Our Favorite Herbs For Pain Relief And Inflammation
Modern medicine isn't always the right choice for everyone, especially when there are herbal remedies that can do the trick.
However, finding natural remedies for pain relief can be difficult when you don't know what to look for. Here's a list of our favorite herbs for pain relief and inflammation.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is an active ingredient in cannabis. While it doesn't cause a “high” on its own, it's often used to manage pain and inflammation.
The most commonly known aspects of this herb involve getting the mind to relax by reducing anxiety and stress. It can also help the body by reducing inflammation and stiffness. It's a popular natural remedy to those who suffer from arthritis or chronic pain.
Studies have also shown that CBD exhibits no addictive effects or dependence potential. This makes them a healthy alternative to prescription drugs which can be harmful to the body and addictive. Natural herbs for pain relief and inflammation are easier to take and can have just as much of an impact.
A natural way to get your daily dose of CBD and reap its benefits is through MDreliefwhich involves CBD and other pain relieving herbs like white willow bark, frankincense, and vitamin E.
2. White Willow Bark
For thousands of years, white willow bark has been used to fight pain and inflammation.
Salicin, the main active ingredient in white willow bark, relieves the symptoms people experience from chronic back pain and migraines. It works like aspirin, but with fewer side effects when consumed. It also has the potential to help with weight loss, which will reduce the amount of pressure on joints and relieve some of that pain as well.
White willow bark comes in all forms for use, including a tea that can be consumed. The anti-inflammatory properties of the bark are highly beneficial for those seeking relief, like many herbs for pain relief and inflammation.
However, with any supplement taken, there are potential risks. The side effects of white willow bark may include an upset stomach or nausea. To prevent side effects, take the suggested dosage.
Frankincense, also known as Boswellia, has been used to alleviate pain and swelling for centuries. In addition to relieving arthritis symptoms, it also serves as a treatment for inflammation. A 2020 study revealed that Frankincense helped relieve stiffness and pain in people diagnosed with osteoarthritis. The acids can also prevent further damage to the cartilage.
Frankincense can be mixed with other herbs for pain to create a topical poultice. Traditionally, such poultices have been used to reduce swelling and inflammation as natural medicine. You can apply the solution directly to the affected area, although some people report that applying it to the soles of your feet allows the herbs to work faster since the pores are larger.
However, with any herbs for pain relief and inflammation, there are potential side effects. These include skin irritation and stomach problems for some people. Individuals with gastritis or gastroesophageal reflux disease should avoid taking the herb for pain as it may worsen the symptoms. Bloating, diarrhea, and heartburn are other side effects users may experience when taking frankincense.
The oil can be applied topically, as well as inhaled through aromatherapy. One method may be better for you than the other. Consult your doctor before consuming frankincense to discuss any potential reactions you may have, along with other health concerns about herbs for pain relief and inflammation.
4. Vitamin E
Your immune system plays a large role in your overall health. Knowing this, boosting your vitamin E intake can alleviate the pressure from inflammation and chronic pain. Filled with antioxidants, vitamin E promotes immune system health and has the potential to reduce inflammation when consumed like other herbs for pain. It can be taken orally in capsules or drops.
Vitamin E is safe to apply to the skin, but like most herbs for pain, there are some potential side effects to consider. Side effects of vitamin E in higher doses include nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. You may also experience fatigue and weakness if vitamin E levels get too high. Like any other herbs for pain, moderation is key.
If you suffer from chronic pain and inflammation, low levels of vitamin E may aggravate it. You can naturally add more vitamin E-rich foods to your diet, or you can speak with a doctor about incorporating supplements to help increase the levels of vitamin E in your body. They will be able to discuss potential risks and how to minimize them. A health professional will be able to give you guidance on the dosage and how to manage any symptoms that arise after.
Though research on the benefits of rosemary is just beginning, there are promising signs that it helps moderate pain and inflammation. When paired with pain-relieving techniques like acupressure or acupuncture, rosemary improves the effectiveness of the process and relieves more pain and tension overall. Additionally, there's some evidence that rosemary oil may be more effective than some over-the-counter medications.
Additionally, rosemary relieves stress. Too much stress creates tension in the body, leading to chronic pain and sometimes inflammation. This herbal remedy reduces the amount of stress hormones in the body, making it easier to find peace of mind and relieve tension. While more research needs to be conducted to confirm, the results so far are promising for those seeking herbal remedies to alleviate chronic pain and inflammation.
6. Eucalyptus Oil
According to research, eucalyptus oil has proven to reduce pain and swelling in joints, as well as inflammation. In a study conducted on patients who received atotal knee replacement surgery, the inhalation of eucalyptus oil helped alleviate pain. It's recommended as a treatment for arthritis and can be applied topically, though it can be ingested as well.
Consult your primary doctor before attempting to use eucalyptus oil. While it is generally safe for use, it's wise to speak with your doctor about any possible concerns.
7. Fish Oil
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fish oils have strong anti-inflammatory properties. As such, they are a popular alternative to modern medicine for pain relief. Taking fish oils will not immediately improve your conditions, but over time the improvements will build up as your body adjusts.
8. Lavender Extract
Diluted lavender oil has been used to help relieve pain from sore muscles and tension. Chronic pain and inflammation can be alleviated by applying lavender extract to the skin, although aromatherapy has proven to be effective as well. There are more health benefits to using lavender extract, like reduced stress levels, which can act as a preventative measure for chronic pain and tension.
