Oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone, panadol, aspirin… the list goes on. A few common prescription and over-the-counter painkillers that are often used after surgery or for pain of any sort. The problem is these over-the-counter painkillers help relieve the pain but come with a lot of side effects. Aspirin for instance can cause stomach ulcers and impact breathing. They all change the balance of your gut bacteria, decrease stomach acid and are liver loaders. I want to share with you some natural ways to combat pain through foods, herbs and oils that act as natural pain killers.
Did you know spices act as natural painkillers? Spicy hot foods such as cayenne pepper and wasabi, (that’s right the green stuff you get with sushi) contain natural pain relief. I know of a few women that have used this pepper after surgeries and found that it’s a great relief. Cayenne pepper is also a powerful Candida killer. Candida is an overgrowth of yeast in the gastrointestinal tract that can cause skin issues, digestive issues and much more. Cayenne pepper also provides external pain relief. In fact, when I was studying nutritional science at my college we made our own cayenne pepper cream that I’ve used since to treat pre-menstrual cramping by rubbing it into my skin. It’s wonderful for muscle soreness, tension and even skin infections. Wasabi also has natural painkilling properties. They are finding it may possibly block inflammation receptors in the body, stopping the pain from occurring.
One very common pain I’ve come across with my clients is menstrual pain. I mean, we do get the dreaded AF (aunt flo) every month and many people just pop a bunch of pain pills. How about the rich essential fatty acids in Evening Primrose Oil for pain instead? EPO does wonders in balancing out hormones by helping your adrenal glans to make and excrete progesterone, which has a calming effect on the body. Many women today are living in a state of oestrogen dominance due to the foods we eat and the beauty products we use. We could all probably use a boost in progesterone to be honest. I suggest taking 1500 mg the week before your period is due, (a common time for pain to occur) and continue throughout your cycle up until ovulation, (which is around two weeks).
Ok this one is an oil, but it still works wonders when it comes to pain relief! The amazing Arnica Oil can be used topically on the skin to help ease inflammatory pain associated with bruising, arthritis, carpel tunnel and even insect bites (do not apply to broken skin as it may burn). I think everyone should have some Arnica Oil on hand.
I have seen many people suffering from fibromyalgia, (pain throughout the body and sometimes for no apparent reason). Another wonderful oil is peppermint essential oils which has muscle relaxing properties as well as natural painkilling properties. Peppermint oil is also wonderful for circulation for those that suffer from circulatory issues and sore muscles, (hello post gym workout)! Lavender oil is another good one to help with headache relief. We all know lavender has relaxing properties to it, but just by rubbing it into your pulse points, (temples, behind your ears, creases of elbows and behind your knees) it can help relieve headaches and get you ready for sleep.
Did you know magnesium is a natural painkiller for muscle soreness, as well as bone and joint pain? I have personally used this time and time again being a fitness instructor for over-worked muscles that hurt. One of my favourite ways to get the magnesium into me is transdermally through an epsom salt bath. Just draw up a warm bath and put in a few cups of epsom salts. Ensure to only soak for about 20 minutes as the salts draw toxins out of the body, and you don’t want them to be reabsorbed.
Last but not least is my favourite winter drink, bone broth. In the ‘olden days’ they didn’t waste any part of the animal and the bones were frequently used for stew. That’s all bone broth is really is stock from animal bones. By boiling the bones of a chicken, (my favourite) you draw out the glutamine, glycine, proline and collagen for healthy bones, tendons, ligaments and skin. Bone broths contain minerals in forms that your body can readily absorb such as: calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and silicon. They also contain chondroitin and glucosamine that help reduce arthritis and joint pain. Bone broth is a natural painkiller because it helps cushion the bones and joints due to all that good stuff, including gelatin. It’s a wonderful way to look ten years younger too! The trick is to boil the bones in a crock pot with about one cup of apple cider vinegar. Place the bones in the crock pot with the ACV and let them sit for about one hour, then turn on the crockpot on low for about 24 hours and voila, a beautiful anti-aging drink!
Who said you have to buy the pain meds with all the nasties in them? Why not try some of these remedies next time you come across an uncomfortable niggle?