Tens of millions of people around the world live with acute or chronic pain, and their desperate attempts to alleviate it has made prescription painkillers a billion dollar industry for Big Pharma. Unfortunately, prescription painkillers often contribute to more problems than they cure. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, painkillers such as oxycodone and methadone are the leading causes of overdose deaths in the United States today.
Fortunately, nature has provided us with numerous herbs and spices that contain significant analgesic properties. While not all of these foods are as aggressive as prescription painkillers, they are much safer to consume and lack their unpleasant side effects.
White willow is the most famous of the 300 willow species, and its bark enjoys a time-honored reputation as a natural analgesic. Indeed, the Chinese were known to use white willow bark for pain relief as far back as 500 B.C. In the West, American Indians often used it to treat inflammation.
White willow works as a painkiller because it contains a glucoside called salicin, which possesses proven anti-inflammatory and anti-neuralgic properties. For example, a study published in The American Journal of Medicine in 2000 found that white willow-derived salicin was more effective at easing lower back pain than the placebo.
White pillow bark can be consumed in powdered or tincture form. It is a much more natural painkiller than Aspirin, whose principal ingredient is actually salicin.
Turmeric has been used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat sprains, bruises and inflammation in the joints and stomach, and scientists now understand how it works. This warm, bitter plant owes its distinctive yellow hues to its rich concentrations of curcumin, a compound with proven anti-cancer, antioxidant and analgesic properties. One study featured in The Korean Journal of Pain, for instance, discovered that curcumin could decrease inflammatory pain in rats. Another study, published in Surgical Endoscopy, concluded that curcumin could improve postoperative pain and fatigue.
Turmeric powder is usually added to curries and other rice dishes, but it can also be taken as a health supplement. Remember to purchase non-irradiated powder when possible for maximum benefits.health ] [ herbs ] [ pain ]