Some people in the contemporary world cannot imagine a world without chemical painkillers, yet pain was there even before modern medicine. In those times, natural medicine was the only way of relieving pain.
Natural Pain Relief vs Prescription Drugs
In terms of speed and effectiveness, prescription drugs have no equal. They can relieve pain much faster than natural pain relief methods.
However, natural methods have several inherent advantages that make some people prefer them to prescription drugs. These benefits include
Minimal side effects: Natural medicine is tolerated by many patients. Unlike chemical drugs, they don’t have many undesired consequences. Some common side effects of pharmaceuticals include nausea, skin irritation, dizziness, and diarrhea.
Availability: Some natural pain relievers are readily available especially in rural areas.
For example, ginger, which is used in India to treat inflammation and pain, is common in our kitchens. Other methods such as emotional support and physical therapy are easily accessible.
Cost: Natural pain relief methods such as herbs are way cheaper than pharmaceuticals.
The price at which we buy drugs from an online pharmacy factors in the cost of testing, advertising, and research. On the other side, natural pain relievers require no marketing and are readily available.
Examples of Natural Pain Relievers
Bromelain has been used for many decades to treat inflammation and pain in South America. It is an enzyme mixture extracted from the stem or fruit of the pineapple plant.
The US Food and Drug Administration currently classifies bromelain as a dietary supplement. Bromelain has anti-inflammatory effects.
It also believed to be capable of inhibiting edema. It is usually used to reduce inflammation and pain in nasal cavities and to remove dead skin from burns. It also used to treat soreness in aching muscles.
Boswellia (Boswellia serrata)
Boswellia is commonly used as a pain reliever in the Ayurvedic medicine of India. It is used to treat joint and muscle pain resulting from sports injuries. It is also used to relieve osteoarthritis knee pain.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Ginger is another valuable herb in Indian medicine. Besides been an efficient antioxidant, ginger inhibits prostaglandin.
This makes it suitable for use in pain relief and reducing inflammation. Internally, ginger promotes blood circulation and enhances the secretion of gastric juices.
It can also be used to prevent digestive cramps and relieve fibromyalgia pain. Externally, ginger is used to treat fibrosis and muscle sprains.
Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)
Feverfew enhances the flow of blood to the brain. It does this by relaxing contracted blood vessels. This quality makes it useful in the treatment of migraine headaches. Feverfew can also be used to relieve stomach aches and menstrual pain.
Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)
Meadowsweet contains elements that work in the same way as aspirin. It relieves symptoms of fever, arthritis, muscle pain, and joint pain. It has also being used to treat stomach ulcers and stomach aches.
A recent study in Europe found that meadowsweet has the ability to reduce excess acidity in the body and soothe mucous membranes in body tracts.
Devil’s claw (Harpagophytum procumbens)
Devil’s claw is a popular herbal medicine in Africa. It is used to treat arthritis, inflammatory disorders, and back pain. The roots of this plant contain iridoid glycosides such as harpagide and harpagoside. These ingredients relieve pain and inflammation.
Other natural pain relievers include passion flower, turmeric, wild lettuce, thyme, and rosemary.
Some therapeutic techniques such as massage therapy, hydrotherapy, and music therapy have been used to reduce pain and stress. For example, massage therapy relaxes painful muscles and tendons.
While pain deprives us of good sleep, recent studies have suggested that lack of good sleep makes pain more intense. That implies that natural sleep aids such as melatonin and valerian can reduce pain.