If you're experiencing pain due to a physical condition, you may be seeking alternatives from traditional pharmaceutical pain medication. Fortunately, natural methods are available that may provide you with some relief from your pain — however, keep in mind that results aren't universal with any of these products. Following are five ways that have been found to be instrumental in reducing pain in some people.
Turmeric root has long been used as a culinary herb in India as well as a digestive aid and anti-inflammatory agent. Studies have shown that turmeric is effective in reducing inflammation in bodily tissues. In the year 2010, a clinical study found that taking turmeric reduced pain and improved overall functioning in patients with osteoarthritis affecting the knees. Tumeric also may have immunity-boosting properties. However, those taking large amounts of turmeric should practice caution if they are also taking blood-thinning medication. As with anything, you should always check with your health care professional before introducing a new supplement to your dietary regime.
Used in Eastern medicine for centuries, modern scientific evidence shows that red ginseng provides a measure of pain relief for those suffering from fibromyalgia. It may also help combat stress and fatigue as well as increase the appetite of those undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. Like turmeric, ginseng is actually derived from a root and is ground into a powder for use as a natural supplement.
Feverfew is another herb that has been used for hundreds of years in folk medicine. A daisy-like plant that grows wild in most of the Northern Hemisphere, its primary use has been to alleviate headache. The dried leaves, stems, and flowers are traditionally made into teas and tinctures as well as placed in capsules. Although research on this herb's pain-relieving abilities has been mixed, the American Headache Society as well as the American Academy of Neurology believe that enough evidence exists to warrant using feverfew for the prevention of migraine headaches.
Medical marijuana has been found to be effective in relieving chronic nerve pain, making it useful for a variety of situations. For instance, those recovering from surgery might find some benefit in using medical-grade marijuana for pain relief, and those dealing with long-term pain caused by accident or injury have also successfully used it to keep pain levels down. It has also been found to decrease feelings of nausea and increase appetite in those undergoing chemotherapy as a cancer treatment.
The most common way to use marijuana for pain relief is to smoke it, but many people are averse to this because they find the sensations associated with smoking to be unpleasant, and many people don't care for its pungent odor. Fortunately, it is also available in edible form for those who don't want to smoke it, and it can also be made into tea. The staff at your local marijuana dispensary can help you decide which option is best suited to your individual needs and preferences.
Keep in mind that as of now, medical marijuana is only legal in 29 states and Washington DC. However, new legislation is being enacted with each election cycle, so keep an eye on the situation if it's not yet legal in your particular area.
Capsaicin is the substance that makes your mouth burn when you bite into a chili pepper. However, when it's used to make a topical treatment, it has significant pain-relieving properties. It works by blocking the pain messages between your brain and the affected nerves and is helpful for a variety of conditions, including arthritis, fibromyalgia, sprains, post-surgical pain, and severe headaches, including migraines.