get started!
Top 12 Natural Ways to Deal With Pain
For centuries, people have been using herbs, oils, and other alternative remedies to cure various ailments. So, it’s not surprising that many people today are turning back to natural medicine to look for pain relief. And why not? In most cases, such remedies are safe to try, and they can have many benefits.
So, here are nature’s best pain relief options.
We’ve all heard about the aromatic spice called turmeric. But only a few know how powerful a painkiller this spice can be. That is because turmeric contains one ingredient — Curcuma — with amazing pain-relieving qualities.
In fact, one study from 2014 claims that Curcuma has the same painkilling effect as ibuprofen. During the research, people suffering from knee osteoarthritis took Curcuma for four weeks only to discover how effective it is in pain control.
So, if you want to try turmeric, we recommend using it in its natural form. Simply add it to your smoothies, curries, and juices. Or you can buy some of the turmeric supplements.
Also known as bachelor’s buttons and featherfew, feverfew is a famous herbal medicine. People have been using it to treat migraines, fever, toothaches, stomach aches, and rheumatoid arthritis throughout history.
So far, scientists have found that feverfew contains several elements that help reduce muscle spasms and inflammation. But some of them believe that the most important active compounds for pain relief are flavonoids and sesquiterpene lactones. In any case, a study conducted in 2011 says that feverfew leaves and flowers clearly have pain-relieving qualities.
It’s interesting to note that feverfew has quite a reputation among those suffering from migraines. However, the American Migraine Foundation claims the results are too mixed to conclude anything. Still, they say it is best to use feverfew as prevention therapy.
That being said, feverfew can cause some side effects like vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, as well as increased risk of bleeding. So, it’s best to check with your doctor before you start using it.
Zingiber officinale, or ginger as we know it, is another great option. We say this because a 2015 study claims that you would reduce muscle pain if you took 2 grams of ginger a day for at least five days. This review argues the results look most promising for muscle pain caused by running and resistance exercise. Also, it found that ginger can speed up recovery and reduce inflammation.
So, if all that sounds good, try adding raw ginger to your teas and smoothies. That way, you make sure you get all the best ingredients. But if you can’t stand the taste or how spicy it is, you can always get ginger supplements.
Capsaicin is an ingredient found in chili peppers that does wonders for pain relief. You will recognize it by the tingling or burning sensation you get when you apply it topically.
Various painkilling topical creams and patches contain capsaicin. In fact, one study from 2011 shows how effective it is in such a form. But up until today, researchers don’t really know why capsaicin helps relieve pain. Some argue that it affects the nociceptor fibers (nerves that transmit pain impulses) and thus lowers the skin’s sensitivity to pain.
Cloves come from the Eugenia caryophyllata plant. Many of us are familiar with them as a home remedy for toothache.
But what’s fascinating is that research conducted in 2006 found that clove gel has the same effects as benzocaine gel. For those not familiar with it, benzocaine gel is a topical gel dentists often use to alleviate needle pain.
Still, we need more research to see if cloves could be just as effective when it comes to relieving other kinds of pain. Experts also have reasons to believe cloves have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, and antifungal properties.
In any case, if you want to give it a go, try purchasing clove oil online.
6. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Another way to reduce pain is with various essential oils. The first one we will mention here is eucalyptus oil that comes from the Eucalyptus plant. Aside from having a fantastic scent, this natural remedy can reduce swelling, inflammation, and pain.
There was one study in 2013 that compared eucalyptus and almond oils. The study authors asked participants recovering from knee replacement surgery to inhale oils for 30 minutes a day for three days. In the end, they concluded that eucalyptus oil was far more effective in pain management.
But before you opt for this herbal medicine, there are some things you need to know. First, you should never use it around kids, pets, or in public places because it is toxic if someone swallows it. Next, it can trigger asthma, so be very cautious when inhaling it. Also, please remember to dilute eucalyptus oil in a carrier oil before putting it on your skin to avoid strong reactions.
7. Peppermint Essential Oil
We get peppermint oil from a plant called Mentha piperita L. In general, we turn to this oil when we have pains and aches somewhere in the body. We usually rub the diluted peppermint oil on the spot in such a case.
Several studies note that peppermint plant and oil compounds have painkilling, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial effects. Some of those active compounds include menthol, limonene, and carvacrol.
Furthermore, research from 2015 suggests people have been using peppermint for hundreds of years to help with arthritis and painful spasms. They also concluded that applying the oil to the forehead and temples helps with tension headaches.
Still, it would be best to remember not to apply peppermint oil on broken skin. Also, some people have allergic reactions to it, so before using it, try doing a spot test first. We strongly advise against using peppermint oil near children.
8. Rosemary Essential Oil
Experts claim the rosemary plant, Rosmarinus officinalis L., can help with seizures, muscle and bone pain, inflammation, headaches, and memory problems.
The proper way to use it is to dilute rosemary oil in a carrier oil. For instance, you can put three to five drops of rosemary oil in an ounce of carrier oil, such as olive oil.
9. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender oil is people’s first choice for sleep problems, anxiety, and even pain relief. And there are a number of studies to back up this practice. For example, there’s research claiming that lavender oil has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving effects in animals. However, since the FDA doesn’t regulate this oil and its dosage, we suggest using it with caution.
A review of 38 studies conducted on mediation in 2017 claims that it can help with pain and depression and improve the overall quality of life.
A meta-analysis from 2018 claims that acupuncture can help effectively manage chronic pain, including neck pain, headache, knee pain, and lower back pain.
Yoga combines stretching, relaxation methods, breathing exercises, and self-care. For this reason, it can help manage pain naturally. For instance, a study in 2013 concluded that yoga helps relieve lower back pain.
Natural remedies that help manage pain are a good way to reduce the number of meds you take every day. However, not every alternative painkiller will work for you, and you might have to try out various options. Also, herbal medicines work best in the long run, so it might take a while before you notice any results. But it will all be worth it because you might end up finding the solution you need.