Lavender extract is great when paired with a new workout regimen or an active lifestyle where chronic pain slows you down. If you have any concerns, you can speak with your doctor before trying any natural medicine.
Turmeric is well-known for its medicinal properties and is used to treat swelling and reduce inflammation. This warm, bitter spice contains the active ingredient curcumin, which has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in it. While not a cure for joint pain, it can help relieve some of the tension when used as a supplement.
Turmeric is a great alternative for those who are unable to take modern medicine due to the side effects or other health concerns. The active ingredients are nontoxic and safe to consume in both meals and capsule form.
Alongside other plant-based medicinesand herbs for pain, ashwagandha can help relieve pain and inflammation when taken regularly. When crushed into a powder and extracted, ashwagandha reduces the level of stress hormones in the body, helping the mind to relax. In this process, the body is able to relax as well, relieving chronic pain and tension in the muscles.
Additionally, the properties in ashwagandha help to reduce swelling from inflammation. It's easily accessible online and instores in capsule form.
This plant pigment is found in many fruits and vegetables you consume. It's most commonly found in red and green produce like apples, cherries, tomatoes, kale, onions, and green tea. This flavonoid is a common antioxidant in the average human diet that also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Quercetin is one of many herbs for pain that binds with free radicals in your body, working to alleviate swelling and blood pressure. If you find yourself suffering from chronic pain and inflammation, a simple, natural remedy may be to add more fruits and veggies to your diet. It's a quick addition that may bring relief without further need for assistance. Plus, the added fruits and vegetables can be incorporated into new dishes for you to enjoy!
Studies have shown that ginger works to alleviate soreness and pain from exercise-related injuries. Whether consumed heated or raw, the natural herb has effects in reducing both pain and inflammation in participants. It has been compared to ibuprofen due to its relieving properties, and has reduced inflammation in patients recovering from knee surgery.
Consult your doctor before adding more ginger to your diet to see if that's the right option for you. You can start small by using it in your cooking more often before taking higher doses in supplements.
13. Hops Extract
When you think of hops, your mind first goes to beer. The dried hops flower has more uses than brewing a cold drink, however. Certain poultices containing the hops flower can help control gastric nerves and reduce inflammation in the body. Along with other herbs for pain relief and inflammation, consumption of hops flower extract can help alleviate any lingering symptoms.
Meet with your primary care physician before consuming large amounts of the extract as some individuals may experience allergic reactions to higher dosages.
While cloves are often used to spice up a meal by seasoning dishes, they act as a natural pain reliever as well! There are multiple compounds in cloves that act as anti-inflammatory agents, reducing the body's natural reaction to swell to certain stimuli. This can reduce the risk of arthritis, or help manage the symptoms of arthritis for those experiencing it.
As one of many herbs for pain, cloves can be used in cooking to easily increase your intake. They can be used whole or ground up to season a meal. You're sure to enjoy the new flavor as well as the health benefits.
15. Valerian Extract
Another herb with anti-inflammatory properties is valerian. Those who suffer from chronic pain and inflammation have the potential to see their symptoms reduced after a steaming cup of valerian tea. This natural pain reliever has proven to be useful in studies conducted on its sedative effects.
Valerian extract has the potential to promote muscle relaxation, therefore aiding in pain relief and the muscles release unnecessary tension. If you have any concerns, you can consult your doctor before attempting to add valerian extract to your regimen.
Known as a spicy addition to the dinner table, the chili pepper, also known as capsaicin, has medicinal properties as well. Capsaicin is the component of the pepper that gives it that spicy kick. This component is added to creams and gels to use as a pain reliever. Topical application of capsaicin has proven to reduce inflammation and chronic pain--especially in those who have a higher sensitivity to pain.
There may be some side effects like burning or itching when using capsaicin as a natural remedy for pain. While these side effects are generally short term, they can be uncomfortable and potentially long-lasting if left untreated. If you have any concerns, you can speak with your doctor before trying this natural remedy.
Peppermint is known for many uses, like clearing up sinuses and increasing focus, but it has other medicinal properties to be utilized. Applying peppermint oil to the surface of your skin can reduce pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.
Additionally, rubbing the oil into your temples may alleviate tension headaches as they begin. Conduct a spot test before using peppermint oil to ensure you don't trigger an allergic reaction, and avoid using the oil on any broken skin as it will cause irritation.
18. Devil's Claw Root
Generally used for both osteoarthritis and back pain, Devil's claw is a root containing anti-inflammatory properties. It's one of many herbs used for pain relief and inflammation.
While it has not been studied in humans excessively, results are promising. It's important to speak with your doctor before taking the supplement to discuss any concerns you may have.
Along with other herbs for pain, feverfew is generally used to relieve migraines and inflammation. It's safe to take for up to four months at a time, but there are side effects to look out for. Taking feverfew may cause an upset stomach, bloating, and vomiting.
If you have any concerns, consult your primary doctor. The consumption of dried leaves is likely to be safe, while fresh leaves are potentially unsafe.
20. Vitamin D
Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory properties, and low levels in the body may be the cause of your discomfort. Some chronic pain may see relief through vitamin D supplements. You can add vitamin D to your diet by consuming more orange juice, dairy, fish, and other rich foods.
Whether you add more vitamin D to your diet or take an oral supplement, your doctor can better advise you on how to increase your vitamin D intake.
There are many herbs for pain relief and inflammation that serve as alternatives to modern medicine. Many of these can be mixed with everyday meals for easy consumption, and they may even spice up your dinner table. If you have any concerns, reach out to a medical professional to discuss any potential allergies or side effects.